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Windows XP > Troubleshooting Windows XP

Windows Update Problems

By: Arie Slob

I have received quite a number of reports of people having problems with Windows Update. There are several problems people experience with Windows Update; I will discuss some of the more frequently reported problems and their solutions here.

Updates fail to install.

In most cases a corrupted CatRoot2 folder causes this. You can fix this by renaming the \Windows\System32\CatRoot2 folder to CatRoot2OLD.

Note that you do not want to rename the \Windows\System32\CatRoot folder!

Now try again to get the update that failed to install previously.

Scanning for updates stops at 0%

Disable the options Automatically detect settings and Use automatic configuration script in Microsoft Internet Explorer:

  1. Start Internet Explorer, and on the Tools menu, click Internet Options
  2. Select the Connections tab, and then click LAN Settings
  3. Make sure the check boxes for Automatically detect settings and Use automatic configuration script are not selected

Also, verify that you can connect to SSL-enabled Web sites (sites that start with https://).

You can also test your ability to connect to SSL sites using a SSL test site.

If you cannot connect to SSL sites then the Windows Update scan will not work. Make sure that the SSL port (port 443) is open on your network/firewall.

Windows Update shows no available updates

If you go to the Windows Update Web site, and no updates are shown, while you know there should be updates available (for example if you did a clean (re)installation of Windows), you may want to check the language settings of Internet Explorer.

  1. From the Tools menu in Internet Explorer, click Internet Options
  2. Select the General tab, then click Languages
  3. If no languages are listed, click Add
  4. Select your language from the displayed list, then click OK
  5. Click OK twice to close the Language Preference dialog box, and the Internet Options dialog box

You should now be able to see updates listed on the Windows Update site.

For a number of other errors & their solutions, check out the Windows Update Troubleshooter, or post a message on the WindowsBBS forum.