This one is a really, really fun problem: You dutifully let Windows download updates. It tries to install them, but fails with some kind of “0x800*****” error code.

Great, what now?

Well, normally you’d just click the button and try to install them again. You’d think that since Windows knows it can’t install the updates, it would try to download them again…

But no! I just sits there and tries to install the corrupted update packages again, and again, and again.

There is a very simple fix for this problem, and you don’t have download anything, or edit the registry, or perform any other gymnastics!

Microsoft itself will tell you to download a 360MB “System Readiness Tool”.

You can try this, but it won’t work.

That’s not surprising, since you know your system is ready. It just won’t install the dang updates.

So, here’s what you do:

  1. Open Explorer
  2. Go to C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download
  3. Select all the files in this Download directory, and delete them
  4. Rerun Windows Update

Wasn’t that easy? Of course it was.

In short, what happens is that when Windows is downloading updates, something goes wrong. Maybe you have some bad RAM, or there’s a corrupt sector on your hard drive, or some malware is lurking in the background mucking around with your precious bits.

The end result is that the downloaded update (or two or three) becomes corrupted.

By deleting the files in the above directory, you are removing all the downloaded updates. This then forces Windows Update to download them again.

Voila! You can install updates again, and keep your system free of security holes.


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