Category Archives: Windows

Windows Update could not search for new updates when using WSUS

For testing purposes, I had to install a few Windows 7 and Windows 10 machines (with Office 2007, Office 2010 and Office 365 ProPlus) at a customer environment. It was a standard environment with a regular WSUS environment. In this customer environment there were approx. 5000 clients with Windows 7 (I know…) and Windows 10 all working fine with WSUS.

Several of my test machines had problems downloading updates from the WSUS environment, Windows Update returned the Code 80072F8F Windows Update encountered an unknown error as shown in the following screenshot:

Windows could not search for new updates

Emptying the C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution and restarting the Windows Update service did not help.

When using Google to search for this error a lot was returned (even recent issues which is the reason for my blogpost), but most of them were certificate related where the self-signed certificate on the WSUS server was expired. In my scenario this was not a problem since a valid 3rd party certificate was used on the WSUS server.

The WindowsUpdate.log in C:\Windows revealed more information. One thing I found was DownloadFileInternal failed for https://wsus.contoso.com:8531/selfupdate/wuident.cab: error 0x80072f8f.

When using a browser to navigate to this URL a got a certificate warning (which I did not expect btw) about verifying the certificate: This certificate cannot be verified up to a trusted certification authority as shown in the following screenshot:

This certificate cannot be verified up to

From this point on it was easy, install the intermediate and root certificate in the certificate store of the workstation and Windows Update ran successfully – although it takes a very long time to deploy all updates, especially on Windows 7 with Office 2010 🙂