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If you install Windows Vista RTM and run Windows Update, many updates are offered and will successfully install. Once all other updates are installed, Windows Vista service pack 1 is offered.

When you attempt to install Windows Vista service pack 1, the service pack installation wizard appears, presenting the license agreement and so on. However, shortly after the installation starts the wizard disappears. Windows Update says that the update was installed successfully. However, service pack 1 is not in fact installed, and will be detected as needed again on the next update check. Repeat ad nauseum.

On checking the Windows Update log (WindowsUpdate.log) the client version is 6.0.6000.nnn or 6.0.6001.nnn. There is a message saying "Skipping SelfUpdate check based on the /SKIP directive in wuident".

There may also be an error 0x80190194 appearing, associated with the URL http://update.microsoft.com/vista/windowsupdate/redir/vistawuredir.cab.

Why won't service pack 1 install properly and how do I fix it?

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2 Answers 2

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The underlying problem is that the Windows Update self-update mechanism is not working. In order to successfully install service pack 1, you need at least version 7.6.7600.256 of Windows Update. Windows Vista RTM ships with Windows Update version 6.0.6000.16386 and at present this version is not able to self-update.

This is happening because the current version of the wuident.cab file (digitally signed July 14, 2012) provided by Microsoft's Windows Update service contains an explicit instruction that versions 6.0.6000 and 6.0.6001 should not attempt to self-update. It is not clear why.

There may be one or more missing files on Microsoft's servers, because error 0x80190194 means that a 404 (File Not Found) error was received from the web server. However, error 0x80190194 does not appear if you are using a WSUS server, but the client will still not self-update. It is possible that the error 0x80190194 is not directly related to the problem.

Microsoft Support advised me that the problem is being worked on and that a KB article will be released in due course. They did not give me an ETA.

In the meantime, there are two ways to solve the problem. Microsoft Support directed me to this download which installs Windows Update 7.6.7600.256. Note however that this is a third party installer not officially supported by Microsoft and personally I do not recommend using it. (For the record, when I tried it, it worked. But that was on a test machine which I then reformatted as a precaution.)

The other is to download and install the off-line version of Windows Vista service pack 1 (or the all languages version) from the Microsoft Download Center. This will take longer to download and install than using Windows Update, but is officially supported.

In either case, once service pack 1 is installed some additional updates will be offered and then service pack 2 will be offered and should successfully install.

Note that Microsoft do provide free phone support for problems installing service packs. See Microsoft's support page for the contact number for your area. Note that in some countries this may be a toll call.

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Be sure the 3 updates below are installed first, look for them in "View Update History" when you open Windows Update from the Control Panel. If any of these are not installed, download and manually install them. Then download and try a manual install of SP1, but first uninstall or disable any 3rd party security software that is installed. Better yet perform both the SP1 and SP2 installs while clean booted.

These are for 32 bit Vista:

  • KB935509 (download page)(Enterprise and Ultimate versions of Vista Only, do not install if you have any other version)

  • KB938371 (download page)

  • KB949939 (scroll down page for download link for 32 and 64 bit)

These are for 64 bit Vista

  • KB935509 (Enterprise and Ultimate versions of Vista Only, do not install if you have any other version)

  • KB938371

Service Pack 1 download links

32bit Vista

64bit Vista

Once all this is done you can download and manually Install Service Pack 2

32bit

64bit

After SP2 is installed you can run Windows Updates and get the rest of the updates you need.

.

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Good point. Note that if Windows Update is offering SP1, the prerequisite updates are already installed, but if you're installing it preemptively you need to do the prerequisites by hand. I'd recommend not installing any 3rd party software (of any sort) until after you've got service pack 2 and all existing updates installed, but if you've got security software present it certainly should be disabled before installing the service packs. –  Harry Johnston Nov 1 '12 at 22:25
    
I don't always trust that wupdate gets these installed, I always check first. These were the ugly years, glad I kept my notes. I kept all these files, I found it twice as fast to get a non sp Vista updated to SP2 using the manual method, saved me so much time working on Vista re-installs. –  Moab Nov 1 '12 at 22:27

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