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Renaming SoftwareDistribution Folder

    Question

  • After reviewing the support forums it is a suggested fix -- process in fixing ailing windows updates --
    to rename the SoftwareDistribution Folder, for example SoftwareDistribution.old, to allow Windows to regenerate in
    order to allow Updates to install correctly.  After checking permissions and logging in with
    Administrator privileges there is no way to rename the folder, after the update service
    is stopped as well.  I'm wondering if the machines are infected -- or -- anyone?
    Wednesday, September 23, 2009 5:37 PM

Answers

  • Hi Tom,

    Thank you for the reply.


    You should make sure that you logged on an account with local administrator privileges.

    You can download updates from Microsoft Download Center directly:

     

    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/default.aspx

     

    Type the number of your update and then click the Search button. Choose the update for your system and download it.

     

    If you are not sure how to download the update from Microsoft Download Center, please let me know what update you would like to download. Meanwhile, please let me know whether you are using Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008. Is it a 32bit or 64bit system?

     

    Hope it helps.

     

    Tim Quan - MSFT

     

    Monday, September 28, 2009 4:06 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi,

     

    To rename the SoftwareDistribution folder, please try below:

     

    1. Log on an account with administrator privileges.

    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 we try to rename the folder. However, if it failed, please let me know before performing any further steps and include any error messages you may have received when it failed.

     

    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. Still in "Administrator: Command Prompt" window, type the command "net start WuAuServ" (without the quotes) in the opened window to restart the Windows Updates service.

     

    Hope it helps.

     

    Tim Quan - MSFT

     

    Thursday, September 24, 2009 3:30 AM
    Moderator
  • Thank you very much for getting back.  I followed the steps above and these are the results.

    Results of your recommendations followed;

    "Cannot rename SoftwareDistribution:Access is denied.
    Make sure the disk is not full or write-proteced and the file
    is not currently in use."

    Right-click on SoftwareDistribution and choose properties
    ~~Currently selected options

    General tab - "Read-only" is selected
    Sharing - "Do not share this folder"

    Security -
    Administrators - ("Full Control")
    Creator Owner - ("Special Permissions" only)
    Power Users - (Everything but Full Control)
    System - ("Full Control")
    Users - ("Read & Execute, List Folders..., Read")

    Web Sharing - "Do Not Share This Folder"
    Customize - n/a
    ------------------------------------------------------------

    I spent the day yesterday in forums and googling trying to resolve the inability
    to make that folder allow renaming - to no avail.  I'm stumped.  But without the
    ability to rename that folder I can't see how to make updating work again.

    Thanks for any advice.















    • Proposed as answer by David Feifer Wednesday, February 22, 2012 8:14 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by David Feifer Wednesday, February 22, 2012 8:14 PM
    Thursday, September 24, 2009 4:28 PM
  • Hi,

     

    Thank you for the reply.

     

    Now I suggest restarting the computer, pressing F8 to enter Safe Mode. Can you rename this folder in Safe Mode?

     

    Tim Quan - MSFT

    Friday, September 25, 2009 2:01 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi
    This presents a problem since I can only, for the moment, maintain
    this machine via remote desktop.  I won't be able to physically work
    on it until the 1st of November so....
    In the meantime is there an avenue that allows downloading updates
    directly from Microsoft's web site so that they can be manually
    executed to work around the existing update engine process.

    If I failed to mention in the past that this is a Windows 2003 server
    that can only be shut down in the wee hours if I'm present on site.

    Thanks very much for your help thus far.  If I have to use the safe mode
    to do the folder renaming I'll be able to do that in a little over a month.

    Best Regards, Tom
    Friday, September 25, 2009 6:41 PM
  • Hi Tom,

    Thank you for the reply.


    You should make sure that you logged on an account with local administrator privileges.

    You can download updates from Microsoft Download Center directly:

     

    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/default.aspx

     

    Type the number of your update and then click the Search button. Choose the update for your system and download it.

     

    If you are not sure how to download the update from Microsoft Download Center, please let me know what update you would like to download. Meanwhile, please let me know whether you are using Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008. Is it a 32bit or 64bit system?

     

    Hope it helps.

     

    Tim Quan - MSFT

     

    Monday, September 28, 2009 4:06 AM
    Moderator
  • Another option is to run the windows update as administrator account:

     

    1. Log on an account with administrator privileges.

    2. Click the Start Button, click "All programs".

    3. Right-click "Windows Update", and click "Run as administrator".


    Tuesday, March 15, 2011 6:27 AM
  • Bothelite, did you get a solution for renaming the SoftwareDistribution folder? Other than Safe Mode?
    Tuesday, June 28, 2011 12:24 AM
  • Just to drop some info incase someone happens to stumble on this at a latter time.

    As long as the folder is listed as read-only it will not allow you to edit the info. atleast in my case. Believe this may be caused by corrupted rights on the structure. In my case, if you deselect the read only attribute on the folder and then conirm "apply changes to this folder, subfolders and files. it then allowed me to rename the directory structure afterwards.

    > Right-click on SoftwareDistribution and choose properties
    >~~Currently selected options

    >General tab - "Read-only" is selected
    >Sharing - "Do not share this folder"

     
    Wednesday, February 22, 2012 8:20 PM
  • it wont let me rename the folder... it keeps saying the folder is open else where.
    Tuesday, January 20, 2015 9:17 PM
  • Good Day,

    1st Click Start > Run > type services.msc Enter - Find Windows Update

    2nd Stop Windows Update Service

    3rd You can now Rename Software Distribution.

    gcm

     

    • Proposed as answer by kentnich Friday, October 9, 2015 10:39 AM
    Friday, October 9, 2015 10:38 AM
  • Tim Quan:

    Thank you so much for your helpful instructions.

    They worked like a charm for me!  ◔◡◔

    -John M Stevenson

    Thursday, December 17, 2015 2:58 AM
  • Old post, but thanks so much for the help above. It worked and I can finally update my Surface Pro 3.
    Thursday, June 9, 2016 1:57 PM
  • Can you give me a step by step how you did it?  email address is "drayden22@yahoo.com"

    Microsoft keeps giving me access is denied even though I am an admin already...

    did:

    Method 2:

    I would suggest you to manually reset the Windows Update Components

    I.- Press “Windows Logo+X” keys on the keyboard and then select “Command Prompt (Admin)” from the menu.

    II.- Stop the BITS, Cryptographic, MSI Installer and the Windows Update Services. To do this, type the following commands at a command prompt. Press the “ENTER” key after you type each command.

    net stop wuauserv

    net stop cryptSvc

    net stop bits

    net stop msiserver

    III.- Now rename the SoftwareDistribution and Catroot2 folder.

    You can do this by typing the following commands in the Command Prompt. Press the “ENTER” key after you type each command:

    ren C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old

    ren C:\Windows\System32\catroot2 Catroot2.old

    IV.- Now, let’s restart the BITS, Cryptographic, MSI Installer and the Windows Update Services. Type the following commands in the Command Prompt for this. Press the “ENTER” key after you type each command.

    net start wuauserv

    net start cryptSvc

    net start bits

    net start msiserver

    V.- Type “Exit” in the Command Prompt to close it.

    Now, you may try running the Windows Updates and check if the above steps resolve the issue.

    and still windows update keep searching for updates....

    thank you so much!

    Jershon


    • Edited by drayden30 Tuesday, November 15, 2016 10:25 PM
    Tuesday, November 15, 2016 10:24 PM
  • Hi,

    I also have the problem with windows update stalling on 0% complete.  Following the instructions, I renamed \windows\softwaredistribution (but had to be in safe mode to do it).  When I run windows update again, a new softwaredistribution folder is created but now I get error c8000266.  This is on 64 bit windows server 2008 sp2.

    Any suggestions for what I can try next?

    Thanks

    Paul

    Tuesday, June 27, 2017 11:22 PM
  • Try next .... Apple computers.

    This issue is haunting me too.  Within Software Distribution folder,  can rename every folder but DataStore.   Some program continues to keep DataStore folder active,  preventing me from applying any of the fixes involving the renaming of the SoftwareDistribution folder.

    How do I fix this?  It's absolutely maddening ... prevents me from doing Windows updates.

    Tuesday, July 18, 2017 10:35 PM
  • I found going into services and setting the "Windows Update" aka "wuauserv" to "Startup type" to manual then stopping the service. I think step "III" to stop it works ok but the service is set to automatically start. So you never really are stopping it long enough to rename the folder.
    • Edited by FXTRunner Thursday, August 10, 2017 5:16 PM
    Thursday, August 10, 2017 5:15 PM
  • This method worked for me. Thank you so much.
    Tuesday, July 3, 2018 1:30 AM