FATAL: Failed to spawn COM server

Today I installed Win XP on two completely different machines. After installing XP SP3 onto these machines, the windows update service somehow stopped working: Although it downloaded the patches it failed to initialize their installation, no matter what patch was selected. The log at C:\windows\WindowsUpdate.log showed several lines looking like this:

FATAL: Error: 0x80070005. wuauclt handler: failed to spawn COM server

After browsing the web, I found a solution to this, re-registering some components of the update service fixes the issue. I wrote this tiny script to automatize the fix:

22 Responses to “FATAL: Failed to spawn COM server”


  1. 1 Al May 24, 2008 at 1:23 am

    Thank you. I’ve been struggling for two weeks to fix the update problem after installing SP3 tp XP. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.

  2. 2 fa June 2, 2008 at 5:58 am

    thank you so much!

  3. 3 Linda June 6, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    Thank you. Worked like a charm. Very much appreciated

  4. 4 Pixfan June 12, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    It works !

    Thank you very much !

  5. 5 Canniness June 20, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Canniness!!

  6. 6 CAM June 24, 2008 at 10:44 pm

    Just wanted to pass on another “thank you”! SP3 killed Windows Update for me, but your little batch script fixed it 🙂

  7. 7 adrianhenke June 25, 2008 at 11:26 am

    You are welcome 🙂

  8. 8 Jason June 27, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

  9. 9 Morrie June 28, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    You’re a star. Very clear, very simple, very effective. It’s a shame Microsoft Knowledge Base pales in comparison.

  10. 10 Korbs July 2, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    Fixed my problem. Thanks much!

  11. 11 Michael August 5, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    lim (n -> oo) {(Thank you)^n}

  12. 12 Will Shaver August 8, 2008 at 12:11 am

    Add another thank you to the pile.

  13. 13 mpz August 8, 2008 at 9:34 am

    Thank you very much for this instant fix! I’ve been working on a friend’s computer all night, and without you, I probably would’ve spent another night trying to fix this.

  14. 14 jeremy August 9, 2008 at 11:18 am

    hey mate,

    i found your fix after two hours of desperate attempts to fix this issue, and it worked instantly. so thanks a lot !

  15. 15 holden August 20, 2008 at 10:50 am

    Thank you also from italy, you save my mental health.
    Thanks a very big lot.

  16. 16 Sandra September 7, 2008 at 9:01 pm

    Thanks a lot from Germany – SP3 killed my Windows Update, too. Your script fixed it.

  17. 17 Daniel October 13, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    Impresionante. Qué pequeño que me siento cuando me encuentro con gente que sabe tanto 🙂

    ¡Gracias!

  18. 18 Daniel October 13, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    So excited with this solution I forgot this was an english spoken blog. In my previous reply I just was saying that I’m impressed, and
    I was talking about how small I feel when I found people that knows so much.

    Thanks!

  19. 19 Bob Kircher November 13, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    Thanks you very much — you are the ONE!

  20. 20 MB mb November 16, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    Big thanks! A repair install of XP SP2 hosed Windows updates and nothing else was working. This worked great.

  21. 21 Di June 9, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    Adrian, thanks! You saved me hours of work!

  22. 22 Bioshock Infinite Key June 3, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I
    appreciate you writing this post and the rest of the website is also very
    good.


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