Windows XP Automatic updates not working

Yodi - Dec 12, 2008 at 10:19 AM
 Jay - Dec 20, 2013 at 02:28 PM

My computer will not allow me to turn on the windows automatic updates. Part of the issue was that I found out that I had a virus so I was able to run full scan and got rid of the virus atleast I hope so.
There is a big x over the automatic updates shield. I tried going in under control panel and turn the updates on but it will not allow me to do so. Also, I went through the security center as well but the system will not allow me to change it from off to on. Can you explain why its doing this and tell me how to fix the problem?

12 replies

1 >GO ahead and rename the "software distribution" folder to "software distribution old" on the c drive. Path is C:\WINDOWS\
2 >Once rename the folder go to Automatic updates from the control panel and disable and enable the Automatic updates.
3 >Once it is done restart the computer the Automatic updates will start download.

Good luck.
After I fought the problem for MONTHS, Arun Soman's solution finally solved my problem. Definitely try this solution!

My computer wouldn't let me rename the C:\Windows\Software Distribution folder (due to the ReportingEvents.log file being in use) and so I created a new folder (named "Software Distribution NEW") and cut and pasted all of the files (except the ReportingEvents.log file) from \SoftwareDistribution into it.

Arun's little trick has very noticeably speeded up my Windows Explorer opening and other tasks on my computer.

Thanks Arun!
WinXPUser Posts 1 Registration date Wednesday December 12, 2012 Status Member Last seen December 12, 2012
Dec 12, 2012 at 11:45 PM
Arun, you saved my life. I have had nothing but trouble with Windows Update. I downloaded "Windows Fixit". It didn't fix it. My computer had slowed to a crawl. New software installation was a nightmare. I was getting conflicts with my video driver so my display reverted to 640x480. I had to use system restore repeatedly. Nothing was working. I then tried your magical solution and now Windows update is automatic and, so far, none of the other problems have returned. In addition my computer boot-up and program opening have speed-ed up dramatically. This was a great fix. Thanks
your the best... thank you.. after removing a bad virus ..I could not get updates to work, but this tip worked perfect,,, THANKYOU!! :)
Excellent solution.
I am repairing a friends computer and this was the final step in resolving her PC issues. There were many.
I copied all of the files, with the exception of one that would not allow me to move it or delete it, and once I rebooted the PC, I went to the update site and started downloading and installing the updates.
I was getting the message that I needed to be an administrator in order to install updates, even though I was logged in as the admin.
Got a similar problem with windows update for xp I think. When I've tried it comes up with an error every time. [Error number: 0x80244019] HELP!
I was wondering if you got the problem fixed and what was your solution because I'm also having the same problem.

I was told to update my java and run malwarebytes

Good luck!
windows is worthless!
Stop automatic update service and BITs service. Download and run

I had to reboot one machine to get it to work but the rest worked without.

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You need to stop the automatic updates service. Then you can change the folder name without needing to boot into "safe mode"
Hopefully this help somebody the same way as helped me.
Install first this latest cumulative update for IE8:
for IE7:
After restart Windows automatic updates work immediatelly as well as Windows Update.
I had the same issue with being unable to rename the folder due to protection issues. The solution for me turned out to be rebooting into safe mode which then allowed me to rename the folder. While still in safe mode I turned on the automatic updates and rebooted into normal mode.
I was pulling my hair up after formatting my hard drive--and installing windows xp...then windows update wouldn't work. Tried microsoft update engines....finally stumbled across this site while searching the internet. And presto!! tried Arun's fix-------restarted pc and now window update works.

Thanks Arun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

for me it was enough to stop and start windows update services
Worked!! Awesome bro, thanks!!
I'm having the same problem but cannot rename the Software Distribution folder because it says it is protected. How can I overcome this? Ty.
To delete the folder "Software Distribution" do the following:

1. Browse start menu to programs>accessories
2. Right click on command prompt and run as administrator
3. Type "net stop wuauserv" (don't close out the command prompt just minimize it)
4. Browse to the windows folder and delete or rename the software distribution folder
5. Now back in the command prompt type "net start wuauserv"

Open windows update and check for updates. Should fix the problem.
thank you Arun!