Windows Vista AutoUpdate error 8000FFFF

I ran into this issue when I got a new HP laptop. After going through the setup of the brand new PC, I found that I couldn't run updates. After some escalations, I recieved this fix

reg delete HKLM\Components /v AdvancedInstallersNeedResolving


Please note, that the engineers worked through quite a few logs on my machine to get this, so it may not apply to your case. After applying, autoupdate's been working like a charm!

Update: Jan 29/09

Robear Dyer was kind enough to point me to a new KB article that covers this and other fixes. Here’s the link:

July 9/09:

I’ve seen several comments on this command above not working. If so that means this is not the issue you’re facing. Please try the support link form the Jan 29 update. If that doesn’t work, please do get in touch with MS Support.


Comments (125)
  1. Hi Phil, you’re most welcome. I couldn’t find a resolution online too, which is why I posted it. I’m glad to see that it has been of use!

  2. Hi Guys,

    For those who found the fix unsatisfactory, I added the URL provided by Robear Dyer – that has 2 other fixes not covered by my post.

  3. Hi Steven,

    Apologies for not responding earlier. You do not have to go into the registry with regedit.

    Click vista pearl, and type cmd in the search box.

    In the programs list, you’ll find an app called cmd. Right Click on it and select "Run as administrator"

    On the command prompt, type in the following:

    reg delete HKLMComponents /v AdvancedInstallersNeedResolving

    that’s all it takes.

  4. Hi Rodger, you need to look under the HKEY Local Machine – that’s what LM stands for.

    To execute this commend you need to click on Start. Then type cmd. When you see the Command application, right click on it and Run as Admin

    Type in the command that’s posted above and that should execute it fine.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I had high hopes for this, but then it seems as if I can’t modify my registry.

    When prompted with yes/no, I type y.

    "ERROR: Access is denied."

    This seems like a very amateur thing.  Did I not set the correct administrator privileges or something?

  6. Anonymous says:

    when i did this cmd said the system was unable to find the specified registry key or value

    help anyone?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hi Kailash,


    Windows cannot locate the registry value set for that thing. How will I be able to update m computer? there any other way?



  8. Anonymous says:

    Hello.  I did the command line fix.

    Now, however, I get error message


    Any help would be sorely appreciated.

    I took MSsupport advice and checked whether the OSE was set to "manual".  It was.

    So now I don’t know what to do.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Wow!! after months of searching finally it works 22 important updates no wonder it was getting errors can i say it i love you seriously thank you Kailash

  10. Phil Harland says:

    Thanks , this fix worked for me after spending 14 days on many other suggestions. I am very grateful for your post.

  11. vincent says:

    Thanks, Update works again. I heard rumors about reinstalling Vista and whatnot, so I’m verey pleased to see a simple, working solution.

    Thanks again for posting! πŸ™‚

  12. Rodger says:

    My tech ability is low. When I run "regedit" I see HKEY not HKLM and I’m not finding the files you listed. Can you help me?

    Thanks, Rodger

  13. Rodger says:

    Kailash, Thank you so much. I was able to find the file, delete it and now, 18 updates later, my system is current once again. I really appreciate your help.


  14. Rodger says:

    Your fix corrected my problem. Thanks Kailash

  15. mike says:

    copy this file:reg delete HKLMComponents /v AdvancedInstallersNeedResolving

    # re: Windows Vista AutoUpdate error 8000FFFF

    Hi Rodger, you need to look under the HKEY Local Machine – that’s what LM stands for.

    To execute this commend you need to click on Start. Then type search box. When you see the Command application, right click on it and Run as Admin

    Type in the command that’s posted above and that should execute it fine.

    Monday, October 01, 2007 1:38 PM by Kailash

  16. Steven Sherman says:

    I’ve opened up the registry editor and I looked under HKEY Local Machine and cannot find LM. I don’t understand how to enter the fix. Can you help me?

  17. Steven Sherman says:

    Where under Local Machine do you type in the fix and how do you do that? Could you give a step by step. I’m nervous about being in the registry. Thank you,

  18. jim says:

    Worked for me too.  Thanks for the post.


  19. lee says:

    Perfect! Solved my problem instantly. Thnx Kailash

  20. Aris says:

    kailash, when i want to delete the command it says that "The system was unable to find the specific registry key or value" how do i solve it??

  21. Jos says:

    thx: This worked for me after spending several hours searching.

  22. Petemeister says:

    Thank you thank you thank you.

    Couldn’t find this anywhere else – was facing a re-install. You’re a star!

  23. GAZZA says:

    Hi, i have just tried this and get error 80070002 instead

  24. sarah says:

    Thank you so much for this. I’ve searched the internet for months and contacted Microsoft support with no help. But this is wonderful and it’s the one suggestion to solving this problem that I felt confident doing. Feel much better now.

  25. Wendy Olson says:

    What a great Thanksgiving gift!  I decided that this weekend – one way or another – I was going to fix this problem.  After months, I found your solution.  Thanks so much!

  26. Christopher says:

    WOOHOO!! Thanks for your command line fix…Everyone lease note, the registry key is not always present (I did not see mine) but I entered your command line fix and it worked!.

    Thanks for your time and effort to let us know!

  27. joseph says:

    Thank you! I just fixed the error using your suggestion. I <3 teh intarwebs!

  28. pero says:

    thanks. solve in one second..


  29. Hari says:


    now i get this error WindowsUpdate_80073712

  30. Seymour says:

    Great, resolved my Windows Vista update problem and also resolved my problem of installing Adobe reader 8 and Photoshop Elements 6.


  31. Captain C says:

    Worked like a charm!  Thanks … πŸ™‚

  32. Alper says:

    Thank you so much for this solution. I hope it does not have a side effect (!).

  33. Jeff25 says:

    Thsnks very much, I am a tech for a major computer company and just got this issue, and this post kept me from having to re-install Windows for a customer. Thanks again

  34. goten tee says:

    Thanks the command worked well for me and i am prompted for new updates now.

  35. Mark C says:

    Thank you, resolved the problem imediately.

  36. uploading says:

    Hey guys,

    before do this command i must have uninstall this update KB929777 ?

    Cause i do all this work on cmd correctly but still "The system was unable to find the specific registry key or value"

  37. Robear Dyer, MS MVP says:

    Letting you know that I’ve posted a reference to this blog entry in Windows Update newsgroup and the posted fix has helped to resolve 8000FFFF errors for many other Vista users.


    ~Robear Dyer

    MS MVP-Windows (IE, OE, Security, Shell/User)

  38. Jen says:

    This fix is not working.  The screen states that the file could not be found.  Any suggestions?

  39. Mattsix says:


    You’re heaven-sent! Thanks a lot. It went smoothly. I’ve been trouble shooting this for almost a week now. Thanks again!

  40. ken27 says:

    Help. i don’t understand how to use the above fix. i have that in my components folder already. do i delete it?

  41. tonydoss says:

    Hi there,

    I tried this fix but windows says it couldn’t find AdvancedInstallersNeedResolving… I got Vista Home Premium. Any help, please?


  42. Biju says:

    i run this command but again same problem.when i run this command its showing there is no such key in registry.every time i restarting my machine windows update showing new update ready to install but when i try to install same error coming.I re-installed my operative system(windows vista ultimate) but no use same error….i have 4gb memory.please give me suitable solution…..

  43. mike says:

    Wow that seemed to work great!  I was starting to get a little frustrated by this problem

  44. cosmin says:

    ok…so I did all of that, cmd, etc, pasted the "solution", hit enter, but then it asked me: delete the registry value AdvancedInstallersNeedResolving (Yes/No)?

    What do I do now?? If I write yes and hit enter, it says: error: the system was unable to find the specified key registry or value

    Please, help!!!

  45. Haley says:

    Thanks SO MUCH for this, I have been searching for months also, and my laptop is brand new.  However, I get "syntax error" for "reg delete" and cannot make it work.  

    Any suggestions? (I’m just a civilian!!)

  46. alkass says:

    I followed your fix correctly but my system responded with "The system was unable to find the specific registry key or value". Please help me to solve this also. I have 17 updates not installed.

  47. Harold says:


     ty so much. it took a couple of tries to get it right, but, working like a charm. i thought i was going to have to reformat my drive. you are truly my new best friend

  48. Bill King says:

    Hey Kalish,

    Thank you, Thank you, After I used your solution I then had error code 80073712 but I found a fix for that.  Again, Many thanks

  49. Robert says:

    Just copy and paste the command into the windows explorer address bar and hit return.

    Its much easier than manually opening the command box.

  50. Shankara says:

    Wow this rocks! It worked on my Vista Home Premium machine and has solved all update related problems.

    To those of you waiting for MS help, just try this first. It takes just 1 minute! trust me

  51. Gypsynet says:

    Don’t know if you heard about the debacle of the early SP1 update for Vista.  I got hit hard.  You are my saving grace with this fix.  Rock on.

  52. Socos says:

    It would not update!! Tryed the renaming of Software Distribution folder, also eleting PendingXmldentifier"



    under the registry key: HKLMComponents.

    Nothing works! Help, please.

  53. elmadir says:


    Running: reg delete HKLMComponents /v AdvancedInstallersNeedResolving

    changed this dreadful error into something different, but then I applied advice from and everything now seems to work fine.



  54. leonidas says:

    thank you it worked for me thanks again

  55. Martin says:

    The reg thingie worked good!


  56. says:

    I’m an IT professional and run into this problem frequently. I used this article yesterday to fix one Vista Business Dell XPS laptop yesterday. I used it to fix two more today. Thank you very much!

    I used Windows Explorer’s address bar to enter:

    reg delete HKLMComponents /v AdvancedInstallersNeedResolving and after choosing Y (yes) on the command prompt. I still had to uninstall the 929777 update from Control Panel> Programs & Features> View Installed Updates and finally reboot.

  57. Jon says:

    Thx guys, this works for me so far πŸ˜‰

  58. flyashy says:

    Okay I had something similar happening a little while back and found a solution quite accidentally.

    I don’t remember if I had the same error (8000FFFF) but i remember there were two possible errors one with a series starting with 8xxxx..& the other with 7xxxx… Now incidentally I had trouble logging into my homail account and I google for it and realised that it had to do with my wireless router (netgear). It seems that the default value for MTU in netgear is 1500 while pppoe prefers 1492. Simple i changed the value and viola not only Hotmail loaded but I could  also get the automatic updates going again.

    I hope this helps someone.



  59. GriMCW says:

    I tried this, i tried uninstalling the update 929777 too, neither has worked.

    it says the registry entry doesn’t exist.

    any other leads perhaps?

  60. julie says:

    Need help with error 8000FFFF.  Trying tirelessly to clear error.  Nothing seems to work.

  61. vinay says:

    hey kailash,

    thanks for the solution.

    worked beautifully



  62. kathleen says:


    I am receiving this error when I am attenpting system restore because of the AutoUpdate loop my computer is going through (3 out of 3 installing 0% complete, shutdown, restart & repeat). I tried the reg delete but when the computer restarts it goes straight back to 3out of 3 screen so I checked the registry and AdvancedInstallersNeedResolving was still there after I deleted it. What am I doing wrong?

  63. Mel says:

    I receive this error when trying to run windows updates? any help would be great.

  64. A.K. says:

    This worked perfectly. I spent many hours and many weekends trying to resolve this issue. Kailash, you da man! Many thanks!

  65. NOEL says:

    HI Kailash,

    I have tried several pointers from different websites and their suggestions but nothing has been fixed so I will try yours and hopefully it will work for me as well.

    There should be more people like you on this planet that is willing to share their knowledge to others.




  66. FLOYD MARTIN says:

    Before you do all of the things you have been told, First turn off you firewall and see it if takes it!

    I deleted all the files, pulled my hair out only to find it was my Norton Firewall!

    Too make matters worse after through downloading 8000FFFF, I got a message saying that the download was not necessary for my system.

    Aint life grand?

    But Then you must hide/ignore the download in the settings or it will never go away!


  67. Herbert P SmithIII says:

    it worked thanks Go startregedithk_loca_machineConponponets

    then you should see AdvancedInstallersNeedResolving in the right corner right click on it and delete should fix

    the problem thanks again


  68. Allen says:


    You da man!!  This problem has been a thorn in my side since I purchased a Toshiba Satellite laptop with Vista on it months ago.  I tried everything I knew to fix it with no luck.  I just wanted you to know your registry edit works for Toshiba products too.

    Thank You for posting your fix for others to use.


  69. JP says:

    You’re the man! Thanks for fixing my issue! πŸ™‚

  70. alex says:

    Thanks very much.  Truly appreciate it.

  71. Imran Ahmed says:

    Awesome man ,

    I m a tech from HP Technical Support.I had a customer calling in for the same issue after contacting Microsoft.Well I followed your fix and it worked like magic.



  72. Harikrishna says:

    Hey man you are amazing this step is very helpful and it worked amazingly on my customers computer.thank you very much

  73. David says:

    Error 8000FFFF can be caused by amount or RAM in the system. If a system has more than 3.5Gig in the system Windows Vista or XP 32 bit wont recognise this so Vista SP1 needs to be installed to recognise this or XP 64 bit installed.

  74. Tapatun aka Che says:

    Thx, m8! πŸ™‚

    It really works, i`ve just reinstalled my windows vista, 32 instead of 64 and faced with dis problem.

    I hope there are no any side effect too πŸ™‚

    From Russia with Love πŸ˜€

  75. s says:

    i tried this but get error: access denied. any ideas?

  76. Jaz Dosanjh says:

    Thanks a lot man SERIOUS, You don’t understand how much this means to me.. I’ve reformatted once already today.. and it still came up and trust me people, if your still unsure about doing this then don’t be, its worked perfectly fine for me and I wish i did some more research before I reformatted again…

    Thanks mate!! :):)

  77. Brandon Friesen says:

    Your awesome fixed my new computer right up!!!  

  78. Richie Boy says:

    I did what u say man. The fix starts a MSDOS window and asks me if i would like to uninstall a large file. I clicked yes.

    Then i run windows update and the error keeps appearing.

  79. meez says:

    How it worked for me:

    1 Klicked on start button and in the search field in the big menu in vista that pops right up i enterd

    reg delete HKLMComponents /v AdvancedInstallersNeedResolving

    then i typed yes and pressed enter and opend update again and it worked! thanks πŸ˜€

  80. Sverre Enger says:

    This worked for me! thank you sooo much!

  81. Ron Thomas says:

    Thanks for the fix…worked a treat..much appreciated

  82. nick says:

    This worked for me also and was really simple to do…. THANK YOU so much!

  83. Markus Schlegel says:

    Yeah. That did it. Have a Dell Prescision M90 with 4gb ram.

    Things worked fine until recently (same system config since January 2008).

    Strange thing.

  84. SpyderCanopus says:

    Tried it and now i have a different error number.  Oh well, it was worth a shot.

  85. uli says:

    Thank you thank you thank you.

    Couldn’t find this anywhere else – was facing a re-install. You’re really a star!

  86. Kildar says:

    I would like to thank everyone who posted about that reg fix. I have been going nuts trying to figure out how to fix that error. What I did was remove 2 gigs of ram and then run the reg fix

  87. mike says:

    OK, THIS WORKED!  I have a Dell Inspiron 1420 running 32-bit operating system, Vista Home Premium with Service Pack 1, and 3 GB of RAM.  Out of the blue, I get this stupid alert from the Taskbar that I am not up to date, and of course when I try to update, I get the "windows could not search for new updates" and error code 8000ffff.  When I googled this, I spent 2 hours on all the different forums with the different ideas on what to try (reducing memory, deleting files in regedit, somehting about a hot fix, and one and on it went).  All of them sounded very technical, but most seemed to be from back in 2007.  In contrast, this thread here seems to have people posting all the way through 2008 that this fix was working for them.  So, although this fix is technical too, I crossed my fingers and went ahead and did it, praying I woulddn’t permanently damage my registry or something.  Well, like magic, it worked and about 15 new updates just got properly downloaded.  Thank god for this fix.  Dell and Microsoft folks are USELESS.  Theie websites are useless.  Their Help resources are useless.

    And, I hate Vista.  Repeat:  I hate Vista.  I had none of this with XP.  I have had nothing but random things like this occur with Vista.

  88. guillom2127 says:

    thx: This worked perfect for me.

  89. patricia says:

    Thank you for the fix, it worked perfectly.  I now got 16 critical updates and 17 recommended updates.  Working great!


  90. Rina87 says:

    this worked perfectly thank you so much

  91. deb bolen says:

    PRAISE THE LORD!!!!  I have just purchased my new laptop 2 months ago and having this trouble scared me to death!  I’m not a whizz at this computer thing but your step by step insructions where the perfect fix!!!  Now downloading 20 different updates but at least they are available to me!!!!  Thanks so very much!!!!

  92. James Keeling says:

    I am VERY tech savvy and I couldn’t figure this one out for the life of me. The error plagued me for months and I could not find a working fix for the life of me.

    Your fix worked PERFECTLY. Thanks so much! You are helping a ton of people by publishing this.

  93. Wonderful Mother says:

    Thank you for the fix. Worked perfectly.

  94. Scott says:

    Thanks! This really worked for me. I did have trouble using the comand line – I kept getting a syntax error.  I was finnaly able to find it and delete it directly by going from the start menu to: computer – local disk c – windows – reg edit(right click and run as Admin) – components – InstallersNeedResolving (one of 5 files listed). When I went to Windows Update then I was able to download all 29 available updates without a problem – including a windows update update. Thanks again!!

  95. lisa says:

    Thank you so much! After 2 frustrating weeks, something that finally worked!

  96. Praveen Surendran says:

    Hats Off to the folks who resolved this !!! Its working just fine. Thank you…

  97. Rowena says:

    Thanks so much, this worked for me also. I haven’t been able to update for the past 5 months and hadn’t been able to find a fix for it until now.

  98. CERSAN says:

    Incredibly easy to follow the instructions and works as magic! Thank you so much!

  99. Kristen says:


    I did exactly what was said. Command prompt, typed in       reg delete HKLMComponents /v AdvancedInstallersNeedResolving    it then asked Yes/No and i typed yes. Then I went to my windows update and it asked me to download windows update update, so I did. And OMG it worked!!!! I had 70 updates to install and its been working great. I’ve been doing my happy dance ever since..much appreciated. xoxoxox

  100. Paddy Ryan says:

    Many thanks, spot on fix. Could those slackers at microsoft please add this excellent fix to their database

  101. Kyri R says:

    THANK YOU!!! that popup at startup was rly starting 2 tick me off and microsoft support is useless.

    Again ty!

  102. Robear Dyer, MS MVP says:

    When I open Windows Update in Control Panel, I receive an error code of 8000FFFF

  103. John says:

    Ppl plz stop saying thank-you, because he needs to see what some ppl been having issues, not seeing "Thanks!!." I keep getting "ERROR : the system was unable to find the specified registry key or value."

    Please some1 help me

  104. Kevin0ne says:

    This link to Microsoft page fixed the problem automaticly


  105. Ulli says:

    Thanks so much. All the other fixes did not work and I was ready to re-install.

  106. Frank says:

    Works Great on my HP DV2910US laptop, Vista Premium, I had problems with windows update it was hanging on de .net 3.5 update. After removing Registy items works fine agian


  107. Ben says:

    Thanks alot, my windows update was causing GB’s of error reports but its sweet now.

  108. Bobbie Files says:

    The link to:

    was the ONLY thing that got rid of the error message.

    A million thanks to Robear Dyer and this blog!!

  109. Steve says:

    Thank you Kailash you are a legend. This was my first tip-toed forray into the resgistry and damn it felt good! The error was preventing me form downloading SP1 and the windows Live IM too. Thanks again for the fix or I would have been stuck with the release version until it fell too far behind to function.

  110. lapstam says:

    To make it easier: copy the string kindly posted by Kailash; go to Start > Run (Or use the win key + r) and paste it in the field, hit Enter. The cmd window will open, check the top if it says you’re running as admin. In the black cmd window there should now be a question if you like to delete this key, type the anser (yes) and hit enter. That should be it.

  111. jean whitton says:

    Code 80073712 now i get this error code after trying all the fixes and deleting the values

  112. mico says:

    PLZ. i have a problem for installing this update for windows media centre and tried to install it manually by the stand alone from MS and this didnt work.

    Also disabled firewall and antivirus and didnt work too.

    Does this fix help me or have any side effects cuz i baught a new laptop ????

    I’ll be grateful if anyone replies

    thnx alot

  113. Craig Lewis says:

    Thanks alot pal, i’ve been looking for a solution for weeks now!

    I’d like to buy you a gift =D

  114. nix says:

    10x man. I spent 2 days to fix this issue.

  115. Jen says:

    This solved it!! i waited a while t troubleshoot it. Waiting for 52 updates to install now.   So happy Thank You!

  116. Glenn Petersen says:

    The "reg delete HKLMComponents /v AdvancedInstallersNeedResolving" trick solved my problem as well.

    Thanks. I have searched several other places with no luck.

    Glenn Petersen, DK

  117. phyllis rife says:

    Thank you it’s been a month with this and the fir was so easy .I very happy πŸ™‚ I had to go regedit way but it worked

  118. ian_pick says:

    Deleting the "AdvancedInstallersNeedResolving" reg edit worked perfectly.  I’ve been working on this for hours and hours and all other suggestions didn’t work.  One million thank you’s!!!

  119. Suzanna says:

    Kailash, I’m dancing for joy!! Thank you for helping with this issue–downloading updates now. I’m bookmarking your page forever after this miracle! Thanx again for sharing.

  120. Warren says:

    Thanks, id spent ages trying and looking ofr a solution until i found this, worked first time.

  121. Xand'r Suineg says:

    I think that a Registry Cleaner would kick this issue on the curb. I mean I have a Registry Cleaner, and it does me wonders. My system is constantly scanned, and all my issues are pretty well taken care of all the time. And it is quick too. Give it a shot, there are tons of them out there…

  122. Steve says:

    This also seems to have worked for me. I have been searching for a solution for a very long time. Thank you so much!

  123. bambu says:

    thx so much: This worked for me after spending several weeks searching!!!

  124. paul says:

    This worked for me, installing Vista SP1 on an Asus laptop PC that had only just been connected to the Internet.

    This is one of those 'gold nugget' posts that continues to help people for years after it was originally made!

  125. Andre says:

    When, if ever, you see a change to the registry here's a helpful tip that you can use to look before you

    actually do something.  The registry is identical to a text file and you can search it like a text file.

    In this case I would be looking for


    press Ctl-F and put


    into the search window and hit enter.

    The registry will be searched for that text string.  This is a fast way, sometimes, to get to the key you

    want to change, also.   And it can quickly verify that what you intend to look at, maybe change, is

    actually in the registry.  All this and no need to open it and perhaps accidentally change something.

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