Win7 Windows Updates failing due to unknown error

I started noticing a couple weeks ago that every night when I shut down, there were updates waiting to install. By the next morning, I'd forget about it until I went to shut down again. Turns out, there are 8 important updates according to Windows Update, and it fails every time.

There were also a couple other optional updates, that if I selected only those to install, it worked fine. So now I've only got the 8 important updates, and no way to get them to work. If I try to install any single one of those updates, it still fails. Some information and trouble-shooting steps taken:

1. The code in Windows Update is: 80246007 Windows Update encountered an unknown error.
2. I've tried Microsoft Fixit 50123.msi to no avail.
3. I've tried WindowsUpdateDiagnostic.diagcab to no avail.
   3A. When running the diag and the troubleshooting has completed, it reports that Windows Update error 0x80070005 (2015-10-30-T-11_31_55A) is Not Fixed.
4. I've tried the SubInacl.msi with the reset.cmd text tile to no avail.

At this point, I'm stumped. Any other ideas? Has anyone else run into or solved this problem?
Eric JackIT ManagerAsked:
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What version of win. 7 ? ( 64 bit /pro. etc.)

If a 64 bit OS, then the Microsoft Windows Update Readiness tool should work.

If  the Microsoft Windows Update Readiness tool did not solve it, then Manually reset Windows Update components.

You may need to reinstall Windows 7

I suggest you read more on this posted on EE titled:
"Windows cannot run updates"
(accepted solution: John Hurst)
Eric Jack--
Well, you have tried most things I would suggest.

I list some of them here in case you have missed one.

Reset Windows Update


Reinstall Windows Update Agent (different links for different Win 7 systems (32bit and 64bit))

Scan for viruses and other malware.

Run SFC /SCANNOW from a Command Prompt

Run a System Restore to a date before the problem started.

If nothing helps, run a Repair Install.  A Repair Install should not affect personal data or installed programs. but it never hurts to backup first.
@ jcimarron
Thanks for repeating all of my suggested solutions :)
Re: 2015-10-31 at 03:12:22ID: 41153824 which included an EE link to the same problem.
Acronis True Image 2019 just released!

Create a reliable backup. Make sure you always have dependable copies of your data so you can restore your entire system or individual files.

I tried to prune my list from
to exclude suggestions you made in this thread.
Eric JackIT ManagerAuthor Commented:
Well, going over everyone's replies and sifting through the duplicated suggestions, nothing has helped. None of the fixit programs did anything. The manual reset of the Windows Update components seemed to do something, but ultimately the updates still failed. I ran a MalwareBytes scan which found nothing attributable. And the SFC /SCANNOW command said it found errors and corrected them on the first run, and found some that it couldn't fix on the second run. And in the end, the updates still don't work.

There have been a couple other quirky things with my system, including Windows crashing if I close the lid of the laptop instead of suspending/sleeping. And I've been contemplating evaluating Win10 for use in the company. So I might just bite the bullet and wipe my system and start from scratch. As much as a PITA that can be...

I may have to wait a few more weeks because my existing version of Symantec Enterprise Protection is not compatible with WIn10. I should have the new SEPM server installed shortly. In the meantime, I guess I live with no updates or hope it self-corrects on the next batch from MS.
Eric Jack--
Did you run the following:
Scan for viruses.  (MalwareBytes is for malware.)?
Run a System Restore to a date before the problem started.?

 If nothing else helps, run a Repair Install.  ?
 Repair Install is much easier to recover from compared to wiping your system.
Eric JackIT ManagerAuthor Commented:
Yes, as I stated I ran a MalwareBytes scan. A System Restore may or may not help if I knew when this problem began. It's been at least 2-3 weeks, and that's only when I noticed it.

I could try to run a repair. That's the one thing I haven't done yet.
"A System Restore may or may not help if I knew when this problem began. It's been at least 2-3 weeks, and that's only when I noticed it."

Go back to the oldest restore point (date) available.

"I could try to run a repair."

That's the next step.

A fresh install may be needed (note you will loose all non windows programs)
Eric JackIT ManagerAuthor Commented:
The oldest restore point available is only 3 days ago. This has been happening for a couple weeks. I'll try the repair option, but I'm packing for a business trip so it will have to wait a week until I'm back. If the repair works, it will be good until I wipe and load Win10. If not... I'll eventually be loading Win10 anyway.
Eric JackIT ManagerAuthor Commented:
Well, I'm back from my business trip so I tried to repair Windows. Turned out to be a waste of time. From Windows, I launched the Win7 SP1 disk and chose the upgrade option because I wanted to preserve my installed programs and settings. The upgrade was successful in that fact. Then I spent hours applying ~300 updates to Windows to get it back up to current. After several runs of Microsoft Update, I got to a point where there are 9 important updates to install, and guess what: they fail with an unknown error. So I'm back in exactly the same place I was before I started!

Actually, I'm worse off. The upgrade process broke Office. Now I can't get any Office applications to launch.

Unless someone has a magic bullet to fix this problem, I think my only other option is to format and reinstall Windows from scratch. Well, that would give me a chance to upgrade to Win10 to begin evaluating it for company use.
Eric Jack--
Have you checked the websites for each of the Updates you cannot install?  Do you find that they may not really be applicable to your PC or method of operating?
Eric JackIT ManagerAuthor Commented:
Actually, now that I check them all more closely, they are all Office 2013 related. There's basically one update for each component of office (Word, Outlook, OneNote, etc.) If I try to download it directly from the website and install it manually, I get the error "An error occurred while running detection".

Well, that's probably why a Windows update/upgrade didn't help. The issue is probably with Office, not with Windows or the Windows Update program. So... maybe I should try repairing or even reloading Office instead...
Eric Jack--
Have you checked Control Panel|Programs and Features|View Installed Updates to be sure these updates have not already been installed?
I assume you know how to run an Office repair.  If not post back.
Have you any other error messages beside 80246007?

If Repair is not the solution, here is a long shot:  See the somewhat complicated Answer in this reference

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or just uninstall - reinstall Office, or upgrade it
Eric JackIT ManagerAuthor Commented:
Okay, here's an update:

I tried to use the Office DVD and it failed with an error. It wouldn't even load the installer to even select repair.

Next I tried to uninstall Office from Control Panel > Programs and Features. Got the same error as trying to load the Office DVD. (Sorry, I was rushing and didn't note the exact error message.)

Googled the error message and found a MS page with a Fix-It to use. Ran the Fix-It for Office 2010 first, and it ran without errors (and had nothing to uninstall.) Ran the Fix-It for Office 2013 next and it had an error at the end. But when I checked, it did uninstall all of Office 2013, including my Visio 2013. When I ran a Windows Update, i was now told there were no updates to install. An improvement over having 8-9 that kept failing.

Then I reinstalled Office 2013 from DVD as well as Visio 2013. Once installed, I ran Windows Update and installed all the updates over a few passes.

So... at this point it looks like the problem is solved. Office is working. There are no pending (or failing) updates. So in the end, I started off barking up the wrong tree. It was Office that was buggered up the whole time.
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