Windows 10 Internet Explorer update KB 3087040 fails with error 0x80004005

Somebody at Microsoft should have tested the patch before releasing it, but fortunately there's an easy fix

Windows 10 Internet Explorer update KB 3087040 fails with error 0x80004005

Yesterday Microsoft rolled out a patch for Adobe Flash Player running in Internet Explorer 10 and 11 and Microsoft Edge on Windows 8.x and Windows 10 PCs. Known as KB 3087040, the patch incorporates numerous security fixes that Adobe released in Flash Player version -- the first publicly released version of Flash Player 19.

Since IE10 and IE11 now include Flash Player, every time Adobe hiccups, IE sneezes. Apparently the same bug-infested code now resides in Edge, so it too needs to be updated.

There's one little problem with this patch: It looks like Microsoft didn't test it on Windows 10 systems. Judging by the hue and cry, I would guess that at least a third of the people trying to install KB 3087040 on their RTM Windows 10 systems (build 10240) are getting this message:

There were problems installing some updates, but we'll try again later. If you keep seeing this and want to search the web or contact support for information, this may help:

Security Update for Internet Explorer Flash Player for Windows 10 for x64-based Systems (KB3087040) - Error 0x80004005

Surprisingly, those users in the Insider Fast ring -- running Windows 10 build 10547 -- aren't seeing the patch at all. At least, that's the case on my PCs. The patch isn't offered to Windows 7 customers running Internet Explorer 10 or 11, either. I have no idea why.

If you see the error message and figure you can ignore it -- who uses IE any more, right? -- be aware that Microsoft advises that "other applications, such as Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Office 2010, can invoke Adobe Flash Player in Internet Explorer." 

This is 2015, yes? You'd think Microsoft would've figured out a way to block that problem half a decade ago. But what do you expect from a company that still uses hex numbers for errors.

Anyway, there's a simple workaround if you don't want to wait for Microsoft to fix its latest patching problem. Download the Windows 10 build 10240 patch (available in a 32-bit or 64-bit version) and install it manually. If there's an official Microsoft Download page for the Windows 10 patches, I can't find it.

Details about the Flash Player fixes are to be found in Adobe's Security Bulletin APSB15-23. Details on the Microsoft side are found in Security Advisory 2755801.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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