TROU­BLESHOOT UP­DATES

Some­times the worst hap­pens, and an up­date goes wrong—just fol­low th­ese tips to get out of trou­ble

Maximum PC - - WINDOWS SUPPORT MANUAL -

Ide­ally, Win­dows Up­date should be vir­tu­ally in­vis­i­ble—other than alert­ing you when up­dates are ready to be in­stalled, and while they’re be­ing con­fig­ured on startup.

In the real world, we all know bet­ter, of course. Some Win­dows up­dates might re­quire two or three at­tempts be­fore fi­nally in­stalling, while oth­ers may stub­bornly refuse to in­stall, pe­riod. Win­dows Up­date might even stop func­tion­ing com­pletely, or your PC may sud­denly refuse to re­boot af­ter you’ve in­stalled the lat­est up­dates. So, what’s the so­lu­tion?

GEN­ERAL TROU­BLESHOOT­ING

If Win­dows Up­date re­fuses to work cor­rectly—it throws up er­rors when you at­tempt to in­stall or scan for up­dates, for ex­am­ple, or you’re strug­gling to in­stall a spe­cific up­date—start by run­ning the Win­dows Up­date trou­bleshooter. In Win 10, go to “Set­tings > Up­date & Se­cu­rity > Trou­bleshoot,” click the “Win­dows Up­date” link, and click “Run the trou­bleshooter.” Older ver­sions hide the trou­bleshooter un­der “Con­trol Panel > Sys­tem and Se­cu­rity > Ac­tion Cen­ter > Trou­bleshoot com­mon com­puter prob­lems.”

When the wiz­ard opens, click “Ad­vanced” and choose “Run as Ad­min­is­tra­tor,” be­fore click­ing “Next” (Win­dows 7/8.1 only). Wait while the tool scans for is­sues—if it finds and fixes any, click “View de­tailed in­for­ma­tion” if re­quired, to find out more, then click “Close,” re­boot, and try again. If the fix in­volves in­stalling pend­ing up­dates, but it’s those up­dates re­fus­ing to in­stall that is caus­ing the prob­lem, click “Skip this fix” to keep search­ing for other po­ten­tial is­sues.

If the prob­lem per­sists, you may need to per­form more dras­tic steps. The “Re­set Win­dows Up­date” guide op­po­site ex­plains how you can use the Win­dows Re­pair Tool to get around this—down­load and in­stall the tool (or ex­tract the por­ta­ble ver­sion) from www.tweak­ing.com. It will at­tempt a deeper fix via Safe mode.

Of­ten, the prob­lem isn’t with Win­dows Up­date it­self, but a spe­cific up­date that re­fuses to in­stall. You may get ad­vanced warn­ing—a mes­sage dur­ing re­boot that Win­dows is re­vers­ing a failed up­date—or your PC may keep at­tempt­ing to in­stall up­dates af­ter ev­ery re­boot. If the prob­lem per­sists over two or three re­boots, it’s time to take fur­ther ac­tion.

Check the sta­tus of up­dates via the Win­dows Up­date tool. Sim­ply click “View up­date his­tory,” where you’ll see a list of pre­vi­ously in­stalled up­dates and whether

they were suc­cess­ful or not. If there are mul­ti­ple up­dates fail­ing, it’s likely only one of them is the cul­prit. Win­dows 8.1 and 7 users can click to re­view up­dates, then se­lect up­dates one at a time. This may be enough in it­self (four stub­born up­dates on our Win­dows 8.1 PC all in­stalled singly with no is­sues, hav­ing failed to in­stall to­gether), or it will at least nar­row down your search to the spe­cific mal­func­tion­ing up­date.

An­other pos­si­ble fix is to down­load and in­stall the prob­lem up­date man­u­ally. Search for the up­date num­ber (in­clud­ing KB) at www.cat­a­log.up­date.mi­cro­soft.com. You’re given a list of matches based on Win­dows ver­sion, plus sys­tem ar­chi­tec­ture—x64 is for 64-bit ver­sions of Win­dows, x86 for 32bit. Down­load the file, dou­ble-click it, and fol­low the in­struc­tions to in­stall it.

If this doesn’t work, then you’ll need to dig deeper. Any failed up­dates are ac­com­pa­nied by an er­ror code in Win­dows 10; Win­dows 8.1 and 7 users need to dou­ble-click a failed up­date to re­view an er­ror re­port in­clud­ing the er­ror code. Older ver­sions of Win­dows also pro­vide a “Get help with this er­ror” link, al­though this usu­ally fails to yield any mean­ing­ful re­sults.

In­stead, make a care­ful note of the er­ror code and the up­date KB num­ber. Google the code—try it with “Win­dows Up­date,” your ver­sion of Win­dows, the KB num­ber, or just on its own to see what you find. Ig­nore ads and fo­cus on gen­uine web­sites, in­clud­ing rep­utable sources such as https://an­swers.mi­cro­soft.com. Fo­cus on newer re­sults first—par­tic­u­larly if they cor­re­spond to your spe­cific KB num­ber.

With a lit­tle luck, you’ll stum­ble upon a so­lu­tion that’s been found by other users. There’s no rhyme or rea­son to cer­tain up­dates fail­ing, but if all of the trou­bleshoot­ing tech­niques we’ve de­scribed here—in­clud­ing the Win­dows Re­pair tool—fail to yield a so­lu­tion, don’t panic. Sim­ply ping our res­i­dent trou­bleshoot­ing mas­ter an email at doc­[email protected]­i­mumpc.com, and he’ll see if he can steer you to­ward the so­lu­tion.

“You may get a spe­cific warn­ing that Win­dows is re­vers­ing a failed up­date—or your PC may keep at­tempt­ing to in­stall up­dates af­ter ev­ery re­boot.”

The Win­dowsUp­date trou­bleshooter is ca­pa­ble of fix­ing a wide range of is­sues that lead toprob­lems with in­stallingup­dates.

Be sure to se­lect the cor­rect ver­sion of Win­dows when down­load­ing up­dates man­u­ally.

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