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I get the same yellow baloon alert every day that tells me updates are available. I click on the baloon, and click the Download button. The window minimizes, and the yellow icon disappears immediately. The updates never download. What is going on?!

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I've been getting hte same updates for about a month now. My XP is 64-bit. – Josh Stodola Dec 30 '09 at 22:58
which service pack? did you block or remove WGA by any chance? can view the list of updates pending? – Molly7244 Dec 30 '09 at 23:25
SP2. I did not block or remove WGA, not sure how to check if it's blocked either. This is a legitimately licensed version of Windows, if that's what you are asking. I'll get you the list of updates tomorrow, it already appeared today right before I asked this question :) – Josh Stodola Dec 31 '09 at 0:18
nothing illegitimate about blocking/removing WGA if you don't want it, it just renders automatic update non-functional as certain optional updates do indeed require WGA verification. – Molly7244 Dec 31 '09 at 0:49
How do I check and see if WGA if blocked/removed? – Josh Stodola Dec 31 '09 at 14:05
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Assuming XP or later:


Stop the Background Intelligent Transfer service (aka BITS) if it's running (should be set to "Manual" startup), and stop the Windows Update service (which should be set to "Automatic" startup).

Open a CMD box and go delete everything in the %systemroot%\SoftwareDistribution folder (usually C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution).

Go back and start the Windows Update service.

Visit MicrosoftUpdate and follow the prompts.

If that doesn't work, another thing to consider would be that you may have a previously failed patch that's preventing the problematic patch from installing. Though, that situation will usually produce an error in Windows Update itself, and/or it the system event logs.

Hope that helps.

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I have the same problem. I followed the steps you described and successfully completed a windows update; however, I'm wondering the following: (1) Are all these steps necessary when ultimately you're suggesting a manual update using IE? (2) Will this actually solve the problem of the icon disappearing, or will I be performing manual updates on "Patch Tuesday" forevermore? – Brett Feb 17 '11 at 16:49
1) Yes, these steps are to clear all the pre-cached versions, history and the settings for Windows Update, ensuring that next time it runs it from a clean slate. 2) It affects the automatic updates in the same way it affects manually launched update checks, so if it fixed it now you should be good until the next time it gets corrupted (hopefully that'll be 'never'). – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Feb 17 '11 at 20:32

Perhaps you have a firewall blocking the port they download on. Check Process Monitor for errors, and your firewall logs (probably in your router, not in windows itself), assuming you don't have some other third party firewall.

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That process monitor never stops!! I'll have to wait until tomorrow to run it when I get the updates. Thanks. – Josh Stodola Dec 31 '09 at 0:25

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