Posted 07 December 2010 - 03:34 PM
I know this topic is a bit dated, but I ran into a similar problem and now I seem to have fixed it, so I'd like to share.
First of all, the symptoms I was having. I'm using Vista SP2. Sometime a few months back, I started having problems with Windows Update. I'd get alerts that there were new updates (they automatically downloaded). After installation, they would ultimately require a restart. Upon restarting, step 2 would complete, then the computer would actually reboot. On boot up, the updater would go through step 3, complete that, then immediately upon completion, my computer would restart again. Once it booted back into Windows, I would get the message "Updates not configured properly. Reverting changes." Then I could log in and start using Vista. However, the update would always be listed as failed.
My first assumption was that this is the result of some nefarious virus/malware. However, scans with AVG, Malwarebytes, and several other security utilities would not reveal any infections. Neither would Windows Defender, but I didn't trust that because the virus definitions for Defender would also fail to update.
I have searched for solutions to this problem, and found many suggestions, none of them worked. Many solutions were for situations where the computer gets caught in a boot/reboot loop after installing updates. That was not the issue I was having. Also, many solutions simply suggested re-installing Windows, which sounded a bit too drastic for my tastes. Performing system restore also failed to fix the issue.
Anyway, after many hours scratching my head, checking this setting and that setting, I suddenly remembered that earlier in the year, I had changed some of the settings of various services (via services.msc) so that they would start up automatically, but delayed. I went into the services (type services.msc in the run box) and reset all of the services that were delayed, restarted the computer, and tried Windows Update once again. Sure enough, that fixed the issue. Apparently, Windows Update was failing because some service wasn't starting at the right time.
Therefore, if you are having this problem, it might be worthwhile to ensure that services are set to automatic and not automatic(delayed).