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. Yes! Yes! Finally! Been trying to fix this for a week. Tried all those other ideas — turning off my firewall, my pop-up and ad blockers, my anti-virus program; checking the Hosts file; adding all those sites to the Trusted Sites list — and none worked. Was a little leery about running a batch file registering some files (wasn’t sure how to undo if it didn’t work), but finally gave it a shot. Eureka! Thank you so much.

    tom 10.07a

  2. Cool! I’m glad it worked for you! I’d tried everything on earth first, too – every suggestion in every Microsoft Tech article, plus every suggestion that the Microsoft support person suggested. Nothing worked until I tried this.

    Thanks for posting feedback.

  3. I’m a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer. Windows Update stopped working on my Windows XP Pro after I installed SP2 (though this was probably coincidental; the real problem was most likely related to the new version of Windows Update). Microsoft’s knowledge base did suggest the problem was related to improperly registered .dll files, but wasn’t much help beyond that. It doesn’t surprise me that the users of Windows were able to come up with a fix for this problem before Microsoft could. But I’m certainly getting tired of being one of Microsoft’s unofficial beta testers (and I get pay them money for it). Linux keeps looking more and more attractive to me.

  4. If the KnowledgeBase article says something about improperly registered DLLs, that’s new! It didn’t say that when I was struggling with the problem. I did give the solution to the Microsoft Tech Support person I’d been corresponding with, and he said he’d pass along the info. So maybe they incorporated it into the KnowledgeBase article. That would be good!

    I’ve got Linux on a box here, but don’t get to play with it much. Windows keeps me busy. 🙂

  5. Adding to what I wrote above, what I found in the Microsoft knowledgebase was Article ID 883822 at URL;en-us;883822
    The article deals specifically with errors 0x80246008 and 0x80246007. The article recommends registering qmgr.dll and qmgrprxy.dll. Leaving aside the specifics of the article, it does suggest the idea that .dll registration problems can knock out access to Windows Update.

  6. This worked like a champ. Thanks for sharing this info with other users in Microsoft H***. I just wish they could get their act together.

  7. Hi,

    Your post worked great for me. I try to fix this problem for months and nothing works. I’ve tried everything such like: disable my ISA firewall, opening ports like 80 and 443 on ISA-server, closing virusscan, create a new hosts-file, re

  8. Kick Ass! I’ve been trying everything and have been completely frustrated. I am now good to go thanks to your fix. Thanks again! Fabes

  9. YOU RAWK! I’ve tried every MS fix and the other few non MS fixes I could find and NOTHING would get update to work again on XP sp1 machines until I found your batch file.

    I would like to make a shrine in your honor, what is your favorite chocolate?

  10. Previous time I had to solve this, I found someone who said he had removed some files/folders from the softwaredistribution folder. That worked fine then, but now after a new update I couldn’t start WU. I hope this fix is more permanent.

    (thumbs up for google, thumbs down for microsoft)

  11. Sheryl, you RULE!!!
    (I love your name too, my favorite)
    I’ve read so much MS BS about this but nothing worked.


  12. Sheryl, ‘I love you’…

    lol – what I mean is, it worked like a charm! thanks for sharing this valueable info on a critical time like this for me – just formated my PC and after the first update… updates died…

    You brought them to life

  13. Worked for my XP. Problem started with V4 in Win 2000 several months ago. Haven’t tried this on Win 2000. Anybody else try this on 2000?

  14. Was only a temporary fix for me. Using XP SP1 through a LAN. Applied fix, WINDOWS UPDATE worked perfectly the first time. Shutdown and restarted, problem returns. Heard that a previous update might be culprit.

  15. Rebooting in itself couldn’t undo the fix. What the batch file does is register some DLLs that Microsoft forgot to register, and clear out the Windows Update cache. It sounds like the update broke things again. This has happened to me, too. I just ran the batch file again, and again it was fixed.

  16. We too struggled with this on our network! However some pc’s and laptops running Windows XP would have no problem with the new v5 site. Yet, the next 3 or 4 machines I tried it on, failed. Totally, bizarre! Of course your .bat file works great, though I haven’t used it on enough machines yet, I did have to run it over again, once I rebooted my machine. That’s still O.K! It’s a great work around.
    Also, I’d like to mention that I don’t know of anyone you has had trouble with the v5 site when accessing it from a “home” system, but I guess I’d have to assume they have had some bad experiences too.

    And finally, there is another work around I came up with because, well, you just gotta have access to the Critical Updates for Microsoft.

    Here’s my workaround:
    Once the v5 site fails, look to the left of the screen the the “Administrator Options” click once,in the first sentence under ” Update multiple operating systems” click on the highlighted words “Windows Update Catalog”. Then, you may be asked to load the v4 interface again, once that is done, the “Windows Update” to the left side of the screen once again is highlighted and ready to click.

    Voila! You’re redirected back to the v4 website and the “old fashioned” way we’re all used to getting our updates!

    Well that’s it I hope this long post didn’t offend anyone!

    A sincere thanks to Sheryl for the .bat file!


  17. Hi Sheryl,

    Thanks for your post, but I STILL can’t access the Windows Update (V5) website – I get to “Checking for the latest version of the Windows Update software…” and then the page says done and goes no further. I have tried your BAT file, plus a zillion other things (including the ZA thing) aand just cannot get past this. Any ideas?

  18. Hi Ken,

    Sorry you’re still having problems.

    My .bat file does this:

    1. Stop the Windows Update service.
    2. Remove the softwaredistribution directory because it will cause problems if it’s screwed up (and errors while accessing the site will screw it up).
    3. Register a bunch of DLLs that Microsoft forgot to register.
    4. Restart the Windows Update service.

    I think there are more DLLs than this involved. I’ve seen mention of others, but these were enough to fix it for me. Maybe you need to register some of the other DLLs as well.

    What version of Windows are you running?

  19. Hi Sheryl
    I ran the batch and all Okay but when I tryede Windows Update after it failede again I did not download the BITS20 update, damn.. but then I download and install it manualy reboot as it ask for and tryede Windows Update again. Did not work “WHY ME ??” then I ran the batch file again and now YES!! “THER IS A GUD OUT THERE ;-)”
    So thanks it work after a littel extra work form her 😉

    Best regards and Marry Chrismas to all *<;o)

    I have Danish Windows XP so i works all other versions then english

  20. That’s good info. The batch file works for most people, but occasionally someone reports that it didn’t do the trick. Maybe it’s because the BITS 2.0 update needed to be installed manually first. Thanks for sharing this – might help someone.

  21. YES! This worked for me! Windows Update stopped at “Checking for the latest version of the Windows Update software” and wouldn’t progress any further. I had tried unregistering wuweb.dll without success. THANKS for posting this entry! MS needs to update their Knowledge Base!

  22. Thanks for this article. I did however find a solution before finding this but this clarifies my answer with a proper batch file. Thanks!!

  23. Just made a change from C:\Windows to %windir% so that it works on all systems where the windows directory has been changed to something else.
    net.exe stop wuauserv
    cd /d %windir%
    rd /s softwaredistribution
    REGSVR32 %windir%\system32\wuapi.dll
    REGSVR32 %windir%\system32\wuaueng.dll
    REGSVR32 %windir%\system32\wucltui.dll
    REGSVR32 %windir%\system32\wups.dll
    REGSVR32 %windir%\system32\msxml3.dll
    net.exe start wuauserv

    [[Of course you are right about this. I don’t know why I used the environment variable in one place but not others. I fixed it, thanks. -sc]]

  24. I have error code 80246008 when I try to update Windows. Your bat file didn’t help any. The failure occurs almost immediately upon pressing “Install”. Any other thoughts?

  25. You might try downloading RegMon from Winternals and see what changes when you press Install. They have a free file monitor there, too.

  26. Tried the batch file, which worked a treat!

    However, got an even easier solution that may work (may depend on your scenario, but works for all XP Pro pcs behind ISA that I’ve tested so far)

    from command line, type

    proxycfg -u

    This will change the proxy config to use the users proxy settings rather than direct connection. Worked for me!!!

    Neil 😀

  27. I’m a little worried about the line
    rd /s softwaredistribution. Why would we want to remove the dir softwaredistribution and it’s subdirs?


  28. It has to be removed because it contains corrupted information that will prevent the fix. When it’s not there, Windows recreates it.

  29. Thanks Sheryl! That worked without a reboot. I’d previously tried the fix on the MS website, and reregistered some other dlls noted on the web. Only yours worked.
    Do you work in IT? It must have taken _hours to put the .bat together + verify it.

  30. It took an absurd number of hours to figure this out. I get like a pitbull about stuff like this – I can’t let go of it until I figure it out.

    I don’t work in IT. I’m a Contributing Editor to PC Magazine – was the editor of the Utilities column for 10 years (while the utilities were still free) – and a programmer.

    I’m glad that the solution I found has worked for so many people. It makes me feel better about the absurd number of hours I spent on it. 🙂

  31. Y’know, fixng the 1977 Lincoln I had not so long ago took less time per year than fixing Windows takes now. And it rebooted faster.

  32. Actually, I already had RegMon. It generated a lot of data. What am I looking for? This looked interesting:

    helpctr.exe:700 QueryKey HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows BUFOVRFLOW
    2017 98.13485323 helpctr.exe:700 QueryValue HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows\ScrollInset NOTFOUND
    2018 98.13486712 helpctr.exe:700 QueryKey HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows BUFOVRFLOW
    2019 98.13487845 helpctr.exe:700 QueryValue HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows\DragDelay NOTFOUND
    2020 98.13489115 helpctr.exe:700 QueryKey HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows BUFOVRFLOW
    2021 98.13490245 helpctr.exe:700 QueryValue HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows\DragMinDist NOTFOUND
    2022 98.13491502 helpctr.exe:700 QueryKey HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows BUFOVRFLOW
    2023 98.13492569 helpctr.exe:700 QueryValue HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows\ScrollDelay NOTFOUND
    2024 98.13493799 helpctr.exe:700 QueryKey HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows BUFOVRFLOW
    2025 98.13494928 helpctr.exe:700 QueryValue HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows\ScrollInterval NOTFOUND

  33. Thank you so much. This problem has been driving me nuts for two days. Unbeliveable that almost five months after your post not one forum that this question has been asked in has come up with the answer. I’ve been linking this page for all the other people I found with the same issue.
    Good Job

  34. I’m glad it worked for you. Every time someone posts that it worked for them, I feel a little better about the hours and hours I burned searching for the solution.

    I don’t know why Microsoft hasn’t published the correct solution – I’ve sent it to them. Before I figured out what was wrong, I emailed Microsoft Tech Support for help. The guy who answered had no clue what was wrong or how to fix it, so I just kept researching it myself. When I figured it out, I sent him a detailed message about what the problem was and how to fix it, and asked him to please make sure their KnowledgeBase article was updated so others wouldn’t waste time on it like I did. He said he would, but the information was never communicated.

  35. The bat file works okay, after search for days for a solution thanks

    Peter Holland from The Netherlands

  36. The problem recurred on my system and my original batch file didn’t fix it. I hunted around, and found another Windows Update DLL that I’d missed. Registering that one as well fixed the problem. I edited my original post to reflect the change. If anyone reading this blog has tried the fix and it didn’t work, try the fixed fix.

  37. Tried your fix (and about 3.5 million other ones) but the updates still fail to download and install.

    Just wanted to say thanks for the effort even if it didn’t work in my case. Will go back to scrolling through the Google list. 🙁

  38. Saw your pages and wondered i you had ever had this problem with explorer and updates, I had to have my system wiped , had sp2 installed again got most of updates via auto download and not by manually clicking on the link for updates in windows main menu , I used to check just to see if id missed things , now if I click on updates i get a blank page and done at the bottom of the page, undaunted i went via google and found updates which told me I had to alter settings , i followed the instructions went into sites the button was greyed but I managed to paste in the info and thought thats it , tried still got a little box opening in explorer then the blank page and done again so i cannot check whats installed on my pc anymore so havent any clues as to whats missing any ideas how i can get this working again , the engineer said oh youve got all you need if theres no gold shield in the taskbar ! Rubblish I used to visit updates and find downloads way before auto updates kicked in any feed back welcome

  39. Thank you Sheryl!

    I used the batch file in your message and executed those commands, and the downloads were then successful.


  40. Created the bat file you suggested and ran it, but my WuAuServ won’t start. I get an error message: System Error 193 has occurred. Is not a valid Win32 application. Any suggestions? Thanks.

  41. Brilliant Sheryl, you are a genius, thanks ever so much for the advice, it worked perfectly. How annoying though that MS weren’t able to resolve the problem in the many hours I have spent trying to work this one out with them!

    Regards – Geoff

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