Monday, February 05, 2007

Clearing Windows Update Cache Upon Update Failure

This tip could be applied to any kind of Windows Update on Windows XP be it manual update or automatic update.

A failure in updating could happen when you suddenly get disconnected or downloaded corrupted data which happens a lot. And it seems that there is no local check to ensure that the file is actually complete. It just attempts to install the downloaded material even if its not complete. The stupid thing is that even though you try to update again, it just checks the cache, see that its there and won't bother redownloading the files.

Therefore when you face such a scenario, you could take these steps to solve your problems:
  1. Open Command Prompt by Start -> Run and type "cmd"
  2. On the Command Prompt, type "net stop wuauserv". This is done so that you will terminate the windows automatic update service to allow us to delete the cache files
  3. Still on the Command Prompt, type "cd /d %windir%" or "cd\windows"
  4. Type "rd /s SoftwareDistribution"
  5. Thats it, the cache has been purged. Now we need to restart the windows automatic update service again. To do that, type "net start wuauserv"
Thats all. Its simple right? Good luck.

40 Comments:

At 4:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you very much,

It worked perfectly.
You need to clear the proxy cache as well if you got one though.

Thanks again.

 
At 4:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I spoke too fast,

Well, it worked. I re-downloaded properly the updates, but won't install them.

Fails again.
Dawm Microsoft

 
At 6:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks from Brazil.

 
At 8:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks from Morocco

 
At 4:55 AM, Blogger Eric Thirolle said...

Worked for me in US, thanks

 
At 11:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perfect!!!

 
At 11:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perfect!!!

 
At 12:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent, worked for me!

 
At 10:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I LOVE YOU!

 
At 10:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I LOVE YOU!

 
At 3:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't thank you enough. Most often this takes care of goofy microsoft update problems

I've had to use this several times on various machines. What a great fix it routine.

 
At 12:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks from the US.

It didn't fix my problem but it did exactly what I wanted to try. Now I'm off to find another route. Thanks again!

 
At 5:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ty from The Neterlands!

 
At 10:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finally!!!! Problem resolved!

Thanks a billion!

 
At 8:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks from Mexico

 
At 2:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks from Germany!

 
At 11:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks from Northern Wisconsin, USA

 
At 12:09 AM, Blogger Chandan said...

Thank you from India!

It did what it said it would do, on Vista 64 bit, but looks like its more of a windows issue, what I got.

Thanks again for the tip!

 
At 12:17 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Thanks from Australia.

 
At 9:38 PM, Blogger Bonga86 said...

Works 100% in South Africa

 
At 1:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

PEFETO DEDE CANARIAS!!!

 
At 1:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks from Russia! Awesome post!

 
At 9:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much! Still great advice - even for Windows 7. Somehow windows update ate a bad download and created all sorts of weird havoc and registry errors which I had to fix with a restore point and your advice.

 
At 12:53 AM, Blogger 13rainstorms said...

I simply cannot say how many times this has come in handy. Thanks!

 
At 11:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks from Mauritius!!!

 
At 11:59 PM, Blogger Mark said...

Thanks from UK :)! P.S. This really should be on MS KB.

 
At 2:02 PM, Blogger juliaroberts said...

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At 3:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you from Russia!!!

 
At 6:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks from Ukraine. I got thinking about this after I became aware of "apt-get clean" command functionality in Linux. So I figured "there must be a way to clean the package download cache in Windows as well". I do think that starting with XP, Windows is a decent system and it had to have this functionality, I only had to find out where the files are. Now it would be interesting if I could somehow re-query the updates database to maybe change my mind about an update I refused earlier and said to never show it again. Do you know about anything like that? It would also be a lifesaver, should the update index db become damaged and need regeneration.

Thanks again.

 
At 8:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much. I spent so many hours with a system failing to update and taking hours and hours to fail. Once I cleared the update cache the updates flied in and were successful.

 
At 3:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much........

 
At 10:20 AM, Anonymous buy house said...

You can also do it by deleting the contents of this directory: C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download

Though I prefer your way - much more elegant.

 
At 2:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Txs from Monaco

 
At 2:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

windows update is an abortion
spend hours installing patches manually

 
At 5:33 PM, Blogger aalia lyon said...

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At 6:48 PM, Blogger Alice Cury said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 6:51 PM, Blogger Alice Cury said...

I started my system and try to install windows update then I suddenly receive a windows update error. I got shocked that what is this and why I receive this error. I started searching on internet, when I come to this page I have fixed windows update error easily and also fix my PC problems.

 
At 4:55 PM, Blogger nuruzzaman hosain said...

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At 4:58 PM, Blogger nuruzzaman hosain said...

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At 5:00 PM, Blogger nuruzzaman hosain said...

Thanks so much! Still great advice - even for Windows 7. Somehow windows update ate a bad download and created all sorts of weird havoc and registry errors which I had to fix with a restore point and your advice.
It is a brilliant post.if you want more visite here

 

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