"Windows update agent installer encountered unrecoverable error" x64 Windows 7

Marcus N
Marcus N used Ask the Experts™
I'm running WSUS 3 on SBS 2003 R2 x86.

In my clientapps folder I have both the x86 (32 bit) and x64 (64 bit) .exe files for WSUS client update agent.

I have migrated my entire IT estate of client desktops from Windows XP x86 to Windows 7 x64.

I have SUCCESSFULLY installed the x64 WSUS update agent on all clients EXCEPT one on which I get the message, "windows update agent installer encountered unrecoverable error". When I look in the event viewer, whether in "application", "setup" or "system" logs, I see no error corresponding to this failure, so I have no idea what the system thinks the eventid is.

I have already spent several hours on the web and found this article http://support.microsoft.com/kb/971058 and executed it in both "default" and "aggressive" modes. Neither worked but both screwed up the ISA client.

The only obvious difference between this particular desktop and all the standard desktops is that this one has the XP virtual desktop installed.

Any help would be gratefully received.
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Disable your antivirus and try to run FixIt http://support.microsoft.com/kb/971058

Then try the installation again, hope this helps.

Also try to execute the following commands one by one at the failed client  (worked for me on some PC's)

net stop wuauserv
reg delete "HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate" /va /f
proxycfg.exe -u
net start wuauserv
wuauclt.exe /resetauthorization /detectnow
wuauclt.exe /r /reportnow

System readiness tool will fix any windows udpate issue...after running this tool reboot computer and check.

You need to run system readiness tool first and then restart the computer.

If u have win7 64 bit then run this

If u have win7 32bit then run this

After restarting install updates. If still having problems then upload checksur.log.

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Marcus NTechnical Specialist


Response to Mr. ded9

Downloaded the x64 package from the URL you mentioned. Upon running it I get the message;

Some updates were not installed  blah blah hotfix for windows (KB947821).

No idea what's happening with that.

Response to Mr. KOTiS

Before I issue the various commands you propose, how can I check whether the wuauserv is running? When I look at the services I see that the windows update service is started. Is this the same thing?

Yes Marcus, it's the same. The commands i gave you will stop the service and then start it again.
Marcus NTechnical Specialist



Thanks. Just a quick (and probably stupid) question. If the service is running, does that mean that the WSUS x46 agent is already installed and running? Is there any way I can check on the WSUS management console to see whether the right agent is running on the computer?


Windows Update is installed in all recent windows versions and is used to download updates from microsoft or a WSUS server (after proper configuration through Group Policy).

You can download and install the latest Windows Update Agent version, if needed, from here:


You can check the file windowsupdate.log in your C:\Windows folder - this is a log of what your Windows Update agent is doing. You can also check to see if you can see the Machine Name on your WSUS Server. I hope you have configured your clients through Group Policy to communicate with your WSUS Server.

Run this command in admin mode

Reg query HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate /s

to check whether wsus is controlling windows updates


I am sorry the right command is

reg query HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate

You should see output like the following if the client has been configured to get its updates from a WSUS server:

WUServer    REG_SZ  http://WSUSServerName
WUStatusServer      REG_SZ  http://WSUSServerName

You should see output similar to the following if Automatic Update is functioning, but the client has not been configured to get its updates from a WSUS server:


If the query returns the error, "The system was unable to find the specified registry key or value," Automatic Update has not been configured on this computer.



By examining the windowsupdate.log file you can see exactly what the Windows Update service is doing when it tries to download update - you don't have to look anywhere else. The latest communication is at the bottom...
Network Administrator

The issue is that the WUA 3.0 (7.0.6000.374) upgrade is corrupted,essentially the system reports the WUA to be 7.0.6000.374 but the files on the disk are still from the old version (you can check some of the DLLs like wups.dll, wuaueng.dll etc… in the windows\system32) … and you cannot install the WUA 3.0 even manually.

delete the following file


Since Windows security will not allow you to do this, here under the procedure to take ownership of the file

run a command prompt with “Run as Administrator”.

Type in the following commands

takeown /f C:\Windows\winsxs\pending.xml

cacls C:\Windows\winsxs\pending.xml /G <YourUsername>:F

then delete the file and Reboot the machine

Reinstall the Windows Update Agent

Windows, x86-based systems download from here

Windows, x64-based systems download from here

save to the desktop, and run from an elevated command prompt, adding /wuforce to the end of the command
Marcus NTechnical Specialist


Hello everyone,

Sorry for the delay in responding, but I have been having other problems on the network to deal with.

I have followed all the advice so far except Mr. dstewartjr's which I will try tomorrow. I will then get back to you all to let you know if that worked.

Thanks for your patience.

Regards, Marcus
Marcus NTechnical Specialist


The part of the answer that was incomplete was with regard to the GPOs on the Server and how any conflict between the GPOs and the WSUS settings need to be very carefully addressed and resolved.

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