Windows 10 Security Update Fails to Install

The Windows 10 KB4551762 security update is reportedly failing to install and throwing 0x800f081f, 0x80004005, 0x80073701, 0x800f0988, 0x80071160, and 0x80240016 errors during the installation process according to user reports.

KB4551762 is an out of band security update released by Microsoft last week to patch the critical remote code execution vulnerability (CVE-2020-0796) affecting devices running Windows 10, versions 1903 and 1909, and Windows Server Server Core installations, versions 1903 and 1909.


To install KB4551762, you can check for updates via Windows Update or manually downloading it for your Windows version from the Microsoft Update Catalog. Admins can distribute the update to enterprise environments via Windows Server Update Services (WSUS).

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Usual workarounds not working

While usually there is a workaround to install the update manually or by going through a specific procedure when encountering errors, this time users who have encountered these issues (1234567) report via Microsoft’s official Feedback Hub, on the Microsoft Community website, and on Reddit that none of the usual workarounds for the errors helped.

0x800f0988 and 0x800f0900 installation errors were also spotted and reported by Günter Born, one day after KB4551762 was released by Microsoft.

“Manual Windows Update on the local client works ONCE. It finds the patch, then does nothing! One can attempt to download and install from that page, but it doesn’t work! Next, go to the Catalog,” one user reported through Microsoft’s Feedback Hub. “Attempt to select the correct configuration. Download the patch. Attempt to install it. Doesn’t install!”

“When downloading this update my PC started becoming slow and sluggish, the update got stuck at 100%,” another one reported. “I restarted the PC then windows updates broke and started looping for a while when checking updates, its now back to normal but now I have a failed cumulative update.”

“So I’ve had this issue since KB4497165, but the latest KB4551762 is also giving me the same problem,” another one said on Reddit. “Basically after it installs, it gets to 7% on the “working on updates” part, then tells me that it failed, and it’s undoing changes.”

Also plagued by CPU spikes, random restarts, boot failures

Other reports, although not as numerous as the ones saying that KB4551762 comes packed with installation issues, mention CPU spikes, high disk usage, system slowdowns, and system freezes.

“These issues began yesterday 3/13/20. The update, ‘2020-03 Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version 1909 for x64-based Systems (KB4551762)’ has failed every time I try to install it with the error code, ‘0x80071160’, one user says. “When this issue began my disk drive also went up to 100% with little change. I restarted my pc multiple times but both issues persisted.”

“After installing KB4551762 and KB4540673, my system has gone to thrash. Extremely slow and takes ages to get past the Welcome screen,” another one explains. “After spending hours trying to login, I somehow managed to uninstall both the updates, rebooted, disabled and re-enabled HyperV but my system won’t go back to being normal.”

“Simply downloading the update caused my computer to overheat and freeze multiple times,” a bug report on the Feedback Hub says. “Finally, with no programs open in the background, the download was able to go through. When I attempted to restart so the update could take effect, it would get stuck at 93% installing the update. Always stuck at 93%.”

To top it all off, there are also reports of random restarts or failures to boot, as well as users who are having gaming issues after installing KB4551762  with the monitor starting to flicker after a game starts and the issue going away after closing the game.

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Windows 10 in-place upgrade: a potential solution

While the KB4551762 installation issues are quite widespread according to users, there are some who have successfully managed to deploy the security update using a Windows 10 in-place upgrade.

Using this method you will be able to clean-up your system to resolve some issues, and it should not affect your programs and files.

The procedure is detailed in the video embedded below and it requires you to download and install the Windows 10 installation media, sign in to your account, and accept privacy settings. Additionally, you will need admin rights to upgrade.