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Community Newsletter: Q&A forum: Help! My Windows automatic updates suddenly stopped working

by: Lee Koo (ADMIN) August 30, 2007 3:47 PM PDT

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Help! My Windows automatic updates suddenly stopped working

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) ModeratorCNET staff - 8/30/07 3:47 PM


I have my Windows XP computer set to update automatically and
thought all was fine until I checked at the end of June. I
found that I had no updates installed since May 10 and
nothing I have done so far has helped. When I go to the site
to check for critical updates I either get no progress with
the scan or else if I get as far as seeing the 11 I need to
download I get no further once I click on the INSTALL button.
Even trying it singly has not helped. Please help!

--Submitted by Clare W.

Answer voted most helpful by our community members

Windows Updates

I have posted this before on C/Net, perhaps you have missed it. Worth a try if you have - so good luck as it came from a Microsoft NewsGroup when I had problems with WU.

Step 1:
Verify that your computer's date and time are accurate and that Internet Explorer language option is not empty.
To check the language setting in Internet Explorer:
1. Click "Tools" and then choose "Internet Options"
2. Click the lanuage button
3. Make sure at least one language is listed in the "Language Options" dialog.

When checking your date (including the year) and time, also check the Internet Time and Time Zone. Double click on the date/time in the notification/system tray area (near the clock) select Internet Time Tab and then select update now. If it's not already checked, check automatically synchronize with an internet Time Server - WinXP.

Step 2:
Also check these settings:
1. Tools>Internet Options> Advanced
2. Scroll down to the Security Settings.
3. Make sure that the two boxes are checked that say "Enable SSL 2" or "Enable SSL 3".
4. Uncheck "Check for server certificate revocation".

Step 3:
Also delete Temporary Internet Files
1. Tools>Internet Options >General
2. Under Temporary Internet files, click Delete Files, Clck OK

Step 4:
1. Tools> Internet Options > Security
Click Trusted sites, click Default level.
Click the sites button and clear the checkbox "Require server verification"
(http:) for all sites in this zone."
Now add the following:

If required, reboot and try Windows Update again. If still no success, have a look at the following links for more clues.


Further information:

You have not mentioned error code notifications, but this information is valuable just the same if you ever were to bump into these problems.

Error 0x800A138F

The aim here is to help you solve this 0x800A138F problem and have you updating your Windows XP Professional or Home Edition computer as soon as possible.

Windows Update has encountered an error and cannot display the requested page.


Make sure you haven't got anything blocking Windows Update like
Zonealarm etc
Also make sure you don't have a Web Accelerator working in the backgound such as
Net Zero
Speedband etc

Clear out your temporary internet cache

Try a reboot and then try WU again.

Are there any specific error codes that you do see?
At what point does it continue when checking for the latest software, or when checking for updates?

Still no joy, then try Renaming the SoftwareDistribution folder

Click START, Choose Run
In the Run box, type "services.msc. " (without the quotes)
Click OK
Right click the Automatic Updates service,
Click stop.
Stopping the service will take a moment.

Rename the "SoftwareDistribution" folder :
a. Click Start, click Run, type "%systemroot%" (without the quotes" and then click OK.
b. Right click the SoftwareDistribution folder, and then click Rename
c. Type SoftwareDistribution.old, and then press ENTER to rename this folder.

Choose Run
In the Run box, type "services.msc." without the quotes"
Click OK
Right -click the Automatic Updates service
Click Start.
Starting the service will take a moment.

Reboot if appropriate and try WU again.

Note when you rename the SoftwareDistribution folder - you will loose your history but not important.


Your Windows Update problem is exactly the same as I was having sometime ago and by going through the above (supplied from a Microsoft Newsgroup exchange) you should correct your problem and allow you to download and install WU's again.

Good Luck and don't hesitate to post back if you have a further question.

--Submitted by CNET member tallin

If you have any additional advice or tips for Clare, let's hear them! Click on the "Reply" link to post. Please be detailed as possible in your answer. Thanks!

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