Windows Update for Win7 broken, throwing error 80248015

Microsoft forgot to change an expiration date, and now all attempts to run Windows Update in Win7 are failing with the bogus message “Windows Update cannot currently check for updates, because the service is not running.”

broken window with windows logo in clouds
Thinkstock/Microsoft

Reports are piling in from afar that Windows Update in Win7 is broken. My first sighting was late Sunday afternoon, when KarenS posted on the AskWoody Lounge:

When I clicked on the Windows Update icon today to start the updates it said that my computer was up to date and that there were no updates available which I know was not the truth because I hadn’t installed any of the [recent ones]

KarenS reported that the machine would only regurgitate the message shown in the screenshot.

win7 no update Woody Leonhard/IDG

There was an attempt to isolate the problem on KarenS’s computers, to no avail — the update service was working fine.

There’s a parallel thread — a long one — on the Microsoft Answers forum, where JimLewsSE asked how to fix error code 80248015 when trying to access Windows Update.

An anonymous poster on AskWoody had this fascinating observation:

Did you realize that we’ve passed “ExpiryDate”? I didn’t so I had problems with Windows/Microsoft Update.

Look at “c:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\AuthCabs\authcab.cab” file.

There is information about valid date:

<IssuedDate>2013-12-03T11:59:25.5067616-08:00</IssuedDate>

<ExpiryDate>2017-12-03T11:59:25.5067616-08:00</ExpiryDate>

We must wait for newer file … or revert system’s date to older than 2017-12-03.

A more detailed observation in the same vein was posted on the Answers forum by ArgHereBeDragons early this morning. Microsoft, characteristically, has yet to weigh in on the subject. I guess everybody’s on their way to Hawaii, to see Win10 run on ARM chips.

Three years ago, we had a similar problem with XP and Server 2003.

Short answer: It’s Microsoft’s fault. It let the ExpiryDate pass without updating it. You can tweak your machine (e.g., set the date back), but for now Win7 users just get to wait until Microsoft acknowledges and fixes the bug.

In the interim, half of all Windows users around the world are unable to run Windows Update.

Have a Win7 update problem? Hit the AskWoody Lounge

Related:
How to handle Windows 10 updates
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