Ok after months of trying I have finally got this error sorted and here’s how.
1. Restart your computer into safe mode.
2. Login using the Administrators account
3. In Start, Accessories, right click on Command Prompt, and click on Run as Administrator
4. In DOS type:- net stop cryptsvc
5. Press enter and wait for the computer to say its stop this service
6. Close DOS and remain in Windows Safe Mode.
7. Go into My computer and navigate to your Windows directory
8. Find the folder windows\software distribution and remove the contents, but not the folder it’s self
9. Then navigate to windows\system32\catroot2 folder and remove the content of that folder
10. Right click on the catroot2 folder and rename it to catroot3
11. Restart windows and login as normal.
12. Once logged into windows run Windows Update from the Start menu. Download and install updates as normal.
13. Norton’s Internet 2008 may ask you for permission for Live updates to go online, depends on your setting with Norton.
I hope this works for every one who is still having problems with this error. I did this exact process last night after 6 months with no updates and now my computer is all updated and working fine.
Good luck to you all, and thank you to every one that helped me.
Have this problem for over 2 months. I have tried various solutions, downloaded 'fixes' from Microsoft, followed instructions from a number of sites but unfortunately nothing worked.
Today, I have seen your suggestion, and followed it to the letter. IT WORKED PERFECTLY !!! Thank you very much.
I think your suggestion to do the changes in Safe Mode was the main difference to every other solution I have tried. Well done !!!
Microsoft should reward you for this, since they could not solve THEIR problem themselves.
- Edited by Sonyuser2012 Thursday, September 06, 2012 7:12 PM
Thank you so much, this has sorted out my computer update 8E5E03FA
All that frustration in not being able to install this update (for over a month) was sorted out within minutes once I printed a copy of your instructions before going into Safe Mode
Can only say how easy it was to do and send my thanks, Freddie
Thank you for your prompt reply. The problem seems to appeared when I installed the update from Vista to Windows 7.
I'm using Norton 360 for my virus protection and fire wall.
I have trouble going into My Computer and navigating to widows directory. Also finding the folder windows\ software distribution and removing
content. Also with windows\system32\catroot2 folder. This folder is readily found in dos.
Once again Thank You for your help.
Thanks so much for sharing this. Microsoft was no help on this at all. Their "Fix-it" tool designed specifically for this problem was useless and their "tech support" wanted me to re-install Windows 7. They must not even bother to read the forums. Their "IT professionals" version of this fix involved the writing of numerous batch files and other heady nonsense. This was simple, to the point, and worked like a charm.
Thank-you. Just used your fix on a Windows 8.1 64 bit machine. Worked perfectly. A few minor comments: the folder in Step 8 was windows\softwaredistribution (not software distribution). I don't know if this has changed since Windows Vista or was a typo. I also noted that windows update history was deleted after this fix was used. I don't know how you figured out this fix, but its perfect.
I also solved my problem using this article. I have Windows 8.1 64 bit with Unicode language and it works great.
Actually after doing those steps I got an error saying I was unable to do windows updates at all,
but I had the update file that I had downloaded manually before, so I ran it again and it works great.
Then, after restart I was able to use the windows update wizard.
Actually, after reading some other sources on the net, I am not sure it is necessary to delete the content of folder softwaredistribution, However it worked for me.
Thank you very much!!!
Same error code 8E5E03FA and refusal to update KB3004361 since Feb 11, 2015.
System: Win 8.1 Pro on X64 Dell XPS17
1. stop the service CryptSvc (via Task Manager or 'net stop CryptSvc' in admin Dos box)
2. rename the folder 'catroot2' to 'catroot3' (or other) in 'C:\Windows\System32\'
4. retry the update
This has worked fine in my case.
I hope it does for you too.