So coming into work today, I found that my Windows 10 machine had rebooted itself, force-closing several applications and losing data, which seems like insane default behavior, and I thought to myself "Maybe this was a critical security update at least?", so I went to "View installed update history"

The last update it displays was 1/14/2018. It is now 1/30/2018, and I know an update was installed last night. Visual Studio 2015 told me that's why it was force-closed (and it at least, was able to recover the data).

Does anyone know why updates are not being logged or logged updates are not being displayed?


Based on comments, I've reviewed the event log and it appears the problem MAY be related to crashes that MAY be caused by the updates. What I see is 3 crashes since 1/14/18, all occurring within 2 minutes of "successful" updates of components like "Windows Store" or "Paint". Windows Defender Definition updates are occurring regularly and successfully with no indications of problems, I should note. (They do tend to occur immediately AFTER crashes, however). Further, I have the startup message from VS 2015 telling me it was shut down by an update, when only one shutdown occurred last night--the one caused by a crash. I do not see any explicit failures logged by Windows Update. (And all updates logged as starting in the event log are logged as finished successfully there.)

The "Setup" Log in Event Viewer indicates the last successful install as occurring on 1/14, with KB4043961 marked as superseded on 1/16.

The windows updates logged in the "System" log since 1/14 are all "Windows Store", or Defender updates, application updates "Paint", "Advertising", "mscommunication". I don't see any normal-looking OS updates.

Further, I've opened up the most recent memory dump in windbg. Not enlightening, for me at least. The last crash was caused by a stack overflow in csrss.exe. Beyond that, the stack trace isn't clear enough for me at least to determine any clear cause.

The Windows Update troubleshooters repeatedly indicate I have pending updates, which Windows Update itself is apparently not seeing.

If this is enough information for anyone else to pinpoint or guess at the problem, I'd love to hear it.

Since this problem seems increasingly bizarre and specific to my machine, it's probably worth mentioning it's a relatively fresh and unmodified Win 10 install. VS 2015, VS 2017, Windows SDK, and WSL (bash), and TeamViewer are the only installs of any note. I have not edited any Windows files from within WSL.

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    What's your event viewer telling you? – davidbaumann Jan 30 '18 at 18:42
  • That a definition update for Windows Defender was installed about 15 minutes after I locked my machine....I am really surprised that those require a reboot. They are constant. – zzxyz Jan 30 '18 at 18:49
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    Windows Defender updates do not require a reboot to be installed. There is an alternative to your theory, your computer simply encountered a crash, and automatically rebooted. The only update released in the last 16 days that would require a reboot was KB4078130 which must be downloaded and installed manually. – Ramhound Jan 30 '18 at 18:49
  • Okay, then the reboot is still unexplained. That's the only update I can see in "Windows Logs\System" – zzxyz Jan 30 '18 at 18:50
  • @Ramhound - You win the prize. Although...it appears that Windows Updates are now crashing my system. I went back about two weeks, and there seems to be a definite pattern. – zzxyz Jan 30 '18 at 18:57

If you are having problems with Windows Update, here are a few possible actions:

  • Both troubleshooters indicate there are "pending updates" as the only problem. If I select "Fix" the problem is marked as resolved, if "skip" the troubleshooter completes. No update installs or starts to install. I executed the reset instructions with no apparent effect, not that I would really expect one. – zzxyz Jan 30 '18 at 20:43
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    Do everything as advised in the last link, especially renaming the folder %systemroot%\SoftwareDistribution. There are scripts that automate this: PowerShell script and Batch script. – harrymc Jan 30 '18 at 21:16
  • My "installed update history" is now cleared, (after following steps 4 and 5 which I did skip the first time). Windows Update did not detect any updates to install after rebooting. I ran the troubleshooter again and it's still saying that there are pending updates. It also said security settings were changed, which it "fixed"--this was new. – zzxyz Jan 30 '18 at 21:30
  • Regarding security, I do have some DCOM error messages ("Access denied", more or less ) that are occurring fairly regularly. But the timing seems unrelated and both my SID and NT_AUTHORITY\LOCAL_SERVICE are being denied activation access to various CLSIDs. – zzxyz Jan 30 '18 at 21:34
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    You seem to have issues. I suggest doing chkdsk and sfc /scannow to check system integrity. At worse, you might need the big one: Repair Install. Mind your backups before. – harrymc Jan 30 '18 at 21:45

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