winVista update search fails w/error 80070490


I have tried many of the online recommendations for fixing this, and none have worked.

Time has passed since many of those posts were written, and i'm hoping that (maybe) some deeper insight into the problem has come along since then.

I'm particularly curious about the errors in CBS.log reported by sfc:

Cannot repair member file ... settings.ini

... there was a similar problem with another file, but I fixed that one by copying the original version of the file from the (Acer laptop) hidden partition into the winsxs directory.

But that approach does not work for settings.ini.

By deleting settings.ini in users-myUser-appdata-etc-windows-sidebar, a new settings.ini appeared, and the sidebar suddenly came back from wherever it had gone. But the new settings.ini still does not match the settings.ini in the windows-sxs folder, even after reboot.

So sfc still complains that settings.ini cannot be fixed.

And it looks like writing to that folder (ie copying in the settings.ini that will match) is highly forbidden and can't be done.

And it doesn't work to copy the window-sxs settings.ini into users-appdata ... sfc still fails, and then users-appdata settings.ini gets replaced on reboot.

So two questions:

1) Is there a trick to getting the window-sxs settings.ini to update, and thereby match the one that vista puts into users-appdata?

2) Is it known that error 80070490 will  always occur if sfc finds system files it can't fix?

In other words, is it pointless to try anything else until sfc comes up clean?

I had planned to try the clean boot method next, to look for funky startup services, but don't want to waste any more time on this if the settings.ini situation makes it hopeless.


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As far as I know, there are only two fixes for the 80070490 error.

One:  Download and run the Update Readiness Tool from Microsoft and if that doesn't work;

Two:  Do a repair install on Vista (Setup started within Windows when Windows is already running)

I have a Vista x64system myself that I have researched the Windows update error (Unknown error).  Updates refuse to install, even from a clean boot and I believe it is caused by corruption in the CBS Manifest or so Microsoft says.
Windows Update error 80070490

If you receive Windows Update error 80070490, it means that a file (CBS Manifest) that's needed to install updates is corrupt. To correct this problem, you'll need to repair Windows. Repairing Windows won't damage your personal files or the programs that are installed on your computer.

The System Update Readiness Tool for Windows can correct some conditions that cause Windows Update error 80070490. You can access and run this tool by Knowledge Base article on the Microsoft website.

If the System Update Readiness Tool doesn't correct the problem, you'll need to repair Windows. Repairing Windows won't damage your personal files or the programs that are installed on your computer.

Once you finish the repair, you'll need to rerun Windows Update to install any updates aren't included on the installation DVD. To repair Windows, follow these steps:......
This MS article may also be of interest to you
How to analyze the log file entries that the Microsoft Windows Resource Checker (SFC.exe) program generates in Windows Vista

BTW downloads of the Update Readiness Tool are available at the Knowledge Base link in my previous post
pfenertyAuthor Commented:
ok, thanks, i ran the Update Readiness Tool, which did not fix.

i also attempted a Windows Repair by way of a certain Vista_Recovery_Disc.iso. But that only offers "Startup Repair", which worked great on another laptop with bad sectors, but had nothing to do on the 80070490-error laptop, which starts up OK, so Startup Repair quickly exited.

This Acer Aspire laptop offers a tool to reset Windows to factory defaults, plus options to reinstall drivers, but no Repair that I can see.

So I'm very interested in learning more about "repair install on Vista (Setup started within Windows when Windows is already running)".

So that means just run Install from the .iso, with Windows running, and it knows how to do the repair? Like chkdsk ... it schedules, then restarts? And it only repairs? I'm trying to avoid a reinstall, at least for now.

Is my Vista_Recovery_Disc.iso good for this?

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Vista Recovery Disc ISO is no good for this.  There is a way to make an install disk for XP from an existing installation, but NOT for Vista.  You need a Vista Install Disk with the same Service Pack Level that is already installed on your computer to do a repair install.  For instance, if you have Vista SP2 installed, you must have a Vista SP2 install disk.  Service Packs can be slip streamed into existing Vista install disks, but you need a Vista install disk to slip stream the service pack to.

If you could borrow such a disk, you would also need to download ALL the drivers for your particular machine from your manufacturer's support web site before hand so they are available for install should they be (unlikely) required when the repair completes.  These could also be integrated into an install disk, but that is beyond the scope of this question and perhaps beyond what you are willing to do to fix your issue.

You run Windows Setup within Windows.  I would use a clean boot, which means using MSCONFIG to disable ALL start up items on the start up tab, hide all MS services on the services tab and disable the rest of the services.  I have done this and it works like a charm.  When I tried without doing a clean boot, the setup program just sat there running in Task Manager and refused to do anything :o)

From the link I posted regarding the error number.

If the System Update Readiness Tool doesn't correct the problem, you'll need to repair Windows. Repairing Windows won't damage your personal files or the programs that are installed on your computer.

Once you finish the repair, you'll need to rerun Windows Update to install any updates aren't included on the installation DVD. To repair Windows, follow these steps:

   1. Close all programs, and then restart your computer.  (After you do the MSCONFIG clean boot items)
   2.Insert the Windows DVD into your computer's disk drive. Wait for Setup to start. If Setup doesn't start automatically, follow these steps:

    1. Click Start, and then type Drive:\setup.exe in the search box. Replace Drive with the letter of your computer's DVD drive (for example, D:\setup.exe).
    2. In the Programs list, click Setup.exe.
   3. Click Install Now.
   4. Click Go online to obtain the latest updates for installation (recommended).
   5. If you are asked for it, type the Windows Product key.
   6. In the Which kind of installation do you want? window, click Upgrade.
   7. When the installation is complete, restart your computer, and then run Windows Update.

Also, don't forget to put things back to normal in MSCONFIG after the repair completes.

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pfenertyAuthor Commented:
ok, thanks again.

I do understand Windows Repair, I just didn't see how I could get there with the tools I have, and not about to cross fingers and launch.

This is my daughter's laptop, and the day it arrived without an install disk I knew someday it would be trouble. I bet automakers could save some money by shipping cars without tire jacks. Hey ... you can always borrow one if you need it.

Out at ebay I see cheap Vista Business reinstall disks with the right architecture. Will they work?

How about bootleg disks? Suddenly they seem like a great idea. Hopefully they give Steve Ballmer 80,070,490 instances of heartburn.

Open Source.

So about the drivers ... I have no trouble getting them off the hidden partition (just boot off a linux live CD), but with all services shut down under this fixit plan, doesn't sound like networking is going to be an option. So what ... have a second disk with drivers that can be popped in and out? And the install executable is prepared for this?

Thanks again.
Exactly what laptop do you have?  What version of Vista is it exactly?

If you can borrow the right disk, assemble the drivers and service packs, you could build your own custom re-install DVD.

Just what the Dr. ordered, there is a program called Vlite.  It is a nice, relatively easy to use tool that lets you customize Vista including special drivers.  By the same author as Nlite that is used to customize XP  Please visit the Vlite web site for more details.

You may find some more interesting advice at MyDigitalLife  I have a feeling you'll like this site.  Plenty of help for what you need there.

If I were going to pay for an OS for your daughter's laptop, I would see if it's Win 7 capable.  Much better OS than Vista IMHO, but I would also pre format the drive so the hidden "System" partition wasn't installed.  It seems to have caused issues in some situations.

On a side note regarding automobiles without car jacks...

How about a Mini Van without a spare tire?  Hey, the jack is included, but NO spare tire.  Try driving down the road with a jack as the 4th tire.

I'm talking about a 2004 Toyota Sienna AWD.  Spare tire?  Not standard equipment on this nearly $40,000.00 vehicle.  The AWD version came with some rather infamous Run Flat Tires.  Wore out easily, expensive to replace and of course would be destroyed if driven very far "flat"  Save money by selling cars without jacks?  I think some one MADE money here, and more money than the jack scenario.

There is a perfect spot for a full sized spare, unfortunately the "store n' go" style 3rd row double seat occupies the space where you can put a full size spare, so you have a choice.  Carry a spare tire and leave the 3rd row double seat up, or fold it down flush with the floor and find somewhere else for the spare or drive without one.

Yes, I own one of these.  Thankfully I got it second hand, but had no idea there was no spare until after I bought it.  My solution was to mount the spare tire complete with fabric covering in standing upright position between the second row captains chairs with a ratcheting strap secured to the floor using the optional middle seat anchors for models that have the optional second row kiddy seat.
pfenertyAuthor Commented:
Acer Aspire 5315-2698 - Windows Vista Home Premium - SP1.

I would obviously prefer to come out on the other side of any big effort here with win7 instead of vista. I'd even prefer XP. Vista is pretty unloveable stuff, even for microsoft fans.

But I started out hoping the broken update situation would be easier to fix than it apparently turns out to be.

And some folks seem to have trouble getting win7 to work here. I have not looked at the details, only scanned the headlines, and it does not look like a slam dunk.

Any of these paths could be the black hole of time and effort that ultimately leads to start-over, reinstall everything. I'm already into the event horizon on this one, and something tells me trying to install win7 will only serve to reset the clock.

Meanwhile, I have other tasks to perform :)
pfenertyAuthor Commented:
Yep, those toy spare tires are pretty annoying, but at least they work, briefly, if you're careful, and lucky (of course if you actually were lucky you wouldn't be riding on a spare).

When I bought my small truck, I wanted standard transmission, the big engine, and the back seat. In order to get that, I had to go with the package that added the "convenience" of a solenoid-controlled transfer case for the 4-wheel drive. When I saw that the first time, I shuddered.

Some number of years later, one snowy winter morning, while taking my daughter to school up in the cascade mountains, down the icy, winding highway which drops several thousand feet in altitude in a few short miles, I pressed the button to go into 4-wheel drive, and got nothing. Blown fuse, white knuckles.

Sometimes it's because of cheap, sometimes because of fancy. Either way, there's no salvaging bad architecture.

pfenertyAuthor Commented:
The reason these laptops ship without install disks is ease-of-install-elsewhere, and Redmond is fighting back.

So now I bought a laptop with an OS that eats itself, and ... sorry, can't be fixed without the install disk we're too chickensh*t to provide. Too bad for you, eh? Upgrade.

If Redmond weren't chickensh*t, i could send in my serial number and get an OEM install disk.
It's the OEMs that are chickensh*t.  They want to save $$ by not supplying disks.  You burn your own, and they put the buck in their pockets.  MS only gives them the "permission" to install an OS at a reduced price.  It's up to the OEM to provide support on every avenue including any disks that ship with the computer.

My Toyota Sienna didn't come with a Toy spare.  It didn't come with one at all.  Right from the factory.  No room under the vehicle where they put the one for 2 wheel drive models.  There's another drive train in the way for the All Wheel Drive.  I had to buy one.  Including the rim it mounts on.  That's why I said, "Try driving down the road with a jack as the 4th tire."
pfenertyAuthor Commented:
I agree that "toy spare", an old euphemism, fails to convey the level of magical thinking in a Run Flat Tire.

I disagree that Microsoft is a non-participant in the demise of the OEM install disk.

I don't need a disk, i'm perfectly happy with a dot iso. All it would cost Redmond is bandwidth. They'd get more than that value back in good will. But 800 pound gorillas don't give a rip about good will. Chickensh*t.

If your magical spare fails to put your car back on the road, you still have 3rd party options available. Imagine that Toyota not only provided you no spare, but also sold you rims that no other tires will fit. If you want to keep driving, buy four new wheels.
pfenertyAuthor Commented:
So what about those ebay Vist Business disks ... is there enough OS on them for the Windows Repair you describe? One of them is only twelve bucks.
Is that an MS "OEM" variety Vista Business disk or what?  If you want to repair the existing Vista Home Premium installation, you need a Vista Home Premium disk.  Plus it has to be the same level service pack as what is presently installed.  You can't use an HP SP2 disk to repair a HP SP1 install and vice verse.  The system files don't match.  A Vista Business disk wont repair Home Premium either, however if you do a clean install, at least you can do a repair later on.  You'll want to get one with SP2 already integrated.  Vista SP1 is required to even slipstream SP2 into a new disk to burn.  Original Vista w/o any SP wont slipstream straight to SP2 for sure and I don't know if SP1 would either.  Stay away from manufacture specific OEM disks.  They may only install on particular models and brands they came with.

Acer's support site apparently has driver downloads and support for Win 7 x86 as well as Vista x86.  I didn't see an x64 choices at all, not that you'd want them.

Give me a link to check and I'll investigate for you.  If it's a store type OEM DVD you're probably OK.  Also use to check out the seller reputations on eBay.  Toolhaus has all the negative an neutral feedback there.

You didn't look at anything on the My Digital Life site?
pfenertyAuthor Commented:
Hey really thanks so much for sharing all your insight and experience about this.

I did go out to Digital Life ... good stuff ... i will keep it for the future.

I'm ready for the endgame here, and looks start-over-reinstall-everything is the easy way out.

Funny, but run-flat-tire turns out to be a good analogy for the current state of this laptop.

It still works, and I could ignore the updates, and keep chugging along, except ... I wanted video screen capture, so i wanted Microsoft Expression Encoder, so I needed .net framework 4, which i installed, at least it claimed it installed, except i get the error message:

"To run this application you first must install one of the following versions of the .Net Framework: v4.0.30319"

... and so I figured that i'm going nowhere until I bring the OS up to date. Ha!

My best guess now is start over, reinstall everything, get SP2 on there lickety-split before it hangs itself, because it sure has plenty of rope.

Thanks again, i'm out, have a great weekend!

pfenertyAuthor Commented:
PS: well it's a new day, with new energies, and I just downloaded an interesting looking dot-iso from that Digital Life site, so thanks again for that.

You guys are the best!
So glad you managed to get straightened around.  MD5 and SHA-1 are important fingerprints and can be matched against known good fingerprints for large files.  They eliminate the possibility that an original has been adulterated in any way.  Publishers of large files can advertise these fingerprints to ensure downloaders get an uncontaminated result.

File Hash Checker is a free tool I use all the time to compare two files believed to be the same.

Hash and Sha-1 are long drawn-out strings that are unique results of an algrorithm applied to a file that are always different.  More info at the Hash File Checker link.
pfenertyAuthor Commented:
Not sure how straightened I have become, but I always deeply appreciate the efforts of folks who contribute to the common good, and try to help out myself. Like Red Green says, we're all in this together.

Totally agree about checking file signatures. The free tool I use is Linux.

Also ... Cygwin has it ... so if you were smart enough to install that on your Windows box, for all the power and grace that a UNIX-like interface brings to your file system, you're all set for cryptographic hash functions.

At the command line prompt:

    md5sum filename


    sha1sum filename

Thanks again!

pfenertyAuthor Commented:
Probably should mention the little guy ... cksum ... faster than the other two, and good for simple file differentiation.

I rip lots of .wav files from CDs, copy them around into subdirectories, and sometimes rename them. So I wind up with multiple copies of the same file with different names.

To clean up, (1) find all the .wavs within the directory tree, (2) find files of matching size, and then (3) cksum the matches, because not all same length files are actually the same file.

It runs in Cygwin, but the shebang line (line #1) needs to match the local PATH to Cygwin executables.

Also, unix does not support filenames with spaces, so there's that too :(

But you get the idea ... cksum is cool ... have a blast!

Sample output:

2757122150 23849324 ./cdr1/beatles_revolver-11.wav
2757122150 23849324 ./cdr2/beatles_dr_robert.wav

I prefer the Windows type interface. :^) This CYGwin looks good for more customized power usage.  I installed CYGwin anyway and will eventually get around to "playing" with it, but have had no past experience with it.

We should probably not be posting so much off topic information on this forum.  Feel free to contact me through my Yahoo email jimthetech<at>yahoo<dot>ca

Best regards,

Thank you for using Experts Exchange!
pfenertyAuthor Commented:
Agree about the tangents. Will stop shamelessly recommending Linux solutions on a WIndows platform, fun though that is. adios.
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Windows Vista

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