Stop Windows XP nagging about updates

November 11, 2008 at 12:47 pm 8 comments

xpMicrosoft’s Patch Tuesdays (the second Tuesday of every month) are an important part of every user’s regular Windows operating system maintenance. In fact, regular fixes, patches, and updates should be part of every user’s regular routine, no matter which operating system they use.

But sometimes Windows XP gets stuck in update mode. It will continue to show the flashing yellow shield in the System Tray suggesting you need to download and install important security patches. Windows may even display a chat bubble reminding you there is a system patch available. This may appear even after you have already applied all the patches — Windows just doesn’t recognize its current status.

Windows may be telling you that SP3 is available, even though you have decided you don’t want to apply it right now or in the near future.

Resetting Windows

  1. Click Start | Control Panel and then double-click Administrative Tools.
  2. Click on Services to open the dialog box.


  1. From the list of services, right-click and then click Stop for the following services:
  • Automatic Updates
  • Background Intelligent Transfer Service
  • Cryptographic Services
  1. Next click Start | My Computer.
  2. Double-click the drive where XP is installed, usually C:\.
  3. Double-click Windows.
  4. Right-click on the file folder SoftwareDistribution and rename it SoftwareDistribution.old.
  5. Next double-click on the System32 file folder.
  6. Right-click on the folder Catroot2 and rename it Catroot2.old.
  7. Right-click on the folder SoftwareDistribution and rename it SoftwareDistribution.old.
  8. Close C:\Windows\System32 explorer window.
  9. Now, go back to the Services folder, right-click and then start the following services:
  • Automatic Updates
  • Background Intelligent Transfer Service (unless it was originally set to manual and you never had to stop the service in the beginning)
  • Cryptographic Services
  1. Close the Services Window and go to the Administrative Tools window (which should still be open).
  2. Click the Back Button on your toolbar to get back to the Control Panel.
  3. Double-click Automatic Updates


  1. Select “Notify Me but Don’t Automatically Download or Install Them” radio button and then click the OK button.
  2. Close the Control Panel and resume computing.

One annoyance gone

This procedure forces Windows to reset the files that track what updates you have installed. This means that the automatic update will stop nagging you to update even though you already have.

This procedure means Windows will stop trying to download and install SP3.

One word of warning though, in general Windows updates are important not only for your security and peace of mind but also for the security of everyone else. I highly recommend that you apply the patches as soon as you can.

Source: TechRepublic


Entry filed under: Techy. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Entreating Lord Take control of your day with these 10 time management skills

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. nadia  |  November 11, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    I’ve read through the entire post and I must say that it has been explained in simple English. Oh, and the illustrations made things even simpler.

    PS: Can you please come over my desk over lunch to remove this annoying yellow shield in the System Tray of my machine? 😉

    ~Hehe, Sure 🙂

  • 2. Ab  |  November 13, 2008 at 6:05 am

    haha I use a Mac 🙂

    ~ I love Mac 🙂

  • 3. roxanne  |  November 13, 2008 at 6:35 am

    Thank you friend I really had enough of that noise…
    by the way they seem to have renamed the 3 catroot folders
    but I found them anyways and renamed them again,
    my catroot2 was called catsrvps.dll
    I renamed it catsrvpsDll.old, hope I am right but they were the only 3 folders with cat as a start so I figure they had to be it, and I took the middle one since it would logically be # 2 of 3,
    we ll see, thank yoiu again for taking the time.

    ~ Great, you sounds very techy and tricky :). Thanks for stopping by and Welcome to my blog.

  • 4. Niyaz  |  November 13, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    useful post Bro 🙂

    ~ Thanks, bro 🙂

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