Fix Windows Update & Service Pack Errors

Published on: Fri, 28 Mar 2014

Sometimes windows fail to install updates and service packs for unknown reason, and give you a strange error codes with unhelpful description.

How can we fix windows update and service pack errors if we don’t know what goes wrong, and have no idea what this error code mean?

Some of the most common error codes that windows update generates, and don’t give you any clue about the error:
0x80070002 | 0x8007000D | 0x800F081F | 0x80073712 | 0x800736CC | 0x800705B9 | 0x80070246 | 0x8007370D | 0x8007370B | 0x8007370A | 0x80070057 | 0x800B0100 | 0x80092003 | 0x800B0101 | 0x8007371B | 0x80070490

Why these Windows update and service pack errors happen?

This could be due to a variety of reasons, like system has been hanged and shutdown while the installation was running, so part of the files has been updated, but the installation did not finish.

So, next time you try to install the update, system will detect that it’s not installed, and during the installation the update will detect that some files already updated, so it will abort and throw an error, and stuck in this loop.

Or it could be because other applications changed the file the update supposed to change, and the update will not be able to handle such situation, and throw another error.

The solution for these windows update and service pack errors will vary from Windows version to another, but the idea is to clean any trace for partially installed updates, and prepare the system for new installations.

Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2

All the steps needed to clean the system has been packaged in one tool called “System Update Readiness tool”, just download and run the tool, and it will fix everything.

Then you can install the failed windows update or service pack successfully.

Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2

The System Update Readiness tool has been integrated in Windows and no need to download anything, just need to run two commands, and we are done.

DISM /Online /Cleanup-image /Scanhealth
DISM /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

After that, you can install the failed windows update or service pack successfully.


For all Windows versions, if the above method did not help, you need to do an extra step, which is clearing windows update files and history.

First, stop Windows Update service by running this command:

net stop wuauserv

Then we need to delete the files by running this command:

rd /s %SystemRoot%\SoftwareDistribution

Finally, start Windows update service, and install the updates or service pack again.

net start wuauserv