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MS-Windows Troubleshooting

Windows could not search for new updates - Error code 800B0001


On Windows 8, clicking on "Check for updates" inside Windows Update gives the error:

Windows Update

Windows could not serach for new updates

There was a problem checking for updates.

Error(s) found:

Code 800B0001  Windows Update ran into a problem.

A work around is to click "Check online for updates fromMicrosoft Update" which works, however this leaves regular automatic windows updates as not working.

Possible causes and remedies:

  • If your machine is part of a Windows domain (so mostly company networks and not home pcs) then this error may indicate that your PC is trying to pick up Windows updates from a local server running WSUS and that server is failing to provide updates.

    To see if this could affect you, run the following at an elevated command prompt:

    gpresult /h %temp%\report.htm /f /scope computer & %temp%\report.htm

    This will generate a report showing the effect of policies on your computer, and then open that report in your browser. Search in that report for "Specify intranet Microsoft update service location". If that setting is "Enabled" then the problem may be with the server indicated in the value underneath for "Set the intranet update service for detecting updates".

    The remedy is to either:

    1. Raise this with the administrator responsible for the server. Ask the administrator to either change the policy or fix the issue with WSUS.

      In my case, it was a small domain of only three computers and it was simpler to change the domain policy.

      If you want to remove the policy from the server (and consider whether this is what you want to do instead of fixing the issues with WSUS) then:

      1. Look at the output from gpresult above, because this will show the "Winning GPO".
      2. On the domain server use "Group Policy Management" to edit that group policy.
      3. Navigate down to:
          Local Computer Policy
            Computer Configuration
               Administrative Templates
                  Windows Cmponents
                    Windows Update
      4. Open "Specify intranet Microsoft update service location" and set it to "Disabled".
      5. Run "gpupdate" on the local machine to pick up the change (or simply wait).


    2. Edit the local computer policy to instead pull down updates directly from Microsoft. To do this:

      1. On the local computer run gpedit.msc
        This will start the Local Group Policy Editor.
      2. Navigate down to:
          Local Computer Policy
            Computer Configuration
               Administrative Templates
                  Windows Cmponents
                    Windows Update
      3. Double click on "Specify intranet Microsoft update service location" to open it.
      4. It will probably be set to "Not Configured", change this to "Disabled".
      5. Click [OK] to close the dialog.

      It is worth rerunning the gpresult query, as domain policy might mean that this local change is ignored.

      Now try Windows Update again. If it still gives the error when you click "Check for updates" then you will need to follow the next troubleshooting steps to fix windows update.

  • Windows 7 and Windows Vista only: According to the Microsoft site, the "System Update Readiness Tool" can sometimes fix this problem.

    While the tool is the same, the page which describes it is different for different versions of Windows, so see:

    Then try running windows update again.

    This tool isn't supported for Windows 8, instead for Windows 8 use the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (next point below).

  • Windows 8: Use the Windows Image Servicing and Management tool.
    1. Open an elevated command prompt window.
    2. Run the following two commands in the command prompt window:

      DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Scanhealth

      DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

      These will take a while to run.

      If the last step generates the error:

      Error: 0x800f0906


      The source files could not be downloaded.
      Use the "source" option to specify the location of the files that rre required to restore the feature.

      then things you can try:

      • At the command line try:

        sfc /scannow

        This will take a while to run. It may find and resolve some issues - but in my case it didn't resolve the problem.

      • Try the following sequence, again at the command line:

        net stop wuauserv

        cd %SystemRoot%\SoftwareDistribution

        rename Download Download.old

        net start wuauserv

        net stop bits

        net start bits

        cd %SystemRoot%\system32

        net stop cryptsvc

        rename catroot2 catroot2.old

        net start cryptsvc

        then try

        DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth


      • If the error still persists then its possible that Windows is looking for updates from another source, which is lacking the necessary files. This is a possiblity in a domain environment and highly probably in a Small Buiness Server domain.

        The following steps ensure that updates are coming from Windows update and not an alternate update source:

        1. At the command prompt type:


          This should open up the "Local Group Policy Editor".

        2. Navgate down to:

          Local Computer Policy
            Computer Configuration
              Administrative Templates

        3. Scroll down in the right hand pane, until you find "Specify settings for optional component installation and component repair". Be aware that they are not displayed in alphabetical order.
        4. Open the properties for "Specify settings for optional component installation and component repair".
        5. On my PC this was set to "Diabled".

          Enable it. Leave "Never attempt to download payload from Windows Update" unchecked.

          Check "Contact Windows Update directly to download repair content instead of Windows Server Update Services (WSUS)".

        6. Click [OK], to apply and close the dialog.
        7. Try

          DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth


      Go to Windows Update and hopefully when you click on "Check for updates" it should not longer give an error.

These notes have been tested with Windows 8.1 Professional, and they may also apply to other versions of Windows

About the author: is a dedicated software developer and webmaster. For his day job he develops websites and desktop applications as well as providing IT services. He moonlights as a technical author and consultant.