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windows 8.1 unable to complete updates

Posted on 2014-10-11
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Last Modified: 2014-10-25
Lenovo Z580 laptop with W8.1.  Unable to completely install updates.  It appears to download and will restart but then we get the message that Windows unable to complete updates, undoing changes.   We run malwarebytes and ccleaner.  Windows Defender is the virus engine.  We've done a System Restore but that didn't help either.  We tried stopping and restarting Windows Update in the Services window.  That did not solve the problem.  One web answer suggests deleting the temporary window update files but we could not find those files or they were empty.  There are about 12 important updates to be installed.  Any suggestions are appreciated.
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Question by:tonyadam
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by:Rizzle
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Hi,

I would advise a few things as I've had this issue too many times in the past and different things resolved for me each time.

1. When back into Windows try install updates 2 at a time rather all at the same time.
2. Stop the Windows Update service and then rename the software distribution folder, then restart the service and try the updates again.
3. Last resort, Do a PC Reset and then re-install all the updates again.
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by:John Hurst
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Also for Windows 8.1, you can use DISM Restore Health.

Open cmd.exe with Run as Administrator.
DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /Scanhealth (takes 15 - 20 minutes).  Optional
DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /Restorehealth (takes 15 - 20 minutes).

Restart the computer and test.

Here is a Microsoft Support article for this.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/947821
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by:Rizzle
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Adding to my solution above, try this http://support2.microsoft.com/gp/windows-update-issues/en-gb
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by:aadih
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What is the error code?
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by:tonyadam
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Error 80246013.
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by:John Hurst
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The thread below in a Microsoft forum appears to have an answer and involves registry editing.

https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windows/en-US/6f119828-dd1b-42da-b8b5-c6e6c0d5617c/no-apps-or-windows-store-work-after-upgrading-to-windows-81-enterprise?forum=w8itproinstall

DISM might be a deal safer
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by:Rizzle
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Has what me and John said been attempted yet?
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by:tonyadam
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Scanhealth does not appear to be an available option.  However, the format of options is not clear.  Is there a space between any of these options?
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by:John Hurst
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Does DISM run?  

DISM.exe {space} /Online {space} /Cleanup-Image {space}  /Restorehealth

If truly not an option your machine may be knackered. If it will not run DISM, give consideration to a Windows 8.1 Refresh (Activity Center) as noted above, or format and reinstall Windows.

RULE 1 - When NOTHING works, reinstall Windows.
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by:Rizzle
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Have you followed my steps above yet?
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by:nobus
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author asleep it seems
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Accepted Solution

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aadih earned 125 total points
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You need to reset Windows Update components on your PC.

To accomplish this, you may use Microsoft Fix It (or manual methods) available from Microsoft at the following page:

< http://support2.microsoft.com/kb/971058 >
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by:aadih
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About the questioner being tardy: He may have gotten busy in taking care of other more urgent matters of living.
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Author Comment

by:tonyadam
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Sorry, I was not asleep!  :>)  I do apologize though.  I've been out of town for nearly a week and did not have access to the subject system.  

It appears that doing a reinstall might be the best and quickest solution compared to hunting the culprit.  There are other issues occurring which is making me even more suspicious of the OS.  Here is my question.  

This system came from the factory with W8.0.  It has been upgraded to W8.1.  It is my understanding (possibly incorrect) that W8.1 is essentially a completely different OS and the upgrade is a replacement of W8.0.  If we were to fall back to the factory image, it will be W8.0.  Is there a way in which I can simply reinstall W8.1 instead of going back to the factory image?   All of the data is backed up on Carbonite.  At this point, even if we had to reinstall some drivers in W8.1, that might be faster than attempting to rebuild from the factory image.  

Again, my apologies for the delay in responding and I thank all that have responded to this question to date.
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by:John Hurst
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In the situation you describe, and if you wish reinstall Windows (I think this is the correct step here), then you need to start with Windows 8 because that is what the system came with.

Then update all the drivers. Then get the free upgrade to Windows 8.1 from the Store. Yes, it is a different operating system, but the method I just described is free for you.

After Windows 8.1 is installed, update it and install applications.
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by:Rizzle
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Try a PC refresh like I suggested above before doing a reinstall as that is not always the answer.
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by:McKnife
McKnife earned 125 total points
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If you have your win8 key, you may install win8.1 right away using a generic key from http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj612867.aspx - for win8 core, use http://forums.mydigitallife.info/threads/47480-windows-8-1-generic-keys

You can use those to install but not for activation. For activation you first need to switch to your own win "8.0" key.
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by:tonyadam
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Hello experts!  This is one stubborn problem and I'm at my wits end.  We have tried a "Refresh".  That did not fix the problem.  We completely restored this Lenovo laptop back to factory level which is W8.0 based.  That seemed to be OK until the first round of 120+ updates were downloaded.  They did not install with the same problem as we've had with W8.1.  Error message is "Failure configuring Windows Updates - reverting changes - do not turn off etc. etc. "  

What other possible solutions are there?  Is it time to call Microsoft?  Could there be anything hardware related that is causing this?  Your help is appreciated.
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by:Rizzle
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So when on Windows 8 don't install all 120+ updates at a time, maybe do 30 at a time? then when all the updates are done go to Windows 8.1 and do the same.

When I did first Windows 8 machine I did the mistake of doing all updates at the same time and then they wouldn't install or just fail. I then re install windows 8, did the updates in staggered stages (30 at-a-time) then upgraded to Windows 8.1 and did the same thing.
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by:tonyadam
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We tried that earlier and could not even get one update to install.
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by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 250 total points
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We completely restored this Lenovo laptop back to factory level which is W8.0 based.  That seemed to be OK until the first round of 120+ updates were downloaded.

Try again to base system W8. Then try the following:

Install all driver updates via System Update.

Install Windows updates with dates before October 30, 2013 and not later.

Now to the Microsoft Store and update to Windows 8.1 via the store.

Now continue updates.
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by:McKnife
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It seems you didn't read my suggestion.
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by:John Hurst
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I read your suggestion, and I also did what I said above on October 31 on a new hard drive. I did ALL updates (not batches) until they were all done. Then I did Windows 8.1. Then I moved on.

I recognize my post is similar but I was posting an experience of mine which is a wee bit different and which worked flawlessly.

I also added the suggestion of driver update which is necessary.

Cheers!
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by:McKnife
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Hi John. I was addressing tonyadam, sorry.
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Author Closing Comment

by:tonyadam
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To all that tried to help....thank you.  It is tough awarding points when there is no one thing I can point to that ultimately fixed this issue.  Basically, we tried numerous suggestions of yours.  What eventually worked was restoring the system with a factory restore image which put us back to W8.0  However, even then, updates did not work.  We did our own research on the MS site and found a couple of suggestions and implemented the one that seemed to fit most closely even though it was a W7 OS.  That worked.  Once we had updates working, we went to the MS Store and downloaded W8.1 and all seems well for now.  Again, thanks to all that tried to help over the last 10 days or so.  I've had some difficult issues to solve but this one comes close to being one of the more difficult.
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by:John Hurst
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@tonyadam  - Thanks for the update. I am not sure why your machine was so hard to update as my own was easy to update. Nonetheless, thanks again and I was happy to help.
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