I was creating a new image this weekend for a client and wanted to build it from the ground up so we weren’t carrying any old things forward. I installed Windows XP from a Windows XP SP1 CD and installed Service Pack 3 after getting all the drivers installed. Unfortunately when I went to run Windows Update, the most time consuming task of creating the from-scratch image, I was being redirected to a Microsoft Support knowledge base article: You may be unable to access the Windows Update website from Windows XP, Windows 2000 or Windows Server 2003 if those versions of Windows are not updated to the latest Service Pack.
My problem was that I had just installed the latest service pack for Windows XP and I was still getting this error message. I even tried reinstalling Service Pack 3 after their resolution symptoms didn’t solve the problem. The knowledge base article, most recently updated August 11th, 2011, even acknowledges that computers with Service Pack 3 may still receive this error message and it recommends triggering a Windows Automatic Update to run.
Important: If you are seeing this KB article and you already installed Service Pack 3 for Windows XP , please follow these steps:
Step 1: Close all programs running on your computer:
Step 2: Make sure that Automatic Updates is enabled, to do this, follow these steps:
- Click Start, click Run, type sysdm.cpl, and click OK
- Click the Automatic Updates tab
- Click Automatic (Recommended) and then click OK
Step 3: Ensure a self-update happens right away:
- Click Start, click Run, and type cmd
- Type wuauclt /detectnow, and click OK
I ran through the Windows Automatic Updates by following those steps a few times and was still unable to visit the Windows Update website without being redirected to the same KB article.
Fortunately, it seems a solution is floating around the Internet. The update, I guess, Windows is looking for is to the Windows Update Agent. You can download it directly here:
After I downloaded and installed this update, I was finally able to access the Windows Update website.