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Windows Vista is Unable to Check Updates

I lost the hard drive and replaced it. I restored a saved image and got the PC back running, but noticed I have two major problems. I tried to configure the system with current updates since the image file was several months old.

Going to Control Panel and initiating a Windows Update, I get the following message:

"Windows Update cannot currently check for updates, because the service is not running. You may need to restart your computer."

I went to Microsoft's site for help and tried the suggestions there like SPC /scannow, checking to see if the "BTI" and "Windows Update" services were running, and they were. None of Microsoft's suggested fixes has helped (no surprise to me!).

Going into the Event Logs, I see another problem that may be related to updates, but most definitely is another problem on its own. The Windows\system32\catroot2 (catdb) is missing. I followed the instructions on this help link found in the Event Log:


Basically, the instructions were to stop the cryptsvc service, rename the catroot2 folder to catroot2.old, and then restart cryptsvc.

The following was a way to repair catdb:

 esentutl /p <%systemroot%>\System32\catroot2\{F750E6C3-38EE-11D1-85E5-00C04FC295EE}\catdb

The above fails because I did not have a "catdb". I went back to the backup set and copied over both the catroot and catroot2 folders and all their files. Vista will delete the catdb. I cannot find a way to get these two folders restored correctly. If I copy catdb from the backup set, and run the esentutl utility, it blows off with an error as it does not like the catdb from the backup set. If I reboot the machine, the catdb copied from the backup set, it consequently is deleted.

I believe these two problems are related.

I am trying my best to keep from reinstalling Vista because I cannot find the distro media. I would just upgrade to Windows 7 if it didn't cost $299.99.

Surely, there is a solution to fix this short of total reinstall.
Windows Vista

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8/22/2022 - Mon
☠ MASQ ☠

Have you tried manually installing the Windows Update Agent?

Try running the FixIT tool from the following KB: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/971058


I installed the Windows Update Agent. Never did see the results of the installation, nothing to click, no menu, no instructions on what to do once installed.

I followed your link, ran the FixIT tool, and nothing was corrected.

Do you have any clue about what to do with catroot, catroot2 folders in the other part of my question? I believe I will post the catroot problem in another question. Somehow I think these are related as I saw what looked like updates in the <%systemroot%>\system32\catroot folder.
Your help has saved me hundreds of hours of internet surfing.

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Your suggestion is the best idea that makes very good sense. The prior hard drive failure may have introduced problems before knowing about it, and before I created the backup image. Who knows what else is screwed up! Getting a new set of files sounds like an excellent choice. Once I get Vista stable, I can decide about your suggestion for Win 7.

One more question: Can, and do you suggest upgrading Vista to Win 7, keeping all user data and programs over a "hard" total Win 7 install? I realize the upgrade version is cheaper, but I believe it allows one to do a clean install as long as the setup sees the Vista installed. I would like to avoid all the pain of reinstalling apps and getting the machine back to my normal configuration which I would have to do on a clean install.

I'll accept your solution. Thanks!

You can do an upgrade with any Version. The OEM Version is the cheapest. A clean install is the cleanest, but so far I have done 3 vista->7 upgrades and all went without the slightest problems. Give it a try.