Saint's Log


Fighting Windows Update Failures

For the past month or so, I have been unable to update my 7.5 year-old machine from Windows 10 Build 14393 because "we couldn't connect to the update service"! Some folks online suggested trying the "Fix problems with Windows Update" wizard. Unfortunately (or fortunately), this Wizard identified a Potential Windows Update Database Error - but it couldn't fix it!

The next idea was trying the system file checker as mentioned here. This tool did not find any issues on my filesystem. The DISM.exe commands seemed irrelevant so I took a quick peek at the Event Viewer. Lo and behold, a long list of WindowsUpdateFailure3 events. The supposed cure? These commands suggested in this thread (found by Googling "WindowsUpdateFailure3").

net stop wuauserv
net stop cryptSvc
net stop bits
net stop msiserver
ren C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old
ren C:\Windows\System32\catroot2 Catroot2.old
net start wuauserv
net start cryptSvc
net start bits
net start msiserver

These didn't solve the problem either. Digging around in log files led me to error code 0x80240438, but then again, no useful hints from queries on this code. The registry keys mentioned didn't even exist on my machine. OK Google. Now there is a list of connection error codes, but of course it doesn't include the one from the update failure log.

Desperation: what else haven't I tried? This page with connection error codes mentions ensuring that http://* is reachable. redirects to a page describing how to get the Windows 10 Creators Update now. Aha! I end up downloading and running the Windows 10 Upgrade tool. The update hangs (or appears to, after a couple of hours) at 25% so I simply hit the reset button hoping for the best. Sure enough, I end up back at build 14393 after a while. Desperation led me to try this tool again yesterday. I was encouraged to see that it actually downloaded an update to the Windows 10 Upgrade tool. When I popped in after rebooting to update, it was still at 25% but I decided to let it run overnight. Quite pleased was I this morning to come and find a Welcome screen prompting me to select my telemetry, etc, settings. I'm now finally running an up to date OS!

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