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Help! My Windows automatic updates suddenly stopped working

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / August 30, 2007 8:47 AM PDT
Question

I have my Windows XP computer set to update automatically and
thought all was fine until I checked at the end of June. I
found that I had no updates installed since May 10 and
nothing I have done so far has helped. When I go to the site
to check for critical updates I either get no progress with
the scan or else if I get as far as seeing the 11 I need to
download I get no further once I click on the INSTALL button.
Even trying it singly has not helped. Please help!

--Submitted by Clare W.

Answer voted most helpful by our community members


Windows Updates


I have posted this before on C/Net, perhaps you have missed it. Worth a try if you have - so good luck as it came from a Microsoft NewsGroup when I had problems with WU.

Step 1:
Verify that your computer's date and time are accurate and that Internet Explorer language option is not empty.
To check the language setting in Internet Explorer:
1. Click "Tools" and then choose "Internet Options"
2. Click the lanuage button
3. Make sure at least one language is listed in the "Language Options" dialog.

When checking your date (including the year) and time, also check the Internet Time and Time Zone. Double click on the date/time in the notification/system tray area (near the clock) select Internet Time Tab and then select update now. If it's not already checked, check automatically synchronize with an internet Time Server - WinXP.

Step 2:
Also check these settings:
1. Tools>Internet Options> Advanced
2. Scroll down to the Security Settings.
3. Make sure that the two boxes are checked that say "Enable SSL 2" or "Enable SSL 3".
4. Uncheck "Check for server certificate revocation".

Step 3:
Also delete Temporary Internet Files
1. Tools>Internet Options >General
2. Under Temporary Internet files, click Delete Files, Clck OK

Step 4:
1. Tools> Internet Options > Security
Click Trusted sites, click Default level.
Click the sites button and clear the checkbox "Require server verification"
(http:) for all sites in this zone."
Now add the following:
http://*.windowsupdate.microsoft.com
https://*.windowsupdate.microsoft.com
http://download.windowsupdate.com

If required, reboot and try Windows Update again. If still no success, have a look at the following links for more clues.

_________________________________________

Further information:

You have not mentioned error code notifications, but this information is valuable just the same if you ever were to bump into these problems.

Error 0x800A138F
http://www3.telus.net/dandemar/0x800a138f.htm

The aim here is to help you solve this 0x800A138F problem and have you updating your Windows XP Professional or Home Edition computer as soon as possible.
http://updatexp.com/0x800A138F

Windows Update has encountered an error and cannot display the requested page.
http://www.petri.co.il/wu_problems_800a138f.htm
0x800A138F

_________________________________________

Make sure you haven't got anything blocking Windows Update like
Nortons,
Zonealarm etc
Also make sure you don't have a Web Accelerator working in the backgound such as
Net Zero
HiSpeed
Speedband etc

Clear out your temporary internet cache

Try a reboot and then try WU again.

Are there any specific error codes that you do see?
At what point does it continue when checking for the latest software, or when checking for updates?

Still no joy, then try Renaming the SoftwareDistribution folder

Click START, Choose Run
In the Run box, type "services.msc. " (without the quotes)
Click OK
Right click the Automatic Updates service,
Click stop.
Stopping the service will take a moment.

Rename the "SoftwareDistribution" folder :
a. Click Start, click Run, type "%systemroot%" (without the quotes" and then click OK.
b. Right click the SoftwareDistribution folder, and then click Rename
c. Type SoftwareDistribution.old, and then press ENTER to rename this folder.

Click START
Choose Run
In the Run box, type "services.msc." without the quotes"
Click OK
Right -click the Automatic Updates service
Click Start.
Starting the service will take a moment.

Reboot if appropriate and try WU again.

Note when you rename the SoftwareDistribution folder - you will loose your history but not important.

_______________________________________________

Your Windows Update problem is exactly the same as I was having sometime ago and by going through the above (supplied from a Microsoft Newsgroup exchange) you should correct your problem and allow you to download and install WU's again.

Good Luck and don't hesitate to post back if you have a further question.

http://forums.cnet.com/5208-10149_102-0.html?forumID=7&threadID=262366&messageID=2574665#2574665

--Submitted by CNET member tallin


If you have any additional advice or tips for Clare, let's hear them! Click on the "Reply" link to post. Please be detailed as possible in your answer. Thanks!
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Windows Update Problem
by fnlvn2 / August 31, 2007 11:28 AM PDT

I'm not absolutely certain that I have the solution, but I had a similar problem and was able to resolve the problem by re-registering the windows update program dll's. Here's how:
Run regsvr32 on the following dll's:
wuap.dll
wuaueng.dll
wuaueng1.dll
wucltui.dll
wups.dll
wups2.dll
wuweb.dll

Reboot the system and go to Windows Update and try to install the updates from the site.

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Help! My Windows automatic updates suddenly stopped working
by Szypura / September 7, 2007 9:05 PM PDT
In reply to: Windows Update Problem

My advice.

Also I got a PC supported with Windows XP SP2 but never I adjusted setting any program into automatically updating because I know that it is a best manner to opening a gate for viruses, spies, etc., also never I installed any trays. I think that the updates also of Win XP should be periodically installed from the site to check for critical updates [e.g. once a week].
Caution!!!
If you would like to keep a clean PC, you should act carefully and judiciously; and never you should click without thinking or automatically on the INSTALL button.

WJS

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updates cause ie to stop working
by mel may / September 8, 2007 5:05 AM PDT

every time i update my i.e.#7 stoppes working and i have to do a sytem restore.

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Odd
by WebAnt / September 8, 2007 7:23 AM PDT

I have never had my Windows Update just up and stop working after an update or anything. I even reinstalled my Windows OS and never had a problem like that. Odd indeed. I guess not all computers are as stable as a Dell Dimension 4550 with Windows XP Home Edition SP-2.

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Thank you for your post
by Clarep / September 7, 2007 9:21 PM PDT
In reply to: Windows Update Problem

tried this but unsuccessful

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Automatic Windows Update problem
by gmander / September 8, 2007 5:03 PM PDT
In reply to: Windows Update Problem

I would certainly recommend that Clare try this solution, as it worked for me. Two qualifications though, this is a command line solution which should be written as follows if you have Window XP:
regsvr32.exe c:\windows\system32\wuweb.dll
and so on for the other .dll files.
If your windows directory is winnt, use that instead.

This solution will fix the automatic windows update, but don't expect the manual windows update to work using this solution. I have never been able to get the manual update to work, and I have followed all the directions from the Microsoft site and cleared the path in my firewall. I note that one of the responses for this thread is the same as the directions on the Micrsoft site.

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Windows Update Failure
by jsheehy / August 31, 2007 11:29 AM PDT

Windows Update Failure

I support over 800 desktops at my 49 customer sites and this is a not uncommon problem, particularly after either a major hardware upgrade or a Windows reinstall. There are 3 probable causes for the problem:

1. The Windows Update Temporary folder is corrupted.

2. Update Agent 3.0 is not installed properly.

3. Installer 3.1 is corrupted.

Here?s how to fix them:

1. Clean up Windows Update temporary folder

1.1. Click Start, Run, type: cmd and press Enter. Please run the following command in the opened window.

Net stop WuAuServ

1.2. Click Start, Run, type: %windir% and press Enter.

1.3. In the opened folder, rename the folder SoftwareDistribution to Sdold.

1.4. Click Start, Run, type: cmd and press Enter. Please run the following command in the opened window.

Net start WuAuServ

2. Reinstall Windows Update Agent 3.0

2.1. Download the file from the following link:
http://download.windowsupdate.com/v7/windowsupdate/redist/standalone/WindowsUpdateAgent30-x86.exe

2.2. Save the file to C: drive Root (C:)

2.3. Click Start, Run, type: "C:WindowsUpdateAgent30-x86.exe /wuforce" (without quotations) and then press Enter to install the Windows Update engine. (There is a space between "C:WindowsUpdateAgent30-x86.exe" and "/wuforce")
Note: If you are using Windows Vista, please save the downloaded file to the D: drive, because the file cannot be launched directly from the C: root directory.

3. Reinstall Windows Installer 3.1 (important)

3.1. Press Start and choose Run.

3.2. Type in "cmd" (without quotation marks) and press OK.

3.3. In the command line, type in the following command and press Enter:
MSIexec /unregister (Note: there is a space before the ?/?)

3.4. Then, type in the following command and press Enter:
MSIexec /regserver (Note: there is a space before the ?/?)

4. Now, try running updates again. If they still fail, then you?ll need to do a reinstall of Windows Installer:

4.1. Start, click Control Panel, and click Add/Remove Programs to check if Windows Installer 3.1 has been installed.

4.2. If it has, highlight and remove it.

4.3. After that, reinstall Windows Installer 3.1 from the following link.
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=889482fc-5f56-4a38-b838-de776fd4138c&DisplayLang=en
This should fix the problem. If it doesn?t, feel free to contact me directly and I?ll try to help you out.

Jim Sheehy

Sequel Data Systems
jsheehy@seqdatsys.com
714 398-8249

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wow!
by wikichugoku / September 7, 2007 12:21 PM PDT
In reply to: Windows Update Failure

this is the closest thing that we usually do at work when fixing issues such as this.

apparently, we use automated tools, so reading your materials fascinated me. your instructions, albeit lengthy, are very good. in fact, they're like the manual version of the automations that we usually do. your method for fixing it should suffice.

cheers!

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Update Failure
by Ponhook / September 7, 2007 10:07 PM PDT
In reply to: Windows Update Failure

I experienced this problem recently. Contacted Microsoft who promptly replied with possible causes and solution to the problem. I had installed what I can describe as a PC Maintenance Program called "Dustbuster". I uninstalled this and followed Step 1.1. Things returned to normal.

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Possibly same problem
by Wadda / September 8, 2007 5:16 AM PDT
In reply to: Windows Update Failure

I am having the same problem with Office 2003 security update. It is sitting on my computer waiting to be installed but constantly comes back installation failed. I have Office 2002. How do I delete the update so it doesn't keep popping up? Is it the same intructions that were added to this solution?

Thank you,

Wadda

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Microsoft Update problems
by steelgreg / September 8, 2007 5:21 AM PDT
In reply to: Windows Update Failure

Without going into all the details I wish to notify you that there are an extensive number of postings regarding the inability to download the update called
Security Update for Microsoft.NET Framework Version 1.1 Service Pack 1 (KB928366)
It has been well documented by many users that there is something wrong with this update. It triggers the 'Updates Ready for Download' notification and it shows up in the scan of updates that are available for download but when you download it, you get 0 Bytes of file but yet it happily installs nothing and even tells you that your computer has been successfully updated.
I even tried to be helpful and notified Microsoft Support that there is an error in this file. This has been going on for several months. They of course said that the problem was on my end but there certainly are a lot of people who have the same problem on their end as indicated by all the posts on the subject.
I suggested to Microsoft that they re-write and re-issue the update file so that it works. ALL OF THE OTHER UPDATE FILES DOWNLOAD AND INSTALL AND APPEAR ON THE COMPUTER AS THEY SHOULD. Therefore, the problem is not in the downloading or installing aspects for update files, the problem is with this file which Microsoft is either too arrogant to re-write and re-issue or too lazy to do so. Your choice.
Maybe a respected organization like CNET can get Microsoft to listen. Until then, we will all be chasing updates that are not there except for the one noted above which is corrupt.
Greg McLean
steelgreg@oh.rr.com

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.NET Framework Version 2.0
by jco / September 8, 2007 11:06 PM PDT

Hello to everyone. MS's .NET Framework, Version 2.0 security update (aka 928365)has been hanging around for a couple months now, either with a group of updates, or on its own.

Attempts at installation always bring the same message: The installation has failed. This never happens with any other updates.

I vaguely remember reading somewhere that people have had various problems after installing this particular update. Strange as it may sound, my five-year-old system (a Dell) seems to be getting better as it ages. Even stranger, perhaps, is that I "listen" to the 'puter, and if it doesn't want something, I let it be.

One more thing: I haven't recently escaped from a mental ward. Promise. Girl Scouts' honor.

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Below is how I fixed >>
by tallin / September 9, 2007 6:39 AM PDT

If you are running Windows XP/SP2 and are also running .NET.Framework 1.1. 2.0. 3.0 and have had problems installing two critical Windows Updates namely KB928365 and KB928366 which were released in the July patch Tuesday, here is the fix that was successful for me after one months research from various forums.

Firstly download and install https://psi.secunia.com/ and run a scan which will tell you heaps about your computer.
In my case it showed that two critical updates were missing and gave me the links to fix the problem.

In short I uninstalled (one at a time) firstly .NET Framework 1.1 and ran Windows Uninstall and Cleanup Utility which you can get from the following site:
http://www.softpedia.com/get/Security/Secu...p-Utility.shtml. Then I reinstalled .NET Framework 1.1 went to Microsoft Updates and installed Microsoft .NET Framework Hotfix KB928366 successfully.

Please note that when uninstalling .NET Framework 1.1 by the above method then checking in Add and Remove it did not show as installed.

Secondly I then did the same thing with .NET Framework 2.0 following the links offered in https://psi.secunia.com/ uninstalling 2.0 running the cleanup utility and reinstalling.

Please also note that when I did the above for .NET Framework 2.0 and checked in Add and Remove it was still showing as installed, I clicked REMOVE and it proceeded to install over the existing installation successfully. I then went to Microsoft update and installed Hotfix KB928365 successfully.

In Add and Remove now all show as installed including hotfixes.

If you would like to read the actual thread where all this was achieved here is the link:
http://security-central.us/forums/showthread.php?t=9628
Please also note that some of the above ideas were mine so they do not show in the Security Central thread, but most were the expert work of little eagle

Hope this is clear to all.

kind regards,

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Alternative link for utility
by UKposter / September 18, 2007 1:59 AM PDT
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Another utility link
by UKposter / September 18, 2007 2:09 AM PDT
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Also read the thread>>>
by tallin / September 9, 2007 6:44 AM PDT
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no updates installed since May 10
by MoeFugger / August 31, 2007 11:56 AM PDT

Try this,
go to Control Panel and click on the Security Center icon and find Automatic Updates at the bottom of the page and click on it.
Now click Turn off Automatic Updates and click apply then close.
Now go back in and click Automatic and Apply.
The puter may start acting like it is running a program. That is ok.
Now, if you wish, you may change it to one of the other selections such as Download or Notify.
Now try to update.

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Thanks for suggestion
by Clarep / September 7, 2007 9:23 PM PDT

tried this but it did not work

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Windows Updates
by vinnie77 / September 10, 2007 7:44 AM PDT

Can someone speak on how to validate the copy of Windows? It seems ridiculous, but I'm not receiving any of the necessary updates and I know for a fact my computer programs have slowed down and become weak -- it's very noticeable using MS Word, it's as if they're bogged down completely.

But anyway, I can't figure out why this doesn't work now, when it used to before. I'm getting messages telling me my copy of Windows is not valid or something, and i have to purchase some sort of upgrade to get it to work.

Can anyone speak on this and is there some sort of way around it? It's my name on the program, it's all the original parts, I just don't know why now my version of Windows is not validated or whatever.

Thanks in advance for any input.

Vinnie.

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Here you go
by tallin / September 10, 2007 7:59 AM PDT
In reply to: Windows Updates
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How to fix windows update
by letmepicyou / August 31, 2007 12:14 PM PDT

There are several steps I take to try and fix a windows update problem. First, I'll usually download and install Belarc Advisor onto the problem pc and run it. It provides a nice catalog of installed hotfixes and if there are any problems with any of them. Any hotfix that needs reinstalled can be clicked on and taken directly to the Microsoft web space for that hotfix. If repairing broken hotfixes doesn't get things straight, go to the Computer Management screen (right click my computer click "manage"), expand the "Services and applications" in the left pane and click "Services". In the right pane, make sure "Automatic Updates" and "Background Intelligent Transfer Service" service are both running. If they are not, they can be right click and "Start"ed to get them going. If the services refuse to start, even after a reboot, I would begin to suspect a viral infection. You might also give the "WinSock XP" fix, which can sometimes alleviate connection issues. As a last resort, uninstall Internet Explorer 7 and see if that helps.

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Wndows Updates
by tallin / August 31, 2007 12:22 PM PDT

I have posted this before on C/Net, perhaps you have missed it. Worth a try if you have - so good luck as it came from a Microsoft NewsGroup when I had problems with WU.

Step 1:
Verify that your computer's date and time are accurate and that Internet Explorer language option is not empty.
To check the language setting in Internet Explorer:
1. Click "Tools" and then choose "Internet Options"
2. Click the lanuage button
3. Make sure at least one language is listed in the "Language Options" dialog.

When checking your date (including the year) and time, also check the Internet Time and Time Zone. Double click on the date/time in the notification/system tray area (near the clock) select Internet Time Tab and then select update now. If it's not already checked, check automatically synchronize with an internet Time Server - WinXP.

Step 2:
Also check these settings:
1. Tools>Internet Options> Advanced
2. Scroll down to the Security Settings.
3. Make sure that the two boxes are checked that say "Enable SSL 2" or "Enable SSL 3".
4. Uncheck "Check for server certificate revocation".

Step 3:
Also delete Temporary Internet Files
1. Tools>Internet Options >General
2. Under Temporary Internet files, click Delete Files, Clck OK

Step 4:
1. Tools> Internet Options > Security
Click Trusted sites, click Default level.
Click the sites button and clear the checkbox "Require server verification"
(http:) for all sites in this zone."
Now add the following:
http://*.windowsupdate.microsoft.com
https://*.windowsupdate.microsoft.com
http://download.windowsupdate.com

If required, reboot and try Windows Update again. If still no success, have a look at the following links for more clues.

_________________________________________

Further information:

You have not mentioned error code notifications, but this information is valuable just the same if you ever were to bump into these problems.

Error 0x800A138F
http://www3.telus.net/dandemar/0x800a138f.htm

The aim here is to help you solve this 0x800A138F problem and have you updating your Windows XP Professional or Home Edition computer as soon as possible.
http://updatexp.com/0x800A138F

Windows Update has encountered an error and cannot display the requested page.
http://www.petri.co.il/wu_problems_800a138f.htm
0x800A138F

_________________________________________

Make sure you haven't got anything blocking Windows Update like
Nortons,
Zonealarm etc
Also make sure you don't have a Web Accelerator working in the backgound such as
Net Zero
HiSpeed
Speedband etc

Clear out your temporary internet cache

Try a reboot and then try WU again.

Are there any specific error codes that you do see?
At what point does it continue when checking for the latest software, or when checking for updates?

Still no joy, then try Renaming the SoftwareDistribution folder

Click START, Choose Run
In the Run box, type "services.msc. " (without the quotes)
Click OK
Right click the Automatic Updates service,
Click stop.
Stopping the service will take a moment.

Rename the "SoftwareDistribution" folder :
a. Click Start, click Run, type "%systemroot%" (without the quotes" and then click OK.
b. Right click the SoftwareDistribution folder, and then click Rename
c. Type SoftwareDistribution.old, and then press ENTER to rename this folder.

Click START
Choose Run
In the Run box, type "services.msc." without the quotes"
Click OK
Right -click the Automatic Updates service
Click Start.
Starting the service will take a moment.

Reboot if appropriate and try WU again.

Note when you rename the SoftwareDistribution folder - you will loose your history but not important.

_______________________________________________

Your Windows Update problem is exactly the same as I was having sometime ago and by going through the above (supplied from a Microsoft Newsgroup exchange) you should correct your problem and allow you to download and install WU's again.

Good Luck and don't hesitate to post back if you have a further question.

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How does this problem arise?
by sea.bass / September 7, 2007 7:18 PM PDT
In reply to: Wndows Updates

A fascinating reply. Only lacks one thing. How does the problem arise? Is it really 'random' or is it caused by the user?

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I agree, a very good reply
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / September 8, 2007 12:22 AM PDT

and a lot of work has been put into it.

How does the problem arise? I assume you are referring to how does it happen that Windows Updates don't work.

There are a number of reasons, but I would guess one of three main causes.

1] The user has changed a setting somewhere and not noticed/remembered,

2] Virus, or other malware damage,

3] Some utility or other is preventing Windows Update to work. EG, I believe that either Spybot Search and Destroy, (in TeaTimer mode), or Norton's Internet Security, (or both), have the ability to prevent Windows Updates. This is because they see the scanning that WU does as an intrusion and so blocks it.

Can it be random? On a normally working computer I would say no. Something has to happen to stop WU working.

Mark

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Windows Updates Stops working (or installing)
by rickstersherpa / September 9, 2007 4:41 AM PDT

I am wondering if something was going on around May /June because my Windows XP stopped being able to install updates about the same time. My solution was to reinstall Windows XP Security Pack 2. Probably clumsy and brutish, but it worked. I have also found Internet Explorer 7.0 to be 0unstable since I downloaded it. Hence preference wot work with Firefox's Mozilla.

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windows automatic update solutions
by D and N / September 8, 2007 12:28 AM PDT
In reply to: Wndows Updates

how can I printout just the solution by member tallin with out getting all the other information that is included on the same page?
Enjoy all of the features you provide.
Thank you
Dan Dominick
e-mail nd1856@aeroinc.net

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Reply to how to print out just the solution
by iogt007 / September 9, 2007 5:27 AM PDT

Highlite the words in his message by left clicking and draging the mouse accross the words. After they are highlighted, hit ctrl C, open Word and paste it (by hitting ctrl V)in the Word document, click on the smart tag and click text only and print from your word document. Save the document for future reference.

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renaming software distribution
by brewnetty / September 9, 2007 2:02 AM PDT
In reply to: Wndows Updates

I used one of my two free email microsoft incidents to obtain the fix for this in April. Tallin's last suggestion, renaming the Software Distribution folder is what worked for me.

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one thing left out of solution
by iogt007 / September 9, 2007 5:47 AM PDT
In reply to: Wndows Updates

After deleting your internet files and history, you should defrag your computer. Also I would like to mention I had the same problem at that time and found that my norton firewall was blocking communication after the June updates. I disabled my firewall and went to Windows Update and found that I needed to reinstall the Microsoft v6 Update to get the new updates which also asked for Genuine Microsoft advantage check.

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Don't worry be happy
by hhiser / September 9, 2007 11:26 AM PDT
In reply to: Wndows Updates

Why are you so concerned that window's update does not work. I would be plaesed rather than upset. Window's update does more to harm your system than it does to fix it. Every critical update they post always needs to be fixed later, and when you do download the new update it leaves pieces of code behind from the old update to clog your computers memory. Window's update creates more problems than it's worth. Do yourself a favor and switch to Linux.

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