Friday, February 18, 2011

Windows Update Error 80073712 and fixing the problem

So I have a library that I support. Public Kiosk computers are way too much fun to support. While I was down fixing a problem I decided to update all the computers. After running through updates, half of my computers wouldn’t install the updates. I tried a reboot and still it wouldn’t work. I was getting an Error 80073712 and the updates would fail to install.

So I started searching around. I won’t bore you will all the fixes I tried that didn’t work. Below are the steps I took to resolve the issue.
I downloaded the latest Windows system Update Readiness Tool. You can download it from here:
After you download it run it. It will take a while but when it’s done it creates two log file. They are located here: “%SYSTEMDRIVE%\Windows\Logs\CBS\” and called checksur.log (This is only results for this run of the tool) and checksur.persist.log(results from the last couple of runs maybe all of them).
In the log it mentioned missing manifests and said where they should be. I checked there location and sure enough they weren’t there. It said it was missing 296. I ran the tool on the other computers having a problem and one had four missing manifests. Four is a lot easier to work with than 296 so I started with this computer. I then went to one of the computers that was working fine. Found the missing manifests and copied them to a thumb drive. They were located in the folder “C:\Windows\winsxs\Manifests.“
I then went to the other computer and tried to copy them in that same folder. Access denied. I was administrator so tried it again and still a problem. I didn’t want to bork anything so I searched the net and ran across this document which will help you fix other windows update servicing problems as well:
It notates that for missing manifests that you want to copy onto a non-working machine you place them in “C:\windows\Temp\CheckSUR\winsxs\Mainfests” and re-run the System Update Readiness tool. It then will run through the same process and in my case fixed the problem. Make sure that the found errors and the fixed  errors match. If so it fixed all the problems.
You need to reboot the computer then rerun windows update install the updates that it finds. It should then work. Now on one of the 4 computers I had one other problem to resolve but the majority of them worked without a problem. (also one of mine sat at configuring Windows Update 100% for a while, just be patient, or try press Ctrl + Alt + Del)
When you are only missing like 4 files it is ok to search manually and grab the right files, but in my case I had 2 computers missing 296 files. I was not going to do that manually. So I created a script to take the list of missing files and grab them from a working computer. You can download it here. To get the list of files, just copy out the list of files needed from the CheckSur.log and paste them into
notepad. The list starts after “Unavailable repair files:”
You need to get rid of the space before all the files and instead of doing it tediously one by one here is what I did. Copy the text from notepad into excel. It will remove the blank space(a tab) for us by splitting the blank space from the actual filenames into two columns. Copy the Second
column and paste it back into the text file and save it.
Use the script I have uploaded and change the parts to the
folder locations. The Blue change to where you and what you list of missing
manifests is called. The red section change to the folder you want it to copy
the missing manifests. Run it and it should copy all the manifests that are
listed in your file. This prevents you from doing some time consuming
searching as well as most likely making mistakes.
After its done open the folder and Select all check the count. Make sure it matches your count from the error log. If not the computer you are using doesn’t have all the files. Also the link above from Microsoft warns that they Ensure that the computer being used to copy files from is using the same version of Windows and system architecture. To check this then go the link and it shows you how.
You will then follow the steps you I did above. Browse to C:\windows\Temp(It will give you an prompt asking for permission click “Continue.” Continue to CheckSUR\winsxs\Mainfests and copy all the
manifests from your removable media into the folder. Re-run the System Update
Redines tool.
After it completes, reboot and you then rerun windows update. Tell ith
to install the updates it finds.
This was a very unfun problem and I am unsure of what caused it. All the computers are the same and have the same software so why some and not others had the problem is odd. Also remember if you computer is missing files other than manifests than you will need to read the microsoft article and copy the files you find into a different location. Good Luc


  1. Thank you very much, your article helped me decipher the windows troubleshooting page and fix my laptop. It took me five hours, haha. I read other people's comments online and it seems like it happens when something interrupts the initial install. In my case my computer appeared to have frozen so I power cycled it manually. I learned my lesson from this experience though, that's for sure.

  2. Glad to help. I am preping another post about some of my update problems on these computers. I believe some of my patrons were turning off the computer forcefully because they thought it was off or an update was taking too long. But another software was causing some update problems and could have been preventing it from writing those manifest files. Anyways thanks for the comment

  3. It worked!! Thanks a lot. Now SP1 installed fine.

    Although...I lost concurrent remote desktop logon after that!!
    These instructions did not work yet...trying to sort the problem:

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Wow, thanks! I had the same issue with my computer. This helped me solve it!!!


Keep it Clean.