Fix for Windows Update 5 Errors

Ever since Microsoft pushed Version 5 of Windows Update onto my XP SP1 system, I have been unable to access Windows Update – until just now. I found it!! I just accessed Windows Update and successfully downloaded and installed updates to my system.

The particular error message I was getting was 0x80072F78 (appeared when Windows Update tried to find the updates for my system), but I think this solution will fix the problem on systems getting other error messages as well. If your error code starts with “800”, I think there’s a good chance this solution will help.

Create a file on your desktop called wu5_fix.bat and put the following lines in it. (Leave out the dashes on the top and bottom – I’m just putting them there to separate the batch file contents from the rest of the text.)

net.exe stop wuauserv
cd /d %windir%
rd /s softwaredistribution
REGSVR32 %windir%system32wuapi.dll
REGSVR32 %windir%system32wuaueng1.dll
REGSVR32 %windir%system32wuaueng.dll
REGSVR32 %windir%system32wucltui.dll
REGSVR32 %windir%system32wups.dll
net.exe start wuauserv

[[16-Feb-05: This batch file was edited to include an additional Windows Update DLL (wuaueng1.dll). The problem recurred on my system, and the original batch file I posted here didn’t fix it. I looked to see if a DLL was missing and found this one. Adding it solved the problem. I also removed the line registering msxml3.dll since it didn’t seem necessary. -sc]]

Now open a DOS box and navigate to your desktop, where the batch file is. (If you don’t know where your desktop is in the directory structure, then just put the file somewhere you can find – it doesn’t matter where you put it.) To execute the batch file, just type the file name at the command prompt (WU5_FIX). Answer “yes” or “okay” to any prompts. Now try Windows Update again. I’ll bet it works. This fixed it for me, and I’d tried everything under the sun before this.

This solution is not in any Microsoft Knowledgebase article I’ve seen (and I’ve read over a dozen on the topic), nor did the Microsoft Tech Support person I’ve been corresponding with suggest it. I found pieces of this solution in different forum posts on the internet, and I’m posting it here because it was such a pain in the neck to find. I hope this information helps someone else with the same problem. There are too many critical vulnerabilities in Windows to not have access to Windows Update!

Please post if this fix works for you – I’m curious.

76 thoughts on “Fix for Windows Update 5 Errors

  1. Sheryl, Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have been in the same boat with most of these posts. Tried everything listed and a few others I think. Even uninstalled virus scan. Been on phone with Microsoft Tech. several hours to no avail. I am running XP SP2 and was working on this computer for friend. This is the first computer I ran into with this problem. Everytime I went to Microsoft update site and clicked on Express install. All I get was green progress bar never would complete download. Only time I get error code (OX8007043C) was in safemode. Ran your fix and bingo update worked first time and everytime so far. Again thank you.
    Jack B.

  2. Hello!
    I had the same problem with Win Update. I try your fix and works fine!!! You are great 🙂 Thank you very much for your help.

    ciao ciao

  3. Hi!

    Tried everything with this one. The bat-file fixed everything. You’re a savior! Thanks!

    Best regards,

  4. Thank you so much !! This is great..

    I am delighted. This just works fine with
    Windows XP SP2 also.

    Thanks once again

  5. I searched and asked an searched and asked…to no avail. I was unable to download XP updates. I suspected the windows download icon in the tray showing a % of download was the culprit, but I did not know how to correct it. Your batch file did!!! Thanks for this forum!!

  6. Thank you so much. I am NOT a programmer, systems engineer, etc. Just a guy trying to get WU started again on my brother-in-law’s PC. Been messing with it for 3 hours until I came across your post. Seems to have worked like a charm. (Except when I ran that .bat file, it didn’t find wucltui.dll. But so far, WU has started working again.

    Thanks much! Jeff (Wisconsin)

  7. Hi there,

    Thanks for the .bat file, but I am also still having problems. I suspect mine is a strange problem.

    I am ‘trying’ to debug an issue over the net so am using remote assistance (from London to Australia) to fix up an old XP SP2 machine.

    I have ran adaware (latest updates) to blow aware the nasties and also ran the latest NAV to take out viruses. I also went through the process of nuking the process and a set of RUN/APPINIT reg keys that hung around after adaware and NAV were done. So now with the user having ditched IE for firefox 🙂 I am trying to get windows update to work.

    I recieved the error message saying that I didn’t accept the EULA (;en-us;883827), but the EULA never pops up, additionally, it appears as though the files never actually download (as according to WU they have already been downloaded).

    So I have blown away the files in \WUTemp and the software redistribution dir in WINDIR, reset the IE settings, unregistered (/u) and re-registered the .dlls and kicked off the BITs service (that was not running). However, I still have the same issue.

    Any ideas.? I take is M$ hasn’t got a ‘fixWU.exe’ program that re-installs a vanila version of the s/w – would have been nice.

    Help much appreciated….

  8. Thanks Sheryl. Your guide has been very helpful. I had searched through Microsoft website and was offered non-relavant assistance.

    My problem is now sloved and thanks for your effort in distibuting the info!

  9. My daughter keeps getting the Error Code 80246008 when she tries to install updates. (Windows XP) Now the Smart Enforcer program that the University requires has cut off her internet use because she hasn’t installed the updates. TECH support has been trying to help for hours. Which of your solutions works best of 80246008 error code? Her thesis is due in a short period of time and the wasted time with Microsoft is an issue! Thanks

  10. Woohoo! Finally a fix for this! I’ve had this one machine at work that I couldn’t get to go into Windows Update for a long time and have spent much time Google-ing for an answer and this time I finally found it! Thanks so much!


  11. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you,
    I really mean it!

  12. Sheryl my pet, your’e a little beauty, I’ve been having so many probs with windows, at least this is one that’s fixed thanks to you. Not having grown up with computers (was born in the 50s)and getting my first one only 5 years ago, I know zilch about all the techy stuff (took me ages to work out how to use dos box thingy to use this fix). I wonder if I dare be cheeky and ask if you could help with another prob??? I was running a 2nd hdd for storage, have 50gig of stuff on it that I really want to keep. Had to reinstall xp ‘cos I couldn’t download anything and didn’t know what else to do, after reinstall 2nd hdd was not visible in my computer, but was listed in disk management as online, healthy, active – but was not assigned drive letter, on right click all options greyed out except “help’ and ‘delete partition’ have tried everything but am unable to assign drive letter, have spent days on net trying to find answer, but to no avail, have reinstalled twice more, have taken disk out and put back again – still no go, am so frazzled computer may end up in middle of road. I would appreciate any help at all, from anybody!!!! Thanking you in advance, Dee.

  13. Hey – I was born in the 1950’s. That’s no barrier to being a technophile! My consulting rate is $90/hour. 😉

  14. Hi Sheryl, I tried this a month ago, and it worked, now its not working again, and this time it didnt fix the problem

  15. I’ve found that the problem sometimes recurs, too. In fact, I had it again today on both computers. I deleted temporary files and tried again and then it worked.

  16. I am please your solution has helped so many. I just wish it helped me too. No luck, though.

    I’m running Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition SP1.

    Keep up the good work, Sheryl 🙂

  17. Don’t give up too fast. Try this:

    1. CLEAR YOUR CACHE. (This is important.)

    2. Turn off any anti-virus or ad-blocking software you are running.

    3. Run the batch file.

    4. Try going in through the “back door”. I don’t know if there’s something to this, or it was just a coincidence, but the last time the problem reappeared on my systems, I was finally able to get back in by first going to the Office Update site, checking for updates there, and then clicking on the “Windows Update” link on the Office page.

  18. If you have tried all of the above and it still doesn’t work for you, this following thread might help you – it did at least help me identify the culprit … Norton Antivirus uninstallter. They have a few suggestions towards the end about how to reinstall BITS (which was the problem in my case) without having to re-install Norton Antivirus or do an SP2 upgrade that might help somebody 🙂 The link? Oh yeah …,13605896~reverse=0;days=10;root=microsoft;mode=full

  19. Sheryl,

    I thought I’d never find a solution for this this problem. I followed your instructions and bingo, it worked like a charm!

    Please note I am running SBS 2K.

    Thanks again!

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