Windows can't check for updates

headmofo
headmofo used Ask the Experts™
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I have 64bit Windows Vista system and for over a month, I have been unable to get my Windows updates.  I keep getting a message saying that Windows can't check for updates.  The error code I get when I check the updates is Code 80070002.  I've tried just about everything from renaming/recreating the software distribution directory to a Standalone Service Pack 2 installer.  When I run the SP installer, it tells me that I need to run an update installer program and every time I run it, it asks to install KB947821.  It takes a long time, but it finishes.  Still, the SP installer still crashes.  Anyone have any ideas besides an OS reload?
2009-07-17	18:49:51:218	 528	c50	AU	Triggering AU detection through DetectNow API
2009-07-17	18:49:51:218	 528	c50	AU	Triggering Online detection (interactive)
2009-07-17	18:49:51:218	 528	1688	AU	#############
2009-07-17	18:49:51:218	 528	1688	AU	## START ##  AU: Search for updates
2009-07-17	18:49:51:218	 528	1688	AU	#########
2009-07-17	18:49:51:221	 528	1688	AU	<<## SUBMITTED ## AU: Search for updates [CallId = {D409E36D-2EB0-4CEB-B983-B11FDE66C30C}]
2009-07-17	18:49:51:221	 528	1490	Agent	*************
2009-07-17	18:49:51:221	 528	1490	Agent	** START **  Agent: Finding updates [CallerId = AutomaticUpdates]
2009-07-17	18:49:51:221	 528	1490	Agent	*********
2009-07-17	18:49:51:221	 528	1490	Agent	  * Online = Yes; Ignore download priority = No
2009-07-17	18:49:51:221	 528	1490	Agent	  * Criteria = "IsInstalled=0 and DeploymentAction='Installation' or IsPresent=1 and DeploymentAction='Uninstallation' or IsInstalled=1 and DeploymentAction='Installation' and RebootRequired=1 or IsInstalled=0 and DeploymentAction='Uninstallation' and RebootRequired=1"
2009-07-17	18:49:51:221	 528	1490	Agent	  * ServiceID = {9482F4B4-E343-43B6-B170-9A65BC822C77}
2009-07-17	18:49:51:221	 528	1490	Agent	  * Search Scope = {Machine}
2009-07-17	18:49:51:221	 528	1490	Setup	Checking for agent SelfUpdate
2009-07-17	18:49:51:221	 528	1490	Setup	Client version: Core: 7.2.6001.788  Aux: 7.2.6001.788
2009-07-17	18:49:53:601	 528	1688	AU	Launched new AU client for directive 'Unable To Detect', session id = 0x1
2009-07-17	18:49:53:706	3188	17b0	Misc	===========  Logging initialized (build: 7.2.6001.788, tz: -0700)  ===========
2009-07-17	18:49:53:706	3188	17b0	Misc	  = Process: C:\Windows\system32\wuauclt.exe
2009-07-17	18:49:53:705	3188	17b0	AUClnt	Launched Client UI process
2009-07-17	18:49:53:818	3188	17b0	Misc	===========  Logging initialized (build: 7.2.6001.788, tz: -0700)  ===========
2009-07-17	18:49:53:819	3188	17b0	Misc	  = Process: C:\Windows\system32\wuauclt.exe
2009-07-17	18:49:53:819	3188	17b0	Misc	  = Module: C:\Windows\system32\wucltux.dll
2009-07-17	18:49:53:818	3188	17b0	CltUI	AU client got new directive = 'Unable To Detect', serviceId = {9482F4B4-E343-43B6-B170-9A65BC822C77}, return = 0
2009-07-17	18:50:00:349	 528	1490	Misc	Validating signature for C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\WuRedir\9482F4B4-E343-43B6-B170-9A65BC822C77\muv3wuredir.cab:
2009-07-17	18:50:00:361	 528	1490	Misc	 Microsoft signed: Yes
2009-07-17	18:50:09:516	 528	1490	Misc	Validating signature for C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\SelfUpdate\wuident.cab:
2009-07-17	18:50:09:518	 528	1490	Misc	 Microsoft signed: Yes
2009-07-17	18:50:09:870	 528	1490	Misc	Validating signature for C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\SelfUpdate\wsus3setup.cab:
2009-07-17	18:50:09:872	 528	1490	Misc	 Microsoft signed: Yes
2009-07-17	18:50:09:889	 528	1490	Setup	Determining whether a new setup handler needs to be downloaded
2009-07-17	18:50:09:890	 528	1490	Setup	SelfUpdate handler is not found.  It will be downloaded
2009-07-17	18:50:09:890	 528	1490	Setup	Evaluating applicability of setup package "WUClient-SelfUpdate-ActiveX~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~7.2.6001.788"
2009-07-17	18:50:29:660	 528	1490	Setup	WARNING: Cbs StartSession, error = 0x80070002
2009-07-17	18:50:29:661	 528	1490	Setup	FATAL: Applicability evaluation for setup package "WUClient-SelfUpdate-ActiveX~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~7.2.6001.788" failed, error = 0x80070002
2009-07-17	18:50:29:661	 528	1490	Setup	FATAL: SelfUpdate check failed, err = 0x80070002
2009-07-17	18:50:29:661	 528	1490	Agent	  * WARNING: Skipping scan, self-update check returned 0x80070002
2009-07-17	18:50:29:692	 528	1490	Agent	  * WARNING: Exit code = 0x80070002
2009-07-17	18:50:29:692	 528	1490	Agent	*********
2009-07-17	18:50:29:692	 528	1490	Agent	**  END  **  Agent: Finding updates [CallerId = AutomaticUpdates]
2009-07-17	18:50:29:692	 528	1490	Agent	*************
2009-07-17	18:50:29:692	 528	1490	Agent	WARNING: WU client failed Searching for update with error 0x80070002
2009-07-17	18:50:29:693	 528	1750	AU	>>##  RESUMED  ## AU: Search for updates [CallId = {D409E36D-2EB0-4CEB-B983-B11FDE66C30C}]
2009-07-17	18:50:29:693	 528	1750	AU	  # WARNING: Search callback failed, result = 0x80070002
2009-07-17	18:50:29:693	 528	1750	AU	  # WARNING: Failed to find updates with error code 80070002
2009-07-17	18:50:29:693	 528	1750	AU	#########
2009-07-17	18:50:29:693	 528	1750	AU	##  END  ##  AU: Search for updates [CallId = {D409E36D-2EB0-4CEB-B983-B11FDE66C30C}]
2009-07-17	18:50:29:693	 528	1750	AU	#############
2009-07-17	18:50:29:693	 528	1750	AU	AU setting next detection timeout to 2009-07-18 06:50:29
2009-07-17	18:50:29:694	 528	1750	AU	Setting AU scheduled install time to 2009-07-18 10:00:00
2009-07-17	18:50:34:661	 528	1490	Report	REPORT EVENT: {633B7589-45D3-41BE-A5A1-A1F39DF17C76}	2009-07-17 18:50:29:661-0700	1	148	101	{61CA813A-7585-442E-A66B-B0D15CE6BDC0}	1	80070002	SelfUpdate	Failure	Software Synchronization	Windows Update Client failed to detect with error 0x80070002.
2009-07-17	19:00:59:117	 528	1688	AU	###########  AU: Uninitializing Automatic Updates  ###########
2009-07-17	19:00:59:118	3188	17b0	CltUI	AU client got new directive = 'None', serviceId = {00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000}, return = 80010108
2009-07-17	19:01:19:266	 528	1688	Handler	FATAL: UH: 0x80070002: StartSession failed in CCbs::IsCbsPending
2009-07-17	19:01:19:355	 528	1688	Service	*********
2009-07-17	19:01:19:355	 528	1688	Service	**  END  **  Service: Service exit [Exit code = 0x240001]
2009-07-17	19:01:19:355	 528	1688	Service	*************

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*** Hopeleonie ***IT Manager

Commented:
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hopeleonie

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Commented:
Thanks but I've already tried this.
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This is a nightmare that I've had myself.  Unfortunately, while I was going through exactly what you're now going through, but before I finallly figured it out, a much more serious .NET problem kicked-in which even Microsoft couldn't figure out...

...so I did what I am LOATHE to do, and what I've preached nearly never needs to be done:  I backed-up my data and re-installed.

The problem, of course, went away... as it will if you do it, too.  And I'm worried that you may have to because as is evidenced by the silence of others here, I'm not sure anyone knows a fix.  For some, what's in the earlier-linked-to Microsoft document fixes it.  But for those like you and me, whatever was wrong went way beyond that.  Among my regrets about re-installing (in addition to having to rebuild the system back to the way I like it) is that I never got to the bottom of the problem that you're experiencing.  But I got far enough long, I will tell you, that I was beginning to think that while someone out there surely knows, I wasn't going to somehow sumble onto him/her in my travels.

Vista is... well... let's say that I haven't opened a vein over it yet... but the knife's nearby.  There's not enough room here for me to list all the craziness I've experienced with it... some so ridiculous that it's enough to make a Linux user out of most anyone.

And the updater is among the most FRAGILE parts of ANY operating system that I've ever seen.  Have you been reading, lately, about the latest updater-related mess?  Apparently, people whose June 9th updates were interrupted or timed-out (because Microsoft's download servers were so swamped that day) are NOW experiencing a situation wherein those who have specified that they should be notified of their updates, but should be allowed to decide if they should be downloaded and/or installed are now having updates which they've specifically excluded installed anyway.  The problem, those who are researching it have discovered, is related to how interrupted June 9th updates effectively broke the updater.  No resolution yet.

Now, is that ridiculous, or what?!?!

Vista.  Oy.

Author

Commented:
The guy/gal who came up with Vista needs to be shot in the friggin' head.  Re-loading an operating system should not be the solution to a problem that is obviously caused by Microsoft in the first place.  What is this...Windows 98???  I've always been a loyal supporter of Windows and Intel systems, but now I'm actually thinking of buying a MAC after this experience.

Thank you all for your replies!
Service Pack 2 of Vista fixes many things... to my astonishment.  It actually makes Vista half tolerable.  Even with that, though, one must still disable and tweak quite a few things before it's truly more or less okay.  But it's still a remarkably fragile thing.  I'm still rebuilding my copy up to exactly where I want it to be after starting from scratch, then applying SP1 and SP2, and then going from there, only about a month ago.  And in just that month, about three things have broken... the most recent of which was, inexplicably, the right-click (either on the desktop or in an open part of the right pane of Windows Explorer) new shortcut wizard.  Why that stopped working -- just yesterday -- I'll never know.  But it was easy enough finding a fix for it via creative Googling.

Still... that's the sort of thing that one should have to do only once in a blue moon.  I've been doing it since I started using Vista in the fall of 2007 several times a year.  It's ridiculous.

I've not even tried Windows 7 yet, but everyone kinda' thinks of it as what Vista SHOULD have been.  The guys I know who've fiddled with it like it better than Vista, in terms of reliability.  Time will tell.

I will say, though, that there are ways to make Vista pretty okay.  Working down (and selectively choosing from, not using all of) the list of Vista tweaks at a place like "How-to Geek" for example, and then further refining one's tweaks over at the "Vistax64" site can make a HUGE difference.  Being unafraid to disable UAC, for example, and to not just turn off, but disable the services of such as the built-in firewall and Windows Defender (then replacing them with the likes of the free "Comodo Internet Security"), for example... along with a ton of other tweaks to make Vista stop hounding you and trying to think for you... all of those things can make a huge difference.  Finally, judiciously disabling certain services pursuant to "Black Viper's" recommendasions, can also help.

Those are the steps I have taken (though, this time around, I've not disabled very many services... I've kinda' left things more the way Microsoft wants them in certain areas), and my copy of Vista is pretty nice at this point... notwitstanding its general, overall fragility.

Hope that helps.

Commented:
This may be of limited value, but worth mentioning because it worked for me.

I had the same problem with a customer's Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit system with SP2 installed.  I had already cleaned up a number of malware infections, but after running TDSSKiller I found a rootkit which was successfully removed.  After running one more malware app, ComboxFix, and after finding some other assorted infections not previously caught with Malwarebytes' Antimalware or my antivirus app, and after one more reboot, Windows Update resumed functionality.

There are likely many causes of the Windows Update installer becoming inoperative, but that is what fixed it for me in this case.

Commented:
This may be of limited value, but worth mentioning because it worked for me.

I had the same problem with a customer's Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit system with SP2 installed.  I had already cleaned up a number of malware infections, but after running TDSSKiller I found a rootkit which was successfully removed.  After running one more malware app, ComboxFix, and after finding some other assorted infections not previously caught with Malwarebytes' Antimalware or my antivirus app, and after one more reboot, Windows Update resumed functionality.

There are likely many causes of the Windows Update installer becoming inoperative, but that is what fixed it for me in this case.

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