Can not use Windows Update.

Can not use Windows Update.
Every time I go to the Windows Update page and start to download a update.  The update always stops before it?s finished downloading.  What to do?
I use Windows ME.
Who is Participating?
Asta CuConnect With a Mentor Commented:
It may have to do with your security settings, resolutions settings or the like.  I've read the various known issues on WindowsUpdate problems from within WindowsUpdate, so will post them here.

Following are known issues with the Windows Update Web site. If you find a problem that is not listed below, please let us know by clicking Write Us on the black toolbar, and then clicking Windows Update.
Windows Update refreshes the Product Updates catalog every time you visit this area of the site. This enables you to see the most current condition of your computer. For example, if you download two new themes and then return to the Product Updates catalog, your view is updated and you no longer see the two themes you downloaded as available updates. These will still appear in the Show Installed Updates view, but will now be shown as installed.

You will not be able to use the left navigation bar while a download is in progress. This is to ensure that your download happens successfully. When the download is complete, the navigation bar is available again.

The links on the Windows Update home page will not change color after you have selected them.

Keyboard access for certain functions on the site, for accessibility purposes, is not fully implemented.

In very rare instances, if you choose to run multiple instances of this site and have the Product Updates control run simultaneously to check for updates, it will lock your browser for a long period of time.

After you download a component from the Product Updates catalog, don't open a new browser window while the "Download Confirmed" page is on the screen. Otherwise a script error message will appear.

In rare cases, when you connect to the Internet via a modem, you may see a script error. If this happens, try your connection again.

If your security settings are set to High, you will not be able to gain access to the Product Updates catalog. In order to use the Product Updates area of the site, you need to set your security settings to Medium or Low. To change your security settings:
On the Tools menu, click Internet Options.
Click the Security tab.
Choose the Medium setting.

If you receive a message about Critical Update Notification before you have logged on to the network or Windows, accept the notification after logging on. Do this by moving the dialog box, or by clicking Notify me later and then logging on. This message may appear only if your computer is connected to a local area network (LAN).

In Windows 98, if you have downloaded security patches or the IME/SR1 component, reinstalling Windows 98 overwrites the security patches and the IME code. However, the Windows Update catalog will continue to show IME components and security patches as installed. To reinstall the security patches or IME components:
Go to the Product Updates section of Windows Update.
Click Show Installed Updates, and then select the box next to the patches and IME components you want to install.
Click Download, and then follow the instructions.

In some cases, after you install Critical Update Notification, the catalog might not reflect the installation. Check Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel to make sure your installation was successful.

When you choose to install the Windows 98 Customer Service Pack, the Outlook Express Year 2000 update (included in the Customer Service Pack) is not installed. The component will appear as "not installed" after the Customer Service Pack installation is complete. To install the Outlook Express Year 2000 update, go back to the Product Updates Catalog, choose Outlook Express 4.0 Year 2000 Update from the Critical Components section, and download it separately.

The Windows Update site may appear in a language other than the language of your browser or operating system. For example, your browser and operating system might be in English, but the Windows Update site is in French. The Windows Update site appears in the language for which your browser's language preference is configured. To change the language preference of your browser:
In Internet Explorer, click the Tools menu.
Click Internet Options.
On the General tab, click the Languages button.
Select the language you want, then use the Move Up button to place your selection at the top of the list of languages.

Anti-Virus Software Users: Please note that some anti-virus software programs may interfere with the download and installation of some components. To prevent this interference, disable the anti-virus software before downloading items from the Product Updates catalog.

An Internet Explorer Favorites link to Windows Update may not function properly. For best results, access Windows Update by using the link in your Start menu (click Start and then click Windows Update), or type in your Internet Explorer address bar.

If you upgraded your Internet Explorer browser recently, when you return to Windows Update you may see updates that you installed when you were running an earlier version of Internet Explorer. The updates you are offered now are provided specifically for your upgraded browser. To ensure that your new Internet Explorer browser has the highest level of security, Microsoft recommends that you install these updates for your new browser.


Support Information

If you are having problems with the Windows Update Web site, online support is available to help you. Just select one of the options listed below.
When you select some of these support options, you may be asked to create a Microsoft "Online Profile." Your Online Profile will serve as your ticket to receive Internet-based support from Microsoft.

Support for Software Updates: View support information for the software updates offered on Windows Update.

Support for Device Drivers: View support information for device drivers offered on Windows Update.

Support for Windows 98: Find out about support options for the Windows 98 operating system.

Frequently Asked Questions: If you have a question about Windows Update, you may want to first check our list of answers.

Known Issues: You may also want to review the list of known issues that currently exist on the Windows Update site.

Write Us: Our quick survey form provides a place for your comments and suggestions.

Submit Windows Update Support Request:
Submit your questions or issues concerning the Windows Update site. Online Profile required.

Why do I get a message saying an ActiveX control on this page is not safe?

This message is displayed when your security setting in Internet Explorer is set to High. For the Windows Update site to work properly, you must change the browser's security settings for the Internet zone to Medium or lower. To do so, click the Tools menu, then click Internet Options. Select the Security tab and then click on Internet.

What is an ActiveX control?

ActiveX Controls are reusable software components that incorporate ActiveX technology. These components can be used to add specialized functionality, such as animation or pop-up menus, to Web pages, desktop applications, and software development tools. Windows Update uses ActiveX controls to check what software is installed on your computer in order to provide you with a correct list of updates and other software you may want to download.

What is the best resolution for viewing the Windows Update site?

The Web pages on the Windows Update site were designed to be viewed at 800 by 600 or higher screen resolution. To set this resolution, click the Start button, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel. Then double-click the Display icon, and click the Settings tab.

Does information about my computer get transmitted to Microsoft?

No. Each time you go the Product Updates catalog, Windows Update uses a control to check for updates specific to your computer. This check is done locally on your computer to ensure the privacy and security of your data, and does not send any information to Microsoft.

How do I send my feedback to the Windows Update team?

You can send feedback about this site to the Windows Update team by clicking Write Us, then Windows Update on the black toolbar at the top of each page.


No-charge e-mail support for the Windows Update site includes: help with website navigation, site content quality or error messages, and basic download assistance. All other assistance, including installation and setup issues, is available via our Personal and Professional support offerings at For MSN products, visit In some cases a support fee may apply, please check the sites for details.
For support information outside the U.S. and Canada, contact your local subsidiary. For the most recent listing, please see the Support Online Web site and select the option for Worldwide Support. If there is no Microsoft subsidiary office in your country, please contact the establishment from which you obtained your Microsoft product.

Microsoft's support services are subject to Microsoft's then-current prices, terms, and conditions, which are subject to change without notice.

If you are running any Anti-Virus software or Firewall program make sure to turn it OFF before trying to access information which WILL cause changes to your Operating System.  Some of these programs can inhibit the use of Windows Update.  Can you tell us how you connect to the Net and what type of System you are running?  Just some of the vitals, please?
DEpending on how old your machine is, I don't want you to lose any important data.  (Actually, you won't lose the data, just the access to it if you installed programs since you created your last RESTORE file.)  
I would also suggest trying to run the System Restore if you have activated it by going to Start/Programs/Accessories/System Tools/System Restore.  Others have said they can't run this program.  It will install by default depending on the type of install that was performed on your machine and what upgrades it has had since then.
Free Tool: Site Down Detector

Helpful to verify reports of your own downtime, or to double check a downed website you are trying to access.

One of a set of tools we are providing to everyone as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

Asta CuCommented:
Do you receive any error messages?  
What were you downloading when it failed?
Who is your ISP?  Some free services timeout during downloads.
Have you cleared your browser's cache, temp files, internet temp files, history files?

Also run maintenance (cleanup/scandisk/defrag), reboot and try again.

Asta CuCommented:
Check your desktop for a "resume" icon, in case it was a browser download and "some" completed, but require you to click the resume icon to complete.

Asta CuCommented:

When you visit the Windows Update Product Catalog with Norton System Doctor installed, you may receive the following error message:

Download and Installation Failed

The Norton System Doctor software creates an excessive number of zero byte INF files in the C:\Windows\Inf directory. As there should be not be any files listed as zero bytes, this causes the Windows Update installation failures.

More at the link above.

RVINES2Author Commented:
To pbessman
I?m running no Anti-Virus software or Firewall programs.  

System Type     X86-based PC
Processor     AMD-K6(tm) 3D processor AuthenticAMD ~300 Mhz
BIOS Version     Award Modular BIOS v4.60PGA
To astaec

Error Messages:
Download Results
Updates Not Installed
The following updates were not installed. To try again, click the Back button below.
Internet Explorer Error Reporting Could not complete installation because the download was unsuccessful.
Updates Not Installed
The following updates were not installed. To try again, click the Back button below.
Internet Explorer Error Reporting Could not complete installation because the download was unsuccessful.

Tried it.  Didn?t work.
Ran maintenance.
Files cleared.
Didn?t work.
I?ve had no problems before.
I have had issues at various times similar to this one and believe me, I NEVER use ANTI-Virus software.  Have had these issues after doing a fresh install.  It seemed to be a server issue, as I tried it later the same day and it worked as usual.
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