The perennial Windows Update problem and what seems to be a solution

In case You are one of the victims of mysterious and seemingly un-fixable Windows Update (WU) problem (whatever is the useless Error code) read on.

Here is the annoyingly simple and short fix that seems obvious (if one has time to think) and more importantly it seems to work. I say “seems” simply because this is one of those W7 problems that no body wants to claim for herself as a “final solution”. Even good old Microsoft Technet.

Completely and comprehensively Reset your Windows Update sub-system

  1. Go to your services (simply run services.msc)
  2. Find “Windows Update” service and stop it
  3. Go to C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution (or wherever is your local Windows folder)
  4. Erase everything that is inside
  5. Now start the “Windows Update” service
  6. Start your Windows Update
    • Most likely your WU will not work after this step. It will go and try to find the uppdates. But it will likely fail with one of them spurious Error codes.

Make WU URL’s “Safe”

And this is the “obvious” part.

  1. Open Your Internet Explorer and go to Setting and then Options
  2. Go to the “Security” tab
  3. Add the following to Your list of trusted sites
    2. https://*

And this is the “Trusted Sites” dialogue with all the URL’s necessary for WU to work. If it has stopped working that is. Why is this necessary for some machines and not for most of them is the key question. Anyone care to answer, please ?

Safe URL-s for Windows Update Fix

After this Your WU should work. Try. This solution is annoying because it took me a lot of weeks and re-visits to come to this simple fix. It is also annoying because Microsoft Fix-It fix for WU does not Fix-It.

NOTE: thanks to all who fought this issue on numerous forums, until this solution crystallized itself.