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Brand new XP install won't in stall ANY Windows updates

Last response: in Windows XP
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December 9, 2013 9:46:04 AM

OK. No pressure, but I'm REALLY hoping someone here can help me with this. It has been driving me crazy(er) for 4 or 5 days now. I've got almost 100 hours into this. I've searched & tried 20 different fixes & nothing has helped. Now, on to the problem & hopefully a resolution.

I've installed Windows XP Pro 32-bit on a system that built from parts. It's an AMD CPU, ECS Motherboard, 4GB RAM, 1GB Hitachi HD, a 400Watt PSU & a 1Gb/s NIC. That's it. Nothing fancy at all. In addition to that, I've installed XP no less than 50 times over the last 10-12 years or how ever long it has been out. I've NEVER run into this problem before. I can't help but think that since XP is at EOL in a few months, that MicroSoft has just put some kind of weirdness on their update tool so people HAVE to upgrade to 7 or 8.

I installed XP. ran the CD that came with the Motherboard & installed all of the software for the chipset, VGA, etc. Then, rebooted & activated Windows. I then clicked on the "Windows Updates" link & went to go install updates as I have EVERY time. When I got there, the site gave me errors about not being able to find itself or some ridiculous MicroSoft thing.

I did some searches that told me to manually download & installed Service Pack 3 for XP. So I did & rebooted. No help. Then I manually downloaded & installed IE 8 & some patches for it & rebooted. No help. I did 100 different things & nothing helped. I had Auto Update set to download, but not install. The next morning I looked & low & behold there were 150 updates downloaded & waiting for me to install. So I did. I rebooted.

I went back to the update site & was able to run the update tool, but when I went to install ANY updates, I get the error, "Some updates were not installed" & NO updates are installed. I've tried & tried a bunch of things to get passed this, but no matter what, I get the same error message & cannot install updates. NOR do they automatically show up as they did the other day.

I've tried reformatting my drive & reinstalling XP. Same results. I try various things, but the result is the same. Install SP 3 manually. Install IE 8 Manually. I searched for, found, downloaded & ran 10 different MS "Fix it" apps & some things were fixed, but MANY were not.

Right now here are the things it says it can't fix:
- Service registration is missing or corrupt
- Windows Update error 0x800B0100(2013-12-09-T-12_35_38P)
- Problems installing recent updates
- Problems installing recent updates
- Cryptographic service components are not registered

If anyone would be so kind as to help me with some ideas on how to proceed or fix some of the above errors, I would REALLY appreciate it.

Best solution

December 9, 2013 11:46:13 AM

Restart into Safe mode with Networking and go to the folder c:\windows\software distribution\download and empty it. Do the same in Event Cache then go into Control Panel>Automatic Updates and click the link "Windows Update web site. See if that improves things. There should be 138 of them after SP3 is installed plus a few more if you installed Office or part thereof."

The system was working when I reinstalled two XP systems over the weekend so your suspicion has no validity at this stage. I couldn't possibly comment beyond that.
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December 9, 2013 11:55:37 AM

Thank you for you comments. I understand how to empty the "Software Distribution" folder. I stopped the Update Process, then changed the name of that folder & restarted the process. Shouldn't that have been sufficient? It didn't do it, but could you please explain the "Event Cache" statement? What do I do with that? Where is it etc? If you would be kind enough to elaborate on that one, I'll do them & let you know what happens.
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December 9, 2013 12:37:52 PM

Event Cache is also a sub-folder in Windows\Software Distribution. Deleting or renaming the Download folder leaves the new updates nowhere to go to be saved so I wouldn't recommend it. I've seen it posted as advice many times but I never tried it myself.
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December 9, 2013 10:51:40 PM

Thank you VERY much for taking the time to help me. I greatly appreciate your help.I'll follow your instructions & come back & post how it turned out. I'd keep my fingers crossed, but it's REALLY hard to type like that....:D 
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December 9, 2013 11:12:02 PM

:D 
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December 9, 2013 11:41:52 PM

I followed your instructions, but I'm still unable to install updates. One thing though, there was/is no "Event Cache" folder in C:\Windows\Software Distribution". Does that mean anything? Is there anything else I can try? I'm totally stumped & I've already reinstalled XP several times with similar results, although if there are flaws in my method of installation or post installation, I could always try again.

ANY help is appreciated. Thank you.
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December 14, 2013 1:12:15 PM

After several days of trying, removing the OS & reinstalling & some dancing chanting & a few things that involved garlic cloves & chicken blood, I'm STILL unable to install updates on this system. In fact, now I'm actually worse off than when I posted this. I'm unable to get ANY updates in & since I removed the OS, I lost all the updates I did have.

Does anyone have any suggestions of other things I might try? I REALLY have to have XP installed because it's the latest version of Windows the will load the installation program I have for my MIDI interfaces for my recording studio.

I REALLY need some help & will try anything realistic anyone suggests. THANK YOU!!
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December 14, 2013 11:39:45 PM

Did you try the FixIt button in the KB I linked you to? When you connect to the Net, do you use a Proxy or go direct?
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December 15, 2013 7:46:53 AM

I did try the link, it leads me to a person that wants to charge me $100 to fix my problem. Unless there's some other way through the maze that leads me to something else more helpful. I may have missed the proper way to get help.

I connect to the Net I "go direct". I go through my own switch, then through my ISP's Router.
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December 15, 2013 7:52:16 AM

Not the link I meant and I can't see one that would do that. The one you need it the FixIt button you see when you expand the Windows 2000, XP, Server 2003 section by clicking on the + sign to the left of that line. It kickstarts a small download which can try to sort out the problem internally and coming from Microsoft themselves, it should be safe to run.
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December 15, 2013 8:16:31 AM

Duh, Sorry. I re-ran it, then chose another option & kept poking around until I found something appropriate for windows update. It's currently running & looking for problems. Thank you for your help. I'll report back with the results. Hopefully this will help. I just spent the last hour in a chat session with somebody from Microsoft trying to convince me to pay them $100 to fix a problem with their stuff. I REALLY appreciate your help. I'll be back...
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December 15, 2013 10:11:46 AM

They would probably charge you that and just ship that FixIt down the line and run it remotely. Hopefully this way, it will do the job and cost you nothing.
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December 16, 2013 10:31:55 AM

Well, I've tried MANY times to get that "Fix it" to... Fix it. The last time it wiped out BITS. I can't believe that's what did it, but it sure looks that way. BITS was there, then I ran the tool several times, it found some problems & said it fixed a few of them, then I rebooted & looked at the processes & Nope. NO BITS. That got to be such a mess that I wiped the HDD & reinstalled XP. Again. This time, I've only installed the NIC driver & then went to the ECS (motherboard) site & downloaded their newest XP drivers for the Chipset, VGA, Sound etc. Then I installed Firefox because, well IE6 is useless. Then I installed .NET 2.0 &,SP3 & rebooted. Then I installed MS Security Essentials & I've just installed IE8 & am going to reboot as soon as I get done writing this post.

Do you suggest that I try running Mr Fix it again? I'll be back to check your response in a BITS....

Thank you for all your help.
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December 16, 2013 11:01:04 AM

I don't think I'll recommend that this time. Are there any other critical Services showing up as Disabled or only Manual?
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December 16, 2013 1:44:28 PM

That's a great question. Sadly, I don't really know the answer. I've been looking at the Services for a while & I've got them sorted by "Startup..." & there are none that are Disabled, but the list of Manual, is pretty long. I don't 'think' there are any more but BITS. I set BITS to start Automatically to see if that would help, but it didn't.

I went to the Microsoft Update Catalog site & did a search for "Windows XP Critical Updates", then I downloaded & installed 90 or so updates Manually. THAT was no fun & it took a LONG time, but after I rebooted I noticed that BITS reset itself to start Manually, but it's started. Anyway, Auto Update is in one of its phases where it's Automatically finding updates 2 at a time for me to install. I'm going to reboot & see what happens when things come back up. I'll post again in a few minutes with .... um, an update... Sorry...
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December 16, 2013 2:01:44 PM

Well, now things are not even letting me get to the site again. It routes me off to the Fix it 50777 guy again.
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December 16, 2013 2:22:51 PM

Have you turned on auto updates to see if the system will update itself?
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December 17, 2013 6:48:40 AM

Pretend like I'm not writing this, OK? I hate to even write this & I'm typing with my fingers crossed, which is VERY hard to do....

After fiddling around with this for a week now & yesterday having the problem I mentioned, where I can't even GET to the Windows Update site because it Shanghai's me & send me off to somewhere else, I have had this set the whole time to "Auto download every morning at 3AM, but let me install the updates". This morning I looked & my system "LOOKED" like it was locked up.

The screen saver was running (after I wiggled the mouse to turn the monitor back on), but I couldn't get the system to come alive. I finally did a Ctrl+Alt+Del & chose Task Manager & with some fiddling brought things back to life. It was hung in the middle of running the "MS Advantage" gizmo.

I finally rebooted & when it came back up it has been downloading Updates ever since. It started with 2 updates, then I rebooted, then 2 more & rebooted, then .NET 3.5 & I rebooted, but THEN this time it came back with more than 10 updates!! I don't know if things are fixed, but it IS updating.

I'm going to have to keep on it to see how long the updates keep coming, but I WILL be back to report progress.

THANK YOU!! for helping.

I HOPE this IS fixed, but in the words of Monty Python, "I'll say no more... Nic, Nic.... "
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December 17, 2013 6:56:53 AM

May the force of the Kanighits be one your side. :D 
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December 17, 2013 7:41:51 AM

Thank you. I beweve they ah, Bwian.

OK. So, things got to the point where the Auto Update was updating 1 update at a time. Pretty slow going. Then I noticed that it was the SAME update for 3 times in a row (I'm kinda slow), so I decided to go the Update site & try my luck again & YEA!!! I was able to download & install updates manually too. Right now my system is installing updates & then it will power itself off. I HOPE this is fixed. I'll give it a bit longer to conclude that it is though.

Again. THANK YOU... I'm off to chop down a tree with a fish...

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December 17, 2013 10:35:42 AM

I have one last (hopefully) crazy problem. WU keeps offering the same update over & over. When I check the history, it shows that it has been installed MANY times. I thought I would just go into Add/Remove programs & remove the update & then install it. When I go to remove the update Windows has fit & shows me list of almost everything installed on the system & says if I remove this update, The world will come to an end!!

If I remove the update, will XP Most Likely let me install it again? Or will all of the things listed REALLY stop working?

I'd hate to mess things up now, after ALL of this work. I could just hide the update. But that's sorta like piping your error messages to "Dev Null", they're not really gone & solved, you just can't seem'em anymore.

Thanks for some more solid input!
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December 17, 2013 11:15:47 AM

Don't uninstall the update; just untick the install option when it next offers itself to you. Then, the next window will include a tick box to "Don't ask me again about this update" or words to that effect. Matter of interest - which one is it? There's a pretty sticky SQL update I've battled with recently which fails to install then refuses to note my wishes on that "Don't ask" tick box.
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December 17, 2013 11:49:04 AM

That's what I ended up doing. I tried uninstalling, rebooting & reinstalling the update, but it still showed up, so I did a search for the problem & ran this Fix it "MicrosoftFixit.wu.LB.147310733779644115.1.1.Run.exe" DO NOT RUN THIS!!! I wiped out my BITS Service completely. Installed some other thing that looked VERY flaky in the Services menu, then it corrupted my registry! But at least it reported back the problems that it caused!! It made such a mess of things, I had to restore my system to before that thing ran. At LEAST it starts out by creating a Restore Point!! THAT saved my "@$$".

After the system Restore, I went in & set Update "KB2862330" to not show itself to me again.

Boy, I thought I'd shot myself in the foot on that one! After messing with this for a week, to have the "Fix it" gizmo run & cause SUCH a mess! System Restore is my Friend....

Anyway, I THINK things are finally working the way they should I guess I'll see if any other updates keep showing up. That was an old update, so I doubt that I'll continue to have problems with updates sticking.

Thank you for your help. If I knew what fixed my problem, I'd mark something as a solution, but I think it was just the XP Ghost picking on me. If you have suggestion on what solved this, PLEASE post it.

Again. THANK YOU for all your help. I'll try to spend a bit of time on this site looking for problems I can help others with & not just come here when I need help myself.

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December 17, 2013 11:59:32 AM

I'll try to spend a bit of time on this site looking for problems I can help others with & not just come here when I need help myself.

That beats a Best Answer every time - besides, I've lost track of what fixed what anyway. :D 
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December 27, 2013 10:32:23 AM

As Hawkeye22 said the problem with the update not working on a clean install of Windows XP SP3 is due to problems at Microsoft's end. Running all of the fixit and other fixes can break Windows update. I would suggest that you restore back to when you tried to fix the update problem or reinstall again.

To get update working, you can either turn on automatic updates (which should work) and let the updates install themselves or install IE8 + the latest cumulative security updates (note untick the install updates box as this does not work yet) then install the updater version 2.0 update which you can download from Microsoft. Once you have done this the updates should work as normal.
I spent many many hours trying to sort out this problem and calling Microsoft all the names under the sun.
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January 2, 2014 12:09:01 PM

Hi All,

It took me a while to cut this one down. I created a blog post on my website with detailed instructions and links to the updates you'll need to download. It'll take you about 10 minutes and you should have Windows Updates working again.
http://www.geekallday.com/windows-xp-sp3-update-issues/

I'll also list the updates here that are required.
•Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id...
•Internet Explorer 8
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/upgrade-your...
•Update for Windows XP (KB927891)
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927891
•Windows Update Agent 3.0
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb932139.asp...
•Security Update for Windows XP (KB2510531)
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id...
•Security Update for Internet Explorer 8 for Windows XP (KB2797052)
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id...
•Security Update for Internet Explorer for Windows XP (KB2799329)
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id...
•Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer 8 for Windows XP (KB2898785)
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id...
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