Windows Update Error 80245003 – Windows Update won’t run on Vista RC2

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Updated on 06.25.07: I have added some more detailed steps based on feedback I received. See end of post for further details.

I’m playing around with Windows Vista on a test box that I have. So far, it’s looking like a fairly nice upgrade to XP. It doesn’t feel like a complete overhaul (which, from my understanding, it somewhat is since many items have been reworked from the ground up). I’ve gone through the various cycles and now have found myself at RC2 (running the Windows Ultimate version).

I have installed this using VMware as well, testing integration with an Active Directory domain. For the most part, joining the domain and hooking in Office 2007 beta worked fine (including and extremely easy integration of Outlook into my corp account). However, a few months ago, after attaching to an Active Directory domain that had a server that managed Critical Updates from a centralized point, I lost the ability to do Windows Updates. It turns out that the server that managed Critical Updates needed to be patched to allow Vista to connect. After reading the documentation, I found that the upgrade process was a bit sketchy, so I took a different route and just detatched from the Active Directory domain. Then I was able to run updates without any problems.

But I’m getting a bit sidetracked. My latest install on my test box was with RC2. After installing, I found that I could not connect to Windows Updates. I was getting an Update Error of 80245003. After digging around, I found a very helpful thread that resolve my issue immediately. It looks like I had some corruption in the update directory (or something similar). The stepts to resolve were very easy:

  1. Disable the Windows Update Service (Settings > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services). Just stop the service.
  2. Navigate to: C:/Windows/ (or whereever you Windows system is)
  3. Find the folder named: “SoftwareDistribution”
  4. Rename that folder to something like “SoftwareDistribution.old”
  5. Create a new folder called “SoftwareDistribution”
  6. Go back to your Services panel and start the Windows Update service
  7. Rerun Windows Update

After doing those steps (which took all of 1-2 minutes), I was back up and running with WindowsUpdates.

Updated: More detailed steps are listed below.

Below are some slightly modified steps (based on ones provided by HTD reader, CSUjr -thanks-) which supposedly work for Vista Ultimate:

  1. Start > Control Panel > System and Maintenance, then (under Windows Update) > Turn automatic updating from “on” to “off”, then click “never check for updates”
  2. Close Control Panel
  3. REBOOT
  4. Goto My Computer
  5. Click on C: (or your Primary Drive)
  6. Open the “Windows” folder
  7. Rename the Folder called “SoftwareDistribution” to “SoftwareDistributionOLD”
  8. Create a new folder named “SoftwareDistribution”
  9. Close all windows and any running programs.
  10. REBOOT
  11. Go back to Step 1. (and back to > Turn automatic updating on or off), then turn the Automatic Updates back “On”.
  12. Close all windows and any running programs.
  13. REBOOT
  14. Then click on Start and type in “Windows Automatic Updates” in the search box
  15. Click on the “Windows Automatic Updates” icon
  16. Run Windows Automatic Updates.

Did you find this solution helpful? If so: [paypal-donation reference=”80245003 Error”]

Original credits to this thread where I found the answer. Good luck!

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76 Responses

  1. Thanks all for the positive comments! I’m glad that this is helping you. Feel free to DIGG this post to make it more visible in the blogosphere.

    -HTD

  2. Thanks all for the positive comments! I’m glad that this is helping you. Feel free to DIGG this post to make it more visible in the blogosphere.

    -HTD

  3. Thank you for the tip. I got better help from you that from Microsoft. Gracias Amigo.

  4. Thank you for the tip. I got better help from you that from Microsoft. Gracias Amigo.

  5. I am running Vista Ultimate and I’m having this same problem.

    I tried resolving this through using your instructions but, although I am logged on as the Administrator, Windows will not allow me to ReName the folder “SoftwareDistribution”, so this solution did not work for me.

    Does anyone have any suggestions?

    With apreciation,
    Charles

  6. I am running Vista Ultimate and I’m having this same problem.

    I tried resolving this through using your instructions but, although I am logged on as the Administrator, Windows will not allow me to ReName the folder “SoftwareDistribution”, so this solution did not work for me.

    Does anyone have any suggestions?

    With apreciation,
    Charles

  7. Hi CSUjr,

    Sorry that this process didn’t work. Here is something that you might want to try. Restart your system in Safe Mode by holding down F8 when the computer is rebooting. It is possible that something is preventing this from happening.
    Are you sure: 1) you are logged in as administrator and 2) that you have selected “rename” from the right-click menu?
    What type of an error do you get?
    Let me know how it goes!
    -HTD

  8. Hi CSUjr,

    Sorry that this process didn’t work. Here is something that you might want to try. Restart your system in Safe Mode by holding down F8 when the computer is rebooting. It is possible that something is preventing this from happening.
    Are you sure: 1) you are logged in as administrator and 2) that you have selected “rename” from the right-click menu?
    What type of an error do you get?
    Let me know how it goes!
    -HTD

  9. Adam,
    That is a great question…but not something that I can answer, unfortunately. Perhaps the folder became corrupted due to permissions or something. Windows is a tricky beast!
    -HTD

  10. Adam,
    That is a great question…but not something that I can answer, unfortunately. Perhaps the folder became corrupted due to permissions or something. Windows is a tricky beast!
    -HTD

  11. I have vista home premium just fixing earlier problem bout updates but howabout gf8600gt on asus ati/amd matx mobo… cant find even the card and yaps bout some damn pci – pci conflict.. helllppp

  12. I have vista home premium just fixing earlier problem bout updates but howabout gf8600gt on asus ati/amd matx mobo… cant find even the card and yaps bout some damn pci – pci conflict.. helllppp

  13. I;m using home premium and have been having that problem with Windows Update ever since I reverted to a restore point. I’m logged in as an administrator, its the only one to log on too. And it says I don’t have permission to renamed the software distribution folder.
    [email protected]

  14. I;m using home premium and have been having that problem with Windows Update ever since I reverted to a restore point. I’m logged in as an administrator, its the only one to log on too. And it says I don’t have permission to renamed the software distribution folder.
    [email protected]

  15. This one is driving me buggy. I reverted to a restore point also and lost the Vista update capability. Software Distribution folder is read only and I can’t change this permission restriction. Also can’t rename the file. All this is attempted while logged in as System Administrator. Does anyone have a fix that will work for this situation?

    Thanks for any help.

  16. This one is driving me buggy. I reverted to a restore point also and lost the Vista update capability. Software Distribution folder is read only and I can’t change this permission restriction. Also can’t rename the file. All this is attempted while logged in as System Administrator. Does anyone have a fix that will work for this situation?

    Thanks for any help.

  17. Hi All,

    It seems like people may still have questions about this. So I have set up a new support forum for people to post questions and responses about this topic. The forum is rather new and I’m working out the bugs but I hope it helps.

    I have set up a specific forum post for this blog article here: http://forum.techdad.net/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=4

    Please feel free to post additional questions there.

    -HTD

  18. Hi All,

    It seems like people may still have questions about this. So I have set up a new support forum for people to post questions and responses about this topic. The forum is rather new and I’m working out the bugs but I hope it helps.

    I have set up a specific forum post for this blog article here: http://forum.techdad.net/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=4

    Please feel free to post additional questions there.

    -HTD

  19. Thank you it worked and I just bought my PC 3 days ago. Had 20 updates that were necessary.
    Also your site came up first on the search engines all I did was type in the error code.

    Thanks again

  20. Thank you it worked and I just bought my PC 3 days ago. Had 20 updates that were necessary.
    Also your site came up first on the search engines all I did was type in the error code.

    Thanks again

  21. Thanks, I used this to resolve my issue with error 80245003 while trying to run windows update.

  22. Thanks, I used this to resolve my issue with error 80245003 while trying to run windows update.

  23. You probably are not logged in as the Administrator of that computer. Do you have access to log in as the Administrator? If not, you will need to get the appropriate person to do that.Let me know how it goes.-HTD

  24. You probably are not logged in as the Administrator of that computer. Do you have access to log in as the Administrator? If not, you will need to get the appropriate person to do that.

    Let me know how it goes.

    -HTD

  25. I follow this and all seems ok, then I run update and the fault reoccurs.Have been doing a clean install, then runing vista update, so no other software on the computer, so it can be a Vista problem

  26. I follow this and all seems ok, then I run update and the fault reoccurs.
    Have been doing a clean install, then runing vista update, so no other software on the computer, so it can be a Vista problem

  27. Worked fine here disable updates restart rename softwaredistribution after restart and the reenable auto updates now both auto and manual updating works… thought i was going to have to reformat again…….ty for the help

  28. Worked fine here disable updates restart rename softwaredistribution after restart and the reenable auto updates now both auto and manual updating works… thought i was going to have to reformat again…….
    ty for the help

  29. Hey Men…i had the same problem the first time i tried … when i did this :Disable the Windows Update Service (Settings > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services). Just stop the service – I stoped but it still had another folder with windows update service … So make sure u read everything till the bottom in the administrative tools , and stop everything of w.update.After that u are able to rename the folder …

  30. Hey Men…i had the same problem the first time i tried … when i did this :
    Disable the Windows Update Service (Settings > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services). Just stop the service – I stoped but it still had another folder with windows update service … So make sure u read everything till the bottom in the administrative tools , and stop everything of w.update.
    After that u are able to rename the folder …

  31. Okay for me a few minor changes, Turn off Win Update, then Win Defender, Reboot.. Change the SoftwareDistribution to .old then a new Folder softwareDistribution, reboot, then after turn ON Win update and Win defender, turn off the WIN FIREWALL and you will hae your updates, once you established it you can set the fire wall to except these sites!! Good luck and many thanks!!

  32. Okay for me a few minor changes, Turn off Win Update, then Win Defender, Reboot.. Change the SoftwareDistribution to .old then a new Folder softwareDistribution, reboot, then after turn ON Win update and Win defender, turn off the WIN FIREWALL and you will hae your updates, once you established it you can set the fire wall to except these sites!! Good luck and many thanks!!

  33. I have the same problem, i can not change the name of this file in vista home. it is a read only file and I can not remover that attribute. when i unckeck it and clear the box. it will not let me keep it,in that attribute. it goes right back to read only. what i can do is copy all the files over in to another folder. but can not delete the log file.:( still thinking :(

  34. Be sure that you are logged in as an Administrator. If that doesn't work, try rebooting in safemode and then logging in as an Administrator that way.

  35. I have the same problem, i can not change the name of this file in vista home. it is a read only file and I can not remover that attribute. when i unckeck it and clear the box. it will not let me keep it,in that attribute. it goes right back to read only. what i can do is copy all the files over in to another folder. but can not delete the log file.:( still thinking :(

  36. Be sure that you are logged in as an Administrator. If that doesn't work, try rebooting in safemode and then logging in as an Administrator that way.

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