This is another chapter in the Microsoft update injury series. See “Too Much to Do,” August 13. This time the wounds were partially self-inflicted. I’ve been trying for the better part of a week to update Windows. Here’s what happens:

I log on and go to update.microsoft.com/microsoftupsdate, etc. etc. It asks me if I want the express or custom. I say express. The screen says “Welcome to Microsoft Update. Checking for the latest updates for your computer…” and the little green bar slides across the page. Again, and again, and again. This scenario continues long enough for me to make and drink a cup of coffee.

According to the log, XP did update on November 4, so maybe everything is OK. But just to be on the safe side, I decide to check. The little green bar is still running, so I step away from the computer. This time I cook and eat breakfast and clean up the kitchen. When I return to the computer I see a message: “The website has encountered a problem and cannot display the page you are trying to view. The options provided below might help you solve the problem.”

I had to copy and paste the error number 0xC800042D because I took those 0s (zeros) for Os (capital letter). In the process, the thing reset the text alignment in this blog from rag right to rag left, changed the font to something I’ve never seen before, increased the type size to humongous, and changed the color from black to gray. At least I know how to fix that stuff.

The first option is FAQs. The suggestion is to change the security setting to default mode. I do that, reboot and try update again. The little green bar is running, so I decide to pay month’s worth of bills while I’m waiting. Try to open a new tab but the update stops. So I do non-Internet stuff. Of course Word slows to a crawl, but I don’t have to be anywhere for a couple of hours, so I’ll let it play while I clean step away from the computer, again.

Ten minutes later, I get the same message. Now I turn to the “Solution Center,” which sends me to the “Knowledge Base.” The entries there apply to Vista, and I’m running XP.

I put the error message number in a Google search and come to something called Microsoft Answers. It’s telling me to modify the registry. Think I’ll pass because when I open the window it tells me not to mess around in there. I also notice that there is someone who has encountered the same problem who has some extremely un PG things to say about the engineers at Microsoft and their inability to admit they screwed up.

I think I’ve finally found a string that mentions my error. It says the security features must be turned off or lowered. But, Microsoft doesn’t recommend even temporarily disabling the firewall or “third-party” antivirus software. Since I’m on Explorer at the moment, I will most certainly not choose that option. Later in the day, I am thrilled that I didn’t lower the security because my antivirus software caught and squashed two bugs. These things don’t happen when I’m running Firefox.

Next, I try to add Microsoft update and Windows update to trusted sites, but they don’t have the secure  “s” at the end of the http prefix, so I wasn’t allowed to follow that suggestion.” If Mr. Bill wants us to trust him, why can’t he be secure?

There is another option called BITS, but I’ve had unhappy experiences with computer alphabet soup and decide to forget that suggestion as well.

I’ve now looked at Methods A through F. I scroll down a bit further and find Advanced Methods A through C. And below that “Additional error code information for advanced users.” There I learn I’ve got a Hexadecimal Error Code. It’s tied to the Decimal Error Code -939523027 and the API Error Description HrVersonStoreOutOfMemory. Oh dear.

Right below that is a little box that asks if the information solved my problem; was the information relevant; and what can they do to improve the information? The answers are, no, the information didn’t solve my problem; I have no idea whether the information was relevant because I couldn’t follow any of the suggestions. My recommendations for improvement, which I am not sending to Microsoft, are as follows:

1) Make suggestions that don’t put the computer at risk of a virus;

2) Make suggestions that don’t require reconfiguring the hard drive;

3) Get someone with an understanding of the English language to write the “Knowledge Base” entries.

Having wasted a good part of the day trying to straighten out this mess, I’m switching back to Firefox.

P.S., my next computer will probably be a Mac.


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One Response to “0xC800042D”

  1. 2010 in review « Lizr128′s Blog Says:

    […] 0xC800042D November 2009 5 […]

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