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[SOLVED] HELP: "Automatic Updates" Service is Disappearing

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Old 08-28-2008, 11:47 PM   #1
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Hello,
[For Windows XP Home SP3]

Since 2 days ago on a early morning, I was asked to "install" Microsoft Update again (no clue why) but I had no problems going ahead and it installed fine. Then yesterday I wanted to give IE8 Beta 2 a try so I installed that and no problems, then I go to MS Update to check for updates for IE8, now here's where the problem comes in, I am asked to "install" MS Update AGAIN! I struggle with it when it checks for ActiveX and it shows parts of main page for 1 second until it reverts back to "page encountered an error". Soon after I learn that my Automatic Updates Service is gone, and I try to re-register the .DLL: Regsvr32 "C:\Windows\System32\wuaueng.dll". It is successful, and the Service is implemented back into Services and MS Update connects and works right. I then proceed to restart my computer to save the settings and once I get back, I go to MS Update to check if the .DLL saved itself and it doesn't. Everytime I re-register the file it, Windows XP goes retarded and loses that one file.

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Much help is appreciated

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Old 08-29-2008, 10:18 AM   #2
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Anyone? I guess this is new stuff for Microsoft to look into...

Even Microsoft Support through email can't seem to figure it out, always going in circles.


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Old 08-29-2008, 01:58 PM   #3
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Hello SilentSkies2889

I have only come across one fix for this problem

Typing this in at a command prompt is supposed to install the Automatic Updates service

%SystemRoot%\System32\rundll32.exe setupapi,InstallHinfSection AutoUpdate 132 %SystemRoot%\inf\au.inf
It's all one line, with no spaces around the comma.

You will need your XP installation CD for this, but that makes another problem for you. You will have to slipstream SP3 into your XP installation CD to do this.

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Old 08-29-2008, 06:41 PM   #4
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I did the command prompt thing and I get the loading clock 2 times between them and it doesn't ask or do anything.

I did however tried fixing corrupted registry files from Microsoft Support this morning by trying to fix these 2 files:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\wuauserv

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\Root\LEGACY_WUAUSERV


The representative told me to go to Run, and enter "Inf" and look into the folder that pops up and right-click on the file named "au.inf" and click "Install" while right-clicking it, I did that and loading bar comes up and then a Browse box says I need Windows XP Home Edition Service Pack 3 CD for "wuapi.dll".

I do have a slipstreamed XP SP3 CD but the problem is, I don't really know where that file is .


EDIT!!!!<<<<

I managed to successfully find the wuapi.dll through not the CD but going to C:\WINDOWS\ServicePackFiles\i386 and it was there, I clicked it and clicked OK and it started downloading and installing the file. I am about to restart my computer now and HOPEFULLY, Windows XP does not have amnesia anymore.
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Old 08-29-2008, 07:08 PM   #5
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I restarted my computer and bam! Windows XP actually remembers the files and Service. I went to MS Update to install the program again and it asked to install ActiveX and I clicked OK and it downloaded, installed and registered, no problems. Now, I restart my computer again, just to make sure it really did save the files...it doesn't remember anything of those files anymore. I'm getting tired of this, I'm about to just give up and re-register the one file from above every month or so just to get the updates. When will Microsoft ever learn to not make a doodoo Operating System? I'm coming to believe that Microsoft on purpose screwed up SP3 just so people switch to Windows Vista, which I have as well, I like it and all but still, I want Windows XP to work after having this computer for 4 years now, trouble-free.
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Old 08-29-2008, 07:14 PM   #6
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A totally wild guess, but could malware be disabling Windows Update? Much like malware likes to disable antivirus or antispyware programs.
I get that hunch because it keeps disappearing.
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Old 08-29-2008, 07:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blah789 View Post
A totally wild guess, but could malware be disabling Windows Update? Much like malware likes to disable antivirus or antispyware programs.
I get that hunch because it keeps disappearing.
Nope, its definitely not malware, I already ran SuperAnti-Spyware from what a Microsoft Pro Rep suggested doing, and I only got 5 Adware tracking cookies, which I removed. Even Windows Defender doesn't pick up anything, neither does McAfee. I have my computers pretty much locked down 100% with 80% Services disabled and registry tweaks BUT! I know those are NOT the problem because they been there for 3 years and I just tweaked my Vista laptop 3 months ago and absolutely no problems whatsoever.
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Old 08-30-2008, 12:04 AM   #8
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Automatic Updates Service not working does happen now and then
Automatic Updates Service disappearing is a very rare problem

If it was an SP3 problem I think we would be seeing it more often.
I tend to agree with blah789 that it could be a malware problem. Remember that no program will detect all malware, and new varieties are appearing all the time.

Check msconfig first
Start/Run and type in
msconfig
OK

Startup Tab
Keep the page open then go to one of the links below. They will tell you what all the entries are and whether you can disable them or not. They will also identify any malware. Disable everything which is not needed to run at start up

http://www.sysinfo.org/startuplist.php

http://www.castlecops.com/StartupList.html

Read the Key at top of page. Use the Search box to check all your entries

When you reboot you will get a message saying you have started in "Selective Startup" Click "Don`t show this message again" then OK

If that does not help, perhaps you should check for malware this way....
Please read this article; "Having problems with spyware and pop-ups? - First Steps"; follow the instructions very carefully; then, post all the requested logs and information; as instructed, in the HiJackThis Log Help Forum
Please ensure that you create a new thread in the HiJackThis Log Help Forum; not back here in this one.

When carrying out The 5 Steps, if you cannot complete any of them for whatever reason, just continue on with the next one until they are all completed.
However,it is extremely important to make mention of the fact that you could not complete any of the steps in your post to The HJT Help Forum; where an Analyst will assist you with other workarounds.

Once done, please be patient, as the Security Team Analysts are usually very busy; one of them will answer your request as soon as they can.

Good Luck
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Old 08-30-2008, 05:04 AM   #9
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I'm doing the Startup checklist, I disabled all of them, none of them are malware, they are legitimate programs and only 10 programs start up. However, there is one though, it is "sfdhost", command line is "sfdhost.exe", Registry: Local Machine: Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run, Defender has no information on this and it isn't signed. I checked both the websites you provided for me and both of them don't have any information on it. Help?

EDIT!!!!<<<

I have disabled all of them, except "sfdhost" because I have no idea what it is and it's located in the Microsoft registry box and I don't want to mess anything up. I am now proceeding with next steps.
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Old 08-30-2008, 05:18 AM   #10
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"sfdhost" is the W32/Agobot-AJC worm

Read the instructions I gave you starting with
"Having problems with spyware and pop-ups? - First Steps"; and follow through all the steps please.

Note
I have just seen your edit. Looke like you are doing the right thing.

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Old 08-30-2008, 06:01 AM   #11
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I have scanned my computer and posted the results into the HiJack forum you mentioned. Proceeding...
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Old 08-30-2008, 06:08 AM   #12
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That`s good

I hope they fix it for you soon.

Edit
Please post back if that was the cause of your problem.
Thanks
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Old 08-30-2008, 06:40 AM   #13
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I fixed my Log, it is posted now, I'm going to wait now for a response.

Also, should I uncheck the "sfdhost" on start up?
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Old 08-30-2008, 06:47 AM   #14
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Yes, you could uncheck "sfdhost" in msconfig, but if the file is still on your machine it might just return at every bootup.

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Old 08-30-2008, 06:56 AM   #15
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I just tracked the "sfdhost" worm down using Windows Defender and I deleted the registry key with it. HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run\Files Driver\sfdhost.exe and I disabled it in msconfig.

EDIT!!!<<<

It is no longer on my machine and from the steps you gave me, SpywareBlaster made my XP machine boot SUPER FAST on startup, before it would take 2 to 3 mins from logging in to seeing all icons load.
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Old 08-30-2008, 07:04 AM   #16
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Well, make sure it is totally gone and then post back in your same thread in the HijackThis Log Help forum.

You need to tell them it is fixed as they are very busy.

Has it fixed the Automatic Updates Service problem?
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Old 08-30-2008, 09:10 AM   #17
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I believe I have successfully solved the problem, I went to Run>Inf>au.inf>Install>wuapi.dll and installed the missing registries. Then I restarted my computer to make it save, and I found the Automatic Updates Service installed. I then restarted a 2nd time to make sure it actually saved them. Windows XP finally got out of alzheimers! Automatic Updates Service is still installed and Microsoft Update doesn't ask for installation anymore .

I will stay posted though, if any more problems pop up later or MS Update refuses again. Thanks for everyones help .

PS: I think Microsoft should make a "solution" page for this, since it is RARE like you said previously.
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Old 08-30-2008, 10:00 AM   #18
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I`m glad to hear it is fixed SilentSkies2889

Please mark the thread as "Solved" from the thread tools.

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