Windows Update Troubleshooting Guide

3. Running the automatic troubleshooter

We did not have time yet, to test this on Windows 10. We assume the troubleshooter will not work since it’s designed for Windows 8 and will most likely give the error that it is not compatible with Windows 10. Windows 10 Users should skip this step.

Microsoft has released an automatic troubleshooter to find and solve common Windows Update problems, we suggest you give this a try. We hear very good things about it.


Then try to run Windows Update again, continue if it still does not work properly.


4. Resetting the Windows Update Components

In most cases the downloaded data is just corrupted and removing this data can help making Windows update again.

  1. Open Elevated Command Prompt by following one of two methods:
    1. Press the Windows + X at the same time, then choose Command Prompt (admin)
    2. Press the Windows + W key at the same time and then type ” cmdright-click
      Command Prompt and choose Run as Administrator
  2. Enter the following command: “net stop wuauserv” and hit enter.
  3. Enter the following command: “net stop cryptSvc” and hit enter.
  4. Enter the following command: “net stop bits” and hit enter.
  5. Enter the following command: “net stop msiserver” and hit enter.
  6. Enter the following command: “ren C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old” and hit enter.
  7. Enter the following command: “ren C:\Windows\System32\catroot2 catroot2.old” and hit enter.
  8. Enter the following command: “net start wuauserv” and hit enter.
  9. Enter the following command: “net start cryptSvc” and hit enter.
  10. Enter the following command: “net start bits” and hit enter.
  11. Enter the following command: “net start msiserver” and hit enter.
  12. Reboot your system.

Then try to run Windows Update again, continue if it still does not work properly.

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About The Author
Yuri Pustjens
Yuri Pustjens
2014, 2015 & 2016 Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Windows Yuri specializes in troubleshooting (crash analysis and devices), system resource utilisation and system performance. He is also very interested in Customer Security. Yuri can be found as Windows Community Moderator and Wiki Author on Microsoft Answers and is active on different communities all across the web.
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  • Bill T
    August 19, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    Thank you. This fix my problem even thought I wasn’t getting any error messages. Just “Windows could not complete updates. Restoring to previous settings.” After trying steps 1-3 of your troubleshooting article and those didn’t change anything, although step 4 was the solution. When it came to the step for stopping the msiserver is said it wasn’t started. When it was time to start the msiserver the response was that msiserver was not responding to conrtol. So I rebooted and went back to cmd prompt for admin and tried starting the msiserver. This time it started and then I went back to check for updates. It found 34 important updates which I proceeded to allow windows to install. This time all went well and now my HP ENVY dv6 is now up to date and hopefully no more problems like this.

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