I am able to automatically download updates on my Windows 2003 server machine but installation always fails for all the updates with the error code 0x8024200E. However, they work fine, if I download the individual updates manually & install. I have both the BITS and the automatic update services enabled and running with startup type set to automatic.

I am not sure what I am missing here. Any help on this issue is much appreciated.

6 Answers 6


Have a look at the WindowsUpdate.log which should be in the root of your Windows directory (%systemroot%\windowsupdate.log). That may provide some more information beyond just the error 0x8024200E. The KB Articles How to read the Windowsupdate.log file and How to troubleshoot common Windows Update, Microsoft Update, and Windows Server Update Services installation issues are worth reading.

  • How did you end up fixing the problem? Did you find some more information in the WindowsUpdate.log?
    – Sim
    Jan 6, 2010 at 23:07

One trick is to use MBSA to reinstall the Windows Update Agent software.

  1. Download and install the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer on an adminstrative workstation or server somewhere. You should have this handy anyway if you're administering Windows Update - it's a good, light, non-invasive tool. As I write, the latest version is 2.1.1, available here;

    Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer 2.1.1 (for IT Professionals)

  2. Run the tool and choose to Scan one computer - enter the name or IP of the problem server.

  3. Deselect everything except the Check for security updatess options. Choose to Configure computers for Microsoft Update and scanning prerequisites - this will reinstall the Windows Update Agent software if it's corrupted. Choose to Scan using assigned Windows Server Update Services(WSUS) servers only, under Advanced Update Services options: - this will show you which patches are missing according to your WSUS approvals. If you're not running WSUS, use Microsoft Update.

  4. Start scan.

If you have a client problem with the agent software, this may fix it.

Alternatively, choose Scan using Microsoft Update only under Advanced Update Services options: - this will show patch status according to Microsoft. It can be a useful spot-check to compare your WSUS approvals against Microsoft's master list on a few random servers every once in a while.


One trick is to delete the downloaded updates and start again.

If an update is refusing to install, it's possible to stop the Automatic Updates service, delete everything under %WINDIR%\SoftwareDistribution (or at least \Downloads\* and \Datastore\*, start the Automatic Updates service again. Keep checking the tail of %WINDIR%\WindowsUpdate.log for progress - if nothing seems to be happening, try running wuauclt /detectnow at the command line.


Running sfc /scannow fixed my issues with this - Seems like some system files were corrupt.

  • Make sure to have the OS installation media on the CD drive or you can also change the SourcePath in the registry (HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup) to point to the Base directory OS installation files (Not the i386 directory and Network locations are allowed).
  • on a command prompt run sfc /scannow (Should be able to do this from start->run sfc /scannow)
  • Reboot and attempt to patch again.

You can also download the latest Windows Update Agent here


Finally, after trying many solutions with no hope. I'm sharing the solution for all to benefit:

  • Don't run Windows Update from "Start Menu" or from Control Panel.
  • Instead open Internet Explorer, then --> Tools --> Windows Update "twice" to accept installation.

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