Microsoft notes Windows Update "inconsistencies," provides fix

Microsoft notes Windows Update "inconsistencies," provides fix

Summary: Any time Microsoft pushes an update to a few hundred million users, you can expect some hiccups. With Windows 7 SP1, Microsoft has quietly acknowledged an "inconsistency" that might cause more problems than normal. Here's the fix.

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Any time Microsoft pushes an update to a few hundred million users, you can expect some hiccups. I’ve been monitoring the progress of Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 since it was released to the public earlier this week, both on Microsoft’s official Windows Update forum and via e-mail and Twitter.

So far, aside from the issue with non-bootable partitions that I highlighted yesterday, this looks like a successful rollout. But it’s not completely trouble-free. Most of the error messages I’m seeing in reports have to do with Windows Update, with error codes like 80073712, 800706BE, and 8024200D. Those sorts of errors have been a fact of life with Windows Update for years, but this time around, Microsoft has quietly acknowledged an “inconsistency” in the Windows Update code that might cause more problems than normal.

In this post, I highlight a handful of tools you can use to fix these Windows Update problems if you run across them.

The quickest and easiest repair option is the Windows Update Troubleshooter. Open Control Panel, click in the search box, and type troubleshoot. Click the Troubleshooting link at the top of the search results, then click System and Security, and finally click Windows Update. The troubleshooter runs quickly. On my system, which had no noticeable issues with recent updates, it detected a minor problem and fixed it.

The entire process took less than 90 seconds and did not require a reboot.

If you’re experiencing Windows Update errors and that troubleshooter doesn’t work, haul out the big guns: the System Update Readiness Tool for Windows 7. According to a Microsoft support document published just a few days ago:

This tool is being offered because an inconsistency was found in the Windows servicing store which may prevent the successful installation of future updates, service packs, and software. This tool checks your computer for such inconsistencies and tries to resolve issues if found.

If you’re unable to apply the Service Pack 1 update to Windows 7, consider downloading and running this utility. Choose the version that applies to your installation:

So far I've seen no indication from Microsoft on how widespread these "inconsistencies" are. I've asked a Microsoft spokesperson for comment and will update this post with further details.

Topics: Software, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Windows

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  • RE: Microsoft notes Windows Update

    Updated two machines and haven't had any problems. These inconsistencies must only affect a few people. Still, its good that Microsoft recognized it and leaves no one stranded by providing a fix.
    Loverock Davidson
    • RE: Microsoft notes Windows Update

      @Loverock Davidson

      Had to do this on my system at work, after experiencing an oddity of windows update just stopping half way through the installation process (fortunately I could cancel out and retry).

      Fix worked a charm
      the.nameless.drifter
      • RE: Microsoft notes Windows Update

        @the.nameless.drifter At some point Windows Update said that my Genuine license wasn't real so it does have its good and bad sides

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        Jeffrey1980
    • RE: Microsoft notes Windows Update

      @Loverock Davidson People complains but microsoft is the fastest proving updates for everything specially security and even when some problems appears they always provide a fix for it. Windows is made to work with millions of hardware and necessities, its reasonable to think that for some small amount of users an issue will eventually happen.
      bnlf
      • RE: Microsoft notes Windows Update

        @bnlf The reason people complain is because it was MSFT that made the bad architecture decisions that cause the need for so many security updates in the first place.

        The situation w/ Linux is not as bad because better basic security considerations are built into Linux -- both in the kernel and in the famous file permissions.
        mejohnsn
      • RE: Microsoft notes Windows Update

        @mejohnsn<br><br>"Microsoft needs so many security updates because of bad architecture..."<br><br>But wait... Ubuntu and other modern Linux distros *constantly* download new updates, in much higher volume than Windows Update...<br><br>"That is because the Linux Many Eyes security model is constantly finding and updating security issues, which is an advantage"... <br><br>Only a true acolyte of the Temple of the Penguin fails to see the obvious problems with the statements above. You can only have one, and the other one cancels always cancels out the OTHER as a valid argument... which leaves Linux sitting relatively empty handed, regardless of which one you choose.

        LOL... reported as Spam. You can always tell when your opponents are afraid of what you have to say.
        dcolbert@...
      • RE: Microsoft notes Windows Update

        @mejohnsn
        The Ubuntu updates are not that often OS related. For example you update GIMP, scribus, firefox, open office, etc. So you are comparing apples to .... hmmm penguins?
        As for securiey... let's not even go there... You can make Linux system insecure and Windows one secure, but both require hard work. The other way around is the default.
        Oh, and I am reading this because we got hit with Win update nightmare at work.
        kirovs@...
      • RE: Microsoft notes Windows Update

        @mejohnsn Could you please explain in what way you think Linux file permissions are better than NTFS file permissions?
        dotwhynot
      • RE: Microsoft notes Windows Update

        [i]LOL... reported as Spam. You can always tell when your opponents are afraid of what you have to say.[/i]

        Nope, just casual dismissal of a well known troll.
        search &amp; destroy
      • RE: Microsoft notes Windows Update

        @kirovs - I recently installed Ubuntu 10.10 and without installying ANYTHING else, immediately updated my freshly installed OS. Imagine my surprise to find >300 updates requiring three reboots to complete.

        While many of the updates in Windows service packs fix issues in the OS, MANY of the updates fix issues in 3rd party applications too.

        Fact: EVERY OS requires regular patches and updates to not only fix genuine issues but to also add protection from the a$$holes out there who have nothing better to do with their time than disrupt others' use of their computers, software and peripherals.
        De-Void
      • RE: Microsoft notes Windows Update

        @mejohnsn - FWIW, Windows' security architecture spans both kernel (inc network sockets and underlying hardware) as well as filesystem, etc.

        I'll not disagree that Microsoft should have more actively enforced the security architecture that Windows has had since NT was first released, but I completely disagree that Linux' architecture itself is any more secure than Windows'.
        De-Void
      • RE: Microsoft notes Windows Update

        @bnlf Unlike previous Service Packs, Windows 7 SP1 does not contain any major improvements; it?s basically a rollup of updates that have been released for the operating system since it went to manufacturing July 22 2009. If you have been diligently updating your computer through Windows Update since then, you basically have all that SP1 has to offer.<a href="http://www.accommodationhepburnsprings.com/hepburn-springs-accommodation/">hepburn springs</a> | <a href="http://www.ezistreet.com/category/hotels-accommodation/">hotels</a>
        wentforgold
      • RE: Microsoft notes Windows Update

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    • RE: Microsoft notes Windows Update

      @Loverock Davidson

      Loverock is hated all over:

      "I hereby call upon Dana Blankhorn (author of TFA) to out the anti-open source trolls and shills that populate the talkbacks of his, and other, ZDNet blogs.
      First among them: "Loverock Davidson", a transparent shill. Post "Loverock's" IP address(es) so that we can see who owns "his" netblock.
      Post time-of-day and day-of-week for "Loverock's" talkback entries. I bet they come entirely during Pacific Time business hours."

      This was from Linux Today
      Ron Burgundy
      • RE: Microsoft notes Windows Update

        @CyberOptiq
        "tell Billy "BOY" Gates to shove it"?
        Bill is no longer the head of M$!
        He is now only a M$ stock holder
        NZJester
    • Message has been deleted.

      anothercanuck
      • RE: Microsoft notes Windows Update

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    • RE: Microsoft notes Windows Update

      @Loverock Davidson That is because the Linux Many Eyes security model is constantly finding and updating security issues, which is an advantage
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  • RE: Microsoft notes Windows Update

    Don't forget to tell people to delete the downloaded update files if nothing else works. I had a "WindowsUpdate_800B0100" "WindowsUpdate_dt000" error probably because the power went out when it was downloading and the files must have been corrupt. It wasn't an easy solution to find either but all I had to do was delete the contents of "C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download" folder and re-download the service pack. I saw a quite a few posts from people having this same issue too and not just from this service pack with other update downloads in the past...
    ChrispyCritter
    • RE: Microsoft notes Windows Update

      @ChrispyCritter
      Actually it is a very good tip. I had to abort the download and redo again.
      Ram U