Friday, March 30, 2012

Windows Update Failing with Error 80243004

The Problem
I have 8 computers that due to the software they have on them I must some and update them manually once a month. Upon doing this I had three that failed with the error to the right. The Screen sat with the status "Preparing to Install" for quite a long time then all of them failed with the error 80243004.
I had one of the computers "Try again" with no avail it just failed again. After doing that I ran around the Internet searching for a solution. I found the following thread on Technet and in it my solution here.

The Solution
The solution is strange. It has to do with the notification area of the taskbar. See by default the notification area in Windows 7 and Server 2008 hide most of the notification icons in an area found by clicking on the skyward pointing white arrow shown to the right. Well if you look at this area after this error you will see the notification area is huge with tons of blank spaces. If you are seeing this then the solution to your update problem follows below.
Right-click on some blank space on the taskbar and select "Properties" about half-way down the screen you will see a button that says "Customize...", click it. On the next screen you will see the option displayed in the picture below: "Always show all icons and notifications on the taskbar", place a check by it and click "OK" to close out that window and do it again for the notification properties window as well.

 It will then display all of the notifications now in the taskbar as you see in the picture below. Go ahead and have Windows Update "Try Again" now. It should complete successfully. After that you can revert your notification area back by going back and unchecking the setting you see in the picture above.

Conclusion
You should now be good to go. After checking the Windows Update Log located at C:\Windows\WindowsUpdate.lob I found the following error lines:

Can not perform non-interactive scan if AU is interactive-only
AU setting pending client directive to 'Install Complete Ux'
WARNING: Pending directive, 'Install Complete Ux', is not applicable
Successfully wrote event for AU health state:0

Now I was installing these updates under a standard user account and I know from UAC group policy a standard user is also referred to as "interactive-only" in some policies. I don't know if it was trying to display something to me and choked, hopefully Microsoft finds out. Either way thanks to all in that thread who discovered this wierd fix.

UPDATE:
I found that changing this setting while Windows Update is displaying "Preparing to Install" seems to actually kick start it so if the above solution doesn't work for you try checking or unchecking that setting and mousing over the notification area while windows update is displaying "Preparing to Install." 

56 comments:

  1. An unusual solution to an unusual error. Worked for me! thanks a lot. /René

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  2. Super! - worked for me on Windows Server 2008 R2. Very odd behaviour but hey your solution works a treat - cheers for posting!

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  3. Checking the box didn't work but moving my mouse over the system tray worked great.

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  4. Worked great. Thank you. Really appreciate it. :)

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  5. I ran into the same problem with this month's (08/2012) patches w/Server 2008 R2; this fixed it. Thanks!

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  6. Thanks Dude.. This solution worked from me also

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  7. That did the trick, thanks!

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  8. Damn... what a find. I would have *never* guessed. :) Thanks!

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  9. Sure do appreciate this. That took care of it. Thank you!

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  10. This helped me on one occasion but I had to do the opposite of what the article says on a computer that *was* already showing all icons in the task area. Weird.

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  11. Wow. Nailed it. As an SDE at MS, I have no clue why such a failure exists.

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  12. worked for me also, funny solution for a funky problem!

    Thanks/Merci

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  13. This worked for me too!

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  14. Thank you very much. It worked for me. Saved endless heartache courtesy of M$

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  15. Thanks a lot. Why an option about notification display the taskbar has any influence on windows update ? Thank you Windows for this click & play demonstration.

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  16. Thank you, thank you!!! It worked for me!

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  17. Thanks that worked for me too....weird but efficient ;-)

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  18. Thanks a lot. This was also working for me :-)

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  19. This has to be one of the craziest bugs. Worked for me after one night of pulling hairs.. thanks

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  20. Worked for me too. Thanks a lot!

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  21. Works like a charm. Thanks a lot.

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  22. I think the emphasis should be on "strange", not in a million years would i expect the display of the task bar to have any effect on the updates. But low and behold. I actually googled, found this solutiona, and kept moving on because the resolution was so strange. But it works, thanks!

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  23. You're my new best friend :)

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  24. WOW, yep fixed it for me as well, thanks!!

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  25. Thanks for that.
    Worked for me, too.

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  26. Thank you!
    Saved me a lot of time and frustration.

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  27. so so strange problem , this is the first time I face this problem on one server, many thanks , problem solved ..

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  28. Thanks, worked for me! Problem solved...

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  29. Thanks for the tip! it's working like a charm :)

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  30. Thanks for that.
    Worked for me, too.

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  31. Thanks for all the nice comments. Personally I was hoping this issue would be resolved quickly but it sounds like it is still negatively affecting users. Glad I could help

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  32. It's Microsoft. if it just worked I would think I was in the Matrix. Thanks for the tutorial; I'm all good now! ;)

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  33. This helped me too, thanks.

    Has this been fed back to MS yet?

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  34. Thanks! It worked for me, although I agree that this is a strange solution to have to revert to...

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  35. Straight-forward and to the point.
    Grateful that this technique worked.
    Thanks!

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  36. Bizarre! But thanks a lot, it worked.

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  37. ugly microsoft..u save (the rest) of my day

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  38. Thank you so much!

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  39. Thanks to you :-)

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  40. Funny what things, fix what things.

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  41. I have this issue with a base image of Windows 7 Enterprise. Blank slots will show up in the system tray. Near as I can tell is the system tray fills up with blank icons to its maximum limit. Once the limit is reached nothing else can use the system tray and this includes Windows Updates. If Windows Update can't render that icon in the tray it'll fail the update. Running the mouse over the blank spots will cause them go away and make room for Win Update. This has got to be one of the weirder things I've ever encountered. Nice catch! Now if I can just figure out what causes this in the first place since it also keeps you from being able to open the volume control.

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  42. Thx,
    it worked with my 2008R2 also, great trick.

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  43. holy bat crap..... worked for me on Win2008R2Std.

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  44. Jeez I laughed at this, it'll never work for me (2008R2 with TMG)

    I eat my words. Thanks!

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  45. I was racking my brain until I found this post... It WORKS!! Thanks

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  46. thanks bro..worked for me as well

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  47. Holly Smoke!!!!!! I am a network admin with 80 pc's, 43 of which had a issue this morning. First google link was your site. Well done this fixed my network and made my day. You Rock!!!!

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  48. Thanks, great job. Microsoft did NOT find a solution!

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  49. Great solution!! I had tangled with this kinda error before and remember following a whole pile of MS crap and not really getting anywhere...I'm sure it has even happened way back on a Windows 2000 box.

    This time when I Googled and saw your solution I skipped the 4 MS ones above it and I'm sure yours is far more succinct than anything they would right. As someone else said I would have never tried this. The funny part is this is 2 X in one day I came across the same issue, once on a Win7 box and once on a 2008R2. Cheers!

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    error 1068 windows7
    Thank you
    Aalia lyon

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  51. When I try to update my windows 7 then I receive error message 80243004. I was shocked that why I receive this error. I have used manual steps to fix this error but unable to fix it. I repeatedly receive this error. When I use this third party repair tool then I have easily fixed this windows error and also fix my PC problems permanently.

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