The June 5 issue of Brian’s Buzz reported that Microsoft’s popular Windows Update feature has a problem with its SSL certificate. If a PC’s system date is outside the date range in which the certificate is valid – as commonly occurs when a new PC is being put together for the first time – Windows Update blithely states that no upgrades apply to the machine (“Windows Update finds no updates, but it’s only a matter of time“).
Aside from the time problem, readers have found a wide variety of other causes of this strange behavior. Here are some of their diagnoses and a few simple corrections (Microsoft, take note):
- “I had the exact same problem with Windows Update not showing any updates for one of my three computers at home. But I sync them all to the same NTP server. I checked the times and dates, and they were correct on all three computers – but only one had this issue.
“The solution was that I had to clear out the Cache SSL Certifications in IE, then close the browser and re-open it. Once I did that, Windows Update started to work again. There is no mention that it could be a SSL cache issue anywhere I could find on the Microsoft support Web sites.
“To clear the cache, go to the Tools menu. Then click on Internet Options, go to the Content tab, and click the button called Clear SSL State. Then close the browser and re-open it.
“By the way, Windows Update keep a detailed text log file about everything, and when this problem occurs it does show an error message that you can search on.” –Jeffrey Litterick
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