How Do I Reset Windows Updates' Software Distribution Folder ?

I never had any problems with Windows Update for many years, but

approximately one week ago

Windows Update said

it needed to update the Windows Update software.

I did, but then shortly after that

Windows Update always produced a red error message.

I ran System File Checker, but

it reported no problems.

I tried
the recommended Microsoft Troubleshooter, but

there was one problem it could not fix.

Then I tried this fix, Windows® 7 Update error 80246002

, but
it didn't fix the problem either.

Somehow I ended up on a Windows Server forum, &

a solution put forward there seemed to be very straightforward, & promising:

There's not a lot of information available about how the Windows Update Agent actually works internally, or how it should work. Most of what we know is based on several years of empirical observations.

One observation that applies is that once the datastore and download cache get out of sync, the housekeeping routines don't delete anything. Deleting the files older than 10 days usually will restore normal functionality of that housekeeping task.

If it doesn't, and space is that critical, you might also find it beneficial to rebuild the entire datastore.

  1. Save the ReportingEvents.log file.
  2. Stop the WUA service.
  3. Delete the SoftwareDistribution folder.
  4. Restart the WUA service and restore the ReportingEvents.log file.

Lawrence Garvin, M.S., MCSA, MCITP:EA, MCDBA
SolarWinds Head Geek
Microsoft MVP - Software Packaging, Deployment & Servicing (2005-2014)

I did all of the above, except

I cannot restore the [original] ReportingEvents.log file (233kb), because

  1. I cannot
    Delete the new one because
    'the application is open in Application Information (???);
    Close the file, & try again.' (?);
  2. I cannot
    Paste, & Replace with the old one, because
    I 'need Administrator Permission'  [I am 'Administrator' ?], &
    'the folder, or a file in it, is open in another program' (??);
  3. And I cannot
    simply Paste the contents of the old log into the new log, because
    'Access is Denied'.

How can I restore the [original] ReportingEvents.log file, to
get Windows Update working, again ?? ?

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Thank You,

JKB

 

Question Info


Last updated May 1, 2019 Views 14,919 Applies to:

And the "red error message" was/is...?

Have you run the Windows Update troubleshooter yet? => http://support.microsoft.com/mats/windows_update/

  • The troubleshooter will "reset" the SoftwareDistribution folder for you.
--
~Robear Dyer (PA Bear)
Microsoft MVP (Windows Client) since October 2002

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W7 churned out a total of 3 different error messages, at different stages.

Now the Software Distribution folder (~350MB) is already deleted, &
a new one was created,
as per above, but
I don't know how to replace the newly created log, with the old one;
It won't let me do any kind of simple Paste (& Replace)
for various reasons ('permissions'; 'Access Denied'; 'open folder, or file'; ).

Am I supposed to replace the old log, with the new one
using the Terminal's command prompt,
perhaps 'running as an Administrator', instead of
a simple, regular Paste ?

I am assuming that
it is much more desireable for me
to continue using the original log (as suggested above), but
I am not even 100% sure about that.

Any good advice would be appreciated.

Thank You,

JKB

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Hi,

Thank you for your reply.

In case you have already run the Windows Update troubleshooter and a new Software Distribution folder has replaced the old one. You don't have to replace old logs with new one's as it will automatically be taken care  by Update troubleshooter. I would suggest you to try installing the updates and post back the results.

Regards,

Jayant Narang

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W7 churned out a total of 3 different error messages, at different stages.

And those errors were...?

  • SoftwareDistribution is a protected folder. If you delete or rename it (e.g., to SoftwareDistribution.bak), a new one will be created automatically upon reboot.

Is it the same computer (not necessarily the same problem) as in this other recent thread of yours?...

On June 11, 2014, Windows downloaded, & installed half a dozen security-related Upgrades to my Windows 7 64-bit system, & within hours my anti-virus program, Rogers Online Protection (ROP) (actually Bit Defender), alerted me that it had detected a virus (Gen:Variant.Kazy.361890) in temp.edb buried in the windows\softwaredistribution folder.

Source: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/protect/forum/protect_other-protect_scanning/recent-windows-upgrade-contained-a-virus/a8a3c222-4f2a-4067-bd76-a384b525a72b

--
~Robear Dyer (PA Bear)
Microsoft MVP (Windows Client) since October 2002

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