Summary. Millions of computer users depending on Microsoft Windows may experience the annoyance of not being able to update their computer with necessary critical updates. When trying to use the http://update.microsoft.com website, an error will be generated after requesting “Express” updates, and this will be the beginning of a long search to discover what the problem is and how to resolve it. This page has been created to save you the stress and frustration of trying to resolve the problem on your own. Microsoft is apparently doing nothing about resolving this issue, and instead they are having millions of people figure it out on their own and fix it manually. This is similar to putting up a road sign that says “bump ahead” rather than just fixing the bump. Microsoft claims that the problem may be caused by the fragility of their operating system and it’s unfortunate dependence upon the Internet to run. Or, it could be the result of teenage hackers who have launched a Denial of Service Attack (DOS) on the Microsoft update servers. Yet, the solution, described below, is unrelated to these problems and generally resolves this issue.
Unhelpful Error Message. The error message generated on the Microsoft Update site states, “The website has encountered a problem and cannot display the page you are trying to view. The options provided below might help you solve the problem.” However, the options offered are links to generic websites and no specific helpful information is provided. The other error message you may get, without any helpful explanation is, “The following updates were not installed.” Why? Will be the first question that comes to your mind. The answer? Nobody knows, or at least, nobody at Microsoft is telling why.
Unhelpful Error Number. An error number is generated. However, Microsoft does not provide any specific information about the variety of error messages that are generated. They only offer this information on a hard to find page of their website:
“When you use the Windows Update Web site or the Microsoft Update Web site to check for and install updates, you may receive one of the following error messages: Error 0x80070008, Error 0x800705B4, Error 0x8007000E, Error 0x80072EE2, Error 0x80072EFD, Error 0x80072EE7, Error 0x80072EFE, Error 0x8024400E, Error 0x80072F76, Error 0x80244016, Error 0x80072F78, Error 0x80244022, Error 0x80090305, Error 0x8024402F, Error 0x8009033F, Error 0xC80003FA, Error 0x80244008, Error 0xC800042D, Error 0x8024400A, Error 0x80071A90, Error 0x8024400D.”
Problem Resolution. Follow these steps to resole the problem.
- After extensive searching, you’ll eventually find this unhelpful page that you should ignore: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/836941
- After you read through the above worthless page, and try numerous worthless suggestions, you will ultimately get near the bottom of the page where you will read about a BITS (Background Intelligent Transfer Service) update that apparently never got put on your computer through the automatic updates, so you’ll need to download it and install it manually, which will be mentioned on this useless page that you can ignore: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/842773/
- The worthless page mentioned in #3 doesn’t have the BITS download, but instead sends you to this hard to decipher page: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/842309/
- You’ll need to scroll down that page until you see the link for “Download the WindowsXP-KB842773-x86-ENU.exe package now” which will forward you to this page:
- Now your adventure begins. Click the Continue button to Validate that your copy of Windows is authentic (we wouldn’t want cheaters enjoying this blissful computing experience). Then, on the next page, click the Download button and choose to Run the file. Then click Run a second time to run the file. If the file installs, you might try running Microsoft Update again. However, at this point, you might get a message that your current version of BITS is newer than the one you’re trying to install. Sorry. Continue to step #6.
- You may want to go get a cup of coffee. This is going to be a long one. At this point, you need to regroup and go to this page http://support.microsoft.com/kb/943144 where you will read about the common anticipated failings of the Microsoft Update system. Of course, it’s written in a way that doesn’t make any sense at all. So, to make a long story short, go directly to the link provided that gives instructions on how to reinstall the Windows Update Agent. The resulting page will suggest that you go to http://update.microsoft.com to get the latest update. Of course, this won’t work. The reason you’re wanting to reinstall it is because that page doesn’t work. Ignore their stupidity and scroll half-way down the page to where it says “Download the windowsupdateagent30-x86.exe package now.” Click on that link to download the update agent. That will only download the file to your computer. It won’t install it or fix anything. Microsoft provides no further information, so from here you’re kind of on your own. Fortunately, we’re posting the instructions here.
- Click and drag the windowsupdateagent30-x86.exe file from your desktop to the root directory of the “C” drive. You can double click on the My Computer icon and then click and drag it to the Hard Drive C to achieve this. Go to the Start menu, and find the RUN option. This may be in the right column or you might have to search for it under All Programs Accessories. Type in c:\windowsupdateagent30-x86.exe /wuforce and then press the Enter/Return key. This should install and fix the Windows Update Agent and make it possible to get your critical updates. Follow the instructions provided, agree with the license, and click next when prompted. When done, return to the Microsoft Update web page and it should work.
- Do yourself a favor and Go buy an Apple Computer. Get your life back.