Cannot access windows update

six23
six23 used Ask the Experts™
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Cannot get updates for Windows XP Pro. Keep getting "cannot find server or DNS error" whenever I try to go to update site. I have no problems accessing other Microsoft sites. What could be causing this problem?
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Top Expert 2004

Commented:
Six23,

May be the update server was down when you tried.

Now i checked the update site works fine

a) try going to windowsupdate.microsoft.com

b) or go to Tools in Internet explorer and then click on "windows update"

May be a virus problem if you have this everytime .So have an anti-virus software and check for viruses.

May be you by mistake gave NO while your firewall was trying to connect.So close your firewall program and go to this update webpage again

HTH,
sunray

Author

Commented:
To: Sunray_2003: Thanks for your reply. I tried all of your suggestions, but no luck. I even tried 2 different virus scans w/no luck. At this point I just don't know what to do.
Top Expert 2004

Commented:
Six23,

Check this page

http://v4.windowsupdate.microsoft.com/troubleshoot/

Are you having network problem only in that webpage or other pages (non-microsoft webpages) ?

sunray


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Author

Commented:
To: Sunray: Thanks again, I tried the url you sent me. I was unable to get to the site. It says the same thing it says when I try to go to Windows update "The page cannot be displayed. Cannot find server or DNS error". I can only go to Microsoft sites that have nothing to do with downloading or technical support.
Top Expert 2004

Commented:
Oh you mean to say that you cannot go to any other website like google.com or yahoo.com
but only to microsoft.com or you are able to go to other sites incl microsoft.com but not only to windows update page ?

Seems like a weird problem though i suspect something wrong with the browser.

Can you use other browsers and check if that will solve the problem.

Sunray

Author

Commented:
TO Sunray: I can go to other websites. I seem to only have trouble with Microsoft support and/or updates. I have the same problem with all the browsers I have  (Netscape, Explorer, Avant , MSN and Opera). I've never experienced anything as weird as this.
Commented:
six23, are you a member of a corporate network or is this a home computer? In the case that you're a home user then I would suggest to try a different internet service provider (ISP) to connect to the internet. Because of the Blaster virus outbreak some of the ISPs removed the DNS entries for some of the Microsoft pages that were attacked by the virus. If they don't have recreated their DNS structure there maybe failures that are out of your responsibility. If you connect to the internet using another ISP make sure that you configure your connection to use the DNS servers of the new ISP!

Commented:
I had a few customers with this problem I fixed it by opening IE going to Tools | Internet Options | Connections Tab | Lan Settings and then unchecking the Automatically detect settings.
Hope this helps.

Chisel Cantwell
chisel@techsoncall.ca

Commented:
I got the same problem before, because of an corrupted dll from a virus or worm,i fix it by removing IE, get the appz at http://www.litepc.com/, remove IE, run SFC and restore , reinstall IE.

good luck
I have the same problem and it is driving me crazy !!!!
 OKSAM, the solution you suggest does not appear to apply to XP...
Any other suggestions ???

Commented:
I can't say for sure , but if i have to deal with that, I would first try to stop all unrecognized process on the tasks manager, to check the suspicious tasks goto:
http://www.liutilities.com/products/wintaskspro/processlibrary/Type_task_name/  in the type_task_name enter the task you want to try example:
http://www.liutilities.com/products/wintaskspro/processlibrary/cmd/
(if you try svchosts it will say that it is a virus...etc, don't worry it may be or may be not, any way you have 5 svchosts runing at all time on XP, 3 of them are system, 1 network, 1 local service, if you see more then that you may have to worry), after you stop suspicious process try runing: SFC /scannow and have you xp CD ready to restore damaged files.
once you do all that try running the windows updater again.
good luck.
Thanks for all your advice Oksam. I have tried what you suggested but unfortunately I still have the same problem that when I try to go to Windows update "The page cannot be displayed. Cannot find server or DNS error".
Using http://v4.windowsupdate.microsoft.com/en/default.asp give the message "Windows Update has encountered an error and cannot display the requested page. Network problems are preventing connection to the Windows Update servers. Please try again later."
However I CAN access it with my laptop......strange!

Commented:
re: "Windows Update has encountered an error and cannot display the requested page. Network problems are preventing connection to the Windows Update servers. Please try again later."
I'm getting the same error message after a recent installation of Windows 2003 Server, want to download the patches but no luck.  Any ideas yet?

Commented:
also I forgot to tell you this:
goto %windir% directory from start-->run
goto "Downloaded Program Files" directory
you may have an activeX like this "Update Class" delete it it may be corrupted.
remove also suspicious ActiveX the one that on it properties -->CodeBase you cannot recognise the website and Copyright on the version tab is <UNKNOWN> or from a spyware website.
hope that helps, at least it will clear junk activeX that may do stuff they are not supposed to.

make sure aslo that your "Downloaded Program Files" directory is not read only, if it is remove the check mark, press ok, verify it again it is not read only if it's not try do the update (put it back "read only" once the update is done).
if the readonly checkmarch still there delete the whole "Downloaded Program Files" directory, don't worry it will apear again after a moment, goto the windows update website and try to update.
good luck
p.s: for a workaround, go from another PC to windows update and choose "Personalize your Windows update", now you can download the update and copy them to a CD, install them on the f@'ked machine.

Commented:
adendum:

go from another PC to windows updates website and choose "Personalize your Windows update" from the left menu, check the option given, once you save...in the left section SEE ALSO a link will appear "Windows Update Catalog", go there and download updates for the other operating system

Commented:
"Windows Update has encountered an error and cannot display the requested page. Network problems are preventing connection to the Windows Update servers. Please try again later."

Oddly enough, I just had the same problem, but it affected several PCs in my company network (WinXP, 2000, 98).  At the same time, I was upgrading a PC to XP and was having problems running my remote control to it (VNC).  The short answer to the solution was that this new PC had Firewalling enabled on it!  I don't remember turning it on, but the WinXP firewall was on.  When I turned it off, the Windows updates worked - but not only did those updates work, the updates on the other PCs worked also!  I can't explain it, but I thought I would post this for anyone who may have had the same issue.

The Duuude
Thanx to everyone for their help.

I have now got access to the update ! !
The problem was in the HOSTS file in

C:\windows\system23\drivers\etc

By commenting-out the references to Microsoft using # at the beginning of the line (used Notepad as editor) and saving the changes, the update program was made available.....

Commented:
hey scotsmaninengland! i had the same problem and did the same as what u did... and solved the problem... its a very difficult one to find out, how did u realised that???

btw, the HOST file... issit save if i just delete all the reference IP and names??
because all of them are with IP add like 0.0.0.0 ..... and all of those site that are listed there, is not accessible in IE if i don't take them out....

Commented:
Another thing to wonder about.. i always use windows update and never had problem to it.. until i dunno when it just suddenly doesn't work because of the reference in the HOST file... anybody knows what would have cause the changes in the HOST file and cause the problem???

cheers!

Commented:
> anybody knows what would have cause the changes in the HOST file and cause the problem???
Adware, spyware, trojans may modify the HOSTS file to prevent access to some sites that might help to fight against them. By default the HOSTS file does not contain any items. But there might be network environments where name resolution is based on the proper content of the HOSTS file. In this case you should ask your network administrator.

Commented:
ah.. viola.. yes... that's rite!!! cheers!
now i remember... i had some adware and spiders and annoying toolbar in my systerm recently and just manage to squash them.... and i just realise i recognise one of the adware's IP in the host file.. as it tries to point me to its default page .. thanks.
You are correct sfkong !!
I had adware etc which I removed using online pestscan. It was one of these adware IP addresses in the host file.
lesharleyOwner

Commented:
I had same problem on a Windows Domain Controller w2K. Only recoarse was to delete the following registry key.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate

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