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I have a windows 7 laptop with a bunch of pending and failed updates (2009 HP, i3).

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When I manually download them (e.g. January, 2017 Security Monthly Quality Rollup for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems (KB3212646)) and try to install the .msu file, the installer tells me the update is already on the computer.

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How can I get this (and other) pending updates to install? Per Windows Update: FAQ, should I "uninstall" pending and failed updates prior to manually installing them?

For what it is worth, there are no "hidden updates" reported by the Windows Updater Control Panel. also, if I leave the Windows Updater preference in the "automatically download and install" mode I am constantly reminded to restart, yet the restart rarely actually installs anything.

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When the "Shutdown" option has a yellow shield icon next to it, then something actually does get installed upon restarting.

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The install history goes back to 2011 and prior to the 08/2015 release of the "Upgrade to Windows 10" there were only 5 failed update installations (3 "important" and 2 "recommended"). Not including the failed "Upgrade to Windows 10" installs, there are a total of 14 Failed updates and 100+ Pending updates since 08/2015. How should I address all these pending and failed updates to get my OS current and the Windows Updater messages relevant?


UPDATE

"Fix Problems with Windows Update" from Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Troubleshooting (with Administrator privileges) checks for updates and then upon it's suggestion to open Windows Update, I am told to Restart for pending changes. I restart... nothing changes. Of note - the "Recent Check For Updates" does not indicate a recent check.

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It is now 7AM and the midnight timestamp was from when I first wrote this question. This makes sense as the Troubleshooting report indicates that searching for updates failed (Despite the earlier indication that the troubleshooter "ran successfully").

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...and as much as I like to "explore"

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"Exploring Additional Options" is what led me here in the first place.

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As for the link to the online troubleshooting, I have now confirmed that I have no network problems causing this issue, and that the downloadable version of the Windows Update Troubleshooter (WindowsUpdate.diagcab) is as ineffectual as the one I already have in my Control Panel:

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Sure, it says "Fixed" however the Jan 2017 Security Monthly Quality Rollup is still pending - tho now the Version history log reports "Never" for the latest install and check... Continuing the dialogue with the online troubleshooting the suggestion is to re-install the OS. This seems like a ridiculous option.

As for "Windows Update error 0x80070490" I am looking into these procedures to address it:

  1. http://www.thewindowsclub.com/windows-update-error-0x80070490

  2. https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-update/how-do-i-fix-error-code-0x80070490windows-update/38fa3ffc-6361-4c14-83d3-13bc5c3a9047

per http://www.thewindowsclub.com/windows-update-error-0x80070490:

1] [...] If you are running Windows 7 or Windows Vista, after running the System File Checker, you should use the System Update Readiness Tool to repair Windows Update.

2] If this does not help, create a new User Account and see if that works for you.

3] You need to also ensure that your Windows Update Service, Background Intelligent Transfer Service and Cryptographic Service are running properly. To do this, open Run box, type services.msc and hit Enter to open the Services manager. Here you can check the status of each of these services. Ensure that they are started. Windows Update at Automatic (Trigger Start), BITS should be set at Automatic (Delayed) and Cryptographic Service at Automatic. Double-clicking on the service name will open up its Properties box that will offer additional options.

4] Run the Windows Update Troubleshooter and see if that helps.


UPDATE enter image description here C:\Windows\Logs\CBS\CBS.log is of course a 16MB text file with restrictive permissions... so let me figure out some grep options, cuz cat has been loading the file for over a minute now :\

...and this is what I get using:
DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Scanhealth &
DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

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UPDATE

Per the comment regarding the answer suggesting the removal of C:\windows\winsxs\pending.xml: it's odd, I have two of these files with something appended to the filename, one is 25KB w/a creation and modification date 3/10/2016@2:42AM
C:\windows\winsxs\pending.xml.01d17ae4bd6c3f2c
...and the other ~16MB w/a creation and modification date 3/11/2016@2:00PM
C:\windows\winsxs\pending.xml.01d17bd0c51f9f61

Removal of these two files from the C:\windows\winsxs\ directory did not allow for the pending updates to be installed, nor for the control panel to check for pending updates:

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Possibly related there was a failed update on 3/10/2016@10:51AM:

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UPDATE

Per the sfc/scannow CBS.log there seems to be a common thread of "31bf3856ad364e35" with, for example:
Windows7SP1-KB976933~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~6.1.1.17514 &
Package_for_KB976933~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~fr-FR~6.1.7601.17514

From the CBS.log, grepping for 0x80070490:

PS C:\Windows\system32> cat C:\Windows\Logs\CBS\CBS.log | grep 0x80070490
2017-02-09 10:09:34, Info                  CBS    Failed to find package from aggreated XML string, package: Package_for_KB976933~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~fr-FR~6.1.7601.17514 [HRESULT = 0x80070490 - ERROR_NOT_FOUND]
2017-02-09 10:09:34, Info                  CBS    Failed to find package from deployment update [HRESULT = 0x80070490 -ERROR_NOT_FOUND]
2017-02-09 10:09:34, Error                 CBS    Failed to check whether package is partially installed, package: Windows7SP1-KB976933~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~6.1.1.17514 [HRESULT = 0x80070490 - ERROR_NOT_FOUND]
2017-02-09 10:09:34, Info                  CBS    Failed to evaluate external applicability for package update: 976933-0_neutral_PACKAGE [HRESULT = 0x80070490 - ERROR_NOT_FOUND]
2017-02-09 10:09:34, Error                 CBS    Failed to call external evaluate applicability on package: Package_for_KB976932~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~6.1.1.17514, Update: 976933-0_neutral_PACKAGE [HRESULT = 0x80070490 - ERROR_NOT_FOUND]

2017-02-09 10:09:43, Info                  CBS    Failed to find package from aggreated XML string, package: Package_for_KB976933~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~fr-FR~6.1.7601.17514 [HRESULT = 0x80070490 - ERROR_NOT_FOUND]
2017-02-09 10:09:43, Info                  CBS    Failed to find package from deployment update [HRESULT = 0x80070490 -ERROR_NOT_FOUND]
2017-02-09 10:09:43, Error                 CBS    Failed to check whether package is partially installed, package: Windows7SP1-KB976933~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~6.1.1.17514 [HRESULT = 0x80070490 - ERROR_NOT_FOUND]
2017-02-09 10:09:43, Info                  CBS    Failed to evaluate external applicability for package update: 976933-0_neutral_PACKAGE [HRESULT = 0x80070490 - ERROR_NOT_FOUND]
2017-02-09 10:09:43, Error                 CBS    Failed to call external evaluate applicability on package: Package_for_KB976932~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~6.1.1.17514, Update: 976933-0_neutral_PACKAGE [HRESULT = 0x80070490 - ERROR_NOT_FOUND]

2017-02-09 10:18:51, Info                  CBS    Failed to find package from aggreated XML string, package: Package_for_KB976933~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~fr-FR~6.1.7601.17514 [HRESULT = 0x80070490 - ERROR_NOT_FOUND]
2017-02-09 10:18:51, Info                  CBS    Failed to find package from deployment update [HRESULT = 0x80070490 -ERROR_NOT_FOUND]
2017-02-09 10:18:51, Error                 CBS    Failed to check whether package is partially installed, package: Windows7SP1-KB976933~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~6.1.1.17514 [HRESULT = 0x80070490 - ERROR_NOT_FOUND]
2017-02-09 10:18:51, Info                  CBS    Failed to evaluate external applicability for package update: 976933-0_neutral_PACKAGE [HRESULT = 0x80070490 - ERROR_NOT_FOUND]
2017-02-09 10:18:51, Error                 CBS    Failed to call external evaluate applicability on package: Package_for_KB976932~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~6.1.1.17514, Update: 976933-0_neutral_PACKAGE [HRESULT = 0x80070490 - ERROR_NOT_FOUND]

2017-02-09 10:19:02, Info                  CBS    Failed to find package from aggreated XML string, package: Package_for_KB976933~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~fr-FR~6.1.7601.17514 [HRESULT = 0x80070490 - ERROR_NOT_FOUND]
2017-02-09 10:19:02, Info                  CBS    Failed to find package from deployment update [HRESULT = 0x80070490 -ERROR_NOT_FOUND]
2017-02-09 10:19:02, Error                 CBS    Failed to check whether package is partially installed, package: Windows7SP1-KB976933~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~6.1.1.17514 [HRESULT = 0x80070490 - ERROR_NOT_FOUND]
2017-02-09 10:19:02, Info                  CBS    Failed to evaluate external applicability for package update: 976933-0_neutral_PACKAGE [HRESULT = 0x80070490 - ERROR_NOT_FOUND]
2017-02-09 10:19:02, Error                 CBS    Failed to call external evaluate applicability on package: Package_for_KB976932~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~6.1.1.17514, Update: 976933-0_neutral_PACKAGE [HRESULT = 0x80070490 - ERROR_NOT_FOUND]

2017-02-09 11:07:06, Info                  CBS    Failed to find package from aggreated XML string, package: Package_for_KB976933~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~fr-FR~6.1.7601.17514 [HRESULT = 0x80070490 - ERROR_NOT_FOUND]
2017-02-09 11:07:06, Info                  CBS    Failed to find package from deployment update [HRESULT = 0x80070490 -ERROR_NOT_FOUND]
2017-02-09 11:07:06, Error                 CBS    Failed to check whether package is partially installed, package: Windows7SP1-KB976933~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~6.1.1.17514 [HRESULT = 0x80070490 - ERROR_NOT_FOUND]
2017-02-09 11:07:06, Info                  CBS    Failed to evaluate external applicability for package update: 976933-0_neutral_PACKAGE [HRESULT = 0x80070490 - ERROR_NOT_FOUND]
2017-02-09 11:07:06, Error                 CBS    Failed to call external evaluate applicability on package: Package_for_KB976932~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~6.1.1.17514, Update: 976933-0_neutral_PACKAGE [HRESULT = 0x80070490 - ERROR_NOT_FOUND]

2017-02-09 11:07:15, Info                  CBS    Failed to find package from aggreated XML string, package: Package_for_KB976933~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~fr-FR~6.1.7601.17514 [HRESULT = 0x80070490 - ERROR_NOT_FOUND]
2017-02-09 11:07:15, Info                  CBS    Failed to find package from deployment update [HRESULT = 0x80070490 -ERROR_NOT_FOUND]
2017-02-09 11:07:15, Error                 CBS    Failed to check whether package is partially installed, package: Windows7SP1-KB976933~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~6.1.1.17514 [HRESULT = 0x80070490 - ERROR_NOT_FOUND]
2017-02-09 11:07:15, Info                  CBS    Failed to evaluate external applicability for package update: 976933-0_neutral_PACKAGE [HRESULT = 0x80070490 - ERROR_NOT_FOUND]
2017-02-09 11:07:15, Error                 CBS    Failed to call external evaluate applicability on package: Package_for_KB976932~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~6.1.1.17514, Update: 976933-0_neutral_PACKAGE [HRESULT = 0x80070490 - ERROR_NOT_FOUND]

2017-02-09 11:08:18, Info                  CBS    Failed to find package from aggreated XML string, package: Package_for_KB976933~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~fr-FR~6.1.7601.17514 [HRESULT = 0x80070490 - ERROR_NOT_FOUND]
2017-02-09 11:08:18, Info                  CBS    Failed to find package from deployment update [HRESULT = 0x80070490 -ERROR_NOT_FOUND]
2017-02-09 11:08:18, Error                 CBS    Failed to check whether package is partially installed, package: Windows7SP1-KB976933~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~6.1.1.17514 [HRESULT = 0x80070490 - ERROR_NOT_FOUND]
2017-02-09 11:08:18, Info                  CBS    Failed to evaluate external applicability for package update: 976933-0_neutral_PACKAGE [HRESULT= 0x80070490 - ERROR_NOT_FOUND]
2017-02-09 11:08:18, Error                 CBS    Failed to call external evaluate applicability on package: Package_for_KB976932~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~6.1.1.17514, Update: 976933-0_neutral_PACKAGE [HRESULT = 0x80070490 - ERROR_NOT_FOUND]

2017-02-09 11:08:28, Info                  CBS    Failed to find package from aggreated XML string, package: Package_for_KB976933~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~fr-FR~6.1.7601.17514 [HRESULT = 0x80070490 - ERROR_NOT_FOUND]
2017-02-09 11:08:28, Info                  CBS    Failed to find package from deployment update [HRESULT = 0x80070490 -ERROR_NOT_FOUND]
2017-02-09 11:08:28, Error                 CBS    Failed to check whether package is partially installed, package: Windows7SP1-KB976933~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~6.1.1.17514 [HRESULT = 0x80070490 - ERROR_NOT_FOUND]
2017-02-09 11:08:28, Info                  CBS    Failed to evaluate external applicability for package update: 976933-0_neutral_PACKAGE [HRESULT = 0x80070490 - ERROR_NOT_FOUND]
2017-02-09 11:08:28, Error                 CBS    Failed to call external evaluate applicability on package: Package_for_KB976932~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~6.1.1.17514, Update: 976933-0_neutral_PACKAGE [HRESULT = 0x80070490 - ERROR_NOT_FOUND]

... I then searched with regedit.exe for 31bf3856ad364e35 and found the following entry (see pic below) Would removing "{A8F6EABA-43E3-410F-B196-A4A38FC70C51}" from "Packages to Add" make this worse or possibly fix these errors and let me install pending updates?

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  • 2
    Oh, and by the way, don't mind the failed updates because this is a log, not a list of available updates. Sometimes, for a failed update entry, there is another "Successful" entry upper in the log. Sometimes, a failed update is never installed because a newer replacement update is installed instead. Updates that are truly failed and never got installed reappear in Windows Update's main update list. – user477799 Feb 9 '17 at 6:08
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(migrated from the comments to the question)

First I would try to reset all the Windows Update, that way it will start anew. You can use this script https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/scriptcenter/Reset-Windows-Update-Agent-d824badc Run it As Administrator, use option 2 and 3, and when finished restart the PC.

If that does not help, I would suggest you trying to delete the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersio‌n\WindowsUpdate\Auto Update\RebootRequired (export it first to have a backup) and restart the PC again

1

Per FleetCommand's comment, the "pending" and "failed" status in the Update History was somewhat misleading:

don't mind the failed updates because this is a log, not a list of available updates. Sometimes, for a failed update entry, there is another "Successful" entry upper in the log. Sometimes, a failed update is never installed because a newer replacement update is installed instead. Updates that are truly failed and never got installed reappear in Windows Update's main update list.

Per Yisroel's answer, I have downloaded and run ResetWUEng.cmd (as Administrator) to reset the Updater (Option #2) so that I am current with updates (see below). I am now able to check for updates from the Control panel (without being told I need to restart) AND I no longer get the persistent reminder to restart!

Here's the main screen of the Reset Windows Update Tool - I only used option #2 but Yisroel suggests Option #3 as well:

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This deleted the history along with updating components - but per FleetCommand, the history is not a very accurate record. I then used regedit.exe to first export a backup copy and then remove the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersio‌​n\WindowsUpdate\Auto Update\RebootRequired...

Now when I launch the Windows Update Control panel I see:

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...then after pressing the "Check For Updates" button, BINGO:

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...things are looking like they should again. I selected and downloaded the updates, and now this is what I see in the Control Panel:

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(I only installed 4 of the 5 "Optional" updates - one was for a program I don't use.)

...After the download I restarted the computer, components were prepared after log off and prior to shut down, then installed upon rebooting. And best of all, now I can check for updates from the Windows Updater Control Panel:

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...and the history is relevant again. Also of note, i hadn't seen any "Optional" updates come through before, just "Important" or "Recommended" - seems like everything is back to normal!

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