There is no doubt that Windows Update is one of those things that has made life both easier and more complex for everyone. The process of receiving updates is now nearly transparent and can generally be painless – unless something goes wrong, in which case you get errors that give you messages that mean next to nothing.
So it was the other day when I received messages telling me that I had errors 0x80072ee2 and 0x8024d00e. Those don’t even look like numbers (they are actually hex representations), that presumably mean something to someone, hidden in Redmond. Or maybe the computer is trying to speak to me directly.
After I decided that attempting to re-run the update process (multiple times) and rebooting (also multiple times) was not going to be successful, I figured I would try to determine what those errors meant – if possible – and see if there was any way to either get the process to run correctly, or at least get them to go away.
For the life of me, I can’t tell you what I searched on, but it wasn’t the numbers themselves that led to a resolution. When I actually looked for the numbers, it was mostly others who had no idea what they meant. In the end, however, the fix is relatively simple.
Step 1. Stop and disable the Background Intelligent Transfer Service.
Step 2. Stop and disable the Windows Update Service.
Step 3. Rename the SoftwareDistribution folder (under Windows).
Step 4. Restart the two services.
In the end, I have no idea what they meant. I really think that they just mean that “something went wrong, try again”. Why someone cannot just say that, I have no idea. It would probably cause too many stock options to go underwater. Nice.