Windows 10/11: Microsoft's statement about driver update installation error 0x80070103 (Feb. 2023)

Windows[German]Currently, there is quite a bit of confusion regarding the Windows Update installation error 0x80070103. This has been confusing some Windows 10 and Windows 11 users since February 2023, as drivers are reported for download on Windows Update, but then their installation fails with error 0x80070103. To make matters worse, Microsoft says this only applies to Insider versions of Windows 11.


Some back story

I had blogged about this issue on Feb. 17, 2023 in my article Windows: Update installation errors (Feb. 2023), but without noticing the entire facts (I wasn't aware, that it's about driver update install errors). The story: Shortly after the February 2023 patchday, all that was known was that Windows 11 users were complaining about an installation error 0x80070103 triggered by Windows Update. Barb Bowman had alerted me on Twitter about an exploding thead on the US Microsoft Answers forum.

Windows 11: Windows Update meltdown (Feb. 2023)

In her case, it was extensions for the Microsoft Surface that triggered this error when installed via Windows Update. What I had overlooked, however, was the fact that it was probably all largely installation errors for driver updates. A moderator then reported on Microsoft Answers that the error was fixed:

I am pleased to report that the Windows Update team at Microsoft was able to resolve this problem on 2/16/2023, at around 10:30am PST.

So the topic should actually be done and out of focus.

The topic comes up again

As of Friday, February 24, 2023, the topic Update Installation Error 0x80070103 has come under my eyes again in several places. German media like Golem or WinFuture reported again about this error, but referred to the Windows Latest article from February 16, 2023. In addition, an administrator pointed me to the WinFuture article in a private Facebook message and wrote in several posts:


Would strongly assume that W10 is also affected. […]

With us with Lenovo Dell and probably Fujitsu. USB driver from HP broken

Well somehow there is something wrong

At this point my thanks to the blog reader for the tip. In summary, articles from Golem and WinFuture tell the following:

  • The bug is reported for Windows 11 (probably 22H2) in the Developer, Beta and Release Preview channels by users.
  • The error occurs in Windows Update, where driver updates are reported but fail on installation.
  • Windows 11 then marks the drivers in Windows Device Manager with a yellow exclamation mark and there is confusion.

However, if I've noticed correctly, the error also appears with end users of Windows 11 22H2 – and Windows 10 could also be affected. In the articles of WinFuture & Co. a Microsoft development from the feedback hub is then quoted as follows:

The error is displayed because the OS wants to install something that is already installed. Apart from the message being displayed, this should not affect general operation.

Microsoft wants to "keep an eye" on the problem and react if a real problem arises. If you are affected and see that the error does not correct itself automatically, you should either pause the updates or call the troubleshooter via Windows Update in the hope that the problem is gone. Any of you affected? Are there any problems? Does this also occur under Windows 10 or Windows 11 21H2?

PS: As I wrote in the post Windows: Update installation errors (Feb. 2023): Error code 0x80070103 stands for ERROR_NO_MORE_ITEMS (There is no more data available.), so it's an indication that the update loop is still looking for data for the updates, but it can't find it. The usual troubleshooting hints that Microsoft offers in Windows Update via hyperlinks does not help in most cases. Have you had this bug? Which Windows version do you use?

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