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  1. #1
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    I'm trying to figure out why my daughter's Dell Inspiron 1720 laptop running on 32-bit Vista will not download Windows Updates any more. They appear to start the process, then when nearly downloaded it gives a dialog saying there is an "unknown error." My aging gray matter seerms to recall some time ago that a friend cleared a similar problem from a Vista machine by either downloading a tool or else using it online, and he had to use it to completely remove Windows Update (or was it Microsoft Update then?) from the computer and then reinstall it in order to fix the problem. I have not been able to find any such thing on the Microsoft website myself, but does that make any sense to anyone and can you offer any help?

    I can envision updates stacking up if this is not fixed, so I would greatly appreciate hearing from anyone with any advice. It appears to be working fine otherswise, but I'd sure like to get the updates installing again. :-(


    David E. Cann

  2. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Inability to run or download and install Windows Updates can potentially indicate an infectious etiology.
    Ruling this out early would be a step in the troubleshooting process.

    Start by running a thorough virus and malware scan if you have not already done so.
    Use more than one tool and run scans more than once.

    10 Free Online Malware and Virus Scanners
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    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clint Rossmere View Post
    Inability to run or download and install Windows Updates can potentially indicate an infectious etiology.
    Ruling this out early would be a step in the troubleshooting process.

    Start by running a thorough virus and malware scan if you have not already done so.
    Use more than one tool and run scans more than once.

    10 Free Online Malware and Virus Scanners

    Clint,

    I'm admittedly not an expert on the subject, but can that be caused by a virus infection? I ran a "full scan" using the installed McAfee this afternoon just because I discovered it hadn't been done in a week or so, but it came up negative. Am doing a second one right now as I write this, but with the same McAfee software.

    David E. Cann

  4. #4
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    One more thing, if it will help. She is using Vista SP2, and there are two Windows Updates that will not install. One gets a "Code 643 - Windows encountered an unknown error," and the other is "Code 646 - Windows encountered an unknown error." They are together on the icon tray near the clock, and appear to go most of the way through the installation process before quitting. Then, when you shut the laptop off you get the usual notation not to shut it off until the updates have installed. . . . despite the fact Windows Update just told you the install failed. Very strange, and I have no idea what to do about it.

    David E. Cann

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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    ??failed office updates??

    Which exact updates failed to install? What name and or KB number(s) was the update?

    1. Open Windows Update by clicking the Start button , clicking All Programs,
    and then clicking Windows Update.
    2. In the left pane, click View update history.
    3. Find an update for Windows that has failed to install, and then
    double-click the update to view more information.
    Updates that have failed to install will display Failed under Status, next
    to the update name.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
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    Quote Originally Posted by decann View Post
    Then, when you shut the laptop off you get the usual notation not to shut it off until the updates have installed. . . . despite the fact Windows Update just told you the install failed. Very strange, and I have no idea what to do about it.
    Cannot Update Windows using Windows Update has many things to try.

    Joe
    Joe

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clint Rossmere View Post
    ??failed office updates??

    Which exact updates failed to install? What name and or KB number(s) was the update?

    1. Open Windows Update by clicking the Start button , clicking All Programs,
    and then clicking Windows Update.
    2. In the left pane, click View update history.
    3. Find an update for Windows that has failed to install, and then
    double-click the update to view more information.
    Updates that have failed to install will display Failed under Status, next
    to the update name.

    Clint,

    Thanks for the reply. It sure beats the "many things to try" I received from someone else. :-( A short answer to your question as to which updates were involved is:

    1. A security update for MS Publisher.
    2. An "important" update for MS NET Framework

    I cannot now be more specific than that now, because only a few minutes ago a friend picked up the laptop on the way home from work and he says he will look at it and thinks he can fix it. He is a large company Network Manager in a branch office near where I live, so he sure ought to know more about it than I do. In any event, he is willing to take a look at it and hopefully can correct the problem. My friend says this is a fairly common problem with Vista o/s, and this is the SECOND time it has happened in this same laptop, so maybe we should consider upgrading to Windows 7 in the near future but that is another topic for another string.

    David E. Cann

  8. #8
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    That is certainly true with Vista, as a quick Google search will reveal.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clint Rossmere View Post
    That is certainly true with Vista, as a quick Google search will reveal.

    Yes, I've been poking around online myself and pretty much found the same thing. I'll talk to my friend about it when the laptop comes back, but maybe it's time to think about upgrading to Win 7 if this is going to keep doing this kinda stuff. I have Windows 7 Home Premium with a three user license, but I wonder if I can buy another license for it and install it in her laptop. Might be something to keep in mind in the future.

    David E. Cann

  10. #10
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    I have Windows 7 Home Premium with a three user license, but I wonder if I can buy another license for it and install it in her laptop. Might be something to keep in mind in the future.
    A preliminary first step while you're waiting for it, would be to find out if it's capable of supporting Windows 7 from
    a driver point of view. You can easily do this by going to Dell Support and punching in your service tag. Once you get the machine back you can download the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor and check bit compatability and program support.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

  11. #11
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    Here's a particularly useful tool that I don't see mentioned in this thread yet, from the WSUS Support Team Blog:

    http://blogs.technet.com/sus/archive...nt-issues.aspx

    Sande

  12. #12
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    Here's an idea -- your Windows Updates components themselves may need to be updated or repaired. Open Internet Explorer, and go to Microsoft Windows Updates web page. Let the process run through all the way, whether or not you are offered any new updates. This will insure that you have the current Windows Updates components, and if not, you will see errors reported through the site, with referrals as to where to go to fix some of the most common errors.

    I doubt that there is a hardware or driver issues here, as only Windows Updates is reported as having this issue.
    -- Bob Primak --

  13. #13
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    Microsoft provides a Windows Update Troubleshooter and Knowledge Base articles on how to fix Windows Update problems.

    This Google search provides the links: http://tinyurl.com/257adsf

    Windows 7 has several troubleshooters that fix problems. One of them is the Windows Update troubleshooter. Just enter that term in its Start => Search programs and files box to be provided with a clickable link.

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