Fix Windows Update

By | August 31, 2015
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Fix Windows Update

This tip is for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users

Microsoft is aware that there are huge problems with the Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 Windows Update. It’s a frustrating problem that most Windows 7 users and some Windows 8.1 users have experienced at least once. Microsoft has issued numerous “Microsoft Fix-its” for Windows Update problems, but alas, we have found most of them don’t work.

Problems with Windows Update can also cause problems for Windows 7 and 8.1 users trying to upgrade to Windows 10. So if you’re one of those, you should try this tip. But only if  you’re an intermediate to advanced Windows user.

This tip will reset your Windows Update. While this tip does not work on 100% of computers, 100% of the time, it works most to the time and it’s worth a try if you’re pulling your hair out trying to get Windows Update to work correctly.

The following will reset Windows Update.

You must run the following commands from a command prompt with administrator privileges. On Windows 7, type CMD in the start menu search. When CMD appears at the top of the menu, right-click it and choose “Run as administrator”. In Windows 8.1, press the Windows Key+S and type CMD in the search box – when Command prompt appears in the search results list, right-click it and choose Run as administrator”.

Also, keep in mind, there are serious flaws with Windows Update, especially in Windows 7 and Microsoft’s ultimate “solution” is to reinstall Windows, so there is no guarantee this fix will work for everyone, all of the time. But it is worth a shot because there is a good chance you can fix most Windows Update issues with the Windows Update fix below.

Run the following commands one by one. Press Enter after each command. Spaces count. If you type a command with the wrong spacing, it won’t work, ,so type them exactly as they are written below- and keep in mind you may need to reboot your several times before Windows Update will start working again.

net stop bits

net stop wuauserv

net stop appidsvc

net stop cryptsvc

Rename the software distribution folders backup copies by running the following two commands;

Ren %systemroot%\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.bak

Ren %systemroot%\system32\catroot2 catroot2.bak

Now restart the services you stopped … Run the following commands, one by one. Press Enter after each command:

net start bits

net start wuauserv

net start appidsvc

net start cryptsvc

Restart your PC and try Windows Update.

Reminder:  If you’ve been trying to upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, this would be a good tip for you to try. Many of the “Something Happened” errors are caused by Windows Update issues. So, if you’re one of the tens of thousands of people who have tried to upgrade to Windows 10 but have not been successful and gotten the “Something Happened” message, try this tip and then try upgrading to Windows 10 again. Also…keep in mind you may need to reboot your several times before Windows Update will start working again.

If you are having problems installing Windows 10 and the above tip does not help…

If you are using Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 and your Windows Update is not working correctly, your chances of upgrading to Windows 10 via the “Reserve a copy” method is not very good. Since “Reserve a copy” uses Windows Update to deliver the Windows 10 Upgrade, it’s just logical that you’ll probably have problems with the Windows 10 upgrade.

So for those of you who have tried and failed to upgrade to Windows 10 the Microsoft “recommended” (via Windows Update)… and the above tip to fix Windows Update does not work for you, we recommend that you visit this page, download the appropriate Windows 10 Download Tool for your device (32 bit or 64 bit) and install the upgrade that way. 

5 thoughts on “Fix Windows Update

  1. Sr Daniel WJ DeLoge Sr

    Hi Folks:

    Your “How To Fix Windows Update” newsletter was certainly timely and very informative. However; I suspect that I have a serious (personally created) problem.

    I was having Windows 7 Updating problems just shortly before attempting to Install Microsoft’s “Reserve A Copy” file on my new HP Envy 700 Desktop Computer (most earlier updates had installed alright) but all recommended Microsoft Update Fixes that I tried had failed to correct the problem.
    Thus when Windows 10 was released for installation, I assumed that “IT” would resolve the Update problem by installing all new Windows 10 system Update files (I’m not sure if this was correct or not).

    Interestingly enough, my installation of Windows 10 was flawless and everything seemed to be functioning properly, except the Backup program (when used either during Windows 10 installation or twice afterward) has generated suspect data (incorrect backup dates, suspect file sizes, etc.) all of which I have permanently deleted from the external hard drive used for backup purposes.

    I started to do a New backup of my Windows 10 hard drive, but noticed that the Backup Program is designed for Windows 7. Have I shot myself in the foot Guys? And what (if anything) should I do now?

    1. infoave Post author

      Almost everything that works on Windows 7 will work on Windows 10 – did you try the backup program on Windows 10? Also, Windows 10 has an image backup feature, that’s almost hidden. See this tutorial for details.

  2. Jan L. Prosser

    Oh my gosh. IT WORKED. I was a bit put out that my computer said no about 10. Now thanks to you I get it.
    Thank you for your years of service.

  3. Nancy Wake

    Have Windows 7 Home. Reserved Windows 10. Downloaded 10. After downloading, the icons were huge so I right clicked to change the display resolution, I dob’t know what that did but it came up that “Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart. We’re just collecting some error info, and then we’ll restart for you. It has tried to restart multiple times and never makes it. I have a dell. When it begins, it has a little blue bar that runs across under the Dell Studio XPS label. When worrking correctly, it makes it clear across the bar, Now it makes it to the S in Studio and stops. I tried the CMD promps you gave for resetting it. I ave no start button so went to advanced options, got to where it says windows 32 bit>. Typed “net stop bits.” Came up with not a valid service or someting like that. Said there was more help if I typed NET HELPS 1285. Typed that in and it said it wasn’t valid either. I’m now running again the “resetting this PC.”
    I have my Windows 7 installation discs but can’t get to a place that lets me run anything. When I turn my PC on, it right away goes to trying to download 10. This free Windows 10 may cost me a new computer. UGH! Please help if you can.

    1. infoave Post author

      Insert your Windows 7 installation disk then turn off your computer – power it completely off.Wait 2 or 3 minutes, power it back on – watch the screen closely. You will see “Press Any Key to Boot from DVD or USB Device” (May differ depending on your computer). When you see this you have between 10 and 30 seconds to press a key – the amount of time you’ll have depends on how your computer is set up. Press a key and you’ll have several options. You won’t be able to use the upgrade option, obviously, because the versions of Windows that is installed is newer than the version version on the disk. You may be able to install Windows 7 on the same partition as Windows 10. This will erase everything including you personal files…so if you don’t have them backed up, you’re going to lose them

      A better option for you would be, if you have access to another computer or a friend’s computer, is to download the installation media from Microsoft and create a Windows 10 installation DVD, then using it to repair your current Windows 10 installation. There is at least a chance using the Windows 10 installation DVD to save your personal files — but no guarantees.

      On another computer, download the correct file for your computer (32bit or 64bit)..from this link. Once you’ve downloaded it you’ll have the option to install it (which you don’t want to do) or creating an installation USB flash drive or an ISO file from which you can create an installation DVD just by inserting a blank, writable DVD and double-clicking on the ISO file. We recommend the DVD rather than the USB because some older computers do not have the BIOS set up to boot from a USB device.


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