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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Configure and troubleshoot Automatic Updates

Source August 2007 by Snakefoot
Automatic Updates uses 100% CPU  

Automatic Updates (AU) can become corrupted, so svchost.exe starts using 100% CPU when contacting Microsoft to check for updates. This can be tested by running this command:

wuauclt /detectnow
To fix the high CPU usage apply the following updates to Automatic Updates. More Info MS KB932494:
Automatic Updates crashes when checking for updates
Automatic Updates can also enter a state where it crashes by just checking for updates:
Generic Host Process for Win32 Services encountered a problem and needed to close.
To repair the Automatic Updates service try the following steps:
  1. Press the Start-button and Run... this command to stop the service:
    net stop wuauserv
  2. Check the root for all drives (including network drives) and delete the folder called WuTemp:
  3. Delete the following folder containing the Cryptographic Service database:
  4. Rename the following folder to SoftwareDistributionOLD:
  5. Rename the following system files used by Automatic Updates, so Windows File Protection is activated and restores them again:
    • Cdm.dll
    • Iuengine.dll
    • Wuapi.dll
    • Wuauclt.exe
    • Wuauclt1.exe
    • Wuaucpl.cpl
    • Wuaueng.dll
    • Wuaueng1.dll
    • Wuauserv.dll
    • Wucltui.dll
    • Wups.dll
    • Wups2.dll
    • Wuweb.dll
  6. Restart Windows
  7. Reinstall Windows Update Client by launching the install with the parameter /wuforce
More Info MS KB 916259
More Info MS KB 931852

Automatic Updates fails to start
 Automatic Updates might fail to start with the following error even if the service is not disabled:
Error 1058: The service cannot be started, either because it is disabled or because it has no enabled devices associated with it.
Event ID: 10005
DCOM got error "The service cannot be started, either because it is disabled or because it has no enabled devices associated with it. " attempting to start the service wuauserv with arguments "" in order to run the server: {E60687F7-01A1-40AA-86AC-DB1CBF673334}
This can be caused by the service being disabled with group policies or registry NoAutoUpdate. It can also be caused by DLL's required by Automatic Updates needs to be registered:
  • REGSVR32 %windir%\system32\wuapi.dll
  • REGSVR32 %windir%\system32\wuaueng1.dll
  • REGSVR32 %windir%\system32\wuaueng.dll
  • REGSVR32 %windir%\system32\wucltui.dll
  • REGSVR32 %windir%\system32\wups.dll
  • REGSVR32 %windir%\system32\Wuauserv.dll
Perhaps Microsoft's response needs to be stated more clearly. You cannot disable Automatic Updates without logging regular error messages when Windows tries to use the service. You remove the error messages by enabling Windows Update.
As Gerry pointed out, Windows update does not have to (in most cases) install anything, just notify you.
There are a number of reasons Microsoft does not want you to disable this service, some more political than others. Some but not all are DRM, Genuine Windows, clueless owners of botnetted machines, updates that put Microsoft at legal risk if they are NOT installed, and critical updates that require a whole series of previous updates to be in place.
If previous news of Microsoft updates that were pushed on machines while not being publicized makes you uncomfortable for any reason, you will just have to weigh that versus the discomfort of having the error message appear in the system log and make your own 

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