Windows XP unable ot download updates

Posted on 2004-11-25
Last Modified: 2007-11-27
Hello everyone,
I have a celeron computer running Win XP Home, with sevice Pack 1. I'm trying to get updates for window but I have run in to some problems and was unable to connect the the update wep site.  First I was getting an error message: # 0x8DDD0018, so I got in contacted with someone from microsoft via e-mail, and this is what the e-mail read:

This issue should be related to the service setting. I suggest check the services and then restart to see if it works.

1. Click Start --> select Run. In the Run box, type services.msc Click OK
2. Find the Background Intelligent Transfer Service. Right-click on it and select Properties
3. Click on Stop and then again click on Start. In the Startup Type list, make sure that "Automatic" is selected. Click OK
4. Similarly find Automatic Updates service. Right-click on it and select Properties
5. Click on Stop and then again click on Start. In the Startup Type list, make sure that "Automatic" is selected. Click OK
6. Close the Services window

NOTE: If you are running Ad-aware or ZoneAlarm or PC-Cillin or Norton Antivirus or Norton Internet Security or Norton Personal Firewall or McAfee or Proxomitron pop-up blocker or Ad Muncher or web accelerator e.g. "Slipstream", I would recommend you to temporarily disable or shut down any of these
installed on your system and try accessing Windows Update site. Be sure to enable them again when you complete the update process.

We have found that this issue can also occur because of the corrupt content of the Windows Update DataStore and Download folders in your system. Kindly complete the steps below to delete the contents of the Download folders:

1. Stop the Automatic Updates service
A. Click Start.
B. Choose Run.
C. In the Run box, type services.msc.
D. Click OK.
E. Right-click the Automatic Updates service.
F. Click Stop. Stopping the service will take a moment.
NOTE: The following will delete your History.

2. Delete the contents of the DataStore folder            
A. Click Start.
B. Choose Run.
C. In the Run box, type %windir%\SoftwareDistribution    
D. Click OK.
E. Clear all the file and folders in it
F. Close the window.

3. Start the Automatic Updates service
A. Click Start.
B. Choose Run.
C. In the Run box, type services.msc.
D. Click OK.
E. Right-click the Automatic Updates service.
F. Click Start. Starting the service will take a moment.

I am now able to connect to the microsoft update web site.  When I try to download the updates it kind of hangs there for a while and then I get this message:

The following updates failed to be installed successfully:

Update for Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) 2.0 and WinHTTP 5.1 (KB842773)

Error: There is not enough disk space to install the update(s). Free additional space on your hard disk and then try again.

That's strange, the error message above does not apper on the web page. It only showed up when I copied and paste!!
I just checked and I have 30.3 GB of free space!

have tried everything he mentioned above for the exception of Delete the contents of the DataStore folder. Not sure what he means when he siad to delete contents of the DataStore. I see the DataStore file... when I open it with notepad I see all kind of unreadable data, is this what he wants me to delete?  I don't want to delete anything that's going to stop other programs from running properly.

This computer actually belongs to a friend of mind. He asked me if I would install norton ativirus software in his computer. So before I installed it I decided to check for windows updates and that's when I started running in to these problems.  Something else that seems kind of strange.... when I check the System Information, it reads:

Can't collect Information - Can not access the Windows Management software. Windows Managament files may be moved or missing.  Think this might be the problem?
Hey guys I'm sorry for long e-mail.

Question by:estrada764
    LVL 5

    Expert Comment

    It sounds to me as if your friends' installation has been corrupted or messed with at some point. I'd suggest re-running the XP setup from CD.

    Follow the instructions as if to install a new copy of XP but when it detects an existing installation tell it to Repair it rather than installing a fresh copy.

    This will ensure that XP's components and services are all correctly set up, but it won't remove or delete your friend's data or programs.

    After thats done try Windows Update again.
    LVL 4

    Accepted Solution

    Leaving the WIndows update aside for the moment, I would say if WMI is not working we have a problem.
    Try the services as mentioned here:
    Also this one mentions it may be solved by Service packs:

    Yes you can delete the contents of datastore, though i don't think it will make much difference.
    But do make sure it is not a permissions issue on that SOftwareDistribution folder.

    The BITS service is required for you automatic updates and express installs to work. It's necessary for the New V5 Windows update to work. You can download and install it seperately from

    If you have a fast connection you may want to directly jump to SP2 Network installation:

    The final 2 steps come in the end:
    1) Repair WIndows XP by booting off the cd and trying to install it again.
    2) Format and clean install. I know this one stinks, but if my WMI was down AND it was not a trivial settings, I would rather start afreash than hack a solution and continuing.

    LVL 7

    Expert Comment

    Funny the MS guy didn't suggest re-installing the Wscript host which windowsupdate relies on heavily:

    get it here and install it:

    after the install reboot your PC.

    then upon reboot do this:

    Click Start Button=> Run.

    Type the following in the box  then hit ENTER:

    regsvr32 c:\windows\system\vbscript.dll

    Do the same for mshtml.dll

    regsvr32 c:\windows\system\mshtml.dll  <hit enter>

    once that is done open internet options from control panel, this is important, don't do it from within IE, and delete your temporary internet files and you're cookies....

    then close internet options and control panel, and try the windowsupdate site once more.

    Good Luck.


    LVL 7

    Expert Comment

    It is important that yuo folow the steps in order, making sure that opening IE for any reason is the last thing you do...


    LVL 87

    Expert Comment

    Doublecheck on your free diskspace. Do you have more than one partitions? You will need enough space on the partition where your OS is installed, as the patches and upgrades first save all the old data to a folder incase the update doesn't work, so you can rollback if necessary. You will also need enough free diskspace in temporary area (by entering "set temp" you will see on which drive the temporary area is located. Your downloaded file will get unpacked somewhere there so that is the reason you will also need enough space there.

    If you do have more than partitions  and they don't have enough freespace, first do a disk cleanup, then try running the update again.
    LVL 7

    Expert Comment

    He has 30.GB of free space...
    LVL 87

    Expert Comment

    jatcan, yes i know, but that might be on another partition which might not even be touched by the installation procedure. I'm asking if the disk is divided into more than one partition or not...
    LVL 7

    Expert Comment


    Author Comment

    Caeser, I was able to download -  Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) 2.0 and WinHTTP 5.1 (KB842773) and installation went fine. Now I'm in the proccess of downloading Service Pack 2.  The update might take up to 6 Hours, I scb dsl so it might be able to download a bit faster. So far it looks like it's working!  

    I will post my results later. Thank again to everyone for all the information, this site is great!!


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