How to Fix Problem When
Windows Updates Download But Won't Install

After spending several hours trying to fix a Windows XP computer, I finally decided to backup any important data, reformat the computer and reinstall Windows XP and the associated programs. Generally, I don't decide to do this because I can usually solve the various computer problems. However, after several hours of work on this desktop computer, including a failed in-place install of Windows XP, I decided it was time to surrender and start over.

Normally a reformat and reinstall of Windows XP will leave the machine in working order. However, on this particular occasion I was still left with a problem. When I tried to install the Windows XP updates for the computer, they would download fine, but then they would fail to install.

Follow the steps below to solve this annoying problem when the Windows XP updates will download but won't install.

Make sure Windows installer 3.1 is installed correctly

Click on the following link to visit the Microsoft Download Center and download Windows installer 3.1

Download Windows Installer 3.1

Reboot the computer and try to download Windows Updates, if they still fail to install, continue with the next step.

Stop the Automatic Update Service

  1. Click on Start, Run
  2. Type the following command and press Enter

    services.msc

  3. Right-click on the Automatic Updates option in the Name column and click Stop
  4. Close the Services window


Show Hidden Files and Folders

  1. Open My Computer
  2. Click on Tools, Folder Options
  3. Click on the View tab
  4. Under the Hidden Files and Folders section, select "Show Hidden Files and Folders"
  5. Click Ok

Delete the Previously Downloaded Windows Updates

  1. Open My Computer
  2. Double-click on Drive C (or whatever drive Windows is installed on)
  3. Double-click on the Windows folder
  4. Double-click on the SoftwareDistribution folder
  5. Double-click on the Download folder
  6. Click on Edit on the menu bar
  7. Click on Select All
  8. Click on File on the menu bar
  9. Click on Delete and delete everything in the download folder
  10. Return to the SoftwareDistribution folder by clicking on the green up arrow on the toolbar
  11. Double-click on the EventCache folder
  12. Click on Edit on the menu bar
  13. Click on Select All
  14. Click on File on the menu bar
  15. Click on Delect and delete everything in the eventcache folder


Restart the Automatic Updates Service

  1. Click on Start, Run
  2. Type the following command and press Enter

    services.msc

  3. Double-click on the Automatic Updates option in the Name column
  4. Click on the Start button under Service Status to restart the service
  5. Select Automatic under Startup Type to start the service each time Windows starts
  6. Click Ok
  7. Close the Services Window

Download the Latest Version of Windows Update Agent

Click on the following link to download the latest version of the Windows Update Agent and save it to your desktop.

Download Windows Update Agent

Warning:

If you receive a message stating the Update Agent is already installed follow these extra steps:

  1. Click Start, Run
  2. Click the Browse button
  3. Navigate to where you saved WindowsUpdateAgent30-x86.exe on your desktop and click it one time
  4. Click on the Open button
  5. On the Open line, go to the end of the command. After the last quotation mark type the following 

    /wuforce

  6. The line should look something like the following now:

    "C:\Documents and Settings\username\Desktop\WindowsUpdateAgent30-x86.exe" /wuforce
  7. Click Ok and install the Update Agent

Download and Install the KB927891 Update

Click on the following link to download the KB927891 Update for Windows XP or click here to read more about the update

Download KB927891 Update for Windows XP

Restart your computer and try downloading and installing any Windows XP Updates again

Windows Updates Download but Won't Install after Repair Install of Windows XP

A new problem has appeared recently since Microsoft has changed their Windows Update files. The problem appears after a repair install of Windows XP has been performed. The "new" Windows Update features a file called wups2.dl that was not present in the Windows XP found on the CD used to perform the repair install. This file remains on the hard drive but the registry entries for it are missing after a repair install. This causes the Windows updates to download but fail to install properly.

If you experience this problem, follow these steps to re-register the file wups2.dll in Windows XP
  1. Stop the Windows Automatic Updates Service via the command prompt

    • Click on Start, Run
    • Type CMD and Click Ok
    • At the command prompt, type the following command, then press Enter

      net stop wuauserv

  2. Re-Register the WUPS2.DLL file

    • Still at the command prompt, type the following command and press Enter

      regsvr32   %windir%\system32\wups2.dll

  3. Restart the Automatic Updates Service

    • At the command prompt, type the following commands, pressing Enter after each.

      net start wuauserv
      exit

  4. Restart your computer, and run Windows Update again. This time the updates should download and install properly.
For more information on this problem, you can visit the Microsoft Support Article 943144 

Written by Mark Hasting


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