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

Posted on 2014-10-23
Last Modified: 2014-10-28
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
Question by:Dwight Baer
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
  • 5
  • 3
  • 2

Author Comment

by:Dwight Baer
ID: 40400262
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.

Accepted Solution

Dwight Baer earned 0 total points
ID: 40400277
Never mind.  I found the answer:
(at an elevated command prompt):

net stop wuauserv
cd %systemroot%
ren SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old
net start wuauserv

Expert Comment

by:Lieven Embrechts
ID: 40400297
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.
Technology Partners: We Want Your Opinion!

We value your feedback.

Take our survey and automatically be enter to win anyone of the following:
Yeti Cooler, Amazon eGift Card, and Movie eGift Card!


Expert Comment

by:Lieven Embrechts
ID: 40400305
btw when you delete the contents of SoftwareDistribution
it's also a good time to delete the contents of c:/windows/temp
LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 40400340
Make sure when you post a question next time that all avenues have been tried before posting.

Author Comment

by:Dwight Baer
ID: 40401845
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.
LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 40402427
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.

Author Comment

by:Dwight Baer
ID: 40402867
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.

Author Closing Comment

by:Dwight Baer
ID: 40408041
I found the answer myself before anybody else had a chance to respond.

Expert Comment

by:Lieven Embrechts
ID: 40408054

Featured Post

Optimize your web performance

What's in the eBook?
- Full list of reasons for poor performance
- Ultimate measures to speed things up
- Primary web monitoring types
- KPIs you should be monitoring in order to increase your ROI

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

First some basics on Windows 7 Backup.  It has 2 components one is a file based backup which is stored in .zip files each zip is split at around 200 Megabytes and there is the Image Backup which is as the name implies a total image of the partition …
When you start your Windows 10 PC and got an "Operating system not found" error or just saw  "Auto repair for startup" or a blinking cursor with black screen. A loop for Auto repair will start but fix nothing.  You will be panic as there are no back…
This Micro Tutorial will give you a introduction in two parts how to utilize Windows Live Movie Maker to its maximum editing capability. This will be demonstrated using Windows Live Movie Maker on Windows 7 operating system.
The viewer will learn how to successfully create a multiboot device using the SARDU utility on Windows 7. Start the SARDU utility: Change the image directory to wherever you store your ISOs, this will prevent you from having 2 copies of an ISO wit…

628 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question