1 Copper

Vista SP2 failure, error 0x80004005 (Microsoft baffled)

Inspiron 1501, SP1 with all prior updates cannot update to SP2. It goes through stage 3 of the update, 100%, then reverts changes, and provides error 0x80004005.

I've tried everything: 4 hours with Microsoft tech support (second level, Vista SP2 experts), system readiness tool (KB947821), standalone installer, install with all third party software/services disabled, install from safe mode, rebuild of master boot record, disabling C: sharing, and removal of all XML pending files. (Sigmatel sound river was updated previously to enable SP1 to install, most other drivers are up to date.)

Microsoft says they cannot resolve the issue, and their final advice is to do a clean install, which they believe will enable SP2, meaning completely rebuilding my system. I may as well just do that with Windows 7 when it comes out and spend my 8 hours at that time.

The problem could be related to the boot manager on the system, though my Dell D830 has a similar boot manager (and D: recovery partition), and SP2 installed just fine.

I also called Dell technical support (computer on extended service warranty), and they told me they don't support this problem - that it's a Microsoft issue. That was a bit disappointing.

If anybody has any experience wit this problem, thoughts, or advice, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Peter

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12 Replies
6 Gallium

Re: Vista SP2 failure, error 0x80004005 (Microsoft baffled)

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1 Copper

Re: Vista SP2 failure, error 0x80004005 (Microsoft baffled)

Thanks, very kind of you to respond. I looked at this, but there are no other drives to disconnect. It could still be the boot manager, however, since there is a D: recovery partition. But as previously noted, the Dell D830 uses the same recovery partition (though not necessarily the same boot manager). In any case, kb/971204 concludes that if there are no drives to disconnect, then it's back to a clean install.

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1 Copper

Re: Vista SP2 failure, error 0x80004005 (Microsoft baffled)

I have the same problem with a Dell Inspiron 1525 with Vista Home Premium + SP1 and like you have got nowhere in resolving it.

I now get various missng driver messages every time I reboot, which I presume is related to SP2 not being 100% backed out.

I did email Microsoft Support who through an automated reply referred me to their knowledge base and newsgroups.

Other posts on other forums seem to suggest it may be something to do with the D: Recovery Partition but I am loathe to try the suggested rebuilding of boot partitions etc. 

I wonder if any one has also hit this problem with a Dell Inspiron with Vista Home Premium + SP1 and has managed to resolve it?

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1 Copper

Re: Vista SP2 failure, error 0x80004005 (Microsoft baffled)

My machine has Vista Business.

Clearly, this is an issue affecting multiple Inspiron systems with multiple versions of Vista.

It seems like something Dell and Microsoft need to get together on and figure out. Doing a clean install of Vista and then having to reinstall all updated drivers and applications is not an acceptable solution. Even with all that it's not clear that SP2 will properly install.

Does anybody know how to escalate this within Dell?

Does anybody from Dell monitor this forum?

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Denise P
1 Copper

Re: Vista SP2 failure, error 0x80004005 (Microsoft baffled)

I am having a problem with SP1 on a brand new OptiPlex 760. I could not get SP1 to install.  I did finally get them both to work on some OptiPlex 745 with AMD processors.  I read the knowledge base article and it mentioned that if you used a cloning tool to image the drive this could cause the service pack to become confused regarding the correct boot sector.  It recommended doing a clean install.  Fine for a single machine but I work in a communicy college and I am trying to get this to work on well over 100 computers.  Doing a clean install on all of them is not an option.  I would be installing Vista until Windows 10 comes out.  Is there another way to delete the boot sector files that are created by Ghost after we run the image so that the service packs will work correctly?

Denise P.

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1 Copper

Re: Vista SP2 failure, error 0x80004005 (Microsoft baffled)

Sounds similar to my problem upgrading Vista SP1 on an Inspiron 1520 to SP2. It's just not happening. The error I get is "SMI primitive installer failed"  different error number to you I get 8007371C.

I've gone down the system readiness tool, stand alone install, install from safe mode route and I still get the same error. Currently the only option seems to be a reinstall of Vista and fingers crossed the problem won't happen again. 

If anybody did have this error and fixed it by reinstalling vista and then applying sp1 followed by sp2 and it worked, can they let me know.



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1 Nickel

Re: Vista SP2 failure, error 0x80004005 (Microsoft baffled)

Same with E 1505 with Vista Ultimate, IE7&8, only worse:

Spent days at various forums; MSN Elevated tech spt; websites; repair programs; hours researching including KBs.

That  "Upate Stage 3 screen Do Not Close Computer..." appears at every logon/logoff.

Cannot access SYSTEM RESTORE;

Cannot PRINT (script error);

Cannot access any hotmail message references, Attachments or those from any other source;

Cannot use Vista Ultimate DVD although it runs to completion at every insert but never does anything appear on screen.

Worst of all, not only am I inexperienced, but completely lack any tech savvy.

Obviously many forum members are experiencing same problem(s). Should there be any progress I will appreciate direct email notice.  Thank you!

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1 Copper

Re: Vista SP2 failure, error 0x80004005 (Microsoft baffled)

It is FIXED!!!  Thank you Microsoft!  I have been working with them for several weeks and we finally got a fix!

Check and see if KB933246 is installed on your computer, if it is remove it.

If you don't want to remove it, or if it is not installed, as was my case, inport the following registry key:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00





After I imported the key I booted with only the Microsoft services running and ran the KB947821.

I installed both SP2 and IE8!

I sincerely hope this works for the rest of you.  We've all been suffering through this long enough.

And once again, thank you Microsoft and in particular satyendra!


1 Copper

Re: Vista SP2 failure, error 0x80004005 (Microsoft baffled)

Ron, I am pleased you managed to find a solution to this miserable problem.

I still have it, and I don't seem to have KB933246 installed so I tried the registry fix that you have suggested, but the SP2 upgrade still failed with the 0x80004005 error.

I cut registry key entries from your post including the "Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00" (regedit failed without it) piece and pasted them into a text file with a .reg extension. I was then able to import this file into the registry and no errors came back from regedit. I then tried the SP2 upgrade and it failed just as before right at the very end, even after it showed it was 100% complete. However, I do have a couple of questions as to what you did.

You said that after you updated the registry you booted up with just Microsoft services running. How precisely do you do this, as I did a normal reboot and then followed it with a straight windows update.

You mention you ran KB947821. KB947821 I have as just an "update for windows" and I have it as already installed. I have KB948465 as Windows Vista Service Pack 2. Was this a typo?

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