Windows 10 Cumulative Update KB3081424, KB3081436, KB3081438 fails to install

Microsoft yesterday released a Cumulative Update for Windows 10 (KB3081424). The Update was meant to fix several issues pertaining to VPN, Cortana, AMD Drivers, Explorer stability and other fixes to enhance the stability of the operating system. While the update process has gone smoothly for most, some are reporting that KB3081424 failed to install, with the installation process halting at a particular point and system rebooting half-way in some cases.

UPDATE: This may also help you if KB3081436, KB3081438 fail to install.

Windows 10 Cumulative Update fails to install

KB3081424 failed to install

This Answers thread discusses the issues along with a solution which worked for many. So if you are facing this issue, we recommend that you create a system restore point or backup your Windows registry first and then proceed.

But before that, first, you may want to download KB3081424 directly and try to install it. If it works, wonderful! Direct download links: 64-bit | 32-bit.

If it does not, try the following registry manipulation. Type regedit in taskbar search and hit Enter to open the Registry Editor. Navigate to the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList

The one’s with the short names are required by the system. Check the SID’s with the long names, and delete the profiles which don’t exist on your PC. Make sure you do not delete the admin profile. To delete, right-click on it and click on Delete.

Restart your computer and see if it has helped you.

If yes, great, if not, you may if you wish, restore your computer back to the created system restore point.

Also read: Windows Updates Fail To Install.

NOTE: Microsoft has now also released an automated solution to help fix this problem. Use this Fix It to resolve error 0x80004005 for KB3081424.

UPDATE: Please also read the comments first.

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Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.

33 Comments

  1. opi

    thats insane, most users would have no clue what to do

  2. Jack

    opi – true statement … but thank-you for the fix!

  3. jjstccean

    A window pane with a broken window 🙂

  4. moshjosh

    This error affected my system. Here’s a tip:

    If you don’t want to mess with the registry, just skip to the end of the article and try downloading/installing the update manually. This worked for me.

    Your mileage may vary, but this saved me time and helped me avoid the “risk” of playing around in the registry.

  5. André de Haan

    you should only remove the registry entry containing ‘UpdateusUser’. this worked for me.

  6. Thanks, will move that line to the top.

  7. Subash Prabu

    I don’t have any remnant entry from user accounts.
    The below steps worked for me:
    Stop windows update service from services–>rename software distributions folder in c:windows –> Check for updates and it got installed successfully.

  8. ido1531

    PLEASE HELP I tried it but now my pc won’t start its just stuck on the loading, I created a backup btw.

  9. Boot in Safe Mode and restore your computer using the created system restore point. https://www.thewindowsclub.com/boot-windows-10-in-safe-mode

  10. Sanad

    Thanks a lot is worked for me. you should only remove the registry entry containing ‘UpdateusUser’

  11. Atesh052

    In my case the problem was that the C:UsersDefault account was previously removed. After recreating it and copying the NTUSER.DAT file into the Default folder from another computer, the update installed successfully. 🙂

  12. Germano Gultzgoff

    I’ve tried all of this. Didn´t work
    Then I took off my Geforce 650Ti and everything went smooth.

  13. Eduardo Campos

    Installing it manually didn’t work, and I don’t have more profiles other than those 18, 19, 20 and 21 (the last one is my user), so what else can I do? This sucks

  14. Erik Giraldo

    An update for a operating system like Windows must be simple, just for an end user/home user. Now, this worked for me, please be careful when deleting the registry and check the ProfileImagePath for each folder, verify if it does not exist, if it does not, delete it. For me, it was only UdateUser.

  15. Dave

    I removed only one registry entry in the ProfileList Key, as André de Haan also pointed out – that was ‘UpdateusUser’. After editing the registry, I then checked Updates and had to uninstall the KB3081424 Update AGAIN, as it managed to reinstall itself while I was editing the registry!

    Timing is everything with this fix:
    1) Delete ‘UpdateusUser’ in the registry.
    2) Now check if KB3081424 has reinstalled since last login and uninstall it again if it’s there.
    3) Reboot System, log in immediately and manually install the Update straight away before Windows 10 has a chance to beat you to it. Follow the download link from Anand’s original post above.
    4) After manually installing, reboot when requested.
    5) PC should reboot gracefully and you can login.

    I also have an NVIDIA GT610 Graphics Card and other forums have hinted at this being one of the causes. Thanks to all for sharing and for the remedies posted herein! Let’s hope the Mothership at Redmond gets the BS sorted quickly before too many systems get wrecked with DIY workarounds.

    Good luck!!

  16. Steve Doherty

    Both of these methods have failed for me. I’ve tried both the 64 bit manual install which failed, as did the REGEDIT editing method. I’ve even elected to defer updates. Can anyone offer any other solutions?

    Edit: Both times the system restarts – there’s no percentage of update applied. I get a ‘Getting Windows Ready’ screen, then the system reboots and displays ‘We couldn’t install the updates – Rolling back’.

  17. Paul Miner

    Thanks for the suggestion but this didn’t work for me. I have the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 graphics card so Microsoft need to sort this out. My system restarted several times after the error after the ‘couldnt finish installing’ but finally came back and I was able to logon. I suspect

  18. Gabriel C. Duarte

    I think that I broke my windows.
    I saved the registry files but I deleted all of the Image Path following another tutorial… I’m not being able to log in safe mode to restore the registry. Any solution?

  19. Hartwig

    If your system starts at all, mine did with an temporary account, open explorer -this computer- goto your registry backup folder and doubleclick the backup .reg then restart computer
    Worked for me

  20. Gabriel C. Duarte

    How do you created a temporary account?

  21. Angelo Simon

    How do I delete the “UpdateusUser” registry entry? As in – where do I find it?

  22. penultimateName

    I second the motion. I would not remove the others because systemprofile, LocalService, Networkservice are part of the OS services that need to run. I removed ‘UpdateusUser’ and the update finished successfully. Andre, good set of instructions!!

  23. Queena Divana

    It would be useful to link to instructions on HOW TO DIRECTLY INSTALL THE DIRECT DOWNLOAD OF KB3081424 as this info was nearly impossible to find.

  24. The download links have been mentioned in the post. Just download it and double-click on it to install the update.

  25. Daniel Miroux

    In the register of my laptop I have the route this article says until the “CurrentVersion” folder: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersion

    The “ProfileList” folder doesn’t exist. Does anyone know what I could do? Help!

  26. paoohn

    In my case, cause of KB3081438 failure was redirection entire C:Users directory to another disk volume.
    During Windows 10 installation, I dropped C:Users and re-created C:Users as simbolic link to another huge drive that contains system account profile directories.

    CBS log report was:
    (F) Volume serial # mismatch. Tempdir is (path:[l:44{22}]”??C:$$PendingFiles”, serial:1075799147 (0x401f646b)). Target is (path:[l:196{98}]”??C:UsersDefaultAppDataRoamingMicrosoftWindowsStart MenuProgramsAccessoriesdesktop.ini”, serial:1827373587 (0x6ceb8213))

    I repaired C:Uers and system account profile dirs including ‘Default’ user with install.wim.
    Now only my profile dir is redirected to another huge drive, KB3081438 is OK!

  27. Alex

    Thank god for this info. It helped me piece together what was going on with my computer.

    In my case, I joined my computer to my domain. When I did this, I recreated a new Local Admin account (Alex), and deleted the original Local Admin account (Alexander). I did this because the original admin account was tied to my Microsoft account, and I did not want it to interfear with my new domain account (which I also tied to my Microsoft account).

    What ended up happening though is I never logged in with the new Local Admin account, so it never appeared in the Registry. When I looked at the registry, I saw my Domain Account, and my old “Alexander” account. It slipped my mind at the time that I deleted that account, so I never removed it from the registry.

    When I logged in with the Local Admin account (Alex), it obviously added it to the registry, so when I looked again I now saw 3 accounts on a PC with only 2. I deleted the Alexander registry key, and magically everything worked.

    TL:DR – If you have a local account you never logged in with, log in with it to get it to update the registry. Then check to make sure the registry does not have extra keys (old users) that need to be removed.

  28. Queena Divana

    That did not happen for Me. However, a REBOOT twice resolved the problem.

  29. B.G.

    Our pc’s have been infected with the Windows10WalkindDead. Our pc’s are
    like zombies now for over a month. The fix is taking as long as the
    build of 10Titantic.

  30. elq

    oh my! I’ve deleted the folder with long name in it, then restarted my laptop. The laptop booted…BOOM! I have no idea that I deleted the admin profile.

    but THANK GOD. SYSTEM RESTORE SAVED MY DAY

  31. M NATARAJA SURESH

    This problem arose when I have forcibly stopped windows updates being installed (Its really annoying to wait at times). Then onwards system reboots several times and says failed to update. The following simple solution worked.
    1) Go to C:WindowsSoftwareDistributionDownload folder and shift+del everything inside.
    2) Reboot the machine…It should be fine now.

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