I recently got a new machine with Windows Vista pre-installed. Naturally one
of the first things it does is connect to Windows Update and install a bunch of
updates released since the Vista DVD was created. But one of them fails with
error 8000FFFF. Why? And what do I do?
So I’ll come clean: this is me asking myself the question. I recently got a
new laptop with Windows Vista pre-installed, and have started down the Vista
Naturally I was disappointed to start out by getting that error.
And my disappointment around that error continues.
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Here’s the error that I got:
As with most errors, it’s fairly obscure with just an error code: 8000FFFF.
And the programmer in me didn’t hold out much hope for that error code telling
much, since it looked like a “default” code; in many programs “FFFF” is often
used as a generic “something broke” error.
The programmer in me was right. Clicking on the “Get Help” link got me a lot
of help … on totally unrelated errors.
It gets worse. I decide to ignore the problem for now, but the Windows
Update icon in the notification area continually tells me that there’s an
important update I should install. If I click on it, it shows me:
Note that it does indicate that there was an error in the last update
attempt. In fact, if I look at the update history it also tells me exactly the
same thing; error 8000FFFF:
And that’s how it remains today.
As you can see from that error log entry it references “when a certain
hardware configurations exist”. The hardware configuration?
Having 4gig of RAM.
When I ordered my computer I decided to max out the RAM from the beginning,
and on this machine that’s 4gig.
Unfortunately the very condition that this particular update relates to is
apparently preventing it from installing properly.
And, as of this writing, there’s no update.
Another symptom of this issue, by the way is this:
As you can see, Vista reports 3.3gig, and not the 4gig of RAM that’s
actually in the machine.
It’ll be interesting to see how quickly they resolve this issue.
But for now, I wait.