Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Windows XP Automatic Updates service is missing

Recently, there have been a rash of "fake antivirus" viruses and trojans floating around the internet. Two of the more frustrating issues:

- Why are all my icons hidden?
- Where the heck did my Automatic Updates service go?

- Why am I getting Windows Update Error 0x80072EFE?

The icons hidden one is fairly benign and relatively easy to resolve:
1. Open Windows Explorer.
2. Select Tools > Folder Options.
3. Select the View tab.
4. Select the Show hidden files and folders radio button and click OK.
5. From Windows Explorer, navigate to C:\.
6. Right-click on the folder "Documents and Settings" and click Properties.
7. Clear the "Hidden" checkbox.
8. When prompted, choose to apply to all subfolders and files.

As far as the Automatic Updates issue goes, it's a little trickier. These particular strains of malware do everything from unregister DLLs to removing the Windows Update service altogether. Most of the time, the solution involves one or more of the following tasks:

- Re-registering the WUAU DLLs
- Re-registering Internet Explorer DLLs
- Deleting the cached update downloads
- Resetting the cryptographic service database

Copy/paste the following script into Notepad and save it as a .bat file:

net stop wuauserv /y

net stop bits /y
net stop cryptsvc /y
ren %systemroot%\system32\catroot2 catroot2_old
rd /s /q %systemroot%\SoftwareDistribution
regsvr32 /s actxprxy.dll
regsvr32 /s atl.dll
regsvr32 /s browseui.dll
regsvr32 /s cdm.dll
regsvr32 /s cryptdlg.dll
regsvr32 /s dssenh.dll
regsvr32 /s gpkcsp.dll
regsvr32 /s initpki.dll
regsvr32 /s iuengine.dll
regsvr32 /s mshtml.dll

regsvr32 /s msxml.dll
regsvr32 /s msxml2.dll
regsvr32 /s msxml2r.dll
regsvr32 /s msxml3.dll
regsvr32 /s msxml3r.dll
regsvr32 /s msxmlr.dll
regsvr32 /s oleaut32.dll

regsvr32 /s qmgr.dll
regsvr32 /s rsaenh.dll
regsvr32 /s sccbase.dll

regsvr32 /s shdocvw.dll
regsvr32 /s slbcsp.dll
regsvr32 /s softpub.dll

regsvr32 /s urlmon.dll
regsvr32 /s wintrust.dll
regsvr32 /s wuapi.dll
regsvr32 /s wuaueng.dll
regsvr32 /s wuaueng1.dll
regsvr32 /s wuauserv.dll
regsvr32 /s wucltui.dll
regsvr32 /s wups.dll
regsvr32 /s wups2.dll
regsvr32 /s wuweb.dll

net start cryptsvc
net start bits
net start wuauserv

Run. The "Automatic Updates" service should now be visible in the Services applet.