Rather than build a new Windows 7 virtual machine from scratch in hyper-v, I like to do a fresh install of one VM and then “export” it as a “template” for re-import later on. Importing a machine as a new copy is much faster than building a machine from scratch and installing Windows from an ISO file.

Recently I found myself doing just this, however my most recent “template” was quite old. After bring the new VM online and getting networking setup, the first thing I went to do was run windows update.

It was then that I ran into this mysterious error message from the update console:

“Windows Update cannot currently check for updates, because the service is not running. You may need to restart your computer.”

Fine… I opened up services.msc and made sure bits and the windows update service were running. They were… I was mystified and immediately turned to Google…

The first answer I came across and tried was as follows:

1. Start Menu, type “cmd”
2. Right-click on “cmd” and run as administrator.
3. type “net stop wuauserv” and then press ENTER
4. Open up file explorer and go to C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution and delete ALL of the contents.
5. Back and the cmd prompt, type “net start wuauserv” and press ENTER
6. Try to download updates

After doing all of the above, it still failed on me…




So after some more searching I came upon this additional answer:

1. Start Menu, type “cmd”
2. Right-click on “cmd” and run as administrator.
3. type “net stop wuauserv” and then press ENTER
4. Start Menu, type “regedit” and hit “enter” after regedit appears above.
5. Delete the following registry keys:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\SusClientId
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\SusClientIdValidation

6. Back at the cmd prompt, type “net start wuauserv” and press ENTER
7. cmd prompt, type “net start bits” and press ENTER
8. Still at the cmd prompt, now type “wuauclt /resetauthorization /detectnow” and press ENTER
9. Go to windows update console, and attempt updates, you may get an message about the machine needing a reboot. If so, reboot the machine. Once it is back up, open up the console and run updates as you would normally.

This method worked for me. Hopefully it will help someone else out struggling with the same vague and useless error messsages 🙂

References:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2730071
http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-windows_update/windows-update-cannot-currently-check-for-updates/b250e431-cdfc-46ac-a044-eaaee17491cf
http://community.spiceworks.com/topic/372404-wsus-some-clients-fail-to-report-status-please-help

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