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I've enabled automatic updates but windows cannot update itself automatically, nor updating via Internet Explorer (by visiting http://www.windowsupdate.com/) works. I get this error message in event log:

Unable to Connect: Windows is unable to connect to the automatic updates service and therefore cannot download and install updates according to the set schedule. Windows will continue to try to establish a connection.

What could be wrong? A malware?

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3 Answers 3

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Take a peek in the WindowsUpdate.log file under your C:\Windows folder and see if it gives you any indicator of what might be causing the problem. I've found the log can be most helpful.

Take a look at this and see if it has any suggestions for your issue: How to troubleshoot common Windows Update, Microsoft Update, and Windows Server Update Services installation issues

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Could be malware, could be some over-achieving security software / firewall like Norton Internet Security. Are you running anything like that?

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No. I only have AVG antivirus and it does not have a firewall or anything. There is no suspicious rule my windows firewall either that might block automatic updates. –  Salman A Mar 22 '10 at 6:14
    
Are any Microsoft Services such as Windows Installer, Windows Update Service or Background Intelligent Transfer disabled? –  akid Mar 22 '10 at 9:15
    
I fixed it by force-re-installing windows update agent files. I can't remember exactly where I found the procedure but googling around should help. –  Salman A Apr 26 '10 at 6:55

Microsoft Baseline Security Analyser

Might be an alternative to using Windows Update, I've had an XP machine in the past which has refused to use Windows Update for no good reason.

It is possible to run this utility and it provides links to the windows update items that you need to install on the machine.

It's a bit of a pain having to download each file individually and install it but this cured the "hiccup" for me and enabled me to start using Windows Update again.

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