XP Pro - Unable to Install windows updates?

I am unable to install updates on any Windows XP PC either from the windows update website or through automatic updates. Updates download but do not install on the machine, it just says they failed to install without any error code or any event log entry.  I  tried logging in as administrator, disabling local firewall and firewall at the gateway (in the past gateway firewall has prevented updates from downloading).

I am able to download and install the "redistributable" packages. Could it possibly be an Active Directoy Group Policy issue? It happens on all machines, so it must be something network related or at the domain or firewall level.

I checked group policy's on the AD server. There are a few entries in the domain policy regarding security certificates and file encryption, all of which I am not familiar with, but I do not think they would cause this problem.
What might be the problem?
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Matrix1000Asked:
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el_boqueronConnect With a Mentor Commented:
We had the same probelem recently. We updated all our computers to XP Pro and could not install the 80 windows updates that normally come in.
This is the solution I used
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;943144
 using option 2, downloading the windowsupdate agent and usin wuforce to overcome the message that said it was already installed.
All 13 computers I used it on were then able to complete downloads.


Method 2: Download and install the Windows Update Agent
To resolve this problem, follow these steps: 1. Download the appropriate version of the Windows Update Agent to a known location. To do this, visit one of the following Web sites.
AgentWindows, x86-based systems
http://download.windowsupdate.com/WindowsUpdate/redist/standalone/7.0.6000.381/WindowsUpdateAgent30-x86.exe (http://download.windowsupdate.com/windowsupdate/redist/standalone/7.0.6000.381/windowsupdateagent30-x86.exe)
2. Click Start, click Run, click Browse, locate the file that you saved in step 1, and then click Open.
3. Add the /wuforce switch to the end of the run command, and then click OK. For example, the run command may appear as the following:
C:\WindowsUpdateAgent30-x86.exe /wuforce
4. Click Run.  
5. Follow the steps to complete the wizard.

 

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Voo_pgConnect With a Mentor Commented:
First of all, any errors in the event logs after attempting windows updates?

Does the windows update site give any other errors apart from "Failed"?

Are there specific updates that each machine is trying to do that fails?
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biztopiaConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Are the PCs all built using the same image?  If so, it may not be a Domain level problem.  How many client PCs are you dealing with?

On an XP client, i'd try

- stopping the wuauserv service
- rename c:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution to C:\Windows\SD.OLD or something like that.
- start the wuauserv service

I've found this fixes a lot of Automatic Updates problems.  If it does fix the problem, it would be easy enough to script and run at logon.
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Matrix1000Author Commented:
To answer the questions:

-No errors in any event log. Looked on several machines.
-The windows update web site gives no error codes, just says failed. By looking in the update history where it says there should be an error code, it just says I have no history.
-No specific update, just all updates fail.
-These are not imaged machines, in fact some are freshly reloaded or upgraded from Windows 2000. I have Windows 2000 PC's on this same network that update fine.

biztopia: I will be trying the wuauserv restart as you suggested.
Thanks for the help so far!
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Matrix1000Author Commented:
Update:
Just did a fresh reload on a PC there, wipe and reload from Windows 2000 to XP, and I am still unable to download updates. However, XP gave me the error code 0x8024402F.

Also, when trying to use the web based validation (I was downloading Windows Defender), the active x control fails because the certificate is mis-identified.

So, I really think there is something at the gateway that is blocking this. We have a firewall in place that we have set up to allow traffic to flow freely from internal to external, but we may be missing something.

Does anyone know if there is something I should make sure is open on the firewall to allow windows update traffic?

Thanks for the help so far!
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tdfreelandCommented:
I recently upgraded a win2k Dell Precision w/s 360 to winXPpro and had the same issue with updates downloading, but not installing. I followed method 1 from the link mentioned above and it fixed the problem.

Bravo el_boqueron!
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