Windows is one of the most popular operating systems in the world, particularly due to its ease of use and its great compatibility with third-party applications and devices. However, as with other programs, Microsoft systems are not exactly perfect. Windows is also known for system failures and warnings that seem to come out of nowhere just to communicate cryptic error codes. A good example of this is the error 0x80004005, named by Microsoft itself as “uns specified error”. In what situations does the error 0x80004005 usually occur and what are the most reliable methods to fix it?
What are the causes of the Windows 0x80004005 error?
The error 0x80004005 is a warning that appears on all versions of Windows and usually occurs when users are denied access to an application, service, or device for an unforeseen reason. For example, here are some situations where we may have this access issue and run into the error 0x80004005:
- Install a Windows update or other program
- Updating a software
- Establish a network connection
- Access network shares
- Receive emails in Outlook
- Start a virtual machine
- Extract a compressed file
The error warning 0x80004005 not one of the most common Windows, although it may appear in the most diverse situations. Therefore, because its origin is not a system malfunction, but is due to incorrect or corrupted configurations or files of the applications, services, or devices involved, there is no single solution to address this access issue. Instead, you’ll need to decide what steps you’re going to take depending on the context in which the error 0x80004005.
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Possible solutions to the error 0x80004005 when updating Windows
If installing a new Windows update is interrupted and causes the 0x80004005 error warning, you can resort to several solutions: you can use the Microsoft-provided troubleshooter, perform a check (with repair included) of the system files, restart the update services, or manually install the corresponding update.
First solution: troubleshooter
Windows 7 and Windows 8 users can download Windows Update troubleshooting from the Microsoft forum. After the download is complete, start the application by double-clicking the downloaded file (WindowsUpdate.diagcab). Then select the “Windows Update” category and click “Next”. Windows will attempt to fix the update error.
In Windows 10, the update error management app is located in the “Update & Security” category, located in the settings menu, which you can access by clicking on the corresponding icon in the Windows Start menu. Once the “Update and Security” menu is opened, select the “Troubleshoot” section from the list on the left side and click on the “Windows Update” item. The “Run Troubleshooting” button appears, using which the tool starts.
Second solution: check and repair system files with SFC
Installation failures for Windows updates may be due to missing or corrupted system files. In this case, you can resolve the issue by using the System File Checker or SFC (System File Checker), a command-line program installed by default on all Windows systems. However, this solution will only work for you if you have administrator rights, as you must run the command prompt as an administrator to start SFC. If you meet this requirement, start system verification as follows:
- Type “cmd” in the Windows search bar.
- Right-click the command prompt to display the menu, and then click the “Run as administrator” item.
- Enter the sfc/scannow command and press the [Enter] key.
Third solution: restart upgrade services
To get and install updates provided regularly by Microsoft, Windows relies on several services. If these do not work properly, errors such as the 0x80004005. Therefore, one thing that can give good results is to restart them, which you can also perform from the command prompt. First, log in as an administrator, as explained in the previous section, and, once opened, type the following commands to terminate the services:
- net stop wuauserv
- net stop bits
- net stop trustedinstaller
- net stop appidsvc
- net stop cryptsvc
Second, restart the services:
- net start wuauserv
- net start bits
- net start trustedinstaller
- net start appidsvc
- net start cryptsvc
Fourth solution: install the update manually
If the update center continues to give the error 0x80004005 after applying the above measures, you can try manually downloading and installing the corresponding update. To do this, you need to check the corresponding knowledge base code and enter it in the Microsoft Update Catalog search box. Next, you’ll get a list of the updated installation files for the different architectures, from which you have to select the version that suits you best.
In the Microsoft Update Catalog, you’ll find not only all major Microsoft software updates but also various hotfixes and hardware drivers.
After the download is complete, double-click the downloaded msu file to run it. Follow the instructions in the wizard, and finally restart your computer to complete the upgrade process.
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How to fix the error code 0x80004005 in Microsoft Outlook?
If you see the error code 0x80004005 when receiving emails in Outlook, it’s likely because of one of two reasons:
- The antivirus software you have installed blocks the recovery of received messages.
- There is a problem with the notification of the last emails received.
Checking if this is the first problem is quick and easy: just temporarily disable the security software you use and try to access the emails again. In case the software is effectively responsible for the error, you will have to contact the manufacturer or, if you have no choice, change programs.
If the problem is that notification of new emails doesn’t work, you can resolve it by disabling this feature. To do this, open the Outlook options menu (“File” > “Options”) and go to the “Email” category. Then, in the “Message Arrival” section, uncheck the box “Show a desktop alert” and apply the change by clicking “OK”.
Error code 0x80004005 decompressing files: what can you do?
When the error warning occurs when 0x80004005 extracting compressed files with the standard Windows tool, it is usually because the file was compressed with an incompatible algorithm. Another possible cause is that the ZIP file is password protected, because the Windows decompression program only supports ZIP Crypto and AES-128, while encrypted files are often based on AES-256. The most obvious solution is to resort to an application from another vendor, such as WinZip or 7-Zip open-source software. These programs support many more compression and encryption methods than the Windows serial application, so they greatly increase the chances of opening the file.
How to fix the error code 0x80004005 in case of a network problem?
When using public or private networks, errors such as the error code 0x80004005 often occur, which can prevent us from accessing the entire network or some specific resources (for example, folders or shared drives). One of the most common causes is that the client has not been enabled for Microsoft networks and/or the option to share printers and files for Microsoft networks. In most cases, to correct the error, simply enable these two services as follows:
- Open the control panel from the start menu.
- Click the “Network and Sharing Center” item (to view it, select the icon view).
- In the “View active networks” category, select the problematic network connection. A window will open where you must click on “Properties”.
- Check the “Customer for Microsoft Networks” and “File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks” items.
- Save your changes by clicking “OK”.
If the problem is that shared folders cannot be accessed, it will also be necessary to check the status of those Windows services on the side of the network participant who makes the resources available to other network members.
Resolve the error 0x80004005 when installing or updating software
The error code 0x80004005 appears not only if there are problems with Microsoft applications and services, but also with third-party software, especially when you install or update it. One possible reason is that the file or files with which a program is installed or updated are corrupted. If you’ve downloaded them from the Internet, try downloading them again first.
If the problem is not resolved, take a look at the security software installed on your system: both real-time protection and the Windows firewall and third-party applications can block the execution of the installation files and therefore generate error warnings such as 0x80004005. The easiest way to check if these tools are causing the error is to temporarily disable them. However, before you do this, make sure that the installation files come from a trusted source. Otherwise, you run the risk of opening your system doors to malware-wide.
Solutions for the error 0x80004005 when using VirtualBox
VirtualBox is one of the most popular applications to run virtually an unlimited number of guest operating systems such as Ubuntu or other editions of Windows. The error 0x80004005 also appears when you start an already configured virtual machine. In most cases, the problem is that the virtualization software files no longer exist or have been corrupted. For these situations, VirtualBox offers a repair wizard, with which you can reconfigure the virtual machine by selecting the “Repair” option. In this way, VirtualBox automatically replaces missing or corrupted files without having to delete the machines already configured.
VirtualBox configuration files are always available on the official website, the link of which can be found in “Help” > “VirtualBox Website”.
Errors when starting a machine with VirtualBox can also be caused by a driver issue. VirtualBox works with the VirtualBox NDIS6 Bridged Networking Driver, so it must be enabled in the Virtual box Host-Only Network connection settings. Open the Network and Sharing Center and access the network and share center settings to see if NDIS6 is turned on. If not, check the box to resolve the error 0x80004005.