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  • General quick fix for Windows Update problems

    Posted on July 5th, 2009 By Andreas Stenhall + No comments

    Most problems with Windows Update can be solved by the simply renaming the folder SoftwareDistribution from the Windows directory. To be able to do so you are required to stop the service Automatic Updates (if you’re on Windows XP or Server 2003 or earlier) or the Windows Update service if you are on Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008 and later.

    The SoftwareDistribution folder is automatically recreated when you start the service again. Bear in mind that you will lose the update history when performing this trick, something you can get back of course if you change the name of the SoftwareDistribution folder instead of just deleting it.

    Also keep in mind that deleting the SoftwareDistribution folder is for fixing problems with searching for updates or contacting a WSUS server for instance, you will not solve problems installing various hotfixes or updates using this method. To troubleshoot problems related to Windows Update or Automatic Updates look in the WindowsUpdate.log located in the root of thew Windows directory for clues. For problametic hotfix installations see the hotfix log file.

  • Windows Update client in Windows 7 also coming for Windows Vista

    Posted on April 2nd, 2009 By Andreas Stenhall + No comments

    If you have tried out Windows 7 you know that it includes some changes when it comes to Windows Update. The good news for Windows Vista users is that the Windows Update client included in Windows 7 also will be available for Windows Vista. A few days ago the beta program for the next version of the Windows Update client started on Microsoft Connect.

    Some of the improvements that can be seen in Windows 7 and that will be available in Windows Vista are as follows:

    • Reduced number of UAC prompts and the option to allow all users to install any updates.
    • Much better interface and separated optional and important updates.
    • More information when errors do occur, now also with descriptions.
    • Better notification for the user telling them that the computer will be restarted at xx:xx hours and that the user need to save all open documents, if the settings are set to automatically install and restart the client that is.

    If you want to try the new Windows Update client for Windows Vista, go to http://connect.microsoft.com and apply to the program called “MUv4 Beta”.

    More information about setting Microsoft Update to be the default instead of Windows Update by script can be found in this post I made quite some time ago. I’ve also verified that this works in Windows 7 as well as in Windows Vista.