Re-downloading pending Windows updates
Update 2/26/2011: I neglected to mention that this fix is normally only needed for Windows XP. Windows 7 appears to have some auto-fix thing built-in, and I’ve never had this issue with Windows Vista.
I’ve often run into an issue where a Windows update is downloaded but can’t be installed. No matter how many times I tell it to install the update, Windows Update just says that the update failed. Very frustrating.
Luckily, I stumbled upon a solution, and it is so very simple:
- Temporarily stop the Automatic Updates service.
- Open c:\windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download
- Delete everything in that folder. These are just the installers for the updates you’ve already installed, so it won’t hurt anything.
- Open Windows Update and pick the update that you’ve been having trouble with. It will be re-downloaded and, with any luck, it will install without any issues.
- Start the Automatic Updates service.
Hope this helps someone. Or at the very least it will help me when I run into the issue again in a few months.