Windows Update cannot currently check for updates because the service is not running

I recently ran into an issue where a client of mine had a issue with Windows Update failing to run. It gave the end user a pop up error message that looks like this:

Once you click okay you will then see this on the Window’s Update screen. Clicking Check for updates will result in the same message. 
I did some googling and found that if I Stop the Windows Update service and then delete or rename C:WindowsSoftwareDistribution and then restart the service you would then be able to run Windows update. However this did not work. 
I then found a Microsoft Support KB article KB3102810 which will allow you to download an update which will resolve the issue. After the update is installed you will need to stop the Windows Update Service again, delete or rename the Software Distribution folder and restart the machine. Once it comes back up you can then click Check for Update and after about an hour (because it now has to rebuild it’s update catalog)  you will get a similar screen to what you will see below. 
Hope you find this helpful with your Windows update issues. 

Windows Update error 0x80243004…..

While performing routine server maintenance on one of my terminal servers at work I received one of the many vague error messages that Microsoft in their (In)finite wisdom give us to help troubleshoot the problem. Normally I would just ignore the error message and come back to it at a later time but as I am in the middle of a tight window I figured I would give it a shot an troubleshoot it (Crazy I know).

So first I start by Google-ing “Error Code 80243004” and I get several hits. The first one I get takes me to a Microsoft article about the issue:

It was very short and to the point (which I appreciated greatly at 11 PM), but the answer I got really made me think that it was pulling my leg. Since it was a Microsoft article I took it seriously and followed it’s sage advice and amazingly it worked!!! (or so it seems at the time of me writing this)

Apparently the little notification that you get when you log in that tells you that you have updates to install is more than just an annoying little pop up. Without it being present your updates will fail (Unless you have it disabled in Group Policy). So from what I can tell, one of my users must have gotten tired of seeing that pop up and told the system to make it go away, and because of that I was unable to update the system until I brought it back.

Why would anyone make that little notification so important? I am really posing a serious question here, and if you have an answer it would be greatly appreciated down below in the comments.

Also if you are like me and enjoy looking at pictures to help you through issues, I would say check out this blog post as well:

I hope this post has been helpful to you and I will continue to post more of these (As I discovered more update issues from my casual perusing of my network).