This years first Patch Tuesday in January was a relatively small one, but the previous one in December was a real Monster, the biggest in five years. I wasn’t really surprised when it failed to install – that was just business as usual:
The fact that the Get help with this error link brought up 8 irrelevant items was a bit more frustrating, but again, I wasn’t too worried, simply decided to wait it out and let auto-update take care of it in a few days. But the few days became a few weeks, and when – reminded by the new
Patch Black Tuesday – I checked again, the updates were still not installed.
As usual, I was not alone Google found evidence of this being quite a wide-spread problem, and potential solutions abound (gee, I wish there was only ONE).
To resolve Windows Update error 8000FFFF, try the following steps:
1) Launch REGEDIT
2) Go into HKLM\COMPONENTS, and check if these three values exist under the COMPONENTS key:
3) Providing they do exist, back up the Components key, then delete the three above values.
4) Restart the computer, and Windows Update should now be working fine.
Not too friendly, (users should not be editing the Registry), but survivable. Let’s see some more.
Here is the answer to your problems. Go to your control panel under add and remove programs you will see a hot fix for kb929777. Uninstall this hot fix. Windows will tell you to reboot, do it. Download the kb929777 for the windows website not the auto update site, (if you do it will install the hot fix first before the kb929777 and then kb929777 will not install again). After successful update you will need to reboot. check for updates( there should be none and your history should show successful update on the kb929777. I also took out 3 gb of mem. before I did this but before it would still not download until I removed the hot fix, so I DO NOT KNOW IF YOU NEED TO REMOVE THE MEM. FIRST. But try it with the mem. in first and it may save you a step.
This wasn’t easy to read, but here’s the gist: the problem may be related to having more than 3Gb of memory (makes sense, I just upgraded my computer), as well as a previously installed hot fix. The solution is removing the hot fix, the extra memory, then getting lucky putting them back in the right order, mix in a few reboots and doing it all under the right constellation of the stars…
This doesn’t sound right… disassembling your computer to get some software work? But several sources have this solution. No wonder some users are clearly getting desperate:
HI – IF THERE IS ANYONE OUT THERE WHO CAN ANSWER THE RIDDLE OF THIS ERROR MESSAGE 8000FFFF – FOR THE LOVE OF GOD – PLEASE HELP ! WHAT IS THE FIX TO THIS? I CAN NOT GET ANY WINDOWS UPDATES????? THANKS
Ouch… talk about despair… but I don’t think this user wants to read the next solution. Warning: it’s extreme… I admit I could not bring myself to actually read it all, and don’t expect you, either… just scan it:
The following error code 8000FFFF is displayed when you try to update your Windows Vista computer.
Windows could not search for new update.
Additionally, error code 8024D00F with the following details is added to the update history:
Installation status: Failed
Error Details: Code: 8024D00F
Update Type: Important
The following two problems are known to generate these error codes:
- The Windows Update Temporary folder on your Windows Vista computer is corrupt.
- Some keys in the Windows Vista registry are corrupt.
Therefore, to resolve the problem, you need to rename the Windows Update Software distribution and remove the incorrect COMPONENTS key from the Windows Vista registry.
To rename the Windows Update Software distribution folder, perform the following steps:
- Exit all Windows open on your Vista computer.
- Click Start, click All Programs, and then click Accessories.
- Right-click the Command Prompt option and then select Run as Administrator from the right-click menu.
- Type the following command in the Administrator: Command Prompt window and then press Enter.
net stop WuAuServ
Note: View the Command Prompt messages to ensure that the service stops successfully.
- Next, click Start, select Start Search, type %windir% and then press Enter.
- In the folder that opens, search for the Software Distribution folder.
- Rename the folder to Software Distribution Old.
- Go back to the Administrator: Command Prompt window, type the following command and then press Enter.
net start WuAuServ
Note: View the command prompt messages to ensure that the service starts successfully.
- Check the Windows Update Web site to see if you can update your Vista computer now. The Windows Update Software distribution folder is created again when the update starts.
If you still encounter the error messages, perform the following steps to remove incorrect COMPONENTS key from the Windows Vista registry.
- Click the Start button, in the Start Search bar, type Regedit and then press Enter.
- In the Registry Editor window, open File menu and the select Export.
- In the Export range section, select All Export, select a folder to save the exported backup file, provide a name to the registry file in the File name box, and then click the Save button.
Note: This exported registry file can be restored to the registry by double-clicking on it. Exporting the registry is an essential step because the registry is an important component of your Windows Vista computer and any incorrect modifications to it can leave your PC unusable. You may also use a reliable registry cleaner tool to make a backup of the registry.
- Next, in the Registry Editor window, navigate to the following registry key:
- Check if the following three values are their in the COMPONENTS key.
- If you find one or all of the these values delete them.
- Exit Registry Editor, restart Windows Vista and try to update it once again.
Error code 8000FFFF and Error code 8024D00F may also generate during Windows update if:
- The required Windows Update services stop working on your computer.
- There is a problem with the Windows Update Agent.
- A third-party program, such as Internet or Web accelerators, antispyware/antivirus programs, and firewalls are running on your computer.
To ensure that the required services are running, perform the following steps:
- In the Start Search box in Start menu, type services.msc and then press Enter.
- In the Services window, ensure that the following services are running:
- Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS)
- Windows Event Log
- Windows Update
- In case any of these services have not started, start it.
If the Windows Update Agent is not working, download and install the agent on your computer again.
- For x86-based versions of Windows computer, download the WindowsUpdateAgent30-x86.exe package.
- For x64-based versions of Windows computer, download the WindowsUpdateAgent30-x64.exe package.
Save the file in an easy to locate folder on your computer. Consider that you saved the downloaded file in the root of D drive, then to install the package, you should do the following:
- Open Start menu and select Run.
- Type the following command and then press Enter.
D:\ WindowsUpdateAgent30-x64.exe /wuforce
The Windows Update Agent will now install on your computer.
Finally, if you have any third-party program such as Internet or Web accelerators, antispyware or antivirus programs, and firewalls running on your computer, temporarily disable them before updating your computer.
Note: Remember to re-enable the disabled services after the update is installed on your system.
If this is not Vista Ultimate Horror, than I don’t know what is. That anyone should go these steps to get their computer back in working order is beyond comprehension.
Luckily enough I did not have to. Hard to believe but I found a one-line miracle solution:
reg delete HKLM\Components /v AdvancedInstallersNeedResolving
That’s it. Problem gone. I don’t know what other problems this will cause in the future, but for now Windows Update is working. I did not have to play with uninstalling / reinstalling memory, or the like, but I wasted a few hours tracking down the issue. And therein lies the rub. If you own a Vista computer, and don’t have an IT department to support you, chances are you spend a few hours every month just trying to get the damn thing work. We all do. A few hours here, half a day there, always in the worst possible time. Essentially we all work for Microsoft. For free. We should all invoice Microsoft for the time lost.
Update: Think I am just whining? Read this.