System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
Yesterday Dec 6 I tried to run Windows update. Received error message that service was not running. Which was NOT true. I tried stopping / starting service, and running Windows update, but still received the error message.
BUT - I was able to fix the problem by doing the following:
(1) Opened command prompt as Administrator
(2) Used date command to change date from Dec 6 to Dec 3
(3) Launched Windows Update - it worked!! There was one important update that was installed
(5) Used date command to change date from Dec 3 back to correct date of Dec 6
(6) Launched Windows Update - it worked!!
Not sure why this fixed the problem, but it worked.