New Windows 10 update fail is confusing users with weird error messages

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Windows 10’s latest update appears to be failing to install for some folks, and is purportedly causing serious trouble for a handful of those affected.

As Windows Latest reports, this pertains to Microsoft’s monthly round of patching released earlier this week, KB5017308, which is potentially important for Windows 10 users as it “addresses security issues for your Windows operating system”.

Furthermore, it fixes a bunch of bugs in the desktop operating system, including certain games failing to install. But ironically the September update is failing to install itself for some, instead producing some of the weird – and very unhelpful – error messages we’ve seen in the past.

You know the sort: error 0x800f081f, with Windows Latest also citing reports of error 0x8000ffff, error 0x8007007e, and who could forget that old classic, error 0x80073701.

Apparently the update downloads, but then falls over during the installation attempt, going by reports on Microsoft’s Feedback Hub like this one.

Windows Latest further informs us that in the worst cases of installation failure here, PCs are going into a reboot loop of some kind, though the site says it doesn’t know how widespread this added complication might be – so add your own seasoning for the moment.

We did find a complaint from one affected user on Microsoft’s forum who is experiencing their PC hanging on reboot (and this happened with the update previous to KB5017308, too).

Analysis: A persistent issue that definitely needs attention

Obviously this is something of a pain as if KB5017308 is failing to install, then you’re not benefiting from those aforementioned fixes, and moreover, security patches to keep your PC safe.

As Windows Latest observes, it is possible to try a manual install and grab the update from the Microsoft Update Catalog, rather than going through Windows Update – this may work, but there are reports we’ve seen that suggest otherwise. It might be worth a whirl, for sure, but there are no guarantees.

These strange errors and install failures have been evident for some time now, and as mentioned by the user above, they hit trouble with the August patch for Windows 10, as well as with the September update.

Hopefully Microsoft will be looking into the issue of these seemingly too regularly occurring update installation bugs with Windows 10. They’re going to be a source of frustration due to the lack of feedback with these error messages, and the need to flail around Googling (or Binging?) for possible solutions, which is hardly ideal for those who find themselves affected.

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