Windows 7 - Windows Update error: "Cannot currently check for updates ..."

I have a Windows 7 laptop.  I've run several antivirus products, no threats found.

When I try to check for Updates, I'm getting the error:  "Windows Update cannot currently check for updates, because the service is not running.  You may need to restart your computer."

I've looked for Windows Update Service in the Services, but can't find it.

What could be wrong?  Thanks
Dwight BaerStudentAsked:
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Dwight BaerConnect With a Mentor StudentAuthor Commented:
Never mind.  I found the answer:
(at an elevated command prompt):

net stop wuauserv
cd %systemroot%
ren SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old
net start wuauserv
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Dwight BaerStudentAuthor Commented:
I checked "Installed Updates" and I don't actually see anything that's been installed since 2012, except for an Adobe Reader update that was installed today when I downloaded a new version of Adobe Reader.
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Lieven EmbrechtsSenior IT ConsultantCommented:
SoftwareDistribution can get corrupt
but it's safe to delete its contents.
it will be rebuild the next time you run windowsupdate.
So it's safe to delete that SoftwareDistribution.old folder too.
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Lieven EmbrechtsSenior IT ConsultantCommented:
btw when you delete the contents of SoftwareDistribution
it's also a good time to delete the contents of c:/windows/temp
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RizzleCommented:
Make sure when you post a question next time that all avenues have been tried before posting.
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Dwight BaerStudentAuthor Commented:
I think my question was reasonable.  I had spent a good amount of time researching before I posted it.

All the answers are "out there" ... If I had all the time in the world, I could certainly find the answer somewhere else.   But the reason I pay $$ to Experts Exchange every year is for the convenience of someone else who already knows the answer, and can give it to me in 5 minutes whereas it may take me 5 hours elsewhere.  If  I am misunderstanding something, please let me know.

I'm surprised by your comment.
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RizzleCommented:
It can be longer than 5 minutes to have the correct solution for you, each environment is different so some solutions are trial and error.
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Dwight BaerStudentAuthor Commented:
Don't get me wrong.  I really appreciate the help I receive from Experts Exchange.  But I don't remember passing a "Computer Skills proficiency test" prior to signing up.  I always research my questions "to a reasonable extent" before I post it on EE.  And in this case, yes, by coincidence I happened to find the answer myself shortly after posting my question.

I certainly understand that the experts will sometimes put in a LOT of time in answering my questions.  I don't mean to minimize that.

Once again, I'm very thankful for EE.
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Dwight BaerStudentAuthor Commented:
I found the answer myself before anybody else had a chance to respond.
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Lieven EmbrechtsSenior IT ConsultantCommented:
thanks
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