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Thread: Is Windows Update for Windows XP dead now?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Seattle, WA

    Default Is Windows Update for Windows XP dead now?

    What is the current status of Windows Update for Windows XP? Is it completely dead now?

    I have some systems that need to run Windows XP. I have system restore CD-ROMs/DVDs that will restore activated Windows XP SP2 Ghost images to the hard drive. In the past I have I installed the SP3 update and .NET frameworks through 4.0 (necessary for the intended specific use of these systems) after restoring the system image and then let them churn several hours or overnight on Windows Update to get all of the final Windows XP updates installed.

    I realize that support for Windows XP back ended in 2014 and with the exception of KB4500331 on 5/9/2019 for the Remote Desktop bug there haven't been Windows XP updates for a while (ignoring Windows XP Embedded), but it still seemed like a good idea to get all of the updates that were available installed.

    I just went through restoring the XP SP2 system image and then SP3 on one of these systems and can't get Windows Update to work at all after trying a few things and a few hours on it.

    I vaguely remember updating from the original Windows XP IE 6 being necessary at some point to get Windows Update to work. Installing IE 8 didn't help. I also vaguely remember the Windows Update Agent being updated early in the set of updates that got installed and after looking around online I found references to the windowsupdateagent30-x86.exe update. Things changed after installing that, but still didn't work.

    If Windows Update for Windows XP is completely dead now then at least I'll know not to waste any more time trying.

    Updates can still be manually downloaded from but there are hundreds of them for Windows XP SP3. I looked at the update history of one of these systems that was up to date with updates the last time I went through the system restore and update process two years ago and it had close to 300 updates installed. It would be a huge amount of work to manually download and install all of those updates, or try to figure out which ones were most important to install.

    Maybe at this point I should just leave the current system at its system restore image plus the SP3 update and never connect it to the network, or only on a completely isolated network.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Augusta, Georgia, USA


    Quote Originally Posted by gslick View Post
    Maybe at this point I should just leave the current system at its system restore image plus the SP3 update and never connect it to the network, or only on a completely isolated network.
    This should be on an isolated network since years ago! However, I know I've had to work on one recently and Windows Update still worked in the last week or two.
    The website version in the start menu does not work, but the Automatic Updates still do from the Control Panel. Set it to download and notify or notify and download and it will run if you leave it.

  3. Default

    In the last month I upgraded about a dozen XP setups by using Windows Update, and they were all successful. I also took the opportunity of adding the posready hack, and this gave a whole pile of security updates, up to April 2019. And there's a standalone update issued in May (must be downloaded and installed manually). I wouldn't recommend the .NET stuff unless you actually need it, because it can take a whole day to install.

    I'd recommend you start with SP3 and IE8 already installed, plus the Windows Update 3.0 patch (very important - it will never work without that), and Installer version 3.1. In Services, set Automatic Updates to Automatic and running, set BITS to at least Manual, and the Event Log must be working. In Control panel, set updates to Download and Notify. Even if you can't get the update site to work, you might still get the yellow shield in the tray, and you can update with that. Unfortunately, this gives no access to optional updates.

    In IE8, make sure the TLS1.0 is enabled. Add * to your trusted sites. Go to, and it will redirect to another URL. Add this as a favorite. If you are offered the choice to join Microsoft Update, ignore it for now. Just click on Custom, and it will take a while (first time). When you eventually get a result, have a look in the optional updates. If Media Player 9 and DirectX 9 are offered, take them. Do Media Player first as it doesn't require a reboot. Then do DirectX. Do NOT!!! choose Windows Live, Windows Live Essentials, or Search 4.0 - they are useless. Now, select everything from the required updates (there might be another WGA check in there - you decide on taking your chances with that). After rebooting there might be some more required updates, and keep going until there's none left.

    Now, you can join the Microsoft Update, and see if it gives you anything extra. There's no support or updates for Office 2000, but patches exist for the later Office versions. You'll also notice that Microsoft Update is considerably slower than Windows Update.

    If you need more help I can give you the KB numbers of the needed patches, and make them available if needed.

  4. Default

    Please ignore the part about Media Player and Direct-X. That comment applies to Windows 2000, but this forum will not permit me to correct my mistakes.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Seattle, WA


    Thanks for the detailed response. If it should still currently work I'll spend more time trying to get it to work.

    I gave this another try. I started over again with a system restore of the XP SP2 Ghost image, then updated to XP SP3.

    Then I installed IE8 from IE8-WindowsXP-x86-ENU.exe with a signature date of March 8, 2009.

    Then I installed "Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer 8 for Windows XP SP3 (KB4018271)" from ie8-windowsxp-kb4018271-x86-custom-enu_122a1122404b9862e6998bcec0917de02c378de6.exe with a signature date of April 17, 2017. That is the last cumulative update for IE8 that I can find.

    Regarding the "Windows Update 3.0 patch", in previous attempts I tried installing Version 7.4.7600.226 of the Windows Update Agent from windowsupdateagent30-x86.exe with a signature date of August 6, 2009. That kept resulting in looping crashes of wuauclt.exe during installation.

    This time I tried an earlier version of windowsupdateagent30-x86.exe with a signature date of April 17, 2007. That installed Version 7.0.6000.374 without any issues. After that I was then able to install the Version 7.4.7600.226 without any crashes during installation, so that was slight progress this time around. From the information I find online the current version is Version 7.6.7600.256, but there isn't a standalone installer that can be downloaded for that.

    I then tried installing Microsoft Windows Installer 3.1 from a KB893803 V2 download, but it said a newer version was already installed.

    The current state of things is that this is what I get in IE 8 when I try Windows Update. This all used to work fine without jumping through any hoops the last time I reinstalled one of these systems from the XP SP2 restore image plus the XP SP3 update a couple of years ago.


    I skipped all of the .NET stuff this time around while just trying to get Windows Update to work. The .NET stuff is required later for the application that runs on these systems to control special purpose hardware attached through the PCI bus.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Blog Entries


    I just wiped 2 laptops and Installed XP sp3 MCE and auto update worked fine for me.

    If you check the option of having windows do auto updates when you install it works. Windows will download 1 update for MS update then you reboot, then the next time it will download something like 131 updates and install those then you are good.
    What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
    Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
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  7. Default

    I can't think of anything else that is obvious. I've seen a fix that involved re-registering a bunch of DLLs, but it's something that's rarely needed. I suppose you can try it anyway, it isn't going to hurt.

    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

  8. #8


    Any chance you’re using a CF card for a hard drive? I had a laptop that I installed one of those CF card to ide adapters and afterwards it wouldn’t run Windows update because windows saw the boot device as removable. This CF couldn’t be set to fixed disk mode, but I was able to use the hitachi micro drive filter driver and make windows think it was a fixed disk. This allowed windows update to work again.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    SE MI
    Blog Entries


    I'm reading all this with a keen interest. I'm only using one instance of XP at the present, and have stopped attempting XP updates. I only use this particular PC for period gaming, and on the rare occasion that it goes on-line, it uses Foxfire, which incidentally, has somehow morphed into Bing (had a big discussion on that previously - still puzzled). This box uses a 120 GB SSD for XP and is backed up regularly, via Macrium Reflect, to a 2 TB WD in a portable USB cradle. Unless a person was still using a XP box for some meaningful personal business, why be concerned with updates? W10 Pro is on the cheap these days ($50) if you know where to look, so why lose any sleep over XP?
    Surely not everyone was Kung-fu fighting

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Seattle, WA


    I managed to get this to work. Here's what I did before going to Windows Update:
    (1) Restored the factory Windows XP SP2 system Ghost image specific to the system.
    (2) Installed the XP SP3 update.
    (3) Installed IE8.
    (4) Installed the Cumulative Security Update for IE8 (KB4018271).
    (5) Installed the 7.0.6000.374 version of windowsupdateagent30-x86.exe
    (6) Installed the 7.4.7600.226 version of windowsupdateagent30-x86.exe (I had problems installing this version without first installing the 7.0.6000.374 version during previous attempts).

    Then when I went to Windows Update it didn't seem to be working at all, then eventually downloaded and installed the 7.6.7600.256 version of the Windows Update Agent. I'm not sure why it didn't do that right away the first few times I tried, but eventually it did.

    After that it looked like things were going to work, but then all I got were 0x8024402C errors. Looking online I found some suggestions that this might be due to a bad WinHttp proxy configuration and that the command "proxycfg -d" to reset things might help. I gave that a try and it did resolve the 0x8024402C errors.

    After churning for a several hours I got around 180 updates downloaded and installed. Around 40 of those were .NET Framework updates, some of which took forever to install. Unfortunately the application that needs to run on these systems requires .NET Framework.

    So anyway, glad to know that Windows Update for Windows XP is still alive for now, even if new updates stopped being released quite a while ago.


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