I installed a Windows 7 Enterprise on a Virtual Machine (Microsoft Virtual Server 2005). The Windows is activated.

The first thing I found was this, but I am definitely sure my timezone and time and date information is correct.

Still I get a Code 80072F8F Windows Update encountered an unknown error. When trying to "Check for updates".

I know about this KB article from Microsoft. I also know about this question on ServerFault. I tried everything there to no avail.

Any other suggestions?


Your problem might be that the Microsoft Windows Update web server SSL cert is untrusted due to a missing root certification authority (CA) certificate.

See this article: Windows root certificate program members
where you can manually download and install all third-party root certificates that are distributed via the Windows Root Certificate Program.

  • Ok, that did the trick. Although the article you link to doesn't apply to Windows 7, after installing the root certificate update, Windows Update started working again. Thanks! – fretje Dec 18 '09 at 12:19

For me the issue was the time on the server was not correct. After enabling syncing with an Internet Time service under the clock settings, I was able to run windows update normally.

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