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The last two times Windows 8 has tried to update, the update failed and it reverted the changes. Is there any kind of log I can check to see why it's failing, or at least see what updates it's trying to apply? I'm running it on a new laptop with not much on it so I can't think of much that could be going wrong.

I'm running 64-bit Windows 8 on a Lenovo Ideapad Y580. I can provide more technical details if that would help.

Update: Error 80071A90; looks like my antivirus was locking some files the update was trying to modify, or something. Disabling the antivirus does the trick, if anyone has this problem.

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I look in the Windows updates history. (But am impressed with Event View answer below). – Guy Thomas Jan 6 '13 at 18:53
we need the following log file: the complete fodler C:\Windows\logs\CBS, the WindowsUpdate.log from C:\Windows and the the file C:\Windows\inf\ Copy them all to the desktop, zip them and upload the zip. I'll look at it. – magicandre1981 Jan 6 '13 at 19:35
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Look if your Windows Event Viewer has some relevant data.

  • press Win+R, type in eventvwr.msc and hit enter
  • browse to Event Viewer (local) → Windows logs → System
  • Sort the column source ascending and scroll down until you find a source called WindowsUpdateClient

Alternatively you can create a custom view which only shows WindowsUpdateClient errors and warnings.

  • select create custom view in the right pane
  • check all event levels (critical, warning, error, information and verbose)
  • select by source and choose WindowsUpdateClient and click OK

You can save all selected error logs and upload it (e.g. on for showing others.

enter image description here

Note: Please have also a look at all errors and warnings under Windows logs → System since your last Windows Update attempt.

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Accepting this one just because this tool is awesome and I didn't know about it, but both answers should give a useful error code that you can Google. – Jeff Burka Jan 7 '13 at 19:34

In addition to using the event viewer you can use the Update history in your Control Panel (under Update).

There you will see a list of Update attempts and their status. One of them is "failed". If it is failed, you right click the update and select "Show Status" (possibly "Display status" - I'm on a German Windows 8, so I have to guess).

Then you either follow the link provided in the view relating to your error code or you google for an answer. This will give you info on why the update failed.

I've solved each and every one of my Update issues with Windows 8 this way.

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