Error 0x80070020 Windows Update

Discussion in 'Windows Update' started by Tom Hall, Jun 22, 2007.

  1. Tom Hall

    Tom Hall Guest

    OS: XP Pro SP2.

    The first indication of a problem came from my Event Log:

    Event Type: Error
    Event Source: Windows Update Agent
    Event Category: Installation
    Event ID: 20
    Date: 6/22/2007
    Time: 5:23:50 AM
    User: N/A
    Computer: V-C889AAF937B64
    Installation Failure: Windows failed to install the following update with
    error 0x80070020: Automatic Updates.

    For more information, see Help and Support Center at
    0000: 57 69 6e 33 32 48 52 65 Win32HRe
    0008: 73 75 6c 74 3d 30 78 38 sult=0x8
    0010: 30 30 37 30 30 32 30 20 0070020
    0018: 55 70 64 61 74 65 49 44 UpdateID
    0020: 3d 7b 44 36 37 36 36 31 ={D67661
    0028: 45 42 2d 32 34 32 33 2d EB-2423-
    0030: 34 35 31 44 2d 42 46 35 451D-BF5
    0038: 44 2d 31 33 31 39 39 45 D-13199E
    0040: 33 37 44 46 32 38 7d 20 37DF28}
    0048: 52 65 76 69 73 69 6f 6e Revision
    0050: 4e 75 6d 62 65 72 3d 30 Number=0
    0058: 20 00 .

    When I went to the Windows Update site, I was first told "Update Windows to
    work with this website". I should point out at this stage that I routinely
    apply updates by visiting the site every patch Tuesday. This month's
    patches were installed without any apparent errors.

    On this first page, there's a button labeled "Update Windows". When I click
    on it, there's apparent activity of downloading and then copying files.

    After a few seconds, another web page appears with the following content:

    [Error number: 0x80070020]
    The website has encountered a problem and cannot display the page you are
    trying to view. The options provided below might help you solve the
    For self-help options:

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Find Solutions

    Windows Update Newsgroup
    For assisted support options:

    Microsoft Online Assisted Support (no-cost for Windows Update issues)

    I've googled the error code but so far haven't been able to find anything
    useful. I'm assuming this error isn't just going to go away on its own. One
    search result mentioned turning off realtime virus checking to see if that
    solved the problem; it didn't. (AVG Pro is what I use here).

    The Windows Update site is already in my Trusted Sites list, which was
    another suggestion I found.

    I would appreciate any help anyone might be able to provide.

    Tom Hall, Jun 22, 2007
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  2. 80070020 = "The process cannot access the file because it is being used by
    another process"

    The most common cause of this is an anti-virus or anti-spyware product with
    an on-access scanning feature.

    ALWAYS disable any anti-virus or anti-spyware product before attempting any
    Windows Update.
    Robin Walker [MVP], Jun 22, 2007
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  3. Tom Hall

    Tom Hall Guest

    As I indicated in my original post, I already tried turning off all AVG
    services, and it made no difference.

    FYI, I've been applying updates and using AVG for a number of years without
    either having to disable AVG or experiencing any problems using Windows
    Update. This problem has appeared within the last 48 hours and I cannot
    think of anything I may have done to my system in the past 2 days that
    would account for it. I generally let XP take care of itself and it has
    done so virtually flawlessly for the past 2 years.

    I'm a little puzzled by your suggestion, however. The configuration XP
    seems to be happiest with is to have the computer apply updates
    automatically as they become available. If what you say is true, then the
    only way to make Windows Update happy would apparently be to run the system
    without any antivirus protection at all - which I'm sure is not the intent
    of your advice.

    Tom Hall, Jun 22, 2007
  4. To carry it further, can you actually completely uninstall AVG and try
    Windows Update again? I seem to remember that AVG is a little limited in
    what control you can exercise over it. It would be a valuable data point to
    have to know whether uninstallation makes a difference.

    If that doesn't fix it, can you check out Task Manager to see whether there
    are any unusual processes active which might have system files locked?
    I use the Automatic Update setting "Download updates for me, but let me
    choose when to install them". When the downloads are ready for
    installation, I quit all applications, quit as many System Notification Area
    items as will permit it, and turn off anti-virus on-access scanning. Apart
    from anything else, turning off the anti-virus speeds up the Windows Update
    Robin Walker [MVP], Jun 22, 2007
  5. Tom Hall

    Mark Schell Guest

    For whatever this is worth, I've started seeing the same problem on my laptop
    within the last week. I'm using CA eTrust, and the problem persists whether
    the associated services are running or shut down. Up until the updates I
    installed on 6/15 everything was fine.
    Mark Schell, Jun 22, 2007
  6. Tom Hall

    Tom Hall Guest

    Tried that. Uninstalled, rebooted, Windows Update is still pooched.
    There's nothing there that hasn't been there for ages. I frequently peruse
    Task Manager just to see what's running. It's amazing the things you
    sometimes find there :)
    As I indicated, I have XP set to download and install updates
    automatically, usually during the night while I'm asleep. However, I find
    most of the time that when I go to the Update site late in the Patch
    Tuesday, I'm nearly always downloading updates that weren't applied during
    the night.

    Whatever is causing this problem, it's a recent development.

    Tom Hall, Jun 22, 2007
  7. Tom Hall

    Tom Hall Guest

    Is there any possibility that this problem might not be on my computer?

    Tom Hall, Jun 22, 2007
  8. OK - next thought - could you try stopping and disabling the service
    "Automatic Updates", and then try applying this one recalcitrant update from
    the Windows Update web site (although I'm not sure whether the manual
    Windows Update site will work with Automatic Updates disabled - maybe not).

    Also, can you confirm that the problem you are having is the special one
    with the "Update your Windows" button?

    If so, this update is essentially the same as you would get by doing a
    Validation of Windows before a Microsoft download. Try visiting the WGA
    Support site at and
    click through to the Diagnostics. If the Diagnostics pass, then try the
    "Validate Now" button. This should install the same item as Windows Updates
    was trying to install. Then try Windows Update again, to see whether it
    still wants that special update.
    Robin Walker [MVP], Jun 22, 2007
  9. Only if some other PC on your LAN has some of the Windows files on your PC
    open and locked. One of the frustrating things about this error code is
    that it does not also say what the identity of the locked file is.
    Robin Walker [MVP], Jun 22, 2007
  10. Tom Hall

    LizD Guest

    Here's a workaround. Attempt the updates again and, after the error recurs
    (it probably will), on that same page, click on the "Windows Update Home"
    button on the far left of your screen, just above "Options" (not on the tabs
    above). I got the same error and clicked on it out of took
    me straight to the regular updates page where I usually choose Custom to have
    more control over what's downloaded. Good luck.

    LizD, Jun 22, 2007
  11. Tom Hall

    LizD Guest

    I was just a little to soon with my first workaround. I think I found the
    problem. When I got to the update page and clicked "Custom", I got another
    error, but slightly different. That error - 0x80072EFE, does appear in the
    tech notes. Cause? Seems Windows has changed its update site names. What
    used to be "", etc., and which were marked trusted
    sites, are now named "", etc. The "windows" got dropped.
    I added the new sites to the trusted list, went back to Windows Update, and
    this time it properly asked to load the update, did it, then went on to the
    update page. I clicked on Custom and everything works fine now. (As a
    precaution, my anti-virus was temporarily disabled).

    LizD, Jun 22, 2007
  12. Tom Hall

    Mark Schell Guest

    Well, thanks for the workaround. Unfortunately, it didn't work for me. I
    keep getting back to the original Windows Update screen that wants to install
    the new software where we go back in circles. I also have a desktop running
    2000, and it does exactly what it should do.
    Mark Schell, Jun 22, 2007
  13. Look for the post on 6/21 from Alan "Microsoft is taking this update issue
    Go to the reply from PA Bear and give that a try.
    I have 5 machines, two were OK, 3 needed the first fix since I had the
    kb927891 installed on all 3
    Good Luck
    Leanin' Cedar, Jun 22, 2007
  14. Tom Hall

    Mark Schell Guest

    I'm still not able to get by the 0x80070020 error code to get to the second
    one. The results are the same regardless on the antivirus software status,
    firewall settings or security level settings.
    Mark Schell, Jun 22, 2007
  15. Tom Hall

    Tom Hall Guest

    Did that. As soon as I went to Windows Update, the AU service was started,
    with the same end result.
    This seems to have fixed the problem. Before doing this step, however, I
    set IE as my default browser via "Set Program Access and Defaults", as I
    use Firefox.I went through the WGA diagnostics pages several times, and for
    a moment I thought I was stuck in a loop because the page kept asking me if
    I wanted to install the validation tool. I kept saying yes, and after 3 or
    4 passes, however, this stopped, and that's when I closed the browser and
    restarted Windows Update. This time I was taken to the page I normally see
    when I do this.

    Thank you for your help! If I should happen to hear from Microsoft Support,
    I'll let them know the issue appears to have been resolved.

    PS: I reset my default browser back to Firefox and visited Windows Update
    again. Both Express and Custom options are now working.

    Tom Hall, Jun 22, 2007
  16. Tom Hall

    Tom Hall Guest

    And not only that - what started this whole issue here was the Event ID 20
    I found in the System Event Log. Microsoft Help and Support had absolutely
    nothing to say about the error.

    Tom Hall, Jun 22, 2007
  17. Tom Hall

    Tom Hall Guest

    I seem to have resolved the issue without even having to disable AVG.

    Tom Hall, Jun 22, 2007
  18. Tom Hall

    Tom Hall Guest

    On Fri, 22 Jun 2007 10:11:00 -0700, Mark Schell <Mark
    Mark, Robin's last suggestion to me (go through the WGA validation process)
    seemed to do the trick for me. Try that and hopefully it will work for you

    Tom Hall, Jun 22, 2007
  19. Tom Hall

    LizD Guest

    Are you using IE 7? The second error's fix was to add the following sites to
    IE's trusted sites list (where I use medium security):
    After adding these files, I went to the Windows Update page & was told about
    the "improvements to our site". This time when I clicked to proceed with the
    update, I received a prompt that an ActiveX script was trying to run and to
    "click on the bar" to run it. I did, it loaded and I finally got to the
    actual update page. Security concious Microsoft apparently won't update
    smoothly if you actually USE any security settings. I've now done this on
    three computers; I applied the fix first on the last one and it updated with
    no hesitation at all.
    LizD, Jun 22, 2007
  20. Tom Hall

    Alan Guest

    Hello Tom,

    I was having the exact same symptoms as you, and I began a thread yesterday
    entitled: "Microsoft is Taking This Update Issue Seriously"

    After I received an email frpm Microsoft Support Services regarding this
    issue, I managed to once again successfully reach the Windows Update site.

    The following is what I posted in the thread I mentioned above and contains
    the steps that Microsoft Support Services wanted me to try and the results I

    I'll say ahead of time that I believe was due to ZoneAlarm, rather than my
    SpyBot or AVG AntiVirus. However, once I fixed the Windows Update glitch, I
    have everything turned back on and I'm reaching the WU page without any



    Hi PA Bear,

    Okay, I'm now able to get to Windows Updates. I think I mentioned in another
    post in this thread that I had been sent an email from a person at Microsoft

    Here are the steps that were suggested and the results I obtained after each

    Step 1: Check the local Windows Update services

    This issue can occur if three services have not been configured correctly.
    Please refer to the following steps to check them:

    1. Click Start->Run, type "services.msc" (without quotation marks) in the
    open box and click OK.

    2. Double click the service "Automatic Updates".

    3. Click on the Log On tab, please ensure the option "Local System account"
    is selected and the option "Allow service to interact with desktop" is

    4. Check if this service has been enabled on the listed Hardware Profile. If
    not, please click the Enable button to enable it.

    5. Click on the "General" tab; make sure the "Startup Type" is "Automatic".
    Then please click the button "Start" under "Service Status" to start the

    6. Please repeat the above steps for the other two services:

    Background Intelligent Transfer Service

    Event log

    MY RESULTS: I still couldn't install the necessary software to allow me to
    get into Windows Update. I got the message:"[Error number: 0x80070020] The
    website has encountered a problem and cannot display the page you are trying
    to view."

    Step 2: use the System File Checker (SFC) to scan system components

    1. Insert the Windows XP installation CD into the CD-ROM; Click Exit if the
    auto-menu pops up.

    2. Click Start, click Run, type: cmd and press Enter.

    3. Input the following commands and press Enter after each line.

    Sfc /purgecache

    sfc /scannow

    MY RESULTS: I still couldn't install the necessary software to allow me to
    get into Windows Update. I got the message:"[Error number: 0x80070020] The
    website has encountered a problem and cannot display the page you are trying
    to view."

    Step 3: Disable the software that can affect Windows Update

    The local Windows Update engine can be affected by some third party

    Please temporarily disable all antivirus components, Web Trap component of
    PC-cillin, Surfin Guard Pro, download accelerators/enhancements, Download
    Accelerator Plus, spyware applications and other similar programs.

    If this does not help, re-enable the firewall and antivirus programs. Please
    understand this issue may be more complex and we need more time to narrow
    down the root cause of the issue. Please help me collect some additional
    information for further troubleshooting:

    MY ACTIONS: I disabled Zone Alam, Spybot, and WinPatrol. I left AVG 7.5
    running as usual with the resident shield enabled. I went into Control Panel
    and turned on the XP Firewall

    MY RESULTS: When I went to Windows Update, I received the usual "You need to
    install new Software" message. However, this time when I clicked Install,
    the installation was successful.

    Now, with SpyBot, WinPatrol and ZoneAlarm turned back on, I once again am
    able to get into the Windows Update site without any difficulties.

    HOORAY! :>


    Alan, Jun 24, 2007
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