Windows XP Update BITS Fix

December 3rd, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

Problems Addressed:

This script will attempt to fix common problems with the Windows XP Background Intelligent Transfer Service.

    • It fixes the cause of several Windows Update stop code problems.
    • It fixes issues with Windows Update time codes not matching the server.
    • It will also fix specific BITS corruption caused by the Symantec SymNRT Removal Tool.
    • The latest version also attempts to repair registry damage done by some viruses.
Version History:
  • Version 2.0 (Latest Release)
    • Includes an even more comprehensive registry fix.
  • Version 1.6 (Updated Release)
    • Includes a more comprehensive registry fix.
  • Version 1.5 (General Release)
Operating systems:
      • Windows XP Home Edition
        • Will fix problems as described in this document.
      • Windows XP Professional Edition
        • Will fix problems as described in this document.
      • Windows 2000
        • Can be run safely and may help with Windows Update problems.


Download the WinXP_BITS_Fix_v2.0 Zip file, unzip all files to the same folder on the problem computer and run the batch file. By downloading you confirm your agreement to the disclaimer below.

      1. You download and use this batch file at your own risk.
      2. The author cannot be held responsible in any way for your use of this batch file.
      3. Do not download the file if you do not agree with these terms.

Donate and download:

I would like to keep this tool free to use and free from advertising. Therefore a donation of just £1 or $1.50 is suggested for you to access the download links. This helps to cover site costs.

After following the Donate button below you will be linked directly to the download page.


Download and Contents:
      • (Version 2.0)
        • Readme.txt
        • WinXP_BITS_Fix_v2.0.bat
        • bits.ini
        • wuauserv.ini
        • regini.exe
      • (Version 1.6)
        • Readme.txt
        • WinXP_BITS_Fix_v1.6.bat
        • bits.ini
      • (Version 1.5)
        • Readme.txt
        • WinXP_BITS_Fix.bat

Instructions for use:

      1. Run the WinXP_BITS_Fix_v2.0.bat file.
      2. Press a key to start the fix.
      3. The script will halt on errors.
      4. You may be prompted to over-ride existing registry entries.
      5. The program will close automatically 30 seconds after completion.

When the program is complete you can attempt to install Windows Updates from

You will need to be logged in as an administrator and using Internet Explorer for this to work.

Tips for effective use:

If you want the whole script to run DO NOT close the window until you see the final message of completion after Step 5. If required you can exit between steps by closing the command window.

The fix consists of five steps:

    1. Stopping Services
    2. Repairing Registry Keys
    3. Deleting Corrupted Folders
    4. Registering Driver Files
    5. Starting Services
  1. Bob C
    May 25th, 2009 at 15:40 | #1

    Dear Mr. Morgan:

    Thank you very much for providing this bit of software. It fixed a really problematic PC that would no longer update its Windows Live OneCare program and the Microsoft remedies were ineffective. Good job; well done! Bless you!

    Bob C.
    Westmont, Illinois US

  2. rush
    May 28th, 2009 at 06:25 | #2

    i ran all 5 steps, BITS is on manual(OK).
    but BITS status-IS “started” ,and never turns keep running as status-started (though there is no impendig task/download).How to solve it?

  3. May 31st, 2009 at 10:22 | #3

    It’s OK for the BITS service to be running all the time… that is it’s purpose: to download files (in our case Windows Updates) in the background using idle network bandwidth. If you really want to switch it off you can set it to disabled but in that case Windows Updates will definately not work… which is the opposite of what my script intends.

  4. Wouter
    June 3rd, 2009 at 17:35 | #4

    HI Phil,

    Just in case you still care about this….

    I found the cause of my personal XP-BITS problem.
    I assume the recent virus I got tinkered various places in my registry (including the BITS service)


    was changed to:
    ImagePath = %fystemRoot%\system32\svchost.exe -k netsvcs

    needs to be:
    ImagePath = %SystemRoot%\system32\svchost.exe -k netsvcs

    beware this key I could not edit without chaning permissons on it first (in regedit)


  5. June 3rd, 2009 at 19:00 | #5

    Hi Wouter,

    Thanks for the info about this registry issue. Version 1.6 of my script should now resolve that problem. I’d be interested to know which virus it was that caused this in the first place?


  6. Mike
    June 12th, 2009 at 08:37 | #6

    Hi Phil,

    Many thanks. The batch file worked a treat! I am so grateful as I was having problems fixing this little problem…. grrrrrr.

  7. James
    June 13th, 2009 at 04:14 | #7

    Thanks Wouter…I agree mine was also caused by a virus. It effected 2 keys..BITS and wuauserv (windows update) I changed permissions and edited key for wuauserv ok but I when I try to change permissions for BITS the permissions were not saved and therefore I couldnt edit key… James

  8. June 15th, 2009 at 01:14 | #8

    Hi James… perhaps you have resolved this now but the new Version 1.6 should fix the permissions on the BITS registry keys. It would be interesting to know if that works for you? Thanks, Phil

  9. Rodrigo Santamaria
    June 25th, 2009 at 16:54 | #9

    Hi Phil, Thanks for the script. I haven’t tried yet, I’ve one question before proceeding.
    First of all, I’m not sure but I think a virus is the cause of my problem. I have nod32 antivirus, and it said that it found a possible virus in my System Restore but it can’t clean it. By the way I lost all my restore points, and I had to reboot my computer from the windows xp console. Right know it is working, but I’m afraid it will no longer work… So before proceeding with your solution I’d like to backup my file, but I’m not sure if when I finished with your procedures, reinstalling my files will lead to reinfect my pc with the virus.
    Thank again,

  10. June 26th, 2009 at 18:02 | #10


    Thank you for writing this script. I had the same issue with BITS another poster did (BITS pointing to %fystemroot% instead of %systemroot%) and your script took care of the issue. I couldn’t fix it manually as REGEDIT doesn’t work at the moment either. Haven’t figured out which virus/spyware does that yet.


  11. June 27th, 2009 at 16:37 | #11

    @Rodrigo Santamaria
    Hi Rodrigo, sounds like you will need to disable system restore; reboot, update your virus definitions and run a full virus scan. Once the PC is clean you can enable system restore again. Cleaning any virus infection should be your first priority – then you can attempt to get Windows Updates working again. Some viruses do delete files – however you haven’t said which virus was reported. If you do backup your files it is possible that you will also backup the virus. However, if your virus definitions are up-to-date and the virus is cleaned from the computer when you come to restore your files nod32 should catch the virus before it reinfects the PC. You shouldn’t of course connect your backup device to any other computers in the meantime! If in doubt, take your computer to a PC repair store where they can plug your hard disk into another computer to remove the virus and backup your files. Good luck, Phil

  12. June 29th, 2009 at 17:42 | #12

    Nicely done. This was a problem for a client of mine and no other fix I could find could do teh job. Reinstalling SP3, SFC, etc didn’t do it, but your tool did. Thanks!

  13. Geert
    July 12th, 2009 at 22:16 | #13

    Hi Phil,
    I have executed the WinXP_BITS_Fix_v1.6.bat file and it ran without problems. But the path is still set at “%fystemroot%\system32\svchost.exe -k netsvcs” when I check the automatic windows update setting in Services. Can I somehow manually change this?
    Many thanks

  14. Benny
    July 21st, 2009 at 07:36 | #14

    Phil, you are awesome! I spent three days trying to figure this BITS problem out after a Windows repair and your tool is a saving grace! Now I can finally get my updates and finally have my computer back! Thanks Phil!

  15. Erika
    August 12th, 2009 at 22:21 | #15

    Hey Phil Morgan, thank you so very much for this excellent program. I’m a bread baker not a techie, but have been in a long term relationship with Symantec and Microsoft trying to get things cleaned up. At first I despaired because I couldn’t run a .bat file, somehow my batch file association was perverted as well. Anyways I restored assoc.bat=batfile, ran the program and to my delight it worked! Thanks again, you have really made my day.

  16. george
    August 15th, 2009 at 16:37 | #16

    thank you it works

  17. anonygoose
    August 17th, 2009 at 14:29 | #17

    big hug for you, you just fixed my BITS being unable to start at all.

  18. John
    August 19th, 2009 at 01:09 | #18

    I believe that the trojan rncsys32.exe is the culprit and it apparently cleared out my BITs folder completely. Will WinXP_BITS_Fix_v1.6.bat help here or will I have to make a copy of someone’s BIT folder?

    MS blamed my Registry Mechanic but that is what caught the trojan in the first place and quarantined it. I had run Spyware Doctor with Antivirus and the MS Malicious Software Removal Tool which gave me a clean bill of health but then ran the free version of SuperAntiSpyware and found Adware.Vundo Variant/Rel, Trojan.Net-WNS/NMC, Browser Hijacker.WebTools and Rogue.Component/Trace still in place.

  19. August 19th, 2009 at 02:00 | #19

    John, sounds like you may need to reinstall BITS completely. You can download it from the Microsoft web site. See here:

    Direct download link for Windows XP:

  20. August 22nd, 2009 at 02:54 | #20


    You are the man.

    Many thanks for the help.

  21. Dan
    August 31st, 2009 at 18:33 | #21

    I had the exact same problem with “fystemRoot”. We must have gotten hit with the same malware.

  22. Fcwakko
    September 10th, 2009 at 19:32 | #22

    Hey Phil,

    Another successful repair here. Thanks for the great piece of code.

  23. tom
    October 4th, 2009 at 21:50 | #23

    I ran the ver 1.6 with no luck. Still cannot start bits or update? I have the save problem with the path name being fystem instead of system. Changed it in the registry, but the path is till wrong in the services. I am currently running SP2, is it a good idea to install SP 3 to see if it fixes the problem, or should I fix this before I install SP3? Any ideas would be appreciated

  24. October 4th, 2009 at 21:55 | #24

    Hi Tom, I think installing SP3 would be a good idea, then try Windows Update again. Best Wishes, Phil

  25. October 10th, 2009 at 02:57 | #25


    I am writing to tell you, that I have fixed BITS in XP, have treid Microsoft Support, no luck, and by chance via Google search, came across the above mentioned website..I do thank you for solving this problem for me, I am most grateful
    Thank you again


  26. October 20th, 2009 at 00:33 | #26

    Hi Phil,

    Just wanted to say thanks for this script.

    I manually had to adjust the registry keys to get the fix to work, but thanks a lot.

    Just thought I would let you know that these issues were caused by a very virulent RootKit that got through all the Virus & Spyware protection on the PC.

    ComboFix managed to remove the RootKit (and other viruses) but didn’t fix the service issues (it’s good but not that good!).

    Thanks again,


  27. Methical
    January 5th, 2010 at 09:42 | #27

    Does this support Vista at all ?

  28. January 5th, 2010 at 10:32 | #28

    Hi Methical,

    This is untested on Vista. What error are you experiencing?

    Kind regards,

  29. Brian Powell
    January 15th, 2010 at 16:33 | #29

    Super fix. Many thanks.

  30. Sid
    January 27th, 2010 at 04:46 | #30

    Phil, I’ve tried everything on this page, even downloaded the BitS from MS, since I have sp3 ms said i didn’t need the upgrade. when i do the windows update, the first file to download is sp3 which i already have, and the download fails, and won’t let me download anything else. what the heck???


  31. February 27th, 2010 at 10:31 | #31

    Hi Sid,

    Might be worth trying a manual download and installation of SP3 first:

    Also, see if it is listed in your Add or Remove Programs list by ticking the box to Show Updates?

    Good luck,

  32. Ed Lohrer
    March 13th, 2010 at 06:16 | #32

    Phil … you’ve saved me a lot of hassle with your Win XP BITS fix, and $1.50 is not enough for a donation, so I sent you a little extra through Paypal… Thank you my friend!

  33. March 13th, 2010 at 10:11 | #33

    Ed, many thanks! Comments like yours make it all worthwhile and it’s always nice to see a few dollars in my Paypal account! Best wishes, Phil

  34. dave
    March 26th, 2010 at 14:30 | #34

    Phil, just wanted to drop a line and say thanks for putting this together! It fixed a problem I was having with BITS and windows update, probably after uninstalling Symantec.

    Thanks so much!

  35. aplanet
    April 20th, 2010 at 18:01 | #35

    excellent tool, solved my problem.

  36. Eusebio
    June 9th, 2010 at 17:20 | #36


    It fixed my laptop BITS service missing, thank you

  37. Anduare2
    August 26th, 2010 at 21:55 | #37

    holy cow, been working on this for 2 days and in 2 minutes you got it working with your fix. thanks a ton

  38. Relase
    March 1st, 2011 at 15:23 | #38

    Thank you a lot, it’s Really works !!! Thank’s again

  39. March 23rd, 2011 at 08:12 | #39

    I cannot say how amazing the .bat script is. I have been a independent IT tech facing this horrendous problem for years, after cleaning up after some nasty viruses. I have googled my retinas out looking for a easier solution then a format and reinstall. I have ran into almost 10 occurrences where until now I ended up giving up looking for a simple fix and had to resort to backing up data, format and reinstall. This simple script is a God send for my business. Thank you greatly, your skills will save me much time and frustration from here on out!!

    A Grateful A+ IT Tech

    CompTIA A+ Certified*
    HP MasterTech Certified*

  40. Jon
    April 2nd, 2011 at 11:22 | #40

    Absolute legend!!! Many thanks for providing a fix to the BITS problem.

  41. Stephan
    April 7th, 2011 at 15:11 | #41

    Juste to say thanks, your script for the bits update problem work perfectly

    Thanks again !!!


  42. Phil TW
    April 15th, 2011 at 04:55 | #42

    Worked like a charm!
    Cheers mate.

  43. N Veraart
    April 17th, 2011 at 03:10 | #43

    Other “solutions” trick you into purchasing “registry repair” tools that don’t fix the problem. This is an elegant simple solutions. Thanks!

  44. Thomas Graeser
    April 28th, 2011 at 09:40 | #44

    Hi Phil,
    after working many hours to resolve my BITS issue, your smart FIX worked all out.
    Windows Update is working again. You see your Fix is travelling around the World
    (i am in Switzerland). So many thanks again – you saved me a lot of time and some headache hours….Thomas

  45. Jim Nash
    May 4th, 2011 at 23:37 | #45

    Mr. Morgan,

    Well done!
    After screwing around for a couple of hours, I found your site.
    Fixed my problem in 2 minutes!

    Thanks so much for your work,


  46. Dan
    May 11th, 2011 at 02:56 | #46

    Thanks very much, an excellent piece of work – you’ve saved my skin !

  47. Barbara Berger
    May 13th, 2011 at 22:23 | #47

    THANK YOU so much . . . the “MS Security” virus disabled a lot of things (it’s a nasty one) . . . including BITS . . . excellent tool, Phil . . . thank you again.

  48. danny
    May 21st, 2011 at 01:22 | #48

    Thank you very much i had been trawling the net for weeks trying to solve this one i got a virus my mailware got read of it but the virus had disabled my win updates
    tryed untold things that ppl we saying to do …………then i found you lol a couple of clicks job done .

  49. Bob Sloan
    May 29th, 2011 at 09:01 | #49

    I was trying to rehab someone’s machine that was bit by a trojan & “Windows XP Update BITS Fix” did the trick. Thank you so very much!!!

  50. jw
    June 1st, 2011 at 05:29 | #50

    All I can say is thanks! Worked perfectly.

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