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  1. #1
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    Windows update problem

    I have two old Dell laptops with Windows Vista Home Premium SP2. I have not used them for a year or so, and when I fired them up recently, they were both working OK, but when I ran a Windows Update check, one said it was up to date, but the other said "Windows can't check for updates."

    I found and ran a Windows Update Troubleshooter ...
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-au/w...=windows-vista

    ... which said it found and fixed some problems, but after a restart, the original issue remains on this computer.

    1. How can I get Windows Update working again on this computer?

    2. I also ran a system file check (sfc /scannow) on both computers, which said it found and fixed some (but not all) problems on both, but when I clicked on the log (cbs.log) to view it, it said "Access is denied", on both. How can I view this file, and how can I fix these problems also?

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    You always get Access Denied when trying to view the CBS log in the otherwise normal way.

    There are two ways you can view it and the best way so that you just get what it can and cannot repair is to enter this command at the elevated cmd prompt -

    findstr /c:"[SR]" %windir%\Logs\CBS\CBS.log >"%userprofile%\Desktop\sfcdetails.txt

    This will put an icon onto the Desktop to open the CBS log in Notepad.

    If that doesn't work then right click on the CBS log and Send to - Documents where it will open in Notepad but with all of the bumf which makes reading it difficult.

    If the sfc /scannow when run within Windows reports that it is unable to repair all files, the next step is to boot up with an install disk and perform an offboot sfc /scannow where the files are checked against those on the disk.

    This is the tutorial for Win 7 but applies to Vista.

    http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials...ompt-boot.html

    Sometimes when you boot up with the install disk, you may first be presented with an inverse screen with the top item of Windows Set up highlighted - if that's the case then just press enter then follow the steps in the tutorial.

    If you don't have a Vista install disk that includes SP2 you can download a 32 or 64 bit ISO from http://getintopc.com/softwares/opera...32-bit-64-bit/ and then use https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/down...-download-tool to create a bootable USB or DVD depending upon what the machines support in the Boot order.

  3. #3
    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Murgatroyd View Post
    ...1. How can I get Windows Update working again on this computer?...
    You could try the "System Update Readiness tool" from: https://support.microsoft.com/en-au/kb/947821
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
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    And if that doesn't work, try Tweaking.com's Windows all in one repair tool. It contains a Windows Update repair tool but I would run the other options as well.
    http://www.tweaking.com/content/page...ll_in_one.html

    Jerry

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    Thanks for your replies.

    Coochin, I can get to the System Update Readiness Tool webpage on another computer (this one, running Windows 7), but on the computer concerned, it just says "Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage", but if I click on the "Diagnose Connection Problems" button, it says the connection is OK (and other pages display OK).

    Jwitalka, I tried the Tweaking.com repair tool (backed up registry and created system restore point first), which ran for a while and seemed to complete OK, and after restarting, the computer doesn't say "Windows can't check for updates" now, but when I click on "Check for updates", it just says "Checking for updates" apparently endlessly without going any further, and the update history is empty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Murgatroyd View Post
    ...but when I click on "Check for updates", it just says "Checking for updates" apparently endlessly without going any further...
    For several weeks now I have been finding Windows Update (mostly Win7 but also a couple of Vista computers) can take an hour or more before a list of available updates is returned. I suspect the M$ servers are overloaded or otherwise having problems due to the dramas with the release of Win10.
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
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    When you have problems connecting to just one site, it can be because of a number of problems and MS websites seem to have more than their share of this.

    To check if it's IE, try the site with another browser such as Firefox.

    MS tend to suggest clearing the temp file cache, running IE without add-ons and resetting IE to defaults, but I once had a problem accessing a MS web site because my Silverlight was out of date - but I got an error message to that effect.

    The reason your update history is empty now after running the Windows Repair tool is because part of the fix process is to empty the SoftwareDistribution folder.
    Last edited by Sudo15; 2015-10-07 at 04:12.

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    Thanks for your further replies.

    I tried the System Update Readiness Tool webpage with Firefox, and that worked OK (I wonder why it wouldn't work with IE?); however, this program ("Windows Update Standalone Installer") also just says "Searching for updates" apparently endlessly without going any further, but before I let it run longer, given that the software distribution folder has been emptied and the update history is empty, does this mean it will now (presumably unnecessarily) download/install dozens of updates that have already been installed previously, or will it detect this and only download/install any updates that are not already installed?

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    Removing the files from the SoftwareDistribution folder doesn't affect the installed updates - they are still there - it's just the history that gets cleared.

    You could try resetting the Windows Update Components with this MS Fixit, but did the Windows Repair program report any Reparse or missing Package problems which will affect WUs ?

    While I haven't tried WR v3.6 (latest), missing Package files for either CAT or MUM need to be manually replaced, but the program has a section for repairing Reparse points.

    Posting on the www.tweaking.com Support Forum/Computer Help with the log will get you assistance with those.

    You may not actually have any problems with Windows Updates - it could just be because MS servers are busy and you need to be patient while it checks.

    Since running WR, what does a sfc /scannow report now ?
    Last edited by Sudo15; 2015-10-08 at 02:35.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sudo15 View Post
    Removing the files from the SoftwareDistribution folder doesn't affect the installed updates - they are still there - it's just the history that gets cleared.
    I gathered that but wondered whether Windows Update will now download/install further updates based on the previous updates that are listed in the history (none) or based on the ones that are actually installed already (many) ... hopefully the latter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sudo15 View Post
    You could try resetting the Windows Update Components with this MS Fixit, but did the Windows Repair program report any Reparse or missing Package problems which will affect WUs ?

    While I haven't tried WR v3.6 (latest), missing Package files for either CAT or MUM need to be manually replaced, but the program has a section for repairing Reparse points. Posting on the www.tweaking.com Support Forum/Computer Help with the log will get you assistance with those.
    The Tweaking.com repair utility didn't report anything, just ran for a while with a lot of rapidly changing text as it worked, then asked for a restart when it was finished.

    When I ran the MS Windows Update Fixit utility before the Tweaking.com repair utility, it said that it found and fixed some but not all problems. When I run it again now, it says that it has found and fixed some but not all problems, but when I reboot and run it again, it keeps saying the same thing. The ones it says it can't fix are:
    - Windows Update error 0x80070005(2015-10-08-T-07_23_0SP)
    - Problems installing recent updates

    Quote Originally Posted by Sudo15 View Post
    Since running WR, what does a sfc /scannow report now ?
    It still says that it has found corrupt files but was unable to fix some of them (although it also says this on my other old Vista laptop that has no problems of which I am aware.)

    Should I just try letting Windows Update run for a longer time (how long?) and see whether it eventually does something?
    Last edited by Murgatroyd; 2015-10-08 at 04:59.

  11. #11
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    Can you go back to my Post#2 and enter that command then post the output to see just what it cannot repair - no guarantees that it will be understandable, but someone may be able to help

    Did the MS Fixit do anything worthwhile ?

    EDIT - I seem to remember there is a Fixit for Cannot check for updates and it could because the relevant services aren't running - try this one -

    https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/kb/2730071
    Last edited by Sudo15; 2015-10-08 at 05:07.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sudo15 View Post
    Can you go back to my Post#2 and enter that command then post the output to see just what it cannot repair - no guarantees that it will be understandable, but someone may be able to help
    I have attached the sfc outputs for this computer (sfcdetails1.txt) and for my other Vista computer (sfcdetails2.txt), which also reports some (but fewer) errors and isn't exhibiting any problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sudo15 View Post
    Did the MS Fixit do anything worthwhile?
    Every time I run this (MS #971058), it says that it has found and fixed some problems but can't fix "Problems installing recent updates".

    Quote Originally Posted by Sudo15 View Post
    EDIT - I seem to remember there is a Fixit for Cannot check for updates and it could because the relevant services aren't running - try this one -
    https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/kb/2730071
    I'm not getting the "Cannot check for updates" message since running the Tweaking.com repair utility, but these two pages (MS #2730071 and #971058) provide the same utility anyway.
    https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/kb/2730071
    https://support.microsoft.com/en-au/kb/971058
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by Murgatroyd; 2015-10-08 at 22:34.

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