[German]Microsoft has successfully killed Windows Update search in Windows 7 SP1. Since December 4, 2017 Windows Update search stalls with 0x80248015. Here are a few details and some workarounds.
### It seems that Microsoft has fixed this issue – see this MS answers forum post – and I reveived similar feedback from my German blog readers – see also my blog post Windows 7: Fix broken Update (Error 0x80248015) 12/4/17 ###
A couple of hours a German blog reader send me a mail, that informed me about an issue with Windows 7 update. The reader wrote:
I am an enthusiastic (daily) reader of your IT blog. This is very helpful, especially when it comes to MS updates. Since today I have the problem that the Windows Update function seems to be corrupt on ALL Windows 7 machines I am maintaining, because the service is supposedly not running.
There are all different computers at different locations, but all win 7 (Home or Prof.)
According to “ReportingEvents. log”, the search or sync of the update client still worked yesterday on all computers. Not since today.
I tried to repair an update agent on a computer using MS Tool: Result – the update search is working again, but shortly after it terminates with the following error code:”Code 80248015 – Unknown error on Windows Update”.
Maybe this would be worth an own article on your site? Can you also detect the error on your systems?
I got this error too
After reading his mail, I decided to do a short check on my Windows 7 production machine. I received the following error message after a few seconds.
Error 0x80248015 has been dropped, and I see the information, that the last update search was on December 3, 2017 01:53. The update history showed me, that a definition update KB2310138 for Microsoft Security Essentials has been installed as a last update.
Could that be the root cause?
What stands the error for?
If you search for the error on the Internet, you can quickly find indications that time, date or the time zone are incorrect (see e. g. here). But I was able to rule it out very quickly. Then I visited my blog post Tip: Windows Update error code 0x8024xxxx list to decode error 0x80248015. It stands for WU_E_DS_SERVICEEXPIRED – An operation did not complete because the registration of the service has expired.
Testing a 2nd system
Before I begun to repair my production machine, I decided to boot a 2nd machine with Windows 7. A netbook that hasn’t been used for weeks was my test candidate. After booting, I received the update message shown below.
Windows Update could not search automatically and informed me, that I shall start update search. Clicking the search button ended with the dialog box below.
The information says, that the search is not possible because the service is not running. Exactly what the blog reader told me within his mail. It is also not possible to display the update history. A restart is useless.
My first idea was, that something like a certificate has been expired. So setting the data to a previous day may help. After doing so, Windows Update was indeed able to search again.
We are not alone – Microsoft messed it up
After I noticed, that setting the date to December 3, 2017 enables Windows Update search, I was sure, that it has something to do with an expired certificate. Then German blog reader Matthias pointed me to Woody Leonhard’s ComputerWorld article Windows Update for Win7 broken, throwing error 80248015. A reader of Woody’s blog has informed him, that in:
the expire dates for updates are stored:
There is a thread in MS Answers forum where the issue has been discussed also. It’s Microsoft’s fault. Well done.
Addendum: Lawrence Abrams has published this article at Bleeping Computer, decribing a few background details, why the update search fails.
.NET-Framwork update isn’t the root cause
Blog reader Ralf Lindemann left a comment within my German blog, supposing, that the revised .NET-Framework Update KB4049016 (2017-11 Security and Quality Rollup for .NET Framework…) for Windows 7 messed it up. The WindowsUpdate.log in Windows folder showed some failures after installing this update. But this is just coincidence. Because I checked my netbook, that hasn’t been booted since weeks. .NET-Framework Update KB4049016 isn’t mentioned within WindowsUpdate.log.
### Below are some workarounds – but they have side effects (options are missing afterward, Microsoft Security Essentials don’t got updates anymore). I suggest to wait, until Microsoft releases a hot fix to overcom this issue ###
Workaround #1: Set your date back in time
The most simple workaround, some users testet: The change the system date back to December 3, 2017. Then the file mentioned above is valid and update still searches for (old updates). But this workaround may has some other implications – from certificate issues up to auto time update.
Workaround #2: Disable Microsoft update options
The a German blog reader left a comment, saying: Just go in control panel to the update settings, and uncheck Give me updates for Microsoft products …. update Windows (see below).
I tried that, and voila, my Windows Update client was able to search again for updates. Thanks to my blog readers for support. Hope it helps to same some admins some extra work today.
Note: After unchecking the option Give me updates for Microsoft …, Windows will remove the two lower options ‘Microsoft Updat’ and ‘Software notifications’. I’ve published a while ago a German blog post Windows 7/8.1: Optionen fehlen in Windows Update – Teil 1 – where I explain, how to get those options back. But overall: Microsoft has messed it up and they have to fix that mess. I’m only able to deliver some workarounds.
And Microsoft Security Essentials stops receiving updates.
BTW: I’ve posted an article within the MS Answers forum and escalated it to all moderators. Let’s hope, they will forward it to Microsoft’s developers.
Overall my suggestion is: Just wait, until Microsoft release some kind of hot fix to bring Windows Update back to life.