How to fix problems with automatic updates not installing hotfixes and service packs

Microsoft UpdatesSometimes the automatic updates service is interupted while updating the machine, this can result in updates with corrupted data that prevents the service from installing the updates correctly and failing the service. This means the machine will never get past the updates that are giving an error and continue to try and install over and over. This happens on just about any Windows machine that uses Automatic Updates, including Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008.

  • The error prevents the workstation or server in installing updates, roll up packs, hotfixes and service packs, both manually and automatically.
  • The error can also be that the Cryptographic service will not start correctly.
  • The event error message contains information like not able to verify integrity of update.inf and similair.
  • The error is in the verification of the update in Microsoft, this authentication is done with certificates by the Cryptographic service. 

The reason I am describing this error, is that it seems pretty normal, it can happen from servers being shutdown due to power failure, crashes, etc. It took me some while to find any good information on how to correct this error, or more correctly I found alot of information but little that helped.

A quick fix to reset Automatic Updates – this fixes 95% of all problems

  • Stop the Cryptographic service – net stop cryptsvc
  • Stop the Automatic Updates service
  • Rename this folder %systemroot%\system32\catroot2 (NOT the catroot folder!)
  • Delete all Tmp*.cat files in %systemroot%\system32\CatRoot\{F750E6C3-38EE-11D1-85E5-00C04FC295EE}
  • Delete all Tmp*.cat files in %systemroot%\system32\CatRoot\{127D0A1D-4EF2-11D1-8608-00C04FC295EE}
    (Note the capital T if you use command line and ONLY delete the Tmp files!!!)
  • Delete all content in %systemroot%\SoftwareDistribution
  • Start the Cryptographic service – net start cryptsvc
  • Start the Automatic Updates service

The solution above cleans up all downloaded updates and deletes any partly downloaded updates that is listed as fully downloaded.

If the above solution does not do the trick, follow this knowledge base article from Microsoft from top to bottom, then somewhere along the way you will remove the problem that is giving the error and updates start running as normal again.

As always remember if you mess up things, delete the wrong folder, etc. You are on your own. Remember to backup stuff before deleting stuff in the Windows folders.

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One Response to “How to fix problems with automatic updates not installing hotfixes and service packs”

  • Summi:

    I am getting an error code 800246005 whenever I install an update. Can you suggest something for this?

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