Windows Update not working

I had to re-install Windows 8.1 Pro as with the previous install the computer would not go into sleep mode.

On the new installation Windows Update will not work. I get error message “8024200D Windows Update ran into a problem”. How kind of them to give so much information.

Searching the Internet it appears loads of people get this problem but none of what I have found helps fix it.

Does anyone know what might be wrong? I’ve never seen this error before and nothing I try makes any difference.

Yes, I know I should be using Linux but I have a load of Windows software that I need to use.

You can still updated to Win10 if you have a working Win7/Win8 key. Download the media creation tool and create a bootable usb stick with it. When you go to install, don’t initially enter your serial key - but be sure to select the correct software version (ie home or pro). Once you get booted into windows you can then enter you key and activate


I know but I have no interest in running W10 and I’m more concerned as to why this update is not working.

@LeoL, I remember dealing with a similar issue with a new Win10 build and I believe renaming the C:/Windows/SoftwareDistribution folder fixed the issue. Make sure to stop the update service first and restart after the renaming of the folder.

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Not sure if it helps but try this it will clear out the windows update cache and force any cached (but not installed) updates to re-download next time you run windows update

Open a Admin command prompt or Powershell and run

Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

If an updated half installed and caused windows to not boot then load a recovery console from say a boot disc and try

dism /image:D:\ /cleanup-image /revertpendingactions

Make sure to replace D: with the drive letter your Windows partition is assigned in the recovery console.

Not sure if this will fix your issue but i would try the first option before the second as the second option reverts changes from the most recent update that half installed or installed incorrectly

If you need to be able to find the correct drive letter for the second option you can run this from the recover console

bcdedit | find /i "OSDEVICE"

Its not a whole lot to go on but it may help

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Why no interest? It has less issues than W8 which is EoL in Jan 2023. Are you using the latest W8 ISO?

According to MS " Prior versions of Windows, including Windows 8.1, have limited support when running on new processors and chipsets from manufacturers like Intel, AMD, NVidia, and Qualcomm. For more information, see Microsoft Lifecycle Policy. A device may not be able to run prior versions of Windows if the device hardware is incompatible, lacks current drivers, or is otherwise outside the original equipment manufacturer’s (OEM) support period."


To try help your current issue: Make 2x restore points before making any changes.

  1. IF HDD , run HDSentinal & check the disk is healthy (100%)

  2. CMD > sfc / scannow (does it find any corruption?)

  3. Check as per @FredFerrell

  4. @ajamison suggestion is good. I would however do it this way / in this sequence

  5. Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /\CheckHealth (note results)

  6. Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth

  7. Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

  8. Run sfc/scannow , it should come out clean / should not find any issues.

Forums are wonderful things and it is great that people give their time to answer issues. But why no interest in Win 10? Because I have an issue with Win 8.1. If you post a problem with a Kia on a car forum you are likely to get someone who says you should have bought a Toyota instead. It may be true but it doesn’t really help.

To clarify, I have a Win 10 PC as well and I still have machines running Vista, Win 2000 and Win NT. My main PC is running Linux Mint.

But I’m trying to work out why Windows Update is failing on 8.1. In the end nothing worked so I did an in place re-install of Win 8.1. It worked for a while but then I got the same problem again. So, I changed the SSD’s and did a completely new install. It again worked for a while but I have now got Windows Update errors again. I cannot work out why.

Personally I hate Windows and would choose to use Linux Mint all the time. But I have a lot of Windows software. I run Vista because I have a scanner that will only run on Vista. I run Win 2000 and NT because I have old scsi hardware and the machines are very old. None of these machines are connected to the Internet or do “production” type work.

I have a Win 8.1 machine because I still need to do Win 8.1 support.

All of that is really irrelevant. The only point of this post is that Windows Update keeps failing on this machine and I can’t work out why. None of the dism commands made any difference at all and given that this is now a completely fresh install it seems really strange that I am getting Windows Update errors again.

I can’t for the life of me work out what is going on so any suggestions would be much appreciated.

I also downloaded a Win 8.1 ISO from Microsoft’s website and thought that would be up to date. But after installing it Windows Update said there were loads of updates but immediately the updates failed on the fresh install.

I was also getting loads of BSOD’s on this machine but they all seem to be related to me trying out Acronis. With the fresh install I have not re-installed Acronis and don’t get BSOD’s anymore. But Windows Update will not work.

What am I missing? I feel I’m doing something really stupid but I can’t for the life of me work out what?


It sounds like you spend plenty of time supporting a bunch of inhouse devices, my suggestions to save time as follows:

  1. VM W8.x for support
  2. Erase any desire to fix an aging, sooner to be EoL OS & move on. Used the saved time to learn COBOL & profit.

With regards to the Windows 8.x issue:

  1. Have you tried a different W8.x ISO from a diff source , on a diff USB ?
  2. Random BSOD’s (random in their error code that is) in my experience are RAM related.
    2.1) Have you tested the ram for at-least 24hrs with Memtest?

Were you able to another solution mentioned by @FredFerrell ? Did you try DISM from inside or from outside of Win? Have you looked at smaller things like SSD data cables , new RAM / RAM slot, or CPU?

People often suggest using VM’s to support older operating systems but I have found that to be more pain than gain. I already have the hardware so I don’t save any money by using a VM and getting some hardware to work via passthrough is just not a productive use of my time. Besides I’m really not looking for advice on basic computing issues. I have worked in IT for a long time and have tried all the obvious things. With regard to memory testing. That is a red herring. The BOSD issues went away as soon as Acronis went away. I don’t know what Acronis did to the system but removing it cured the BSOD’s.

What I’m looking for is people who have experienced the issues I am talking about and found solutions. If you search the web you will find many people who have the same issues but no solutions. It is not a hardware issue as far as I can see. People have reported Windows Update problems going back quite some time. I’m happy to accept that there is a software clash somewhere but this is a pure Windows issue. The same machine runs various Linux versions with no issues at all.

I suspect this is a Microsoft bug as too many people are experiencing it. People are experiencing it on Win 10 too. A recent Windows Update caused havoc with many PC’s. I don’t remember exactly when but it was within the last few months. What I don’t recall is what caused it and whether the update was replaced. That is the sort of thing I’m looking for.

I didn’t understand your comment on learning Cobol & profit, but I am very happy doing what I do and the way I do it thanks.

VM suggestion is purely to do support / go step-by-step with a user, without dedicating an entire system / dual-boot to it. Thats how I understood you when you said "

I would say that a non productive use of your time is trying to figure out this W8 issue, as per MS its on its way out, rather tear the scab off now. Most CPU’s support pass-through fairly well in my experience.

Acronis could have accessed a space bit of RAM, I’ve seen a similar thing & realized it was not the program / OS, once I ran a clone of that system, on an identical unit. I immediately tested the RAM & found it to be faultily, in a very interesting way.

When using Memtest (Think it was 3.x beta) the RAM would only generate an error at ± 23hrs in. I could repeat this at will, no matter what system I used that RAM in. At that point the system was fairly toasty, so I assume it was a head related issue catalyst.

Re the issues you’ve had - which I’ve had too - you said my DISM suggestion didn’t work. Speaking of, did you try SFC & DISM from the recovery environment? Have you tried using something like WSUS Offline to atleast get the system uptodate VS findout what the cause is?

Re Colbol, it was a joke :slight_smile: Google Cobol Cowboys. Pretty cool if you ask me.

Sorry, but why do you think it appropriate to decide where I should devote my time? I would like to work out what is causing this issue and given the number of people reporting it on the Internet I think many other people would like to know too. I am fascinated as to what is causing it. It’s reported on Win 10 too so why is the age of Win 8 relevant. I happen to be getting it on Win 8.1. In all the years I have been using Windows Update I have never had an issue before.

I do not believe this is a memory problem. I use VM’s extensively but prefer to deal with issues like this on real hardware. If you do not, that is fine. I’ve already said that I tried the solutions given on the forum (and many others elsewhere on the Internet) and they did not work. So, why are you asking me that again? With regard to passing hardware through to a VM some hardware works and some doesn’t, but it is not relevant to this issue. I choose to use the hardware I already have. If you prefer to use VM’s that is fine.

I’m not really interested in discussing issues that are not relevant to this problem. My point on Acronis is simply that if I was getting BSOD’s with Acronis installed then clearly the issue is Acronis or Win 8.1. Acronis seems to always be rated as the number one Windows backup solution and I could not find any reports of BSOD with Acronis. So, I wondered if this indicated a problem with a recent update to Win 8.1.

As you don’t think I should be using Win 8.1 and you don’t think I should use my existing hardware then why are you commenting on my post?

So did you try my suggestion? This was a real world issue for me and it worked.

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Why? Because you’re being somewhat hypocritical. You say X is a waste of time which is precious to you, yet you sit with a Vista PC just for a scanner, and a W8 PC mainly for support. It makes no sense from a time POV. Learning to see when one is standing in ones own way, or doing illogical things is a NB skill. If time is as precious as you say, then dump W8 & Vista for VM’s & get a printer / scanner that is W10 compliant. You will be forced to go this route come 2023. Sometimes a fresh set of eyes can help us see out irrational ways better than we ever could.

Having been in IT professionally for just over a decade, I can categorically tell you that if you have 10 identical PC’s , down to the last bit of code & all 10 develop the identical system, that the root cause & fix can be different on all 10 - so while your intention to know why & wanting to help other is great, lets keep in mind the facts - OS is close to death and W8 only accounts for 4% of the Windows share base

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Age of W8 is relevant as its on deaths doorstep. As you have no real next step, you are being fooling to simply “not belive its a RAM issue”. If you never venture out of what you believe / think , you will never grow. I learnt long ago to not box myself in like that, esp when I am at a deadend with an issue.

The BSOD is “clearly” not Acronis… It would be a faulty DLL in Windows, which Acronis needs, and that is causing the issue. Until you rid yourself of this “I know everything” attitude, you’ll sit and struggle with such issues.

Why am I commenting? Because I can. Tried to inject some logic, but clearly you’re not open to it.

I love helping people but when they have such a close minded attitude, well , you just have to let them be. Good luck.

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It appears you are just a troll. Please go bug someone else. You are NOT being helpful. You are just being rude and anything but helpful. It is not up to you to decide when someone is wasting their time. It is their choice. It is their time. I have a Vista machine for a high end film scanner. What difference does that make to you? Am I meant to bin a perfectly good scanner because you don’t like me having a Vista machine? It’s none of your business. I switch it on, scan and switch it off. It works perfectly for me.

And I have been in IT for 40 years so please don’t talk down to me as if I am some idiot you can patronise. Please do not keep bugging me. I am looking for people who have seen this issue and have a working solution. I am NOT looking for people who wish to just criticise how I do things,

How I work is working for me. If you don’t like it then just leave me alone.

I’ve seen the issue plenty & have fixed it plenty of times. People have provided a few good solutions. Again, try a different ISO from a diff source ( has a nice app) on a different USB & with different RAM.

I don’t care what you THINK the issue is, the FACT of the matter is that you WANT to find an answer & you have most likely not tried new RAM. Best of luck.

Please can you just move on to someone else? I am not finding anything you say helpful. You are just repeating the same things and you clearly have an obsession with memory.

I have tried the solutions and they have not worked for me. I do not know why and you are not adding any useful information to the issue. Judging by the number of people reporting this issue I can only assume that the solutions are not working for them either.

I would love to hear from people who have other solutions or an explanation of why the solutions given earlier do not work for me. I am NOT interested in hearing any more irrelevant comments about why I should change the way I work. I’m not going to put perfectly good hardware in land fill just because someone does not like me running Vista!

Please now move on.

So did you try my suggestion? This was a real world issue for me and it worked.

Hi Fred, sorry I don’t know how to quote your post in this forum.

I tried what you suggested and I tried all of the DISM commands. I really have no idea what is going on but am I right in assuming what you suggested, and the DISM commands, reset the Windows Update system when things go wrong?

What seems to be happening is that everything is reset okay but the next time Windows Update is run it goes wrong again straight away. When it fails it gives error codes that give no real indication of what is going on. When I search the web for the code I just find people with the same issue.

The machine is a video server so it is difficult to experiment with it too much. At some point soon I will replace it with a Linux machine but I have to learn new video software first.

What is very odd is that Windows Update seems to be acting very erratically. It will say I have 3 updates (say) and I run Update Check and it says I have no updates. A few hours later it will say I have the 3 updates again.

I hoped that if I cleared Windows Update files/caches etc. that it would then be okay but it just seems to get back into the same loop again. What is even stranger is that after re-installing Windows it did a whole load of updates but then got stuck again. As the SSD’s were changed it is not like it is finding disk errors.

Yes Leo, the recommendation I provided resets the Windows Updates function. It forces Windows to reevaluate what updates your system needs from scratch. What’s the error code you are getting?

One other thing to try is to run the updates in small batches, say 5 at a time. I have had issues standing up new servers that then need over 100 updates, but if I select them all to install in one run they fail.

I’ve tried doing one at a time and they still fail. The latest error code I got was 8024200D but I have had other ones too. I’ve searched for that code and followed the instructions but still end up back at the same place. I wondered if it were a firewall issue and so disabled the firewall. Still nothing worked. In the end I just gave up and did a Windows in-place install/reset. I still ended up with the same issue so did a completely fresh install, but eventually the problem occurred again.

Some time ago a friend of mine told me that he had Windows Update failed on a relatively new PC and it was the first time I had ever heard of it. Then it happened to me so I searched the Internet and found lots of people having the problem.

Now I have a theory but no idea if it has any merit?

A while ago I got an “Access Denied” error. The only time I have ever had that before was on Unix machines where I had forgotten to switch accounts. But this happened on Windows and checking the file properties I had full control. I searched the Internet and found loads of people having the same issue. The responses told people how to set protections etc. but no one ever said whether the problem was fixed.

In the end I wondered if it was directory corruption and did a chkdsk repair. The problem went away.

I have had the problem a number of times since and always on an SSD. So I am wondering if there is some bug in Windows handling of SSD’s. I’ve never had the issue on a hard disk and never had the issue on Linux.

It seems as if the “Access Denied” and Windows Update issues have only been happening since the introduction of SSD’s. Certainly I never had it before I used SSD’s, but I also used SSD’s for a while before it happened.

8024200D seems to indicate something to do with not finding updates and I assumed that meant something to do with downloading them, but now I am not so sure.

The times I have had “Access Denied” I can’t remember what I was doing before it happened. I certainly don’t remember any power failures or anything like that.

I don’t know if the theory has any merit and, even if it has, I don’t know what to do about it. Hard Disk Sentinel has given the SSD’s a clean bill of health. Even if the theory has merit, I don’t understand how it can keep happening after resetting Windows Update. I was absolutely certain that your fix would work as I couldn’t see any way it wouldn’t.

I also switched SSD’s when I did the fresh install so that I could easily put the old system back.

Just to refresh my memory on what happened after I renamed the software distribution folder I decided to do it again.

Before doing the rename Windows Update would sit at the downloading phase for ages and then display the failed error with the error code I said earlier. It was as if it could not download anything. My view is that it was not actually trying to download anything since it already had downloaded them, but for some reason could not access the files it had already downloaded?

Sometimes when I ran “checked for updates” it would say there are none. Other times it would say there are three. When it said there were none, leaving it for a while it would decide there were 3 again without me doing anything. I don’t know why.

After renaming the folder Windows Update would first display there were no updates done etc. as you would expect after renaming the folder. It would then download the updates but fail when it came to the install. Again with the same error code as earlier.

I’ve never really looked into how Windows Update works, what files it uses etc. But it seems to me that it is downloading the updates but then cannot access them for some reason. I don’t know where it stores the files it has downloaded or why it can’t access them (in the software distribution folder?). Maybe that is not what is happening but that is my impression.

It does seem to spend sometime trying to do the first update before it fails so it maybe that it is the update portion that is failing.

There is plenty of disk space, memory etc. so it doesn’t appear to be an issue with anything like that.

Can anyone suggest a good resource to read about Windows Update and how it works?