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I have a single Windows XP Pro SP3 computer that is having problems installing updates from a WSUS server. The entries in the WindowsUpdate.log point to a problem with the Cryptographic service on the computer. The problem is, there is no Cryptographic service on this machine. This could be the result of something the user has done or something else but I'm not sure at this point. Any ideas what would make the service go awol? Any ideas on what I need to do to "re-install" the service? Any help would be appreciated.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

If it has actually been removed, a couple of methods are to either use Windows system restore and pick a date before it was removed, or do an XP repair install.

If it is somehow damaged and still present in the registry, try a System File Checker

When doing a Repair Install or SFC, you will need a XP installation CD that matches the Service Pack level of the PC you are repairing.


The registry entry for Cryptographic services is located at:


Although it requires much more than this key to operate, it would verify it is truly missing from the system. You could export the key from another XP system, import it into the problem PC, reboot and see if it restores the service to a working state, this would only work if only this key was deleted causing the problem, and you may have to re-register some dll's see method 3.

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