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reinstalling windows xp


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#1 godzilla1347

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 12:27 AM

I wish my Windows updates even worked at the snails pace others are having. I had created a thread "Windows Update has died" to detail my Window Update woes. From what I am hearing here (other than the cases where people are having no problem whatsoever), is that even if I get Windows Update to work with a cumulative update, the next month it will fail. My fear is that this is going to continue through April when XP is retired. In fact, I don't even remember the last time I had Windows Update work in this computer. I only became aware of this problem when my brother-in-law gave me his Vista (Ugh!) computer (which I will upgrade to Windows 7 and I would also do that for my xp computer but Windows 7 Advisor showed a lot of incompatibilities) and Windows update came up automatically. I see a lot of people having all kinds of problems with Windows Update and it's pretty sad that Microsoft can't get this rigtht, especially on a platform about to retire.


Edited by hamluis, 30 December 2013 - 02:21 PM.
Posts moved from locked topic - Hamluis.


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#2 godzilla1347

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 12:34 AM

Talk about irony! Here I am bleeping about Microsoft not fixing the Windows Update issue and 5 minutes later, I see Doug's post here that it's fixed. In my case, I can't even get the cumulative update to download and save so I hope repairing the BITS file will help. I'll read on and try the fix Doug posted.



#3 godzilla1347

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 01:20 AM

Doug, I read your reports and applaud your foresight. My question is that the BITS service is showing as started in my XP system. I was going to try your fix but I was wondering if BITS is my problem. From what you are saying, I should fix BITS (but how do I know if it isn't working properly; others are complaining it's not showing services, and my Windows Update problem is elsewhere) and then install the cumulative update to get Windows update to start working again.

 

At this point, I cant download any Windows updates, the Microsoft Fix it program freezes with the error message you indicated and anything Windows Update is inaccessible on my system. Everything else works fine. Not sure what to do



#4 DougCuk

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 01:30 AM

We need to be clear which "problem" is being discussed - we have two separate but interconnected problems:
1. SVCHOST - containing the Automatic Updates - runs at high CPU load - I will call this the SVCHOST problem.
2. BITS is disabled and its Display Name and Description changed to the Win7 version thus: 
       "DisplayName"="@%SystemRoot%\\system32\\qmgr.dll,-1000"
       "Description"="@%SystemRoot%\\system32\\qmgr.dll,-1001"  - I will call this the BITS problem.     

 

There are other causes of Windows Update problems - but these two are the issues I have been discussing.

If you have other symptoms then it is entirely possible that you have additional issues - see my next post.     

 
The faulty Fix-It - for Windows Update (WU) problems - DOES NOT cause the SVCHOST problem.
That - as we now know - is caused by the WU Agent choking on the large number of possible Internet Explorer updates.
And was fully explained in the post by Doug Neal on the PatchManagement Mailing List - which I believe I was the first to post on this forum - after it appeared in the second InfoWorld news article back in November.

 

Microsoft say they hope to have a fix before the January (Patch Tuesday) Updates are released - as the problem will activate again once the the next IE Cumulative Update is released.

 

The quote from Doug Neal (Windows Update team) - on 13th December :

 

We're working diligently to release changes .............  that will comprehensively solve this problem. 

It's a top priority.  And the right (and smartest) people are on it. 

And as this problem has become more prevalent, we're working to provide a KB article that will publicly describe the issue so customers can discover it via searches and the recommended guidance.  Unfortunately, there is no (quick) 'fix' or workaround that can be applied at this time as we concurrently work to provide a backend fix and some guidance on the real, best solution.

I appreciate your patience.  And want to let you know we're working throughthe holiday to provide the right fix as soon as possible.

 

BITS must be functional for Windows Update to work. So anything that disables BITS will stop WU working.
So the two problems are connected but separate - You can have both problems at the same time or just one.
Each stops Windows Update working at a different point in the process - with different symptoms.
 
In XP the normal setting for the BITS is a Manual Start - it only starts when WUA initiates a download
If you set BITS to Start Type: Disabled then Windows Update refuses to run at all - it displays an error.
 
The faulty Fix-It's however disabled BITS by adding a Win7 DWord item:  "ServiceSidType"=dword:00000001
But they left BITS set to Start Type: Automatic - this fools Windows Update into launching and doing its search for updates. This completes and you can select the updates you want to download - however it then fails when it tries to start BITS - which handles the actual downloading of the selected updates.   
 
I tested the effects of the two faulty MS-Fix-It's very carefully - the only fault I could find was the "corruption" of the BITS registry due to the use of Vista, Win7 values, and settings. Once these were removed I could find no remaining problems - BITS starts and stop at the command of the Windows Update Agent - and is able to download updates again. Unlike some other causes of BITS problems there were no missing or unregistered DLL's and as far as I can tell no other registry keys were damaged. It was a rookie coding error where Win7 registry values were used instead of the correct XP versions - it was not properly tested - and was then released for use. 
 
I reported my findings to Microsoft Tech Support on the 16th December - and as of Monday 23rd December the two Windows Update Fix-It's for XP are now working correctly. Having checked the new Fix-It version it was clear that Microsoft had corrected mistakes in two Powershell scripts that were causing the code not to detect the Windows OS version correctly - the Fix-It's were re-coded to fix this problem and stop the incorrect use of Vista, Win7 registry values when "repairing" the XP BITS registry key.

Edited by DougCuk, 27 December 2013 - 06:32 AM.


#5 DougCuk

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 02:00 AM

godzilla1347  You say in your last post "the Microsoft Fix it program freezes with the error message you indicated"

I have no idea what you are referring to - what error message?

Very difficult to help when you give vague reports of non-specific problems.

 

If your BITS service Starts and Stops - and has the correct name displayed - then it is fine - no repair needed

If you have loaded the December Cumulative Security Update for IE - then that will have fixed that specific bug 

 

You appear to be posting on the forums at techguy.org under the name Blindy8 where you mention other symptoms.

I believe you said that some Microsoft downloads reported errors indicating corrupted files or invalid cryptographic signatures?

If this is the case you may have a corruption in the Cryptographic security data - the service may be Started and running but cannot verify the integrity of digitally signed files - and so declares them corrupt.

 

Check this help page  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/822798  - especially the Symptoms section.

Does any of that sound familiar?  If it looks like you have the problems listed follow the advice below:

 

There is an Automated Fix-It  - which may be blocked due to you problems - give it a try.

There is also a listing of the "Methods that are automated by the Fix-it solution"

Have you run any of these manual steps before?

If not then you can perform these steps youself - if the Fix-It will not run.

 

Report back 

 

It is difficult to get a full picture of what you have tried and all the symptoms

when you follow advice and report different things on two seperate forums at the same time. 


Edited by DougCuk, 27 December 2013 - 08:29 AM.


#6 godzilla1347

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 12:53 AM

Doug,

 

I'm new here and haven't got the navigating down yet. I had probably made the mistake of addressing this Windows update not working issue in another thread here entitled, "Windows Update Has Died. I have a of of the troubleshooting steps I've tried posted there. That post started on Dec 22 2013 04:41 PM.

 

To answer some of youir above questions, the error messages I was getting and still get (as I just tried to use Microsoft Fix it and got the exact same error message right now, Dec 29 at 12:52 Am) is that Windows failed to install the Power Shell. The process then stops and asks me to try later.

 

However, I did go to the above link in your Dec 27 post and found this error in the symptoms page: 

 

Setup could not verify the integrity of the file Update.inf. Make sure the Cryptographic service is running on this computer.

 

I will now try to follow the instructions on that page and I'll get back to you with my results in a following post.



#7 godzilla1347

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 01:14 AM

Checking my system:

 

  • Crytographics service is started and automatic
  • BITS is started and automatic. You mentioned above something about changing that to manual. I wasn't clear if that was your suggestion
  • I don't remember the last time I received a windows update but it had to be more than a year ago. I only realized I wasn't getting them when I got my brother-in-law's Dell XPS computer running Vista and automatic updates are being received.
  • When I go to System Properties and click on the automatic update, system properties freezes. In fact, it shows no tabs and is blank. I can't click on the red x to get rid of it.The only way I can get rid of it is by clicking outside of the Systems Properties box


#8 godzilla1347

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 01:34 AM

More error messages regarding Windows Update not working. This was from a post I did on the Tech Support Guy site:

 

  • When I went to the Microsoft site to check for Windows updates (and I know that XP is losing support in April 2014 so I want to make sure I have all the updates now) I got this error message:

    The website has encountered a problem and cannot display the page you are trying to view. Take the following steps to try solving the problem: I took those steps and nothing happened.

    The error number was 0x8024801.


#9 godzilla1347

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 01:51 AM

Here's another error message I get when I go to Start>Windows Update. The Window that opens says that Windows update is on but when I click in the panel on the left to get my update history, I get the below.

 

The website has encountered a problem and cannot display the page you are trying to view. Take the following steps to try solving the problem:

  • Refresh the page.
  • In Internet Explorer, delete your Temporary Internet Files by going to the Tools menu and clicking Internet Options.
  • Close and then re-open Internet Explorer.

Internet Explorer (Add-ons Disabled) mode only prevents the use of ActiveX controls, including those used by the Microsoft Update website. To get updates using this browser mode, you need to turn on Automatic Updates on your computer or visit the Windows Update website.

If these steps don’t work, try visiting the site later or using the resources provided below.

For self-help options:



#10 godzilla1347

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 12:30 AM

At this point, I'm having no success whatsoever in getting Windows updates to work as per my other posts (Windows update won't install; Windows update has died)  so I'm considering reinstalling windows xp or SP3. I don't know much about the ramifications of these options of if they would make a difference, however. As I can't get automatic updates, the power shell won't install in the Microsoft Fix it program and going to Windows update in Control Panel>automatic updates simply freezes the system property box, I suspect I have some registry issues. I'd love to be able to determine what's going on but it's beyond me.

 

So here's what I'm looking to determine:

 

  • Can I simply reinstall SP3 and will that override the registry errors?
  • If I reinstall Windows XP, I have a hard copy of SP2 that would be needed prior to installing SP3 but would I need SP1 (which I don't have) to install SP2?
  • If I reinstall windows, what do I lose? I assume my other programs and data files would stay intact but what would I lose?
  • When you reinstall XP are the pointers automatically set to re-identify the other programs on the computer?

 

Greg Cuk posted that Microsoft has fixed the Windows update problem this past week but it's not fixing the issues I have This is very frustrating! Everything else works fine and I'm considering just leaving things alone because everything else is working. 



#11 Platypus

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 01:26 AM

I'm considering just leaving things alone because everything else is working. 

I suspect that might be the best approach at the moment. The update snafu is causing widespread problems, and a fresh install or a repaired installation is likely to simply have the same problems. A SP3 re-install I tried certainly did. Waiting for all the gremlins to get sorted out could save heartache.

 

Further to your queries about re-installing, it depends on a couple of factors.

 

Re-installing Windows as generally understood gives you a new start from scratch, so a fresh load of Windows alone takes the place of what was there before. If you do a repair installation, the Windows on the system is re-created as it would have been if installed from the source media, but retaining the existing installed programs and settings, almost like an upgrade from an older Windows, but in reverse. There's also the possibility of doing a side-by-side installation of a second Windows, then a migration, which is a messy way of doing it.

 

With Service Packs, it will depend on the Service Pack level of the Windows media. If it is original release (XP Gold - without any SP) then ideally it should be brought to SP1 before installing a higher pack. Technically the later packs do also contain the earlier, but taking XP Gold straight beyond SP1 can cause a problem where Windows can't activate. Usually the most trouble free is to go from SP1 to SP3. It doesn't matter whether the SP1 is called SP1 or SP1a.


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#12 godzilla1347

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 02:10 AM

I forgot about the repair option. That sounds like it may solve my issues but just let me check. I think you are saying that a reinstall would disconnect the pointers to my programs and data files while a repair would leave them intact? In order to do a reinstall, I would assume I siimply wouldn't install anything until the damaged xp on my system now is uninstalled. I haven't done this before but I think i would need a boot disk. A repair sounds much better for me in that it I'm assuming it would write over any damaged registry files.

 

If I do a repair, do I need to re-install SP3? I assume I wouldn't have to uninstall it or install SP1 first for a repair.

 

this is very frustrating for me because I tried all the basic fixes (to a degree, I didn't want to get into the weeds in areas I have no knowledge of that I could really screw up) that were suggested in my other two threads that focused on Windows update particularly, and had no luck whatsoever.  Each problem is an opportunity to learn something but a lot of this is knowledge based and not intuitive. The fact that my Systems Property box freezes when I click on the automatic updates tab says that there's a problem with the code there but I have no clue how to navigate through it personally.

 

So it gets to the point where a repair starts to make sense. I hate to give up but I simply need to put this issue is behind me.
 



#13 Platypus

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 02:43 AM

A repair will return Windows to the Service Pack level of the installation media - so if you have a Windows XP installation CD which is, say, SP1, Windows will revert to SP1 and you'll lose all the updates that have come out since SP1. So the system would then need to be updated manually to SP3 in order to access Windows Update to get all the subsequent updates (well over 100). If Windows Update is not yet operating correctly, that's where it will still fail.


Edited by Platypus, 30 December 2013 - 02:44 AM.

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#14 godzilla1347

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 11:49 AM

I have the Dell Operating System CD 2002 for Reinstallation of XP Home Edition. I don't know if it has any service packs installed. I am not sure if Service pack 1 is still available but I do have service pack 2. So the question is if I do a repair, I assume I will lose Service Pack 3 which is now installed. The questions then are

 

  • Do I need SP1 if I already have SP2 on disk? If I don't have SP1 and can't start from SP2, is there a way to navigate?
  • I assume that once SP2 is installed, I assume I could download SP3 from Microsoft but would there be a problem navigating until SP3 is installed?

I went to Belarc Advisor and saw quite a few important and critical updates not installed on this computer and while I have a good anti virus program, I realize that I'm running a real risk until I can get Windows Update to work.  I've spent hours with this trying different fixes that were suggested and am not sophisticated enough in Windows to get into the weeds without screwing things up, so at this point, I'm thinking that the repair option you suggest makes the most sense. I just want to make sure I'm not going to make things worse. Everything on this machine works fine other than Windows Update.



#15 hamluis

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 02:50 PM

Per your posts in topic initiated by another member, http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/518202/windows-update-never-completes/ , it appears that are NOT reinstalling XP.  I have purged this topic of posts that relate to your situation and compiled your posts/topics at http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/518337/windows-update-has-died/ . 

 

It is noted that you currently have two topics in the XP forum, discussing the same issues.  To minimize confusion, I am closing this topic and suggest that you work to a resolution/conclusion in your other topic.

 

Please...do not initate more topics or post in the topics initated by other members...about these same issues again.  Continue the topic in one thread, in one location, until satisfied/concluded.

 

Louis


Edited by hamluis, 30 December 2013 - 05:11 PM.





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