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What is Error 8000FFFF when I try to install a Windows Vista Update?

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
path.

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:

Vista Windows Update Error 8000FFFF

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:

Vista Windows Important Update Notification

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:

Vista Windows Update Error Log for error 8000FFFF

And that’s how it remains today.

“But for now, I wait.”

The Problem

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:

Windows Vista Reports something other than 4gig of RAM

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.

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98 comments on “What is Error 8000FFFF when I try to install a Windows Vista Update?”

  1. Can you temporarily remove some memory from the system, possibly bypassing the error which prevents it from fixing the problem in the first place?

    Reply
  2. Ke’s advice sounds good. If you take out two gigs, install the update, and then replace the two gigs, that seems like the logical route to solving the problem.

    Of course, be it Microsoft, Apple, or Linux, sometimes what seems like the logical route is just going to cause more problems. 🙁

    Reply
  3. —–BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE—–
    Hash: SHA1

    Actually, on forums that have suggested that the problem apparently re-appears
    when the memory is re-installed.

    Leo
    —–BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE—–
    Version: GnuPG v1.4.6 (MingW32)

    iD8DBQFGLSDtCMEe9B/8oqERAhk0AJ9G9yifzz+l0r63gz7uEjJClgJTxwCeJaTh
    AaO/+kiRgHeq21QZPtg8ZBk=
    =ghih
    —–END PGP SIGNATURE—–

    Reply
  4. > 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.

    That’s not actually a symptom of this issue, it’s a fundamental limitation of 32-bit operating systems. You have a 4GB total address space, which is distributed between Video memory, BIOS, IO cards, networking, PCI hubs, bus bridges, PCI-Express, and finally physical RAM, which only gets the last bite of the pie. In practice, the upper limit for addressed RAM seems to be about 3.2GB. http://www.vistaclues.com/reader-question-maximum-memory-in-32-bit-windows-vista has more info.

    One thing to try with errors on a new Dell is http://www.pcdecrapifier.com/, which removes some of the crap Dell preinstalls. Maybe one of Dell’s buggy ‘utilities’ is loading storport.sys or something and preventing it from being updated. Have you tried running the update in safe mode?

    (BTW, why aren’t you running Aero? I Googled the Latitude D620, and it comes with an Intel GMA950 graphics chip which definitely supports it).

    Reply
  5. Had the same problem. Vista will only see 3 gig of memory in the 32 bit version. If you want more you need to use the 64 bit version.

    Reply
  6. Once again I have to show my ignorance. I think I’m slightly more than a beginner but way less than an intermediate computer user. When I read about problems like this I have to ask, “Why didn’t Microsoft see this during the years of Beta testing and have a fix for it?” Obviously, since there are other forum postings, this is not an isolated instance. What exactly goes on during Beta testing and who decides what fixes will be implemented?

    Mary

    Reply
  7. —–BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE—–
    Hash: SHA1

    When any company produces software there’s simply no way that absolutely every
    problem can be fixed before shipment. Companies have to prioritized the
    problems that remain based on expected imapct to the customer. It’s even more
    complex than that, since fixing a bug also introduces the possibility that new
    bugs get introduced in the process.

    I’m not trying to make excuses for Microsoft, but the fact is that one of the
    hardest decisions about shipping software in any reasonable amount of time is
    understanding which bugs you can live with, and which can be fixed later. I’ve
    been there, I’ve made these hard desicions. If you actually wanted to fix every
    single bug, your product would never ship.

    In this case the number of people with 4 gig of memory is probably a relatively
    small part of the market, so I can understand that this kind of issue might be
    deferred for now.

    Leo
    —–BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE—–
    Version: GnuPG v1.4.6 (MingW32)

    iD8DBQFGL7LwCMEe9B/8oqERAvvaAJ9ZJ6aNirdvzWBSoihWP24c3hMpGACfTh2k
    cnm1cLNnwwzd86WZD7+OOkM=
    =4s8i
    —–END PGP SIGNATURE—–

    Reply
  8. > 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.

    That’s not actually a symptom of this issue, it’s a fundamental limitation of 32-bit operating systems. You have a 4GB total address space, which is distributed between Video memory, BIOS, IO cards, networking, PCI hubs, bus bridges, PCI-Express, and finally physical RAM, which only gets the last bite of the pie. In practice, the upper limit for addressed RAM seems to be about 3.2GB. http://www.vistaclues.com/reader-question-maximum-memory-in-32-bit-windows-vista has more info.

    One thing to try with errors on a new Dell is http://www.pcdecrapifier.com/, which removes some of the crap Dell preinstalls. Maybe one of Dell’s buggy ‘utilities’ is loading storport.sys or something and preventing it from being updated. Have you tried running the update in safe mode?

    (BTW, why aren’t you running Aero? I Googled the Latitude D620, and it comes with an Intel GMA950 graphics chip which definitely supports it).

    Reply
  9. ^^
    What interests me is that I found the same information elsewhere. Sort of curious why Dell is selling computers with that much memory. You would think they should know the limitations of 32 bit processors or at least ship with the work around.

    Reply
  10. The soup gets thicker – it turns out that many motherboards that host 64-bit processors have 32-bit address limitations – DOH! For example, my system uses the NVidia nForce4 Ultra chipset. It’s performed beautifully for me for the last two years. The machine is currently host a dual-core, Athlon 64 CPU. But even if I were to install the 64-bit version of Vista, I’d never see all four gigs of RAM. It turns out that the chipset only has a 32-bit addressing scheme. Vista will never see all four gigs on this box – even the 64-bit version. Bwah! Guess I’ll stick with two gigs.

    Reply
  11. This is probably why we never buy a new operating system until it’s at LEAST 6 months old. Does anybody actually believe that Microsoft is capable of designing a program that’s NOT full of bugs??? Look at all the security patches for Vista, the so-called “impenetrable” OS, and it’s been out a whole 3 months!

    Reply
  12. Wow I am so glad that I read this cause I was going to go and buy the new windows vista so I can update my windows for school, but on the other hand I don’t thank so now. Thanks Leo, Vickie

    Reply
  13. Here is the answer to your problems. Go to your control panel under add and remove programs you will see a hot fix for kb929777. Uninstall this hot fix. Windows will tell you to reboot, do it. Download the kb929777 for the windows website not the auto update site, (if you do it will install the hot fix first before the kb929777 and then kb929777 will not install again). After successful update you will need to reboot. check for updates( there should be none and your history should show successful update on the kb929777. I also took out 3 gb of mem. before I did this but before it would still not download until I removed the hot fix, so I DO NOT KNOW IF YOU NEED TO REMOVE THE MEM. FIRST. But try it with the mem. in first and it may save you a step.

    Reply
  14. I have 2 gigs of RAM. I get the 8000FFFF error message with no error description; just the number alone. I have automatic update activate. My last updaste is May 31, 2007. Today is June 13, 2007. Will I ever be able to update?

    Reply
  15. I also have 2GB RAM, the max my Presario allows. (After bootup I have about 1.5GB.) The first time I got this error, 5/22/07, it was for Vista Update KB936824, but Windows Defender deinition downloaded at the same time installed successfully. After a couple tries and failures, I thought it may be because I don’t use an iPod, so I hid it and forgot it until 6/12/07 when updates KB931213, KB933566, KB936825, KB929123 failed, and continue to fail with that 8000FFFF error code while Windows Defender defs and Malicious Software Removal Tool continue to install without problem. Somebody needs to kick the Windows Update team into high gear because these updates address security issues.

    Reply
  16. Since my post of 6/15, things got so bad that every time I tried to check for updates, it kept telling me that I needed to download a new windows update. When I tried this, I got the same error code. I haven’t been able even check for updates,let alone install one, not even using a stand alone installer package(*.msu). That is until today. At the point of resorting to full recovery, I tried one last thing. I right clicked on Computer on the Start Menu and chose Manage. From the left colomn I chose Services and Applications, then selected Services. After selecting Windows Update, I clicked on More Actions on the right(under Windows Update). I tried refresh, restart, then I chose Properties and changed the startup type from “Automatic(Delayed Start)” to “Automatic” clicked Apply and Rebooted. I don’t know if any of my actions had anything to do with it, BUT, when I logged back on I got a notice to install the new Windows Update. When I clicked Install it not only installed, but checked for updates and successfully installed all the updates that had previously failed. Its good to be up to date! Still don’t know what “Windows Update error code: 8000FFFF” means, good luck.

    Reply
  17. The problem seems to be limited to DELL computers and their version of Windows Vista. I have an HP system with 3 gigs of memory same as dell but the HP actually has no problems at all. Works perfectly. I’ve also had some software compatibility issues on the Dell which I don’t have on the HP.

    Reply
  18. First of all, after reading numerous posts regarding the dreaded 8000FFFF error, I feel like my brand new laptop was born into this world with a rare, incurable disease. Can we start a pledge drive or something for the victims of Vista?
    Anyways, one of the many promising solutions calls for the uninstallment of kb929777, then a manual reinstallment after that. Well my Inspiron 1520 won’t let me uninstall the hot fix. any way around this? I am the administrator. Oh, and my 8000FFFF error comes up after I click the “Check for Updates” box and sometimes after I click the box, nothing happens and it gets stuck in an eternal search for updates. For merely pennies a day, you can help save this notebook.

    Reply
  19. Well figured out a solution (possibly), drastic but works. What I did:
    1. Have a friend with the NON-OEM version of VISTA (Same version obviously)
    2. DO NOT upgrade, use your KEY to install a fresh copy.
    3. VISTA will create a new folder called Windows.old in C: “C:\Windows.old”
    In this folder all of your previous programs and drivers will be stored, however you cannot use the programs anymore.
    4. To re-install your factory drivers just go to the device manager click on the desired hardware and search your HDD in the “C:\Windows.old” directory.
    5. Windows will find the driver and install the device.
    DOWNFALLS:
    ALL the factory installed help software/drivers and programs are deleted. Have to re-install.
    Confirmed working for me; just got done downloading 28 updates and installed successfully. Anyone else have any luck with this option/solution?

    Reply
  20. i’ve also a HP (nc8430) with 2 gigs RAM. and vista shows me the same errormessage.
    i searched also in other forums, but i didn’t get any answer for my (our) problem.

    Reply
  21. Here is the solution that worked for me getting the same exact error (8000FFFF in Windows Update). The solution below is from a guy at Microsoft. My best advise would be to write down this fix because it also works for the 8007000b error in Windows Update. I usually have to do this once every month or so.

    1. Open an Administrator command prompt by right clicking on Start -> All
    Programs -> Accessories -> Command Prompt and selecting “Run as
    Administrator” and clicking “Allow” for the elevation prompt
    2. In the command prompt, type the command below
    fsutil resource setautoreset true C:\
    (This assumes that C: is the drive in which Vista is installed. If it is
    installed on another drive like D:, please change the drive letter
    appropriately)
    3. Reboot the machine

    After reboot, please try to install the updates again and let me know if
    that resolves the issue.


    Sudheer GN
    Microsoft, WU Client

    Reply
  22. I tried the solution of Sudheer GN and it works !!! Thanks to him

    Sudheer GN
    Microsoft, WU Client
    Posted by: Casper at August 26, 2007 06:26 PM

    Reply
  23. I tied it also and it works, but for the dummies (me) you have to right click on the command prompt to get to run as administrator, thanks again Sudheer GN

    Reply
  24. I tried this fix:1. Open an Administrator command prompt by right clicking on Start -> All
    Programs -> Accessories -> Command Prompt and selecting “Run as
    Administrator” and clicking “Allow” for the elevation prompt
    2. In the command prompt, type the command below
    fsutil resource setautoreset true C:\
    (This assumes that C: is the drive in which Vista is installed. If it is
    installed on another drive like D:, please change the drive letter
    appropriately)
    3. Reboot the machine

    and it didn’t work for me.

    Reply
  25. I found this at Microsoft TechNet and it did the trick for me.

    1) Launch REGEDIT

    2) Go into HKLM\COMPONENTS, and check if these three values exist under the COMPONENTS key:

    PendingXmldentifier
    NextQueueEntryIndex
    AdvancedInstallersNeedResolving

    3) Providing they do exist, back up the Components key, then delete the three above values.
    4) Restart the computer, and Windows Update should now be working fine.

    Reply
  26. I have tried all of these, have contacted HP and Microsoft. At least the HP people tried to help, never heard word one from MS in 3 weeks!.

    I am returning my computer for a Mac.

    Reply
  27. This worked for me after a load of abortive solutions:

    regedit: delete or rename (eg add OLD to the end ) the string “AdvancedInstallersNeedResolving”
    found in HKLM\Components /AdvancedInstallersNeedResolving

    Be safe backup your registry first though !!!No liability accepted if you screw your system.

    good luck.

    Reply
  28. Solution that worked for me on error 8000FFFF installing Windows update KB929777, was this:
    Go to Control Panel click on Programs in Programs and Features, click on View installed Updates. 1.Scroll to the hotfix KB929777 and uninstall it.
    2.Reboot
    3.Reinstall the update
    4.Reboot.

    Keep trying that until it installs successfully.

    Reply
  29. I cant Find HKLM\Components /AdvancedInstallersNeedResolving in Regedit.

    All i have is:
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    HKEY_USERS
    HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG

    Where do i go in here ?

    PS: ive tried all sergestions.

    Reply
  30. This one worked great for me

    I found this at Microsoft TechNet and it did the trick for me.

    1) Launch REGEDIT

    2) Go into HKLM\COMPONENTS, and check if these three values exist under the COMPONENTS key:

    PendingXmldentifier
    NextQueueEntryIndex
    AdvancedInstallersNeedResolving

    3) Providing they do exist, back up the Components key, then delete the three above values.
    4) Restart the computer, and Windows Update should now be working fine.

    Posted by: Eric M. at September 21, 2007 07:42 AM

    Reply
  31. By the way the issue with only 3.326Gb is if you have Vista 32bit installed this is the maximum th eOS can see and use as with ALL 32bit MS OS`s if you have 64Bit OS you will see the full 4gb. Hope this helps in some way.

    Reply
  32. Be warned if you use a 64bit version of Windows that many hardware manufacturers don’t make 64bit drivers. It’s the reason I use 32bit Vista on my machine. If hardware manufacturers would just open their specs up, it would be a win for everyone.

    Reply
  33. But then I tried the fix suggested by Aval, which was, uninstall update KB929777, then restart, then update, then restart. I’ve restarted twice since then and both times it’s told me that all updates have been installed correctly!

    So easy! Sheesh, and this was AFTER opening the machine up to take out some RAM as directed elsewhere, and realizing that my 16GB RAM is in 4 4GB sticks, so it wouldn’t’ve helped anyway…

    And then after trying some convoluted method on another site in which you have your machine pretend that it has less RAM than it actually has…that one caused a blue screen of death, and I was dang lucky to be able to get things back to normal, since the instructions on that site for getting back to normal didn’t work!

    So thanks!

    Apparently the KB292777 DOES install correctly, but Vista for some reason doesn’t recognize that it’s installed and so keeps prompting you. But it shows up in the list of updates you can uninstall, so it must just be some notification bug.

    Thanks again, that lousy error message was driving me nuts.

    Reply
  34. Before removing my RAM which is not a big deal
    I tried to uninstall the update and then reinstall it. This worked flawlessly
    Thanks for the great tip that worked
    KUDOS Aval

    Reply
  35. Disable windows defender, firewall, automatic updates. Turn off system restore. Run disk clean up. reboot. manually run windows update. after all updates have completed, enable defender, firewall, automatic updates.

    Reply
  36. I got a computer from someone with Vista Home Premium pre-installed. I’ve been running the gambit of update error codes, too, starting with 80073712 and now 8000FFFF. I followed the various instructions to try to remedy the 80073712, and when all said and done I end up with 8000FFFF. So, from what Leo says, I went from a rather specific error code (which I couldn’t find much info about on the net) to a generic error code. They have a hotfix for Ultimate and Business version to correct something like this. I tried d/l’ing it to see if it would take on Home Premium. Nope. It’s smart enough to tell which version you’re running, so even if it was the same fix, because I’m not using Ultimate or Business, I get shut out. Apparently Home Premium users (or folks on lesser versions) aren’t considered high priority, because folks on the net have been hollering about this issue for some time now.

    Reply
  37. Hey, I have a laptop and have been trying to install the updates required and keep getting the Error 8000FFFF when I click on help it gives me alot of information that I can’t understand and I have looked on my Trend Micro PC-cillian and it is saying that the secruity patches need to be installed I try to do that also and it keeps coming up with Error 8000FFFF what can I do to fix this apart from taking it back to the retailer that we brought it from? Thanks for any information you can provdie for me.

    Reply
  38. Windows Updates fails refuses to get the newest updates. i have a error code 80073712. I need help to resovle my windows upates in windows vista home premuim edition. my computer a custiom built. please help me out. thank you

    Reply
  39. I have had the same error since August 2007 when running Windows Update. I submitted an email with the Window Update log attached via Microsoft online support.Microsoft support responded with an email detailing two suggestions for fixing the problem. It worked for me. Please see below for detai:

    After checking the Windows Update log which was attached when submitting the case, I found the error code 0x8000FFFF.

    This issue can be caused by one of the following factors:

    1. Corrupted Windows Update Temporary folder

    2. Some registry keys are corrupt.

    In order to narrow down the cause of this issue and resolve it, please refer to the following steps. After completing each step, please check the result again on the Windows Update website.

    NOTE: Some third party programs can affect the Windows Update service. If you are running any third party applications such as Spyblocker, Internet or web accelerators, programs designed to boost the speed of the Internet connection, security or anti-virus programs (Norton, McAfee, etc.) I recommend we temporarily disable or shut them down and then try accessing Windows Update later. Please understand that we are disabling these programs only for the purpose of troubleshooting and we can re-enable them after we finish troubleshooting.

    Suggestion 1: Rename the Windows Update Softwaredistribution folder

    =====================================================

    This problem may occur if the Windows Update Software distribution folder has been corrupted. We can refer to the following steps to rename this folder. Please note that the folder will be re-created the next time we visit the Windows Update site.

    1. Close all the open windows.

    2. Click the “Start” Button, click “All programs”, and click “Accessories”.

    3. Right-click “Command Prompt” and click “Run as administrator”.

    4. In “Administrator: Command Prompt” window, type in “net stop WuAuServ” (without the quotes) and press Enter.

    Note: Please look at the cmd window and make sure it says that it was successfully stopped before renaming the folder. However, if it fails, please let me know before performing any further steps and include any error messages you may have received.

    5. Click the “Start” Button, in the “Start Search” box, type in “%windir%” (without the quotes) and press Enter.

    6. In the opened folder, look for the folder named “SoftwareDistribution”.

    7. Right-click on the folder, select Rename and type “SDold” (without the quotes) to rename this folder.

    8. While still in the “Administrator: Command Prompt” window, type the command “net start WuAuServ” (without the quotes) in the opened window to restart the Windows Updates service.

    Note: Please look at the cmd window and make sure it says that it was successfully started. However, if it failed, please let me know before performing any further steps and include any error messages you may have received.

    After that, let’s access the Windows Update website to check if we are able to get updates this time. If not, let’s proceed to Suggestion 2.

    Suggestion 2: Remove the incorrect COMPONENTS key

    =========================================

    Before we go any further, let’s backup the registry key first.

    1. Click “Start”, type REGEDIT in the Start Search bar and press Enter.

    2. Select “My Computer” (the root node) on the left pane, under the “File” menu, click “Export”, under Export, choose “All Export” range, and select “Desktop” in the Save in box and type “backup” as the File Name. Click “Save”.

    Please Note: If any unexpected issue happens, we can restore the registry key simply by double-clicking the backup.reg file.

    3. Still in “Registry Editor”, locate the following Registry batches by clicking the PLUS (+) sign

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\COMPONENTS

    4. Check if these three values exist under the COMPONENTS key:

    PendingXmldentifier

    NextQueueEntryIndex

    AdvancedInstallersNeedResolving

    5. If so, delete them.

    6. Quit “Registry Editor”.

    After completing the above steps, please restart the computer and try to run Windows Update again.

    Reply
  40. it’s not that you have 4 gigs of memory, I have two gigs and get the same error

    my guess is another update is still downloading or vista thinks it’s still downloading and windows won’t search for future updates until the one that download is resolved

    further, I am guessing again this is a windows defender update problem

    Reply
  41. for those suggesting solutions with the command pront running as administrator, for future referance please use the following instructions

    windows key+r to bring up run, type in cmd and instead of hitting enter alone hit control+shift+enter

    cmd as administrator which you will verify in the title bar

    Reply
  42. None of these solutions work. I’ve tried them all and the update KB929777 still fails. I’ve tried Stopping services like windows firewall, defender, and update service. Then manually downloading the patch from MS and it fails. I’ve renamed the SoftwareDistribution folder and letting the update service recreate it. Fails to install. I’ve checked those registry keys. They don’t exist.

    I believe this is related to having 3 or more GB of memory. The Dell XPS Laptop I’m trying to update has 4GB RAM and shows 3.5GB. All I want is to exclude it so that I can image this thing and drop on about 10 similar systems. How Microsoft can release such a problem with no solution is beyond me. And I’ve spent hours reading solutions posted all over, and none work!

    Reply
  43. We understand 32 bit memory addressing. The issue is the error messages, interruptions, and hassle.

    DOS is such a pathetic OS. Oh, did I say DOS? All the “window” dressing in the world won’t make Windows a useful OS because of the hoops it has to jump through to manage memory.

    I’d buy a Mac if I could justify the cost.

    Reply
  44. I have 4Gigs and I’m having this problem.

    I just bought my dell 1720 and ran into so many problems with Vista that I tried installing XP. I got it on my computer but there was no way to download all the drivers it needed. I couldn’t even connect to the internet. It was a mess, I had to a call Dell tech, because I’m a total Noob, and they can only help me putting back Vista. Which leaves me here, trying to fix this update problem.

    Reply
  45. ALL 32 bit Os’s can only address 4gig of memory max, considering other devices in your pc use memory addressing to you wont see all 4gigs unless you go to a 64 bit os. So its not something that microsoft can ‘fix’, its simply how computers work, so you might want to edit that part of the page, its noobish.

    Reply
  46. I also just updated my Dell (dimension E521) to 4 gig and instantly started getting the error messages. I’ve just removed 2 gigs and am attempting the update… Update appears to have worked. This is insane. The best part of this 8000ffff error is that if you search the Microsoft Knowledge base it will autofill the search bar as you type out the error number but there’s no information on the actual error code. F You Microsoft and your stupid buggy OS!

    Reply
  47. What worked for lots of others worked for me too. I’m on a Dell Latitude D830 with Vista Ultimate and 4GB of RAM. I downloaded the install file from Microsoft’s website (Windows6.0-KB929777-v2-x86.msu) and tried to install it manually. The install failed. I went to Control Panel > Programs and Features > View Installed Updates and uninstalled the update. After the uninstall was complete, Vista prompted me to reboot so I did. When it came back up, I reinstalled the .msu file and this time it succeeded. Horray for the internet.

    Reply
  48. ive got a gateway 3gig with the same problems.i guess that im stuck with a error code 8000ffff .can only tell u that mac is looking better and better to me.why should i have to pay to fix something new and they know about it.
    my next comp will be mac.

    Reply
  49. from whatever i read this far, its seems all us who are facing this problem have one thing in common – we all have Dell laptops with pre-installed Vista.
    so someone might wanna consider the possibility that the problem might be with Dell’s hardware configurations itself and not with Vista.

    Reply
  50. For some reason when I try to uninstall KB929777 it won’t allow me. I get a message saying that the program was not uninstalled. Is there some way around this, so that I can uninstall the update?

    Reply
  51. The command
    reg delete HKLM\Components /v AdvancedInstallersNeedResolving

    works for me too i have a vista laptop with 1gb ram. if dont have 4gb ram and your getting this error just by random and not because you changed hardware try this first. it fixed mine fast.

    Reply
  52. Deleting “HKLM\Components /v AdvancedInstallersNeedResolving” worked for me.

    I had a backup of multiple updates (39 MB worth) that installed without a hitch following the above delete. FYI – I have a 1 year old HP Compaq laptop running Vista Home Premium with 2 gig of RAM.

    Reply
  53. Thanks for that.
    uninstalled the update. After the uninstall was complete, Vista prompted me to reboot so I did. When it came back up, I reinstalled the .msu file and this time it succeeded.
    Spot on solution Vista Premium 4 GB. I didn’t get the error on the machine (Dell XP420 desktop) as received but it cropped up after a rebuild.

    Thanks

    Nick

    Reply
  54. You don’t have 3.3 GB RAM. If you take your 3326 MB and devide it by 1024, you’ll see that you only have 3.248 GB of RAM. Also, you can’t run 4 GB on Windows 32 bit system. You’ll need 64 bit to use all 4 GB.

    Reply
  55. It’s not just dell, I have a home made computer with 4 gigs, however in system properties it does report that I have 4 gigs of ram, I guess this is a 4 gig of ram issue?

    Reply
  56. i have the same problem with 8000ffff and it is with an ACER, not Dell. This Vista is driving me crazy with its quirks and downright inconveniences when it decides what it will do correctly and what it does not.

    Reply
  57. Itried various approaches on a clients Acer Laptop (3 gb of ram), none had worked. The fix for me was to delete the registry key, HKLM\Components /v AdvancedInstallersNeedResolving, referenced above.

    Thanks all!

    Reply
  58. What do you folks suggest we do with a Vista Home laptop, 2 gB RAM and WU error 8000ffff when there is NO registry entry in COMPONENTS id’ed with AdvanceInstallerNeedResolving????

    Give me XP Pro anyday. Still I’d like to see some more ideas from you guys if you’re willing to share, please.

    Reply
  59. 1. Click Start
    Collapse this imageExpand this image
    Start button
    .
    2. In the Start Search box, type regedit.
    3. In the Programs list, click Regedit.exe.

    Collapse this imageExpand this image
    User Account Control permission
    If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or click Continue.
    4. Find and then click the following registry subkey:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\COMPONENTS
    5. Right-click COMPONENTS.
    6. Click Export.
    7. In the File Name box, type COMPONENTS.
    8. In the Save in box, click Desktop, and then click Save to save the file to your desktop.
    9. In the details pane, right-click PendingXmlIdentifier, and then click Delete. If this value does not exist, go to the next step.
    10. In the details pane, right-click NextQueueEntryIndex, and then click Delete. If this value does not exist, go to the next step.
    11. In the details pane, right-click AdvancedInstallersNeedResolving, and then click Delete. If this value does not exist, go to the next step.
    12. Restart the computer.

    Reply
  60. I HAVE A HP G6000, FROM NEW JUST OVER A YEAR AGO NOW. I HAVE HAD THE SAME TROUBLE AS ABOVE, WITH THE SAME ERROR 8000FFFF. I HAVE TRIED DIFFERENT THINGS, BUT NOTHING WORKS, THIS IS DRIVING ME NUTS!. MICROSOFT DON’T SEEM TO HAVE ANY INTEREST IN THIS. I WILL KEEP LOOKING IN THE NET TO SEE IF THERE IS A SOLUTION TO ALL THIS – I WILL NOT HOLD MY BREATH!.

    Reply
  61. Hi, I am recently upgraded from Windows Professional to Vista Ultimate (wishful thinking with the name!) on an IBM T30 laptop with 1gb of memory (when I can get the machine to recognise it!) and have been experiencing the ‘8000FFFF’ problem. I have made the changes suggested and am currently downloading 47 updates!… so thanks … fingers crossed.

    As a ‘veteran’ of computers, I am willing to bet that this is a memory addressing problem, hence the ‘ffff’s rather than a meaningful error code. But no matter…that’s something for the younger ‘anoraks’ to debate. The downloads are happening as we speak.

    One question I have is what is the effect of the changes I have made to the registry, i.e. is there a downside, or do I need to re-apply the deleted lines at some point?

    Reply
  62. Follow Wendy’s directions and you will be set! THANK YOU!!! I ALMOST WASTED $30 BUCKS ON A PROGRAM SAYING THAT IT WOULD FIX THIS!!!

    Reply
  63. Itried various approaches on a clients Acer Laptop (3 gb of ram), none had worked. The fix for me was to delete the registry key, HKLM\Components /v AdvancedInstallersNeedResolving, referenced above.

    this worked for me – thanks

    Reply
  64. I am NOT a computer guru AT ALL and I was a little hesitant about doing the things Wendy suggested, but took the chance and IT WORKED!!! Thank you Wendy!!! I’ve been dealing with this issue for over a year and finally took the time to mess around with it before taking it to a computer store for a diagnosis. It ended up installing over 50 updates! Thanks, again!!!

    Reply
  65. I have this error to my SONY Vaio NR-31E with Vista Home Premium and tried your solution. I deleted the files from regedit to the hard drive after extracting the whole detail’s pane to my desktop and restarted my computer. Same problem appears

    Reply
  66. You have 32-bit Vista installed.
    32-bit operating systems can address a maximum of 3.25 GB of system RAM.

    I’d recommend installing SP1 as well. Then your first problem will be resolved. SP1 will display your 4 GB of RAM as well.. but you’ll never be able to access more than 3.25 GB. It’s mathematically impossible for a 32-bit system to do so.

    – Alex

    Reply
  67. I have a Dell with 6 GB RAM and also have this problem. Where can I find “Wendy’s” solution? Is it usable for a techno-dunce like me?

    Reply
  68. I tried following the directions from the website left here, and I got up to Step 8 which says this: In the Save in box, click Desktop, and then click Save to save the file to your desktop.
    I did that, but step 9 is this: “In the details pane, right-click PendingXmlIdentifier, and then click Delete. If this value does not exist, go to the next step.” I have no clue what the details pane is! Can someone please help me? Thanks. 🙂

    Reply
  69. Hi!
    i reinstalled vista and when i tried to update windows i got that error message.
    previously i had reinstalled the antivirus and updated it but i didn’t scan the computer which was telling me that i should run a complete scan. that’s what i did and … i don’t if that’s the problem, but it worked: i managed to download and install the vista updates.
    Regards.
    so i tried that

    Reply
  70. hey [unnecessary term removed by moderator],

    a 32-bit operating system can only see 3.2GB of RAM, therefore, vista is reporting the correct amount of RAM on your machine. a 64-bit operating system can see more than 3.2GB RAM.

    Reply

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