Problem solve Get help with specific problems with your technologies, process and projects.

If WU Fails Try Update Catalog Download

WU is, of course, short for Windows Update. I was reminded recently that when the Windows Update service fails to update a PC, there is another way to grab and install the necessary files. It’s called the Microsoft Update Catalog, and you can almost always find what you need there. Case in point: the most recent Cumulative Update KB3189866 installed on nearly all of my PCs recently. But I ran into a problem with one of them. My son’s Dell AIO 2780 would get part-way through the download then fail and hang WU completely. After three tries with the same results, I realized it was time to try a manual download and install instead. That is, if WU fails try update catalog download instead. Here’s what I go when I searched the catalog using the KB article number from that problem item:

Three different versions of KB3189866 available for download.
[Click on image to see full-size version.]

How-to: Try Update Catalog Download

To use this method, visit the Microsoft Update Catalog page, and enter the Knowledge Base article ID for the problem update. In case, I searched on “KB3189866” as shown in the preceding screen cap. Next, I grabbed the first of the three items showing, because all my Windows 10 installs are 64-bit. You’d need the middle one for a Windows Server 2016 install, and the bottom one for a 32-bit Windows 10 install.

The download process couldn’t be simpler. First, click the “Add” button to the right of your chosen item. Second, click “view basket” at the upper right of the window. This produces an “Updates in your basket” window that includes a “Download” button. Click that button, then designate a delivery folder, and the download process proceeds.

The download button fires off file transfer to your PC.

The download page helpfully shows a progress bar while the download is underway, and reports “Done” when it’s finished. Once the download is complete, you’ll close the catalog page. Next, navigate to the target directory you’ve chosen. For this item, you’ll find a folder named:

Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version 1607 for x64-based Systems (KB3189866)

It contains a single file named:


Double-click the file, and an update installer fires off to complete the update process on your behalf. Done!