Windows 7 - Update searches for updates but never completes

Asked By A Wisema on 17-Oct-08 05:33 PM
On my computer, when I visit the Microsoft Update site, it always first
checks to see if the ActiveX control is installed. And then when I tell it I
want a Custom update (rather than Express), it sits there forever, with the
green progress bar going back and forth.

I've since installed Windows Defender, and when I ask it to check for new
definitions, it says it is (I get a ballon tip in the status bar). But again
this never completes.

I thought this might have something to do with Zone Alarm being installed,
so I uninstalled it (replacing it with AVG Free).

The only other clue I have is that if I try to stop the Automatic Updates
service, this action too never complets.

If I look in the history, the machine has successfully installed updates in
the past (before I purchased it, second hand).

But now, the Microsoft Update site, Windows Defender and the automatic
Windows Upate service are all not working for me.

Any pointers gratefully received. Attempting to Google an answer has so far
got me nowhere :-(




TaurArian replied on 17-Oct-08 06:00 PM
If you have a Wireless Router:-
In the security tab, make sure you aren't blocking AcitveX.

Possible reasons :-
1. Internet Explorer temporary files corrupted.
2. Background Intelligent and Event Log service not started
3. SoftwareDistribution folder has become corrupted
4. You may need to re-registered some dlls files
5. You may need to add Windows Update to the Trusted Sites Zone:
6. Spyware.
7. Third party programs running in background.
8. ActiveX controls corrupted

Suggestion 1:-
Clearing Temporary Internet files, cookies and history in Internet Explorer
Tools>Internet Options>General
You'll see Delete Cookies, Delete files, Delete History
NB: "Delete all offline content", will delete all files needed to browse the
websites offline.
Reboot and try Windows Update again.

Suggestion 2:-
1: Check that the Background Intelligent Transfer Service to is set to
Automatic and verify the Status is Started.
Click Start, Choose Run, and in the Run box, type services.msc, Click OK
Locate the Background Intelligent Transfer Service service, and right-click
to select it.
Select Properties, and in the Startup Type list, select Automatic. Verify
the service Status is Started. Click OK.

2. Check that the Set Event Log service is set to Automatic and verify that
the Status is Started
Click Start, Choose Run, and in the Run box, type services.msc, Click OK.
Locate the Event Log service, and right-click to select it.
Select Properties., and in the Startup type list, select Automatic. Verify
the Service status is Started. Click OK.

3. Register qmgr.dll and qmgrprxy.dll
Click Start, Choose Run and in the Run box, type regsvr32 qmgr.dll, Click
OK.
Click Start, Choose Run and in the Run box, type regsvr32 qmgrprxy.dll,
Click OK.

Suggestion 3:-
It is possible that the contents of the SoftwareDistribution folder have
become corrupted, so try renaming the SoftwareDistribution folder
Click Start, Choose Run.
In the Run box, type services.msc.
Click OK.
Right-click the Automatic Updates service.
Click Stop.
Stopping the service will take a moment.

Rename the "SoftwareDistribution" folder:
a. Click Start, click Run, type:     %systemroot%
Click OK.
b. Right-click the SoftwareDistribution folder, and then click Rename.
c. Type SoftwareDistribution.old, and then press ENTER to rename this
folder.

Click Start. Choose Run.
In the Run box, type services.msc.
Click OK.
Right-click the Automatic Updates service.
Click Start.
Starting the service will take a moment.

Please note that your update history is contained in the "datastore" folder
and when you rename the Software Distribution folder, the history is lost
but it's not important. You can if need be, copy the contents back from the
renamed softwareDistribution.old folder. Losing the history of Windows
Updates is not important.

Suggestion 4:-
Certain files may have become unregistered, and you will need to register
them again:-
Click Start, Choose Run and in the Run box, type regsvr32 wuaueng1.dll,
Click OK.

Do the same for the other files:-
wucltui.dll
wuaueng.dll
wuapi.dll
jscript.dll
MSXML.DLL
MSXML2.DLL
MSXML3.DLL

Suggestion 5:-

Add Windows Update to the Trusted Sites Zone:
Please note that Security settings in Internet Explorer must be set to
Medium or lower for ActiveX files to correctly pass to your computer.
Only the Web sites listed in Internet Explorer's Trusted Sites Zone will be
affected by the lowering of Security settings. Your current security
settings for all other Web sites will remain as they are currently
configured.

Open Internet Explorer, click Tools, and then click Internet Options, Click
Security. Click Trusted Sites Zone. Click Sites.
Clear the Require server verification (https:) for all sites in this zone
check box.
Use the Add button next to the Add this Web site to the zone box to add the
following sites:
http://*.update.microsoft.com
https://*.update.microsoft.com
http://download.windowsupdate.com

Suggestion 6:-
The below links assist you in checking your system for parasites:-
http://aumha.org/a/noads.htm
http://inetexplorer.mvps.org/tshoot.html
Please note that some malware may kill the internet connection when it is
removed, the program on the link below will enable you to regain the
internet connection.
http://www.cexx.org/lspfix.htm

Spyware Programs links:-
http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/spyware/software/default.mspx
(Windows Defender)
www.lavasoftusa.com  Ad-Aware
www.security.kolla.de  Spybot

Malware Removal
http://www.elephantboycomputers.com/page2.html#Removing_Malware

THE PARASITE FIGHT - Finding, Removing & Protecting Yourself From Scumware
http://aumha.org/a/parasite.htm

Richard Harper's Guide to Cleaning Pests
http://rgharper.mvps.org/cleanit.htm

Suggestion 7:-
Make sure you haven't got anything blocking Windows Update like Nortons,
Zonealarm etc
Also make sure you don't have a Web Accelerator working in the background
such as NetZerio, HiSpeed, Speedband etc.

Suggestion 8:
If you need to reinstall the ActiveX controls (because they may have become
corrupt):-

Follow this article -
The Windows Update Web site and the Microsoft Update Web site do not scan
for updates when you repair a failed installation of Windows XP Service Pack
2 or of Windows XP Service Pack 1
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/916259

or use the command: WindowsUpdateAgent30-x86.exe /wuforce


--

TaurArian [MVP] 2005-2009 - Update Services
http://taurarian.mvps.org
======================================
How to ask a question: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/555375
Disclaimer: The information has been posted "as is" with no warranties or
guarantees and doesn't give any rights.
Computer Maintenance: Acronis / Diskeeper / Paragon / Raxco
PA Bear [MS MVP] replied on 17-Oct-08 06:39 PM
What TaurArian said, plus...

Start a free Windows Update support incident request:
https://support.microsoft.com/oas/default.aspx?gprid=6527

Support for Windows Update:
http://support.microsoft.com/gp/wusupport

For home users, no-charge support is available by calling 1-866-PCSAFETY in
the United States and in Canada or by contacting your local Microsoft
subsidiary.  There is no-charge for support calls that are associated with
security updates.

For more information about how to contact your local Microsoft subsidiary
for security update support issues, visit the International Support Web
site: http://support.microsoft.com/common/international.aspx

For enterprise customers, support for security updates is available through
your usual support contacts.
--
~Robear Dyer (PA Bear)
MS MVP-IE, Mail, Security, Windows Desktop Experience - since 2002
AumHa VSOP & Admin http://aumha.net
DTS-L http://dts-l.net/
AWisema replied on 19-Oct-08 07:37 PM
Managed to get the Update button in Windows Defender to work (at least once)
by ensuring the Windows Installer Service was started (although this could
have been a strange conincidence), but still no joy either with the website
from IE7 or the Automatic Updates.

Then I found a posting that suggested taking a look at
%windir%/WindowsUpdate.Log.

I found the following line:

FATAL: Update required for C:\WINDOWS\system32\mucltui.dll: target version =
0.0.0.0, required version = 7.2.6001.784

When I looked in windows\system32 there was no mucltui.dll file there. So I
disabled the Windows Update service, rebooted and copied the mucltui.dll file
into place from C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution\SelfUpdate\Registered. I
registered it (and a load of other files too – based on another post
elsewhere) and set the Windows Update service to start again.

I also tried reinstalling the Windows Update agent by downloading it from MS
and using the /wusforce flag.

This still didn’t work. So I went through the suggestions in TaurArian’s
reply (although I admit I didn’t register qm*.dll at the end of suggestion
2). I got to Suggestion 3 and tried the trick of renaming the
SoftwareDistribution folder.

Hey presto – both Microsoft Update on the web and the XP Automatic Updates
worked again. That was in the early hours of this morning.

BUT tonight, the old behaviour is back again – when I visit the Microsoft
Update the green progress bar goes back and forth forever.

Once again the WindowsUpdate.Log shows this:

For the Automatic Updates:
Setup	*********
Setup	**  END  **  Setup: Downloading client CABs
cac	Setup	*************
cac	Agent	  * WARNING: Skipping scan, self-update check returned 0x8024001B
cac	Agent	  * WARNING: Exit code = 0x8024001B
cac	Agent	*********
cac	Agent	**  END  **  Agent: Finding updates [CallerId = AutomaticUpdates]
cac	Agent	*************
cac	Agent	WARNING: WU client failed Searching for update with error 0x8024001b

For the IE7 website, Microsoft Update:

COMAPI	-------------
COMAPI	-- START --  COMAPI: Search [ClientId = MicrosoftUpdate]
COMAPI	---------
COMAPI	<<-- SUBMITTED -- COMAPI: Search [ClientId = MicrosoftUpdate]
TaurArian replied on 20-Oct-08 06:52 AM
0x8024001b
WU_E_SELFUPDATE_IN_PROGRESS
self-update in progress

Recommend trying Resolution Method 2 in this KB article (ignore the title,
if need be) to resolve that error:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/943144

--

TaurArian [MVP] 2005-2009 - Update Services
http://taurarian.mvps.org
======================================
How to ask a question: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/555375
Disclaimer: The information has been posted "as is" with no warranties or
guarantees and doesn't give any rights.
Computer Maintenance: Acronis / Diskeeper / Paragon / Raxco
PA Bear [MS MVP] replied on 20-Oct-08 03:27 PM
Seconded, even though you've already done it using the /wusforce flag.

But first, be aware that one or more options/settings in an ever-growing
number of third-party applications may be disallowing the change(s) from
Spybot Tea Timer, SpywareBlaster, SpySweeper, Spyware Doctor, CounterSpy,
AVG Anti-Spyware, Norton AntiVirus, McAfee VirusScan and/or Antispyware,
NOD32, and Zone Alarm (Free, Pro, & Security Suite).
--
~Robear Dyer (PA Bear)
MS MVP-IE, Mail, Security, Windows Desktop Experience - since 2002
AumHa VSOP & Admin http://aumha.net
DTS-L http://dts-l.net/
AWisema replied on 20-Oct-08 07:54 PM
I had Zone Alarm but uninstalled it, replacing it with AVG 8 Free. Keeping
your comments in mind, I disabled the AVGWatchDog service and attempted to
stop the Auto Updates service, but as usual this failed to “respond in a
timely fashion”. So I disabled this too, unplugged my network cable and
rebooted.

I ran the updater, but it told me an install wasn’t needed as Windows Update
Agent is already installed. So I used the /wuforce switch.

This automatically restarted the Automatic Updates service. I then restarted
the AVG service, plugged in my network cable and enabled the connection. But
the WindowsUpdate.log shows the same error (0x8024001b) as before.

I then threw caution to the wind: disabling the AVG service and rebooting.
Bizarrely when the PC came up this time, it had modified my theme from
Classic back to XP (but keeping my Classic start menu and my wallpaper)!

AVG was no longer running, but the error remained the same.

Looking in the WindowsUpdate.log file I’ve overlooked something that is
happening over and over: Windows Update does a check to see if it needs to
update itself…

***********  Setup: Checking whether self-update is required  ***********
* Inf file:
C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution\SelfUpdate\Registered\musetup.inf
Update NOT required for C:\WINDOWS\system32\mucltui.dll: target version =
7.2.6001.784, required version = 7.2.6001.784
Update NOT required for C:\WINDOWS\system32\muweb.dll: target version =
7.2.6001.784, required version = 7.2.6001.784
* IsUpdateRequired = Yes

It checks musetup.inf and confirms the two DLLs are the correct version BUT
despite this insists and update is required.

Looking at my laptop and my old desktop PC, I notice that their log files
show a third file, “mucltui.dll.mui”, which is checked in this section…

I then compared the directories. My laptop and old PC have the following 5
files in C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution\SelfUpdate\Registered:

muident.cab, muident.txt
musetup.cab, musetup.cat, musetup.inf

The PC that has the ‘broken’ Automatic Updates has the following EXTRA 2
files in C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution\SelfUpdate\Registered:

mucltui.dll.mui_en, mucltui_en.cab

Again, comparing machines, my laptop and old desktop have mucltui.dll.mui in
WINDOWS\System32 but my ‘broken’ machine doesn’t. It does have
mucltui.dll.mui_en, so I’m guessing the system is trying to install this…

Going back to the log on my old PC I can see that when it updated Windows
Update from 7.0 to 7.2, it copied registered\mucltui.dll.mui_en to
system32\mucltui.dll.mui… so that’s my next move after disabling Automatic
Updates and rebooting.

Hey Presto – it worked…

***********  Setup: Checking whether self-update is required  ***********
* Inf file:
C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution\SelfUpdate\Registered\musetup.inf
Update NOT required for C:\WINDOWS\system32\mucltui.dll: target version =
7.2.6001.784, required version = 7.2.6001.784
Update NOT required for C:\WINDOWS\system32\mucltui.dll.mui: target version
= 7.2.6001.784, required version = 7.2.6001.784
Update NOT required for C:\WINDOWS\system32\muweb.dll: target version =
7.2.6001.784, required version = 7.2.6001.784
* IsUpdateRequired = No

The log goes on to show that no updates have been found, but at least it has
started looking!

Oddly my log shows only 1 occurrence of mucltui.dll.mui ever (that shown in
the extract above), so heaven knows how the Update worked for a while the
other night.

I then restarted the AVG Free8 WatchDog service and rebooted the machine.

A visit to the Microsoft Update website showed that the service was still
working. So fingers crossed it will stay fixed.

It seems that all of my problems were caused by two missing files in
WINDOWS\SYSTEM32. Why they should be missing is a mystery. Perhaps they were
quarantined by an over enthusiastic anti-virus program? And a pity that
Windows realised something was up, downloaded a CAB file but couldn’t quite
fix the problem 

I’ll reply back if it fails again. Fingers crossed it doesn’t.

And thanks to both TaurArian  and PA Bear [MS MVP] for their patience!

--
AWisema replied on 12-Dec-08 06:02 PM
After the upgrade of Automatic Updates from 7.2.6001.784 to 7.2.6001.788, my
PC stopped updating itself again...

The WindowsUpdate.log shows that it attempted to upgrade itself over and
over but every time I rebooted the machine, it would report that it was
running 7.2.6001.784.

So I downloaded the new windowsupdateagent30-x86.exe file and installed
using the /wuforce flag.
This failed with error 0x800070420

For the next attempt, I tried restarting in Safe Mode.
This time the update failed with error 0x8007043c

Finally, I attempted to shutdown the automatic updates service. This failed.
But I was able to disable it and reboot.
This time the running windowsupdateagent30-x86.exe /wuforce was successful.

However, automatic updates were still not working.

Looking in C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32, I noticed that mucltui.dll and
mucltui.dll.mui still had July dates. Right-clicking on the properties of
these files confirmed they were still 7.2.6001.784 !!!

So I deleted these two files, disabled automatic updates, restarted and
re-ran windowsupdateagent30-x86.exe /wuforce.

Automatic Updates were *still* not working - the two files mucltui.dll and
mucltui.dll.mui were still missing from C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32.

So finally, I copied mucltui.dll.mui_en and mucltui.dll from
C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution\SelfUpdate\Registered to c:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32.
Then I renamed C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\mucltui.dll.mui_en to mucltui.dll.mui. I
disabled automatic updates, rebooted and the sytem is working once again.

So I'm mystified as to why when automatic updates tries to update itself, it
cannot update these two files in C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32. It has no such problem
updating muweb.dll.

I guess I'll just have to go through the same manual update each time
there's a new build of the Windows Update Agent :-(

Other people with AVG Free v8 can't be going through the same pain, surely.
There must be some other obscure setting on my machine...
AWisema replied on 14-Dec-08 08:18 PM
After fixing my auto update problems by manually installing new builds of the
agent and then copying files into c:\windows\system32, I wondered if my
problems are to do with permissions...

On my laptop, which is working fine, the last batch of MS updates, installed
before my very eyes and then wanted to restart the machine at the end.

However the same batch on my dodgy desktop PC downloaded but didn't install.
Instead when I tried to shutdown, it advised me I could shutdown and install
updates or shutdown and not install them. I chose to install.

But the login I use is an administrator login (although it's not The
- perhaps it was updated by a different administrator in the past? Or perhaps
Zone Alarm had changed the permissions on a file?

Mmm...