Windows 8 problems updating and install

Asus Ultrabook running Win8 with Intel I5 processor and 6GB of RAM.  Most installs don’t work. Windows update fails with error code 800703F1.  I tried to install Acronis Backup software. That install fails also.  I successfully installed a new version of Adobe Flash player and some Windows update optional updates.  For instance I installed a new Intel graphics driver that was part of Windows update.  But no critical updates will install.  

When I try to refresh the settings I get: “There was a problem refreshing your computer, no changes were made.”  I also tried this using a Win8 boot disk with the same results.

SFC /scannow comes back saying “Windows resource protection could not perform the requested operation.”  I tried this in safe mode also.

I ran chkdsk /r.  That didn’t solve the problem.
I tried to update to Windows 8.1 but that fails.  

I ran trend micro housecall and Kaspersky anti-rootkit. Everything came up clean. The customers antivirus-anti-malware is Webroot. A scan with that came up clean.  

I am able to change some systems settings.  For instance I went into Advanced System Settings and changed startup and recovery settings to turn off automatic system restart on failure and changed the dump type to small memory dump.

Short of a clean install what can I try?

Alan SilvermanOwnerAsked:
Who is Participating?
What antivirus are you using, and can you try again with the antivirus off (of course you can turn it back on after install)
Steven HarrisPresidentCommented:
Have you tried the Windows Update Troubleshooter?

Windows key + W > type troubleshooting > select Troubleshooting > Select View All on the top left > run Windows update troubleshooter.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
If your computer came with Windows 8 (looks like it did) and will not (a) refresh, (b) run SFC, (c) update and (d) not install other software, then I suggest you need to consider backing up the computer and doing a clean (fresh) install of Windows 8.

You want to get to Windows 8.1 and cannot with all the problems above.

So do this:  Backup all your data, make sure you know where your software is, install Windows 8 from the ASUS recovery system.

Once Windows 8 is installed, update it and update drivers, but do not install applications (other than what came from ASUS with Windows 8). Then upgrade to Windows 8.1 and then install your applications.

You will be happier long term.

.... Thinkpads_User
R. Andrew KoffronCommented:
by any change are you running on an SSD with C:\USERS symbolically linked to another drive.

some updates like windows8.1 seem to puke over symbolic links. . . just a thought. I've seen a couple Asus Laptop with fusion drive in them recently not sure if they where add-ons or factory
Alan SilvermanOwnerAuthor Commented:
1. Kimputer about Anti-Virus:  Already tried it.
2.  ThinkSpaceSolutions - tried update troubleshooter. Didn't resolve but it helped me look at the problem further.
3. R. Andrew Koffron: Not an SSD but possibly an associated problem.
4.  thinkpads_user:  You may be right, but I dread that solution.  I'm doing this for a client and I'm already far past what I'll ever get paid for it.  Clean install is always the solution of last resort because when you do it for a client’s computer it’s guaranteed to take an enormous amount of time to get just right. (and it must be EXACTLY the same or there's the devil to pay.)  Not that this isn’t taking an enormous amount of time.

Where I am now:
I began to look at the services and saw that the Group Policy Client hadn’t started.  

I thought that a comment in this discussion might be the problem:


There are two places to look in the registry:
1.      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services this path should contain gpsvc key (a folder), which is responsible for service parameters and configuration.  I found that the key was intact, so, you do not touch anything here - just check that the key exists.
2.      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SVCHOST This is the most important path you should look into, as it must contain the keys and values referred in the key #1.  Below are descriptions what must be present there.
•      There must be Multi-String value called GPSvcGroup. My laptop was missing it.  So, you should create multi-string value named GPSvcGroup and assign it value GPSvc.
•      Next, you must create a key (a folder) and name it GPSvcGroup - this key normally should be there, but, again, it was missin on my laptop.
•      Then open newly-created GPSvcGroup folder and create 2 DWORD values:
1.      First called AuthenticationCapabilities and you must give it a value of 0x00003020 (or 12320 in decimal)
2.      Second is called CoInitializeSecurityParam and it must have value of 1.
Once you complete all steps above, reboot the computer and the problem will be fixed.

Here is the link to the video walkthrough if you have any troubles understanding what has to be done: 

I compared the “image path” entry gpsvc in my registry to the customers.  
My ImagePath entry is “%windir%\system32\svchost.exe -k GPSvcGroup”
Hers is:  %systemroot%\system32\svchost.exe -k netsvcs

The key to the fix in the video is that no GPSvcGroup exists so he creates one with the proper parameters.  

But I looked at one of my Win8 computers and in that the image path is the same as hers,
netsvcs, not GPSvcGroup. So his fix doesn’t apply.

That’s where I am now.  The problem might be that the Group Services Client isn’t starting (or it could just be another symptom) but I don’t know why it isn’t starting yet.

If you understand what I’ve just said here please chime in.
Alan SilvermanOwnerAuthor Commented:
Forget everything I said above.  I got the Group Policy Client started but still couldn't update.  I may be doing a clean install after all.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I may be doing a clean install after all.

In this situation, that is the best way to get to a reliable Windows 8.1 system. That is what I am using here.

.... Thinkpads_User
Alan SilvermanOwnerAuthor Commented:
From the Windows Update Log:
2014-01-05      12:03:13:578       240      1264      Handler      FATAL: UH: 0x800703f1: EvaluateApplicability failed in CCbs::EvaluateApplicability
2014-01-05      12:03:13:580       240      1264      Agent      WARNING: Failed to evaluate Installable rule, updateId = {890DCC15-EADB-4707-B2CF-2A6F020F6AA5}.201, hr = 800703F1
R. Andrew KoffronCommented:
> Not an SSD, but possibly an associated problem.

so here's how I got the update to work on the SSD if it's any help.

I got one machine to work by removing the Symbolic Links moving C:\Users to D:\Users, and Making a New Administrator Account
booting to a install disk,command prompt.
(had to find a full verison disk cause the OEM disk wouldn't allow anything except imaging back the factory config)  

Xcopy back the d:\users  using the switches /B for symbolic links and and /Exclude:ExcludedLargeUserFolders.txt

reboot log in as new admin account to make sure all links and folders are in c:\users

updates ran no problem.
remade the Symbolic links for Users with Large folders.
machine seems fine.
I would support thinkpads_user's way. But that, you are trying to avoid.
I would bite the bullet.
If you say "Most installs don’t work" then please name a few commonly used softwares that don't install and quote their error messages or parts of their install log - otherwise we cannot proceed.
Alan SilvermanOwnerAuthor Commented:
I got it.  This web site shows how to do a repair install of Windows 8 from a disk.  I happened to have a Dell Windows 8 install disk and it worked.  Thank the Lord. I then was able to update to 8.1 and install my Acronis backup software.  

I don't know if it would have taken less time to do a clean install.  I suppose it would have if I made that decision from the beginning.  But once you begin putting time into diagnosis and trying various things, all of which don't work, you've invested so much time in going that route..... you know the routine.  

I'll end up with $250 for lord knows how many hours work.  And that will include a 1TB external drive I'm selling the girl.  But then we went into this line of work to get rich, didn't we?  

Thanks to all for keeping with me through all this,
Alan SilvermanOwnerAuthor Commented:
sfc /scannow fail
Windows Resource Protection could not start the repair service
Windows 8  8.1 Win8 refresh fails
The Configuration Registry Database is Corrupt
(This was the basic problem.  I was able to access the registry though, using regedit.  If I hadn't it probably would have indicated a corruption that could not be fixed, perhaps a hardware problem.)
Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth can't clean corruption.
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