Windows Vista Repair/Upgrade ?


Hello, new member to these forums, so hey whats up.

Well as the rest here's the issue and hopefully someone may know something. .

Vista x64 SP1 computer, boots normally but wont install updates.. (constant error 0x80071AA7) . As i tried several solutions and fixes, none of them worked as everytime the dll error was different (windowscodecs.dll, jsproxy.dll, shell32.dll and so on). A good suggestion I read in a forum was to check windowsupdate.log and find the dll file that caused the loop of not installing updates. The first dll was windowscodecs.dll, so I booted with vista recovery, chose cmd and replaced the dll with a new one. That did the trick. Rebooted, all updates installed successfully, restart now, rebooted - boom, updates failed to install reverting changes. checked again the windows log, different dll, replaced again, different dll, a process that took around 2 days. finally.. i gave up. i replaced around 12 dll's and 3-4 executables from C:\Windows\System32. As soon as they were replaced the system booted fine without problems running them and chose another dll as an error why updates cannot be installed.

So. Plan B. Lets try and install Service Pack 2. - Updates failed to install, reverting changes error 0x80071AA7.

Plan C: try safe mode install. Updates failed to install, reverting changes error 0x80071AA7. Another method: delete the softwaredistribution folder. No work.
Use sfc/scannow.. Errors were found but could not repair them.
Tried with safe mode, same.
chckdsk completed successfully no errors.. same
Uninstall SP1 - Could not unistall SP1.

Plan D: Lets try and repair windows vista x64. Wait. No repair on my windows vista sp1 disk. Tried another iso that had SP2 intergrated slipstreamed, no repair, no upgrade.

Plan E: Downloaded the Windows x64 Recovery Disc that specifically said it had Automatic System Repair as an option from (I downloaded x64). Burned, rebooted, Same options in repair: Startup repair (that does nothing) System Restore, windows complete pc restore, command prompt and memory diagnostics.

an evening project became the week's obsession. I do not consider formatting as an option, I'd rather wait for win7 to become rtm, rather than formatting (windows is perfectly stable everything runs perfect except the updates) so i can wait til october/november/whenember they decide to release them and upgrade hopefully without any problems.

So bottom line my question is this. any ideas as to how i can safely repair my vista without losing any data/programs/files etc? Or more importantly: Is there any other solution you may suggest so updates can be installed?

Thank you very very much for reading and any contribution will be highly appreciated.

PS: Its a long text I know. It's been a long week.


Super Moderator
Staff member
If sfc can't fix the errors you've got a broken install. You'll need to do a clean installation of Windows unfortunately. For the record SP2 for Vista hasnt been released through WU yet, so you should stick with SP1 and avoid installing the beta. You might have seen SP2 in the list, but thats for Office 07 SP2 if you've got Office installed.
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Distinguished Member
So bottom line my question is this. any ideas as to how i can safely repair my vista without losing any data/programs/files etc?
Hello FTO.
You should be able to backup your stuff using a Linux distribution livecd (which you can download for free in .iso format, which you then burn to a CD with ImgBurn). Just copy your stuff over to somewhere safe, such as an external HDD. A Ubuntu LiveCD is a good choice.

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hey guys thanks for the quick reply.

um the reason why i'm not waiting for win updates to install sp2 is due to the fact that i've been unable to install any updates at all.. got an RTM SP2 disk and tried to install but again the same error occured. therefore i've got to fix the error first and then try to install sp2.

i thought that the vista had a repair utility just as xp had back in the days. but yeah it would be for the best to format and clean install vista again. btw sorry coolname007 i forgot to mention my current config has a raid 0 so linux wont see the raid drive to back up. but that's okay coz i can get in windows just fine and do anything.. anything except install updates.

fortunately enough win7 has an upgrade version so when they're released (hopefully soon) i wont be loosing any configs, programs or data.

thanks again.

kairozamuro : i know all about sp2 :smile: eh been waiting for it since the day the problems started (4-5 months ago) but yeah lets not get into detail.


Distinguished Member
btw sorry coolname007 i forgot to mention my current config has a raid 0 so linux wont see the raid drive to back up. but that's okay coz i can get in windows just fine and do anything.. anything except install updates.
Oh, right...sorry. :smile:
One of the troubles of skimming a very long post...:wink:
Ok, well I just did a quick Google search for "0x80071AA7", and this came up:
windowsupdate Error 80071AA7 when updating

The two replies to his problem were:

The file cannot be opened transactionally, because its identity depends
on the outcome of an unresolved transaction.

Either there is a corrupted transaction log or there is another update
that has not installed yet prior to the installation of KB946456.

Since this is a Security update:

MowGreen [MVP 2003-2008]
*-343-* FDNY
Never Forgotten
(cross-post added to Vista Perf & Maint)

You don't have the courtesy to disclose your OS but fortunately we can infer it
as being some kind of Vista

MS08-004IP could allow denial of service

See MOW Green's reply (or my post last year) about the meaning of that code.

Relatively few, I'd say. Only 4 hits here

(80071AA7 OR 0x80071AA7) - Live Search

and only a few recent ones posted here (none of which use the hex prefix for the code):〈=en&cr=US&pt=&catlist=&dglist=&ptlist=&exp=&sloc=en-us

(Alt-7 search for
- 2 hits from this year
- 3 hits from last year

Have you tried the diagnostic tips I gave a poster last year? ; )

Good luck

Robert Aldwinckle
I'll go ahead, and check the referenced links now...


Here's something...

Error Code 80071AA7

The post that the asker marked as the answer states the following:

The best solution for this problem is to completely reset the Windows Update component. The easiest way to do this is to use the command prompt. Follow these steps.

Make sure you are logged on with an administrator account.
To make this easier, you can copy this message and paste it into Notepad. You can then simply copy and paste the commands from Notepad. You should quit all running programs before starting.
Click Start/All Programs/Accessories. Right click 'Command Prompt' and select 'Run As Administrator'. Click 'Continue' on the UAC prompt.
Leave this command prompt window open, until you are finished. Make sure that all commands are entered exactly as shown, including the spaces.
1. Stop the Background Intelligent Transfer Service and the Automatic Updates service. To do this, follow these steps:
1a. At the command prompt, type the following commands, and then press ENTER after each command:
net stop wuauserv
net stop bits
2. Rename the "Catroot2" folder. To do this, follow these steps:
2a. Type the following commands, and then press Enter after each command.
net stop cryptsvc
ren %systemroot%\System32\Catroot2 oldcatroot2
net start cryptsvc

3. Rename the "SoftwareDistribution" folder:
3a. Type the following command, and then press Enter.
ren %systemroot%\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old
4. Register the files that are used by Windows Update and Microsoft Update. To do this, follow these steps:
4a. At the command prompt, type the following commands, press ENTER after each command, and then click OK every time that you receive a succeeded message:

regsvr32 wuapi.dll
regsvr32 wuaueng.dll
regsvr32 wucltux.dll
regsvr32 wups2.dll
regsvr32 wups.dll
regsvr32 wuwebv.dll

5. Start the Background Intelligent Transfer Service, the Automatic Updates service, and the Event Log service. To do this, follow these steps:
5a. At the command prompt, type the following commands, and then press ENTER after each command:

net start bits
net start wuauserv
net start Eventlog
Reboot the computer and try Windows Update again.
Let us know the results.
Let us know if it solves your problem too.

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hi again

I tried the method suggested, CoolName007 but nothing's new.. Unfortunately the same error occurs. :shame: Updates were not configured correctly. Retrieving changes. Forgot to mention I tried this as well before. thanks anyway


Telephone Sanitizer (2nd Class)
Staff member
One more suggestion.
Windows update failures are the one area where Microsoft will provide you with free one-to-one assistance.
Go to the Update History Page, follow the troubleshooting link and amongst all the KB and forum suggestions you'll find a link to email MS with your problem.
I've never had cause to do this with Vista, but problems with WUD on ME and XP were both cured for me by a MS helper and a step by step script.


Hi Terry60,

I would do that only if the suggestions, scripts or help was fast enough as this forum (which is great btw kudos). I don't want to wait ages till (heck maybe never) they bother. I looked around their forum and most of the times the solution was basically start stop service, or format and do a clean installation of windows.

Thanks for ur suggestion but if Microsoft Help is the last resort I'd rather format :smile:


Telephone Sanitizer (2nd Class)
Staff member
I sent them the email and got a reply within hours. When their first suggestions were rejected as "already tried" I got a "personal" helper assigned who asked for some detail to be extracted then gave me a blow by blow script to follow to reset the corrupted WUD files.
They were quick, helpful, effective and free.
I've no complaints about the service at all.
(this wasn't the forums btw, it was the email directly to MS )


Thanks Terry, I've already sent an email.. Hopefully they'll reply to me as soon as they did for you. I'll keep you guys posted.


Super Moderator
Staff member
Since this threads been bumped I guess I'll share something?

Came across FixWU. It works for Vista/W7 only. What it does is automate the process of re-registering all components/dlls needed by Windows Update and might be able to fix some of the problems mentioned here. Worth a go before trying any of the manual solutions on the net/contacting MS.


Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Hmmm, looks like it could come in useful.

Have you actually seen it/heard of it repairing a WU-related issue, or is it just theoretical talk?


If you have a Full version of Vista then you may not be able to do a Repair (Upgrade) install. Some people have had problems with a Full retail version letting them be able to do a upgrade install, but a Upgrade version can though. Did you run the installation from within your current Vista and not from booting from the installation DVD?