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Windows 7 : Updating Software - How to Troubleshoot Problems Installing Updates

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1/6/2014 8:20:40 PM

Occasionally, you might experience a problem installing an update. Fortunately, Windows 7 provides detailed information about update installations. The sections that follow describe how to troubleshoot problems with Windows Update and Restart Manager.

How to Troubleshoot Windows Update

To identify the source of the problem causing an update to fail, follow these steps:

  1. Examine recent entries in the %Windir%\WindowsUpdate.log file to verify that the client is contacting the correct update server and to identify any error messages. The following example shows a portion of the log file in which Windows Update downloaded Windows Defender information directly from Microsoft:

    ===========  Logging initialized (build: 7.3.7600.16385, tz: -0400) ===========
    Process: c:\program files\windows defender\MpCmdRun.exe
    Module: C:\Windows\system32\wuapi.dll
    -- START -- COMAPI: Search [ClientId = Windows Defender]
    <<-- SUBMITTED -- COMAPI: Search [ClientId = Windows Defender]
    ** START ** Agent: Finding updates [CallerId = Windows Defender]
    * Online = Yes; Ignore download priority = No
    * Criteria = "(IsInstalled = 0 and IsHidden = 0 and CategoryIDs contains
    '8c3fcc84-7410-4a95-8b89-a166a0190486' and CategoryIDs contains 'e0789628-ce08-
    * ServiceID = {00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000} Third party service
    * Search Scope = {Machine}
    Validating signature for C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\WuRedir\\
    Microsoft signed: Yes

    The WindowsUpdate.log file will also detail update errors that occur.

  2. If your organization uses WSUS, verify that the client can connect to the WSUS server by opening a Web browser and visiting http://<WSUSServerName>/ If you are prompted to download the file, this means that the client can reach the WSUS server and it is not a connectivity issue. Otherwise, you could have a name resolution or connectivity issue or WSUS is not configured correctly.

  3. If you use Group Policy to configure the Windows Update client, use the Resultant Set of Policy (RSOP) tool (Rsop.msc) to verify the configuration. Within RSOP, browse to the Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows Update node and verify the configuration settings.

If you have identified a problem and made a configuration change that you hope will resolve it, restart the Windows Update service on the client computer to make the change take effect and begin another update cycle. You can do this using the Services console or by running the following command with administrative credentials:

net stop wuauserv | net start wuauserv

Within 6 to 10 minutes, Windows Update will attempt to contact your update server.

How to Troubleshoot Restart Manager

The need to update a file that is already in use is one of the most common reasons a user is required to restart a computer. Restart Manager, a feature of Windows Installer, strives to reduce this requirement by closing and restarting programs and services that have files in use. To diagnose a problem with Restart Manager, open Event Viewer and view the following event logs:

  • Windows Logs\Application

  • Applications and Services Logs\Microsoft\Windows\RestartManager\Operational

Search for Warning or Error events with a source of RestartManager. The following is an example of a Warning event with Event ID 10010:

Application 'C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\OUTLOOK.EXE' (pid 5592) cannot
be restarted - Application SID does not match Conductor SID.

You can also view general Windows Update events in the Application log by searching for events with a source of MsiInstaller.

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