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Microsoft ‘Stealth Update’ Proving Problematic

if you’ve read my post about the confirmation of Microsoft’s Stealth Updates for Windows XP and believed Microsoft’s claims, stating that this is a ?normal behavior? for XP and Vista machines then think again.

According to Scott Dunn of WindowSecrets.com, a bug from the said update prevented users from being able to download and install patches on XP systems that have been repaired.

However, after running the repair option from an XP CD-ROM, Automatic Updates defaults to ?on,? and the new 7.0.600.381 executables are automatically downloaded and installed. These new executables fail to register themselves with the operating system, preventing Windows Update from working as intended. This, in turn, prevents Microsoft?s 80 latest updates from being installed.

What’s going on with Microsoft?

The problem seems to arise after a reinstall of XP using the repair option from the Windows boot disk (Not found on “Restore CDs.”) which rolls back many aspects of the installation to its original state (service packs, patches and updates are all but wiped clean).

However, after using the repair option from an XP CD-ROM, Windows Update now downloads and installs the new 7.0.600.381 executable files. Some WU executables aren’t registered with the operating system, preventing Windows Update from working as intended. This, in turn, prevents Microsoft’s 80 latest patches from installing ? even if the patches successfully downloaded to the PC.

On the left is a screenshot of the problem.

The problem points to the seven dlls that the update downloads but fails to register with windows (list is available here). The problem is not likely to occur on a windows installation that updates normally but is triggered on a “repaired” one because of some flaw with the dll registration?works only if the said dlls were already included/registered with windows prior to any update.

I got hit, what can I do?

One possible fix is to install an older version of the Windows Update files over the newer version by launching the installer from a command line using a switch known as /wuforce.

If the problem persists, you can use the commands below to register the missing DLLs manually (step 2). If you need to run the fix on multiple machines, create a batch file:

Step 1. Open Notepad (or any text editor).
Step 2. Copy and paste the following command lines into the Notepad window (the /s switch runs the commands silently, freeing you from having to press Enter after each line):

  • regsvr32 /s wuapi.dll
  • regsvr32 /s wuaueng1.dll
  • regsvr32 /s wuaueng.dll
  • regsvr32 /s wucltui.dll
  • regsvr32 /s wups2.dll
  • regsvr32 /s wups.dll
  • regsvr32 /s wuweb.dll

Step 3. Save the file to your desktop, using a .bat or .cmd extension.
Step 4. Double-click the icon of the .bat or .cmd file.
Step 5. A command window will open, run the commands, and then close.

When you try to download updates again, the problem shouldn’t crop up.

Strangely enough though, Microsoft has still to publish a link to an installer or a downloadable version of 7.0.6000.381. There’s not even article at all explaining the new version or what to do in case of such a problem. A few weeks ago, many of us were thinking that these stealth upgrades were nothing more than just that. However, now there’s proof that version .381 disables installations critical patches for a repaired installation of windows.

If you ever need to run the repair option on XP, please look into the Michael Stevens Tech site for some detailed information.

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