The Opacity of Windows

I’m guessing that most of my readers are on Windows 10 by now and have learned to love it, not least because in general it falls in the category of a Billy Preston quote in a Stephen Stills song – “If you can’t be with the one you love honey; love the one you’re with” In general it’s ok but every now and then we hit issues and these are almost always related to updates. I’ve just had a day or so of my time wasted trying to get to the bottom of why my Windows 10 installation was reporting that several important downloads had not happened. This dated back to September last year and an update to v1803. Why it only just started telling me this week is a mystery. Initial investigation showed the error as being a download fail – Error 0x80070015.

There are all manner of potential fixes for this error on the internet, some of them requiring a download of third party software. Before going further, let me warn against that route – you might be paying for something that will fix nothing. Equally, you may be introducing a virus onto your machine and we don’t want that! Sensible ways to try to fix are the ones already built into your Windows. Right click on your windows symbol on the left of the task bar at the bottom the screen and in the menu you’ll find the option to open the Windows Powershell (Admin) tool. From here you can run SFC and DISM checks on your system – which will either fix issues in the files or tell you there are none. I won’t duplicate other sites here – just do a search for SFC or DISM to learn how to use these tools 🙂 Suffice to say that neither found any errors 😦 So back to head scratching.

If you are looking at the Windows Update screen you’ll see an advanced options link below the list of failed updates. This provides you with the ability to refresh your Windows 10 installation – sounds great doesn’t it! But wait a minute – if you choose that option it will uninstall most of your programs which means you’ll have to reinstall them assuming you have the product keys written down somewhere! Not very user friendly 😦

There is however another option. Go looking for the Windows Update Assistant. This online Microsoft tool will bring your machine up to the latest version of Windows 10 without deleting your programs or your files. Now why the hell don’t they just provide a link to that in the Windows Update screen and save us all a lot of heartache when the updates get confused???

For the record, I think an upgrade to version 1809 from 1803 got disturbed and failed to complete. So my version of Windows wound up trying to download v1803 files that were no longer available for download or were not applicable. Running Windows Update Assistant from the web resolved that but it took a couple of hours so be prepared to spend some time hugging your pc.

UPDATE: – Since running Windows Update Assistant I find that it has appeared as an icon on my desktop. It hasn’t done that when I’ve used it in the past so I guess Microsoft have addressed the problem 🙂


  1. I have a Mac, Martin, but no matter what operating system I work with, I’m typically terrified of upgrades. I have a history of very bad experiences every time I update. I’m sure this will be helpful to those with Windows. I worked with a PC while employed, but the good fortune then was to have an IT team that took care of me. Once retired and on my own, I’m back to being very insecure. 🙂

    1. Upgrades are an unfortunate necessity with people out there continually improving their hacking skills 😦 I don’t have enough info on Mac’s to offer much help if you hit a problem Debra but I’m sure following a similar set of steps will resolve it. The good news is that there is now a ‘Windows Update Assistant’ icon on my desktop – running it seems to have added it to the onboard toolset.

    1. I take it you’ve not upgraded your camera’s firmware then Amy 😉 Look on the bright side, digital technology allows us to share our photographs more easily and you don’t have to use noxious chemicals to process them!

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