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4/21/06 PC crashes trying to access the Microsoft Update site

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / April 20, 2006 6:58 AM PDT

Good day! I was browsing your newsletter and thought, why not? I have an annoying problem that won't go away. My computer crashes each and every time I try to access the Microsoft Update site and also the genuine download site. I have enlisted help from online support, and among other things, I have reformatted and deleted most of my programs, all to no avail. Would you be able to point me in the right direction? My operating system is Windows XP Pro SP2 running on an AMD 64 Athlon computer. Thank you, and kind regards.

Submitted by: Will M.



Will, you indicated that you are running Windows XP with Service Pack 2, but you failed to provide specific and detailed information regarding the circumstances surrounding the issue at hand, which programs you deleted, or even which browser you are using when you run into trouble. It is also unclear whether you are experiencing problems only when you navigate to the Microsoft Updates site, or if the issue affects Automatic Updates as well. Lastly, is your computer actually crashing--as in freezing and not responding at all--or do you merely get a Cannot Open Page error message? With these limitations in mind, let's work out a troubleshooting strategy.

What immediately comes to mind after reading your question is the possibility of your computer being infected by malware. Viruses and worms have been known to target the updating capabilities of antivirus software and of the Windows operating system. By preventing updates, antivirus protection against new threats or variations of old nasties is severely compromised, and vulnerabilities in Windows can continue to be exploited. But before exploring this possibility, let's rule out two simpler things.

First of all, how are you navigating to the Windows Updates site? Microsoft made changes to its updates site not long ago, and as a result clicking on the default bookmark listed under Internet Explorer's Links or the Windows Update shortcut in the Start Menu (Start/All Programs/Windows Update) result in a "Cannot Open Page" message. The solution to your problem might be as simple as using Google to navigate to the new update site, and replacing your old bookmark with this new page.

(Doing so is very easy: Right-click the bookmark or the shortcut, select Properties from the drop-down menu, and type or paste the updated web address.)

Secondly, if you have received an "access violation in Vgx.dll" error message before experiencing the crashes, read Knowledge Base Article 885932

which discusses a specific issue related to SP2. If you determine that the problem description applies to you, click on the link provided in that article to contact Microsoft Support and obtain the hotfix.

If the issue you are experiencing is not described by the aforementioned Knowledge Base article, scan your computer for malware. Make sure you have the latest virus definitions installed. From your description, I am assuming that your antivirus software is able to connect to its update server, and thus download definitions flawlessly. Even if this is the case, you should also scan your computer using one or two online scanners. Good choices include:

Trend Micro's Housecall:

Symantec Security Check:

Panda ActiveScan:

You should also run an antispyware scan. Since you are a newsletter subscriber, I will assume you are familiar with the more popular titles available, such as Spybot Search & Destroy and Ad-Aware SE Personal Edition. (If you don't have one of these utilities installed, download the latest version from

If no malware is detected, consider the possibility of a change to the HOSTS file, Windows' "personal" domain names services server.

Web browsers find web pages by contacting a central server and retrieving the IP address corresponding to a particular web domain (for example, Before contacting the central server on the web, your browser checks Windows' HOSTS file for a domain/IP address match. If your HOSTS file has been corrupted by malware, it is possible that an entry was added to the former, redirecting inquiries to the Microsoft updates sites to malicious websites. The resulting "crashes" might be caused by the interaction of these websites with your security software (like your firewall).

The following article explains how to check your HOSTS file and fix any problems present:,1759,1838144,00.asp

If you can rule out malware and a corrupt HOSTS file, the problem could be that your browser's security and/or privacy setting are too high, and somehow preventing necessary controllers from being downloaded to your computer. The problem might also be corrupt files - either in Windows, your browser, or your firewall (you are running a firewall, right?)

If you are using Internet Explorer, click Tools on your browser's menu bar, and select Internet Options from the drop-down menu. Select the Security tab, click the Default Level button, then Apply, and finally OK. Repeat these steps, this time making the changes under the Privacy tab. (If your browser settings are already at their default level, you won't be able to make any changes. Just close the dialog box and proceed to the next troubleshooting step.) Direct your browser to the Windows Update site to see if the issue is resolved.

(If you are not using Internet Explorer, you'll need to rule out your particular browser as the culprit. Try to reproduce the problem by navigating to the updates site using IE or a third browser.)

If the issue persists and you have a third-party firewall such as ZoneAlarm or Norton Firewall, shut it off. The Windows Firewall should automatically kick in, but open your Security Center (Start/Control Panel/Security Center) to verify it has. Once again, try connecting to the update website. If you are able to do so without crashing, the culprit might be your third-party firewall's program settings, or a corrupt file. Consult the software's Help files or the manufacturer's support webpage for a solution, and consider performing a clean installation of the firewall.

If the issue still persists, I would suggest performing a repair reinstallation of either Internet Explorer, or (preferably) Windows XP. These processes will replace any corrupt files that may be to blame for your troubles. You can find step-by-step instructions on how to accomplish this by reading the following Knowledge Base articles:

How to reinstall or repair Internet Explorer in Windows XP:

How to perform an in-place upgrade (reinstallation) of Windows XP

Hope this helps! Good luck.

Submitted by: Miguel K. of Columbus, OH
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Honorable mentions
by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / April 20, 2006 6:58 AM PDT

This Windows Update problem could be one of a number of issues. Depending on the time that this issue occurs it could be a software problem with Windows, file structures in IE, or with the update program itself (unlikely though). It could also be a hardware problem with your computer that Windows cannot detect until the program runs into it when it checks your computer. It could also be that you?re using a cracked version of Windows or a school edition.

Here are some steps to attempt before retrying the update process:

- Download and run Windows Defender from (it?s free and works great). Microsoft saw the business that?s being produced out of anti-spyware programs like Ad-Aware and Spybot, so they developed a program specifically made for Windows XP. I recommend this program because you could assume that Microsoft would know more about its own operating system than Ad-aware. However, if you want to get fussy about it, you could use all three programs to scan your computer for spyware.

- Run antivirus software. Beside McAfee and Symantec, which some viruses have been able to disable, I also recommend AVG from Grisoft ( AVG also has a free version available for those of us who don?t want to spend a lot on essential software that should be built-in anyway.

- Update all drivers for your hardware. Don?t just try Windows Update for updating drivers, Microsoft won?t have the latest ones, just ones they know work fine. Go to the hardware manufacturer?s website and search for the correct driver for your hardware. You can go to your device manager by right-clicking on you?re My Computer icon and clicking Manage. Here you can see the devices you may need to reinstall. Make sure there are no unknown devices.

- Delete your temporary internet files and cookies. While this may not seem important it has caused problems before, especially with IE6. If there was a mal-formed file in the temporary internet folder in IE6 it would sometimes make saving images impossible in any other format than BMP and could cause the Temporary Internet Folder window to crash if you viewed the files.

- Defrag your hard drive, this should be done regularly. Windows XP has a fancy defrag that runs in the command-prompt so that you can make a scheduled defrag and not have the bulky Defrag window show up. Try making a scheduled task in Windows and for the program to be run you can type in ?C:\WINDOWS\system32\defrag.exe C: -f ?v?. Set the task for at least a weekly schedule.

- Run a chkdsk. Go to Start ? Run ? type ?chkdsk C: /F /R?. The /F fixes errors, the /R marks bad sectors as not writable and relocates the data inside the sectors (one implies the other but it doesn?t hurt to have both). You will need to restart your computer before it runs on your hard drive.

- After your computer restarts from the chkdsk you can return to the Windows Update website and try again. If you continue to have problems you might try to uninstall the Windows Update activeX program. I mention this last because I have never performed this step and am unsure about the exact process. Have fun.

By the way, if you are using a cracked version of Windows then Microsoft won?t let you update at all anymore. I suggest one of the many Linux versions for a free operating system then.

Submitted by: Allan B.



Various malware (viruses, trojans, worms, etc) are now smart enough to try to block attempts to get rid of them - and access to web sites that would help you do it. So you will need to download some good anti-malware tools (antivirus scanner, spyware scanner, rootkit scanner, etc.) using a known clean system and burn them onto a CD. Then you can go to your system and boot into Safe Mode and run those tools to see if your machine is infected and possibly get rid of them as well. The Ultimate Boot CD ( and the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows ( have many of these tools already on them and may be all that you need to solve your problem. The nice thing about using a boot CD is that no Malware that resides on your hard disk can corrupt what boots or runs from the boot CD. Like other malware tools, you can't download the boot CDs once and for all. You should get the latest revision every now and then. You can run the one you have and if that doesn't do it, download the latest revision and try again. For example, the latest UBCD4Win has added a rootkit scanner and additional spyware tools like Spybot Search & Destroy. Other updates of the CDs are done just to add the latest definition files for the tools that are already present.

A Microsoft official recently stated (paraphrased) that the new malware is getting so devious, and cleaning them out so complicated and time-consuming that it may become routine to wipe your system partition to get rid of it. He further suggested that creating an automated method to do the restoring from such a wipe would be in the best interest of corporate users. I'm guessing it would also be in the best interest of us peon individual users. Take from that what you will - but one session with HijackThis may make a believer of you. Reference:,1895,1945808,00.asp

OTOH, it may be that some malware may simply have altered your HOSTS file to block your access to these sites. Boot into Safe Mode and do a file search on your C: partition for- HOSTS -to locate the file. Most HOSTS files will be empty unless you have specifically changed it yourself. You can view the HOSTS file in Notepad to see what is in there as it is a simple text file. I suggest that everyone should be using a custom HOSTS file such as the one available from

Just be sure to read the info about how the HOSTS file works and how to avoid slowdowns in XP/2000/2003/etc. when using this file. This one works great for me. It speeds up all my Internet surfing and I avoid seeing lots of ads and other junk.

One caveat that affected me is that the custom HOSTS file has lines that block most access to "page hit counting" sites including the one that delivers the Andale counters in eBay listings. I found that line and commented it out so I could see the Andale counters in my listings. That line has the word "honest" or "honesty" in it, so you can use the Ctrl-F text search function in your text editor (some may need to use WordPad to edit the custom HOSTS file as it may be too big for Notepad - the original HOSTS file is usually very small and can be edited in Notepad) to find it and comment it out. If accesses to other sites that you need are affected, just locate the appropriate line and comment it out. Once you have your HOSTS file the way you want it, set the file to 'read-only' (right click on file name or icon in Explorer or My Computer > click on Properties > check the ReadOnly check box > click on the 'Apply' button > click on OK) so that malware will have a harder time modifying it.

Submitted by: Bill H. of Groton, NY



Unfortunately, there is not quite enough info in your question to pinpoint a possible cause. For instance, do you get an error message?... Does I.E. freeze up?... Did you get the "Blue Screen Of Death?... Etc. However, you did mention that you "reformatted". If, by this, you actually mean that you reformatted your hard drive, re-installed a fresh copy of WindowsXP Pro on the newly reformatted hard drive, and then tried to visit the Windows Update site (before installing any other software or hardware) and experienced a crash... then this eliminates 99% of all the causes and really leaves only a few possibilities.

1. Your version of Windows cannot be verified by the Update sites. This can be caused by using a pirated version that uses a hack to activate it.

2. Your pirated CD or DVD has a virus, trojan, or rootkit on it that will not allow Windows Updates to occur.

3. You are using I.E.7 beta. There have been reports of certain computers crashing when visiting the Windows Update site. Use I.E.6

4. You have hardware issues with system memory, I/O, or mainboard. A certified technician can test this for you.

Without more info, it is quite difficult to even guess what it might be. There is a file on your computer that is updated each time you visit the MS Update site, and if there are any errors or failures they will be logged there. You can access this file here: C:\Windows\Windows Update.log Look for any entries that may indicate an error and then Google the error code. If your issue has been experienced by others, there should be Google hits, otherwise you may be in a boat by yourself in the middle of the ocean. Some of the other community members may be able help as well. Good luck.

Submitted by: Steve B.



With hundreds of Windows XP computer at work I see this problem quite often and more often than not the following fix works.

Right click on the "My Computer" icon and select "Manage"

In the Computer Management screen which appears, expand the "Services and Applications" link at the bottom of the list on the left hand of the screen, and then select "Services"

In the list of services on the right of the window, right click on, "Automatic Updates" and "Background Intelligent Transfer Services" and select Stop. They may already be stopped.

Now open a Windows Explorer session and browse to your windows directory/folder, usually c:\windows\

In there will be a directory/folder called "SoftwareDistribution". Open it up and there should be a number of other directories (about half a dozen) and maybe one or 2 log files. Select them all and delete them. These directories are where the updates are downloaded before being installed, and they some times get screwed up.

If you want start the "Automatic Updates" process again by right clicking on it and select start in the "Computer Management" window from before. I keep it off as I run it manually every few days anyway.

Clearing your internet temp files would probably not hurt too. In IE, select "Tools" in the menubar then Internet Options, then press the "delete files" button located in the middle of the window.

Try running Windows updates again and it should work.

Deleting the files and directories "SoftwareDistribution" directory also fixes the problem where updates download but fail to install.

Submitted by: Stuart E.



Not sure which error code you are receiving, but I struggled with a similar problem just last night. I received Error Code 0x80070005 when Windows Update tried to install the Genuine Advantage tool. I found the solution that worked for me at the Microsoft Newsgroup Support site by searching for 'Error 0x80070005' in 'Windows Update'. After searching through several threads, I found the solution in the thread 'Error Code 0x80070005' in an answer by Patti MacLeod on 3/31/06. Here's a link to the thread:

The solution involved running a diagnostic tool from Microsoft that was recently updated to correct this problem. You can download it here:

I downloaded the tool and ran it. When the screen appears it lists some diagnostic information but did not appear to actually do anything. However, the problem was corrected in the background by the tool, because after running Windows Update again I was able to install several critical updates.

I hope this solves your problem. If your error code is different you can search for it at the Newsgroup site. Another helpful suggestion was to Google your error code and MVP (MVP is a Microsoft designation for Microsoft 'experts').

Good luck!

Submitted by: Eric J. of Houston, TX
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Microsoft is not so crass as to ban pirate software updates!
by brit0n / April 21, 2006 9:16 AM PDT
In reply to: Honorable mentions

Just to correct one of the MANY glaring errors made in these posts (where on earth do people GET these ideas!!!)...

...Microsoft PLANNED to stop pirate versions of Windows XP using the Windows Update site. However, under pressure from industry security advisors and realizing that if Windows Update didn't provide the updates, many unofficial sites would open up, they changed the policy in order to assist the reduction in the number of PCs being taken over by botnets.

I don't subscribe to the view that piraters should prosper, but neither should they become unwitting senders of the worlds avalanche of spam.

So if you DO have pirate software and refuse to get rid of it and get the real, dependable stuff, GET WINDOWS UPDATE ON AUTOMATIC!

Microsoft will ONLY allow automatic updates. But they do update pirate software - at least for the moment.

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Actually, they DO!
by talon1812 / April 22, 2006 3:14 PM PDT

It's called Genuine Advantage, my friend. And there are ways around it. I don't want Microsoft shoving all the updates down my throat. The automatic is also the LAZY way to update. I choose to do the CUSTOM installation of updates. And I do them MANUALLY from the windows update link in IE. After the verification-actually the cancelling of the javascript that validates the genuine advantage, I then choose the CUSTOM and proceed from there, with no problems. I've been doing it the MANUAL and CUSTOM way ever since I first installed XP Pro.


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Microsoft Update Facts (Genuine Advantage)
by brit0n / April 25, 2006 12:56 PM PDT
In reply to: Honorable mentions

I think it is important to ensure that noone else posts incorrect information about what someone should do if the official Microsoft Windows Update site blocks their updates because their copy of Windows is not genuine. I had assumed that people would not read into my earlier post the idea that people should continue to use the pirate operating system. That is not true. But this thread relates to people not being able to update and replies included the suggestion that failure to validate Windows might be the reason.

If this happens to you - and you will know it has happened because you will have authorized the Validation Tool and seen the result that your copy of Windows is not valid.

So this is what Microsoft suggests you do: Copied from
"How To Tell"

Validation Failure: What if my Microsoft software is not genuine?

Q: What if my copy of Windows or Office fails the validation process or I believe I have received pirated software?
A: In either case, Microsoft recommends the following actions:
See your reseller and ask for genuine Microsoft software, using the report provided during the validation session for support. The report explains why your system was unable to validate and provides instructions for further follow-up.
Visit the Microsoft How to Tell website to learn how to recognize genuine Microsoft software.
Turn on Automatic Updates to make sure your system is being protected while you are resolving the problem.

Q: Do security updates require validation?
A: Security updates are not part of WGA or OGA. You can install security updates using the Windows Automatic Updates feature or download them from the Download Center.

Q: What is Automatic Updates?
A: Automatic Updates helps you keep your Windows installation current with the latest security updates. Using Automatic Updates does not require validation. Visit Protect Your PC to learn more.

Q: What happens if a corporation?s Volume License key was leaked or stolen and, as a result, fails validation?
A: If your corporate system fails the validation process, you should contact your system administrator as soon as possible. The system administrator should ensure that the Volume License keys or the Product Activation keys being used are the proper keys issued from Microsoft. In most cases where an error has occurred, an incorrect key has been used. If the Microsoft-issued keys are being used and are still not validating through the Windows Genuine Advantage site or the Office Genuine Advantage site, the system administrator should contact the channel partner, or the system administrator can call one of the phone numbers listed at Please have your Authorization number for Open Licensing, an enrollment number for Select and Enterprise customers, and the Volume License keys that you are currently using available during the call.
That's the quote from Microsoft. It is self explanatory. If you follow the link to those FAQs which I provided before the quote, you will ALSO find out how to take advantage of Microsoft's VERY genuine offer to get you a valid version of Windows - this may cost you anything from $99 down to $0 - that's right, it could be free if you paid a lot of money for your pirate copy and that copy is such high quality that it would have been hard to tell it wasn't genuine. And you have to provide Microsoft with some information about how you got it and so on with some proof. But even if you have a lower quality pirate copy, it's worth buying in now before the offer goes away.

I hope this helps some folks having trouble and doesn't offend anyone who thinks that Microsoft should have left the pirate users to the hackers and malware writers.

Final note: Assuming you have a valid version of Windows, if you are not prepared to check at least DAILY (if not more often) for updates, it is STRONGLY recommended that you let your system update automatically. When Microsoft discover a BAD hole (as they have done just recently), they push out the automatic updates immediately rather than waiting for the standard monthly security update patches.

Just my 3 cents (I would have preferred it was 2 but most of the words are Microsoft's ;O) ). Hope it helps someone.

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Other advice from our members
by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / April 20, 2006 6:59 AM PDT

As the owner of the computer using a 64-bit CPU with a Windows version intended for such a CPU is no insurance that all components that are running when you are trying to access the update sites are likewise comfortable in this computing environment. When I had a similar problem with IE6 I carefully examined everything that was operating when I accessed the download site. The problem lay in the many add-ons to IE6 that were hanging up the IE6 code. You can find the add-ons under Internet Options/Programs/Manage Add-ons. Disable these add-ons, and any other mystery programs running when IE6 is open. There's also files that Windows uses for scheduling and managing updates-I don't know if they exist in the 64-bit Version but check the Microsoft support database (you can get to, can't you?) for the names and descriptions of these files.

Another experiment you can try is to use an IE6 equivalent, the free Maxthon browser, which can get to the Microsoft update sites without problems.

Reformatting and reinstalling programs was probably overkill. Do install high quality firewall and virus software (for example there's the free Sygate firewall and the avast anti-virus code works in 64 bit computers and is free).

Also check that your installed memory is working okay and is adequate in size and type-this could be a problem which surfaces when too many programs are open.

I should warn you the Microsoft support is not as it once was and has been outsourced to the Far East. These people, who try hard and want to help you, use the-guess what-Microsoft support database to help users, and well as the experience of the guys in the next cubicle...Best of luck with your problem.

Submitted by: Jonathan F.



The problem my lie with Internet Explorer and Browser Helper Objects (BHO's) interfering with the ActiveX controls that the Microsoft update site uses. Go to:;EN-US;Q298931

to find out how to disable them.

You could also try using some online scanner that uses ActiveX controls such as Kaspersky Lab's free online virus scanner (requires a download of current definitions) at:

to see if the problem is actually with Internet Explorer and its ActiveX controls. (It?s a very good and comprehensive scanner, as well.) You have to disable your anti-virus software, or just its "auto-protect" to run it.

The problem may also be with any security software that you're using that protects against ActiveX controls.

Submitted by: Scott H.



This gentleman had trouble with his computer crashing when it went to get an update from Microsoft. One of our old computers had the same problem.

Turns out we had some serious infections in the computer that Norton could not find. Using Avast and a couple of other freeware programs we cleaned off the viruses, Trojans, and one Worm. These had survived reformatting three times until we found the right virus software to get rid of them.

About that time we also discovered a bad stick of RAM. The computer saw it, but on a hunch I had them tested at the local computer store and one of them came up bad. We also downloaded the latest updates and fixes onto another computer and burned them to CD.

I am not 100% sure to this day what was the ultimate fix, but we did get several more years of use out of the computer before we finally had to update to run the software we needed for business. has links to several excellent freeware and shareware programs. Including some great antivirus and antispam software.

Submitted by: Kimberly of Birmingham, AL



Computer crashes often happen when two processes are trying to access the same resource.

I had a computer with the same problem. The solution for me was to delete the update history folder on my computer as suggested by the Microsoft Knowledgebase.

You do not say how the computer crashes. It the computer displays an error message, you can Google the message for possible solutions. If the computer just ?hangs?, the problem may be hardware related. I have seen a bad RAM memory chip cause a computer to crash.

You say you have reformatted and removed programs. After reformatting it is important to update the device drivers for your hardware. You get those updates from the manufacturer?s website.

It is possible to download Microsoft updates on another computer and burn them to a CD for installation on your problem computer.

Submitted by: Jim G.



I had a similar problem a while ago, although my computer didn't actually crash each time. Nonetheless, it steadfastly refused to download any updates. I also had problems associated with accessing the Internet. It turned out to be a conflict between two pieces of anti-virus software - one I had installed myself, and one that had come bundled with the computer but which had expired and I hadn't renewed. I uninstalled both of them and my computer worked perfectly! I now use AVG anti-virus software, which I would recommend. It's also Free!

Submitted by: John B.



This could well be due to a virus (trojan or otherwise) spyware/malware or just plain the wrong set of programs installed.

Do you have a good up-to-date anti-virus system and a good up-date-firewall? Do you have at least 2, preferabley more antivirus/antumalware systems and do you keep them up-to-date?

If the answer to the above is yes, download Ewido if you do not have it already if not you can get it from, load it and you may find that it needs updating, do so, then log off. Now turn the anti-virus scan, then reboot into Safe Mode and run at least 2 preferably 3 spyware/malware scans including Ewido, deleting ALL that they find.

After this, reboot and try to access the MS update site again, you should be OK now, if not, try to find out what address your computer is using to access the site, it may be that it has changed. To find the new address just use a good search engine and look for "Microsoft Update", there will probably be several addresses given, but one of them will turn out to be the KnowledgeBase address, use that.

Submitted by: Themisive



I had a similar problem. My computer did not crash, but I could not connect to Microsoft Update. I traced it down to the program "Fraudeliminator". I think it is a wonderful service & program & I tried removing & reinstalling, but it made no difference. Once removed, everything worked fine.

Submitted by: Donald L.



I too had the same problem i think. whenever i went to those two sites i would get error messages. as it turned out, (being on dial-up i have an accelerator installed),i had to disable this feature when visiting those two sites. as long as it is disabled before going there never had the problem repeated. when returning to normal surfing i just enable it again. problem solved.

Submitted by: Ken C.



I had similar issues with Windows Update. The problem seems to be related to the chip not being powerful enough. AMD 64 is pretty slow. Get a new motherboard and go with at least an AMD 1800+ speed processsor.

Good Luck

Submitted by: Craig C. of Ames, IA



Have you had your windows programmed validated at Microsoft validation site. If you have not go to the following site to get validated.

After you complete this simple process, then you can take advantage of of all the tools you need to keep your windows updated. If for some reason this does not work. I would contact Microsoft support to help solve your problem. I hope this solves your problem.

Submitted by: Ron C.



This particular problem may pertain to various situations running in your computer. My suggestion is to see the Microsoft Knowledge Base for Troubleshooting problems connecting to Windows Update or to Microsoft Update. You can find this information here:

Good Luck.

Submitted by: Digitally Done Right



Go to Microsoft Windows Update Troubleshooter:

It solved my problems.

Submitted by: Mark D.



Tech-recipes: Windows XP and SP2 and AMD 64 Processors and Problems: FYI

Submitted by: Joaquin N.
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UpDate MS
by km34_99 / April 21, 2006 3:45 AM PDT

I to get error when trying to update MS XP. Try to read how to fix it, but guess they like to take geek, I can't understand what I am suppose to do to fix it.

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Silly Answer
by talon1812 / April 20, 2006 6:27 PM PDT

Personally, I think this answer is kind of silly, because you ask what kind of browser they use. You can ONLY use Internet Explorer to do Windows Updates. I've tried using Firefox, Netscape and Opera. Can't...It'll tell you that all the time...YOU MUST USE INTERNET EXPLORER.


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agree with 'silly answer' post
by josephgreene / April 20, 2006 7:29 PM PDT
In reply to: Silly Answer

Hear hear, I think this sort of problem can only be sorted by a question and answer session on a forum where the solution is gradually found on a logical trial and error basis rather than listing a huge number of possibilities, why didn't the 'best answer' also include a check on Psu, processor over-heating, case fans, etc?

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silly answer II
by bobsocks2 / April 20, 2006 7:46 PM PDT
In reply to: Silly Answer

I agree - silly and incomplete answer. How did it get the top spot?

The answer reminds me of 'plug and play' itself. Keep throwing solutions until the problem goes away. Doing so may solve the problem but never identify it. Plus you run the risk of creatind additional answers.

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A silly question from me
by Jevons / April 20, 2006 7:47 PM PDT
In reply to: Silly Answer

AOL? They have been known to do silent download updates which have blocked access to MSN. Not intentionally, of course.


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You don't know what you're doing then!
by hossmonkey / April 20, 2006 9:22 PM PDT
In reply to: Silly Answer
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Straight from the horses mouth!
by talon1812 / April 22, 2006 3:09 PM PDT

I'm not referring to some bogus 3rd party software, which probably contains a virus/spyware/malware.
This comes straight from the Windows Update Site when trying to use Firefox:

Thank you for your interest in obtaining updates from our site.

To use this site, you must be running Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 or later.

To upgrade to the latest version of the browser, go to the Internet Explorer Downloads website.

If you prefer to use a different web browser, you can obtain updates from the Microsoft Download Center or you can stay up to date with the latest critical and security updates by using Automatic Updates. To turn on Automatic Updates:

1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
2. Depending on which Control Panel view you use, Classic or Category, do one of the following:
* Click System, and then click the Automatic Updates tab.
* Click Performance and Maintenance, click System, and then click the Automatic Updates tab.
3. Click the option that you want. Make sure Automatic Updates is not turned off.

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I think you missed what he meant...
by brit0n / May 7, 2006 1:12 PM PDT

The original question related to the Windows Update site. So the browser IS critical. So the questioner needed to specify it.

And on your reference to updating with other browsers? Great. So you can update Windows using browsers other than the browser that you HAVE to have if you have a supported version of Windows installed? What on earth for? Would you buy an Antivirus program from, say, McAfee and then get your virus database file updates from er.... ? So why on earth would anyone want an unendorsed third party version of the security update for an operating system? Their words, not mine: "WindizUpdate is not affiliated with or authorized by Microsoft."

Just because you use another browser doesn't mean you needn't have Internet Explorer installed. Try without! And of course, just because you have it installed doesn't mean you have to use it. But why on earth would users want or need to update using another browser? In fact, you don't have to RUN the browser to do updates - talon and I may disagree about Automatic Updates but neither of us would suggest they didn't exist. And even if you do Automatic Updates, you can be notified as soon as they are available and choose from the list.

So once again, please explain why anyone would use that "unaffiliated" and "unauthorized" site? Sounds like a good way to become a botnet computer!

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Got BHO?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 20, 2006 10:02 PM PDT
In reply to: Silly Answer

Besides ejecting the pests with EWIDO and HOUSECALL I often find a BHO (Browser Helper Object) is causing the crash. Since IE doesn't need any BHOs, I'll remove such with BHOCLEAN or another removal tool.

If it's clean of BHOs and has no pests according to EWIDO and HOUSECALL, it usually works.


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same problem/different answer
by sharee100 / April 21, 2006 12:52 AM PDT
In reply to: Got BHO?

I solved the problem by not updating. My computer now runs just great.

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Not updating?!!!
by slam5 / April 21, 2006 1:28 AM PDT

Gee.. Do you know what risk that incurrs? Win updates fixes security bugs, some of them with IE and some of them with other issues with Windows itself. If you don't run update, you are seriously endangering your computer! Ouch!

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SP2 biggest problem ever from Microsoft
by lewis2 / April 21, 2006 3:30 AM PDT

Updating is great. Just don't get SP2. I had all the same problems noted here and also in next week's question re Norton. I got rid of Norton long before SP2 came along. Everything was great until SP2! I struggled for months, finally backed up, reformatted, reinstalled WinXP (home) and all updates EXCEPT SP2. That was 11 months ago with not one single problem since. I have not changed my Internet usage. I'm not a gamer, so don't download any of that. My husband did a lot of gaming until he absolutely could not use his computer because of what came with accessing games on Internet (crashing, porno, thousands of ads, etc.) He now uses only self-contained games on DVD or CD and never downloads. Simple things for simple people is the motto. My Dell is now 5 years old, runs like a charm. Pop-up Eliminator and DSL are our only add-ons beaides the Win updates (minus SP2).

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SP2 is there for a reason
by Commandoclone87 / April 21, 2006 12:45 PM PDT

I am running a computer with Pro and SP2 and have never had a problem with Microsoft or Windows Update.

The whole reason there is SP2 is that many software and driver updates now require SP2 in order to work (note ATI's Catalyst Drivers), it also fixes many of the holes and bugs in XP that were often exploited to turn computers into bots in the first place.

As for a computer slowing down and freezing, that only occurs if the basic maintenance is not performed such as defraging and disk cleanup.

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Once a Week Maintenance Practiced
by lewis2 / April 22, 2006 5:55 AM PDT

Thanks for your input re maintenance. Friday cleanup and defrag is our policy WITHOUT SP2 (had to do daily with it). A new XP package with SP2 integrated does seem OK. The laptops came with it pre-installed and so far fine (8 months), but my husband keeps his away from Internet. We're computer users since 1982 (now 3 XPs, 2 Win98, 1 Mac), do desktop publishing for textbooks via Internet, and as an hourly worker spent too much time on the "update" SP2's hassles and headaches. Still a simple-minded DOS lover and use it's commands for some things needing quick answers.

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If it ain't broke, don't fix it
by sharee100 / April 21, 2006 3:48 AM PDT

I have enough security without Microsoft's help.

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Yes I agree. This answer is straight from Microsoft
by seraph973 / April 21, 2006 5:33 AM PDT
In reply to: Silly Answer

You took the words out of my mouth. It was the first thing I noticed. You can only do Ms update from the dreaded IE.

This might also help:

Please try the steps below to resolve your issue.

We have found that this issue can occur if any third party software is conflicting
with the Windows Update Site. If you have Norton, McAfee or other Antivirus or
firewall software installed on your system, the third party software can conflict
with the Windows Update Site hence I would sincerely request you to kindly disable
these software while accessing the site, this should resolve the issue for you. Please remember to enable the Windows XP firewall on your internet connection (if it is not already) before going online in case of Virus problems.

If the issue persists, let's go to the second suggestion.

This issue can be caused if one or more of the following services are disabled or
unavailable. We will therefore RESET Background Intelligent Transfer Service and
the Automatic Updates service. For this, please follow the steps given below:

1. Click Start --> select Run. In the Run box, type services.msc Click OK

2. Find the Background Intelligent Transfer Service. Right-click on it and select

3. Click on Stop and then again click on Start. In the Startup Type list, make sure
that "Automatic" is selected. Click OK

4. Similarly find Automatic Updates service. Right-click on it and select

5. Click on Stop and then again click on Start. In the Startup Type list, make sure
that "Automatic" is selected. Click OK

6. Close the Services window

[Please note that if the service is already started the "Start" button will be
grayed out. In this case "Stop" the service and then "Start" it again. On the other
hand if the service is not running, the "Stop" button will be grayed out. In this
case "Start" the service]

Once you have reset the two services, please access Windows Update site and check
whether the issue is resolved.

If the issue still remains, then please go through the information given below.

This issue can also occur due to some corrupt ActiveX Control files. Let us
register the following files using the Regsvr32 command and check whether the issue
is resolved. Please note, there is a space between Regsvr32 and the file name.

1. Close all instances of Internet Explorer.

2. Click Start and Run, type Regsvr32 wuapi.dll in the Open box and click OK.

3. Click Start and Run, type Regsvr32 wuaueng.dll, in the Open box and click OK.

4. Click Start and Run, type Regsvr32 wuaueng1.dll in the Open box and click OK.

5. Click Start and Run, type Regsvr32 wucltui.dll, in the Open box and click OK.

6. Click Start and Run, type Regsvr32 wups.dll in the Open box and click OK.

7. Click Start and Run, type Regsvr32 wuweb.dll in the Open box and click OK.

8. Click Start and Run, type Regsvr32 jscript.dll in the Open box and click OK.

9. Click Start and Run, type Regsvr32 atl.dll in the Open box and click OK.

10. Click Start and Run, type Regsvr32 msxml3.dll in the Open box and click OK.

11. Click Start and Run, type Regsvr32 softpub.dll in the Open box and click OK.

12. Click Start and Run, type Regsvr32 Initpki.dll in the Open box and click OK.

13. Click Start and Run, type Regsvr32 Mssip32.dll in the Open box and click OK.

Delete the following folders if they exist:

1. "WUTemp" in all partition's root folder: for example C:\WUTemp or D:\WUTemp
2. "Catroot2" in "C:\Windows\System32"
3. "WindowsUpdate" in "C:\Program Files" (This is a hidden folder.)

Enable "Use HTTP 1.1 through proxy connections".

1. Click Start, click Run, input "INETCPL.CPL" (without quotation marks) and press Enter.

2. On the the Advanced Tab, check "Use HTTP 1.1 through proxy connections" and uncheck "Use HTTP 1.1", and then click OK.

Add the Windows Update sites into "Trusted sites":

1. Click Start, click Run, input "INETCPL.CPL" (without quotation marks) and press Enter.

2. On the Security tab, click the "Trusted sites" icon, and then click the "Default Level" button.

3. Click the "Sites" button, and then uncheck "Require server verification (https:) for all sites in this zone."

4. Type each of the following lines, click "Add", and then repeat until they are all shown in the low box:(Note: The first line starts with HTTPS while others start with HTTP.)

5. Click OK, and then check to make sure no sites are listed in "Sites" of "Restricted sites".
6. Click OK to Save the settings.

Configure Internet Explorer proxy settings:

1. Click Start, click Run, input "INETCPL.CPL" (without quotation marks) and press Enter.
2. On the Connections tab, click LAN Settings.
3. Uncheck "Automatically Detect Settings" and "Use Automatic configuration script".
4. If the "Advanced" button is not grey, click it, input or copy and paste the following string into the Exceptions box:


5. Click OK three times to save the settings.

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RE:Yes I agree. This answer is straight from Microsoft
by jv / April 21, 2006 11:23 AM PDT

You are on the right track but beware that many of youur suggestions are for older versions of Microsoft Update. For examlpe, the WUTemp folder is no longer used.

Most of the time the problems come from the database log file in SoftwaeDistribution folder. This I got from Microsoft techs who manage the rollout of the WU service. Deleting and recreating this has worked for nearly a year now on many machines thet have stopped updating.

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Disagree with Silly Answer
by Grandma52 / April 23, 2006 10:48 PM PDT
In reply to: Silly Answer

You do not have to use Internet Explorer. Maxthon Browser will do Windows updates as it is based on the IE browser. I have been using it since it was MyIE2.

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Three cheers

I have come across Miguel.K of OH advice before,it is appreciably fluid and effortlessly flowing, the expertise and the manifest lucid way he/she explains the procedures, require a standing ovation.

You sir, may, learn from it as well. No criticism intended of course.

It is something they teach you in all journalism classes. Break up your writing in small paragraphs, two to three lines is to aim for.

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How to repair Windows Update on XP
by jv / April 21, 2006 7:37 AM PDT
In reply to: Three cheers

1. Go to Services applet and stop the "Automatic Updates" service.

2. Go to %WINDIR% and delte "SoftwareDistribution" folder.

3. Go to %WINDIR%\System32 and delete ''SoftwareDistribution'' folder.

4. Go to IE Tools\Options and click settings and then click View Objects. Remove ''WUWebControl Class'' and ''MUWebControl Class''.

5. Flush browser cache.

6. Reboot PC>

When the Automatic Update service restarts it will rebuild the ''SoftwareDistributiojn folders. After the reboot go to windows update via the link in the Tools menu of IE and you will be prompted to re-initialize the WU site. After you have the update page run one full Express or Custom scan. AAfter that you can choose to upgrade to teh new Microsoft Update site if you want.

THe database in Software distribution can become corrupt. Also the registry settings can become corrupted for the update controls. This technique works in about 90% of the cases of WU failing and is the fastest thing to try first. If this doesn't work then you may have network layer problems.

WARNING: An upgrade install will not eliminate most damage caused by installing bad software or by viruse, trojan, spyware and browser hijackers. The same is true of Firefox and other browsers running on Windows. Browsers running on Apple and Linux will have completely differnt issues and repairs.

But then they wouldn't have problems with Windows Update; would they?

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Browser cache
by koalanorn / April 22, 2006 11:18 AM PDT

How does one remove 'Browser Cache' Thanks, Koalanorm.

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Clear Cache (Internet Options)
by brit0n / May 8, 2006 1:56 AM PDT
In reply to: Browser cache

You don't remove the cache. You empty it.

You can do it with the browser open or closed (I prefer closed, but that's a personal preference and shouldn't make any difference).

If you open a browser window, click Tools - Internet Options.

If you close all browser windows, right click on any Internet Explorer icon (on Desktop or Start Menu for instance) and click Properties.

On the dialog box which opens, click Delete Files. Check the "Offline Content" check box if you want to remove all the cached files. Click OK. It may take some time for the files to delete so don't be surprised if it seems to hang a little.

Note: This does NOT clear everything you have cached/stored. It does not remove any files you downloaded or saved. It does not remove Cookies. It does not remove java applets and other objects. You remove all those with methods other than "Clear Cache".

I hope this answered your question.

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problem after vundu virtumonde
by andylev / December 21, 2008 2:00 AM PST

I was unable to re-enable Windows update after trying many solutions - I had to reply to tell you and thank you - yours worked!

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PC crash when accessing Microsoft Update
by vaal / April 20, 2006 8:17 PM PDT

I had the same problem PLUS no MSN Messenger for several days, I tried everything, removing adware, virus cclean Regcleaner Etc,etc,.I used MSN hotline three times, and did exactly what they suggested. I reinitialised my router adsl modem, till I was totally out of ideas.
I had tried disenabling Firewall and antivirus too but just for fun I UNINSTALLED my firewall and then re installed it.
Then everything was back to normal!! Don't know why, but it worked for me.
Good luck

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PC crash etc
by phalli2227 / April 20, 2006 8:37 PM PDT

Had similar problems for about a month, got to the head-banging stage. I could not access any Microsoft site, MSN, Windows and Microsoft Update.
Quite a number of folk on message boards had the same problem.
My solution - r/click IE, click Programs, then go into Manage Add-ons.
Enable any MSN prog there.
Worked for me.
Too simple? - probably!

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