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MS Windows XP Update Error Message code 0x800703E3

Discussion in 'Software' started by legalsuit, May 4, 2012.

  1. legalsuit

    legalsuit MajorGeek

    Firstly PC & System type:

    I’ve been given an unwanted laptop until I get around to buying my own - DELL Latitude X300, with MS XP Professional Version 2002, SP3; Intel(R) Pentium(R) M processor 1200MHz 1.20 GHz, 632 MB of RAM.


    Wanting to check for Windows Updates, I go to Microsoft Updates website if doing it manually:http://www.update.microsoft.com/windowsupdate/v6/default.aspx?ln=en-us

    MS Update site is produced with message as shown here:

    Clicking on “INSTALL NOW” produces new message:

    It appears to download files and go through with an 100% copy function before coming up with Error Message code 0x800703E3:

    Solutions attempted without success:

    To avoid duplication of possible resolution MG advice, I’ve noted the following attempts in seeking resolution to my problem.

    I have visited MS sites and tried offered solutions without success regardless of whatever troubleshooting/fixes/solutions I have sought to fix this, I continually get the same result as above.

    Here’s a list of solutions attempted:

    1. I’ve added the following URLs in Tools Pop-Up Blocker:


    2. Attempted a number of MS “Fix-It Repair” solutions, which while each run shows repairs and fixes had been done, MS Update results in same Error Message code 0x800703E3. For example, the following fixes have been tried without successful results:

      a. Unsuccessfully tried downloading and installing the latest Windows Update Agent from MS site (for official releases from the Microsoft Download Center) For an Intel-x86 based computer System):
      Download the Microsoft windowsupdateagent30-x86.exe package here (outside this site) ​

      b. In case previous owner had problems after SP3 installs (which they weren’t sure), I manually registered these dll's:

      regsvr32 /s wuapi.dll
      regsvr32 /s wuaueng1.dll
      regsvr32 /s wuaueng.dll
      regsvr32 /s wucltui.dll
      regsvr32 /s wups2.dll
      regsvr32 /s wups.dll
      regsvr32 /s wuweb.dll

      At first instance, after successfully doing this, I managed to install over 100 MS updates.

      Alas, after the necessary system restart, I again occurred above Error Message code 0x800703E3 screen when trying to do the MS Update for XP! ​

      c. Downloaded applicable Windows XP installer for all versions of Windows from the Microsoft Download Center using their link: Download the Microsoft Windows Installer 3.1 Redistributable (v2) package here

      d. MS Fix-It site troubleshooter to "Automatically diagnose and fix common problems with Windows Update" http://support.microsoft.com/kb/949104 Upon finishing diagnosis it stated problems were fixed…this was not my finding as the same error problem remained for MS Update! I pretty much ran every “Fix-It” diagnosis I could find with the same results, including:​

      i. Fix the problem with Microsoft Windows Update that is not working: http://support.microsoft.com/mats/windows_update/en-us

      ii. Fix problems with programs that can't be installed or uninstalled : http://support.microsoft.com/mats/Program_Install_and_Uninstall/en-us

      e. I even downloaded the “Fix-It Centre Online” to my computer for quick and easy access for searches, and still can’t find solutions.​
    3. I’ve cleaned computer as well as possible (i.e. PC TOOLS for all possible areas including registry; cleaned for junk files; defragmented; check disked…housekeeped until I got “house maid knees in cyber space").

    4. I’ve searched the web explicitly for solutions without success…and though MG touched on the same type of error, I have not been able to find a solution.

    Can MG help?

    I pretty much think I’ve exhausted just about all avenues.

    Thanking you in advance…

  2. plodr

    plodr Major Geek Extraordinaire

    Have you tried this?
    If not, try it "let me fix it myself section", reboot then see if anything has changed.

    Meanwhile, I'll keep searching.
    Does the computer have WinPatrol on it? (I ask because on one of the 4 computers running the paid version, I had trouble with updating and I needed to change something in WinPatrol).

    I had another thought: turn off the antivirus when tryong to install a Windows update. Sometimes an av program can be too aggressive. Be sure you only go to the MS update site when turning off the av. If an update installs, turn on the av again before you go any where else on the internet.
  3. pwillener

    pwillener MajorGeek

    If your problem is still unresolved, can you post the last few (20 or so) lines of the WindowsUpdate.log file in your C:\Windows folder?
  4. legalsuit

    legalsuit MajorGeek

    Hi PR,

    Firstly, "Thank you!" for taking the time and such a prompt response to my problem. (Hope you don't mind my abbreviation to "PR" because phonetically, your pseudonym sounds nothing like the professional impression I have of you!)

    1. Re:
      Yes, I had tried this "Fixit" solution How do I reset Windows Update components? URL you suggested, (noted amongst my FAVOURITES list where I kept tally of what was tried).

      However, I've tried it again (as I’ve since done another big clean up) and same error occurs.


      The comments under the "Fixit's" Publisher Details Report - “Resolve problems that prevent you from updating Windows: Microsoft” - I had already tried the suggestions from that recommended venue before coming to MG without success...so I didn’t bother going back there again.

    2. Re: your suggestion of
      Can't remember if I had tried it last time, so I ran it again as you suggested – Then, from TOOLS, I ran Windows Update option, ending with same results:

    3. Re: your suggestion to
      I suspended “Threatfire”.

      Microsoft Security Essentials continued to run (didn’t know how to exit/turn it off:-o).

    4. Re: “WinPatrol” – don’t believe I have this as upon doing a full search of the computer, nothing was found.

    Gotta be something silly and simple I'm probably overlooking but I'll be darned if I can figure it out.:confused

    Again, thanks for your assistance with this...really appreciate it.:)


  5. legalsuit

    legalsuit MajorGeek

    Hi PW - Thank You for taking the time to respond and for your suggestion.

    Problem is still unresolved upon following PR's suggestions...so I'm still scratching my head on this.

    Dumb Question:

    Where else can I find the "WindowsUpdate.log" file? I've searched the computer but can't find it anywhere...not even in the Windows folder.

    (Maybe I'm wandering around too cross-eyed with this problem to see it under my nose perhaps:-o)

    Thanks again for your time!:)


  6. unimatrix001

    unimatrix001 Private E-2

    Just another suggestion have you tried running any malware software to see if there is anything that might be stopping those fixes. if not try superantispyware or malwarebytes.
    they are both good malware removal tools. Also you can try running the system file checker to make sure the system files are not corrupted.
  7. plodr

    plodr Major Geek Extraordinaire

    Copy the address you see when you go to Windows update.
    I know my address has changed a few times; perhaps it is as simple as using an old website (not sure if MS would re-direct).
    This part of the error you see
    I'll keep searching to see if I can come up with anything else.
  8. plodr

    plodr Major Geek Extraordinaire

    Here is the address for the catalog, where you can manually download updates
    It only works in Internet Explorer.

    You need to add the site to the Trusted Sites.
    Tools, Internet Options then the security tab. Click on the Trusted Sites icon, then on the Sites button. Type in http://catalog.update.microsoft.com and click the add button.
    Click okay before you close the Internet Options window with the X.

    Close down IE then go to the catalog address. You might get a yellow bar telling you that you have to install an addon (activex) for the site to work. Do not click on the x in the yellow message bar, click on the "click here". You'll get a popup about installing something. Keep saying yes or okay and then the site will load.
    Over where it says search, you can type in XP security updates. With just that, I got over 1000 updates (40 pages of 25 each per page). You can page back looking at dates until you come to the first date of a patch that has not been installed.

    If you look over the add/remove programs list in the Control Panel of the computer, what is the newest patch that had been installed?
  9. legalsuit

    legalsuit MajorGeek

    Hi unimatrix001

    Apologies for a late response, (got bogged down with work details).

    Thank you for your suggestions:

    I’ve done a full scan run of the latest versions of following two MS SW and nothing was found:
    1. "Microsoft® Windows® Malicious Software Removal Tool”.
    2. “Microsoft® Windows® Security Essentials”

    I’m not feeling comfortable in trying to run “system file checker” at this point in time. Mainly because I would like to search out all avenues for updating the system (which is what is currently failing, in particular with Security Updates!).

    Secondly, System File Checker will require use of the XP CDs with installation source files. Last time these were used, the person ended up wiping my hard drive! So I'm nervous to go that route just yet until it becames apparent that this will be required and I have strict stepped instruction for that route, and only after I've exhausted other avenues towards successful Security Updates.

    So Thank You again for your helpful suggestions which I've deployed and thought on, and also for taking the time to respond to my appeal.:)


  10. legalsuit

    legalsuit MajorGeek

    Hi PR

    Apologies for my delayed response, (got bogged down with work). Thank You again for not giving up on me and your two posts.

    Re earlier your post:

    I expect you may be correct that I may have an old MS Update website given the type of website page information that displays.

    I think perhaps when MS tries to re-direct it somehow “gets its knickers in a knot” within the process.

    FYI – I tried updates from sites for (1) IE Tools and (2) MS as follows with same end results:-

    1. From From Internet Explore 8, I select Tools then:

      a. Windows Update
      b. URL shows: http://www.update.microsoft.com/windowsupdate/v6/default.aspx?ln=en-us
      c. Web page states:

      d. Same URL displays: http://www.update.microsoft.com/windowsupdate/v6/default.aspx?ln=en-us with this new web page:​

      e. Clicking on “Install Now” Web page shows same URL and displays: ​

      Followed by:

      It then finishes with the same [Error number: 0x800703E3] displaying the same URL address:
    2. From Microsoft website I selected “Windows Update”:
      URL shows:
      displaying this page starting with information...

      Clicking on “Start Now” shows this URL http://www.update.microsoft.com/mic...update.microsoft.com/microsoftupdate&ln=en-us
      producing this page:​

      Clicking “Continue” produces URL


      Displaying web page stating it is checking, my computer etc then quickly moves onto this page:

      It then finishes with the same [Error number: 0x800703E3] displaying the same URL address:


    Again, my many Thanks! for your time and instructions...much appreciated.

    I'll now respond to your second Post separately re "Catalogues".


  11. legalsuit

    legalsuit MajorGeek

    Again, thanks for this further advice PR

    1. Re Check MS Catalogue for Patch/SW Updates.
      My Favourites shows its been added and I had also added it to the Trusted Sites under IE8 Tools.
    2. Re check what Patch/Update not installed:
      Yikes! MS Catalogue's first one for 2004 (Q320920: Security Update (Windows Media Player for Windows XP) 5/15/2004 on through are not listed on my Control Panel (ADD/REMOVE). I suspected from the beginning that the computer hadn't had Security Updates for sometime and this confirms it.

      Anyway, as a "test" I've selected to manually download 8 early ones...see how it goes.
    3. Re check what Patch/Update installed:
      Here shows the Add/Remove programs and Updates you queried:

    I suspect previous owner must have wiped the disk and then done a system and Word 2007 load...I can't confirm this, but very little appears to have been loaded or updated since I took over this laptop and attempted updates in April/May 2012 which are currently shown in the ADD/REMOVE list.

    Besides missing updates, makes me wonder if there may also be some corruption or lack thereof some .dll files(?!) which is preventing me from successfully doing automatic MS Updates or it searching this computer for updates required as it should.

    Tested manually downloading 8 old programs from MS Catalogue site since MS UPDATE isn't working. Later tonight or tomorrow (once free from workload) I'll go through the relevant areas of catalogue and see what else can be manually downloaded.

    What a drudge without MS UPDATE doing it automatically!!


  12. legalsuit

    legalsuit MajorGeek

    Hi PR

    My last two previous Posts outline my findings to your last Post.

    PR, I'm still getting the same Error number: 0x800703E3 for Microsoft Update even now after following your advice to check out MS Catalogue for updates and patches.

    I've gone through as thoroughly as I could to manually load MS XP updates (relevant to my 32bit laptop) and for simplification placed them into C:/WINDOWS folder.

    I then rebooted and cleaned up Registry, junk, etc type files and defraged before trying Windows Update.

    I'm at wits end...am I doing something wrong? Am I overlooking something silly?

    I find this a real problem...

    I uninstalled/reinstalled MS Security Essentials because I was getting errors with updates there also (it states update error due to using "older version of Microsoft Update" or "Windows couldn't start the service that transfers data".

    I'm really getting stymied with updates. Again thanking you in advance for your help...


  13. plodr

    plodr Major Geek Extraordinaire

    If the person only installed a few updates from May 3 of this year and ignored all the others, I'm not sure what you have to do to enable updating to work.

    You can't update using Microsoft update and you can't get the updates to install by downloading through the catalog and trying. Those are the only two methods I know to get an update into the computer.
  14. plodr

    plodr Major Geek Extraordinaire

  15. legalsuit

    legalsuit MajorGeek

    Hi PR

    Thanks! again for your patience and still hangin' in there with me.

    Apologies for not making myself clear earlier...I did the May 3 installs (see my first #1 Post, Item 2(b)), where I tried the ".dll" method when all attempts with Microsoft Update failed with the error code.

    At first instance of attempting the ".dll" method, I managed to successfully download and update all that was brought forward for Install with Windows Update. However, after having to do a Restart, I was back at Square #1 again with the same Error Message. Repeats of this ".dll" method have since been unsuccessful.

    While I managed to download from the Catalogue, the "Updates" are not showing in Control Panel's "Add/Remove Programs" as do those of May this year. So while they are sitting in C:/WINDOWS I guess they are "not installed"(?!)

    Sorry, I must seem and sound like a total idiot here...should I look for ".exe" type files to execute from what was downloaded of the Catalogue?

    I'm now convinced I've done something Super Goofy! along the way but can't see what it is...I must have missed something while your instructions have been so clear...Arrrghhhhhhh! So frustrated with this...!
  16. legalsuit

    legalsuit MajorGeek

    Actually tried this earlier in May before coming to MG...failed last time round with same Error Message code 0x800703E3 and after again attempting it now, same error occurred.

    I also read information on that above site which led me to reference for "installing" (mustn't attempt from Windows folder in case it corrupts other files therein). So I'll see what I can do with all this info and get back to you, hopefully with some successful results, unless you have other suggestions?!

    Again, Thanks!


  17. Colemanguy

    Colemanguy MajorGeek

  18. legalsuit

    legalsuit MajorGeek

    Thanks for your suggestion! :)

    I'll also give this one a try and let you know after I've go through the warnings contained therein to make sure I'm properly set up beforehand for "Dial-a-Fix" (one item notes it deletes everything in C:/Documents).


  19. Colemanguy

    Colemanguy MajorGeek

    yeah as i remember it was a pretty harsh tool, but it seemed to work in the most troubled machines. Good Luck!
  20. legalsuit

    legalsuit MajorGeek

    Status re: MS Windows XP Update Error Message code 0x800703E3

    Just wanted to let you know I haven't been able to progress much further since my last Post...mainly due to further error codes occurring (problem branching out) until finally system just clamped down.

    Just got it back up, removed some S/W programs; trying to reset things and find Windows Update now shows [Error number: 0x8007041D].

    Rather than bother you at this point, you may wish to close this item as the problem has shifted and I'll do some further investigations and troubleshooting. Once I get a firm ground on what's happening and if unresolved, I'll come back with a new Post.

    Thank you for your patience and help re Update Error Message code 0x800703E3...Thanks also to Colemanguy and unimatrix001 for taking the time in offering advice.



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