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Software Distribution Service 3.0, cannot connect to internet

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Old 11-02-2008
Posts: n/a
Software Distribution Service 3.0

When my computer updates with Software Distribtion Service 3.0 I am no longer
able to connect to the internet. The internet says it is connected but pages
will not load. I don't know what to do to fix this problem. I have to system
restore to be able to connect to the internet again, and then everything
works fine until it downloads the Software Distribution Service 3.0 and
things do not work again. Can anyone help me?

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Old 12-02-2008
Eddie Bowers [MSFT]
Posts: n/a
Are you prompted to install "Software Distribution Service 3.0"?
Thats not something coming from windowsupdate. There is nothing called that
in the update catalog.

This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

Updates are not installed successfully from Windows Update, from Microsoft
Update, or by using Automatic Updates after you repair a Windows XP
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Old 12-02-2008
Posts: n/a
no, I am not prompted to install it, it just installs on its own. Since I
disabled windows update, I have not had the problem- so I think it must be
windows update related. What else would it be?

Error message after you install a Windows Internet Explorer 7 update from
Windows Update or from Microsoft Update: "Webpage cannot be displayed":

If tweaking your third-party firewall's settings don't help, try the

1. Disable your anti-virus application, any real-time protection provided by
an anti-spyware application (except for Windows Defender; includes Spybot
Tea Timer, SpySweeper Guards, AVG AS guard.exe, etc.), disable any
third-party firewall AND enable the Windows Firewall.

NB: You're "working without a net" now: Don't to ANYTHING else online (e.g.,
browsing; reading email; chatting) except #4 below until your anti-virus
application has been re-enabled! If you're running ZA Free firewall, you
may need to uninstall it instead of disabling it.

2. Uninstall "Security Update for Windows Internet Explorer 7 (KB942615)"
via Add/Remove Programs (make sure Show Updates box is checked at top right)
and reboot.

3. Re-do #1 above.

4. Go to http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com and install any Critical Updates
offered. If "Root Certificates" update is listed in the Optional Updates
category, you might install it, too, to take full advantage of IE7's
additional security.

5. Reboot > Make sure everything in #1 above is enabled again and, if
applicable, disable the Windows Firewall and enable your third-party
My XP Pro has never had any update called Software Distribution Service 3.0
or any other version number. Are you sure this is a legit MS update?
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Old 14-02-2008
Posts: n/a
I am also having the same problem. Even if you Restore it just
installs my four updates again when I log off even though I have Windows
Update turned off now. This morning all I got was 1 screen and then a
blank screen and no Windows bootup. I rebooted and hit F2 (Setup) and
selected Default Settings for the hard drive. Then it booted.
Everything seems okay for now. I don't use Windows Explorer (I use
Avant Browser) so am not experiencing some of the problems others are
experiencing that I see when I do a Google search of Software
Distribution Service 3.0 problems. I don't know that much about inner
workings of the computer. Can someone please tell me if I should remove
any of these which are found in my Add/Remove Programs to get rid of
these latest updates. I just don't know where they are at:
MSXML 4.0 SP2 (KB927978)
MSXML 4.0 SP2 (KB936181)
Windows Installer 3.1 (KB893803)
Windows Internet Explorer 7
Windows XP Service Pack 2

That is all I see in there related to Windows. Thanks in advance.

I am having this exact same problem with my wireless laptop. This appears
to be a Windows Update. We have automatic updates on and when I went to turn
my computer off on Feb. 12, it prompted up that the important updates would
install. Just like all other system updates, it does a checkpoint in the
restore and the updates install.

When we turned on the computer the next day, IE does not work on my wireless
laptop computer.

When I did a restore back to the checkpoint BEFORE the Windows Update was
applied, IE works.

Upon digging a little deeper, we noted that the files that system restore
made a duplicate copy was were as follows:


Once these were restored back to the original state BEFORE the Software
Distribution Service 3.0 update, we worked fine. I think this is a bug
within the MS update - but I am not 100% sure. But is sure looks like this
update is not good.

Please - we would appreciate any insight into this update. Until we can get
it to work, we are not applying it.

I believe the security updates for February included one for Internet
Explorer. This may have made changes to iexplorer.exe. If Trend Micro was
not aware of this change (i.e. it was not fully updated) it could be
silently blocking IE. In another newsgroup Don Varnau and others offer this

You may have a third-party firewall which is preventing updated files (such
as iexplore.exe) from accessing the internet, but isn't notifying you of the

942818- Error message after you install a Windows IE7 update:

I'm still puzzled by why you got an update to Software Distribution Service
because there doesn't seem to be such an MS update but I know very little
anyway so could be quite wrong.
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Old 18-02-2008
Ken and Fran
Posts: n/a
Upon further research, we were able to find out that MS calls the MS Update
service, "Software Distribution Service". They used to have a 2.0, now it is
3.0. THey came out with the update about 3 months ago.

The securitry update itself is NOT an update to the "software Distribution
serive", so we kinda misspoke. The SDS is a generic name used by them to
distribute the updates via MS Update.

Now, that all being said - their latest security updates for February (of
which there are about 10), one of them is updating the files we mentioned -
and upon doing the update, we cannot access the Internet via our wireless

While our communication with MS have been limited, we believe their answer
is to de-intall the secrutiy software/firewall software you own, install the
MS Security updates, and then re-install your security software/firewall.
They say, the error is occurring because the security software does not have
their latest updates and it denies you access to the Internet.

This is the first time this has happen to us - all other MS Security updates
have been fine. I do not believe we should be subject to de-installing
security software to then install MS updates. We use TREND MICRO as our
security software.

We called the PC Security number
you referenced above. They acknowledged that for some reason, the updates
provided in KB946026 and KB943055 were not compatible with our network for

I was able to do a system restore back to last week when the updates were
not applied - and - system restore gave us a list of files that were changed
due to the updates. I think I have listed them before. Once those files are
restored- IE connection on the wireless laptop is obtained.

Interestingly, we have two other PCs on the network, both desktops, and the
problem KB's are both applied with no issue.

The Security Center is aware of this issue - and they have told me they
believe the next set of updates hopefully will fix the issue.
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Old 29-03-2008
Posts: n/a
I had a problem with Software Distribution Service 3.0 that was solved by
Microsoft Windows Update Support. I went into Windows Update and found where
I could email my problem to them and with in 12 hours, I had a reply back
that quided me thru the process to fix it. As it turned out, the problem was
with another update, not SDS 3.0.

Restart in safe mode (F8) and try the Restore point.

Write back if this can't be restored in safe-mode.

Still not able to perfom the System Restore in safe mode, it goes thru thr
process again, reboots, and then I get the same error message - 'Restoration

Latey, when shutting down my pc, Windows has been installing updates before
shutting down automatically. This hasn't been a problem, until I recently
tried to do a System Restore.

Windows went thru the retore process, and rebooted, but when the pc
re-started, I got the error message form System Retore - 'Restore could not
be complete, choose and earlier restore point'

I went back into System Restore, and thats when I noticed that an update
called 'Software Distribution Service 3.0' had installed every time the pc
had been shut down since 24/03/08. (I say it 'installed', I can't actually
find it anywhere - it doesn't appear in the Add/Remove Program list in the
Contral Panel, and there's no sign of it in the Windows Directory - Does this
mean that it has actually installed??)

So, I picked a restore checkpoint prior to SDS 3.0 first entering my system,
but got the same response on re-start, that - 'Restore could not be complete,
choose and earlier restore point'. I've tried on various checkpoint dates,
but always get the same response.

Having read thru this, and variuos other forums, it seems that SDS 3.0
causes a few problems, so I'm not sure that I want it installed on my pc at
all. How do I -
1. Tell if it is installed if it doesn't appear on any lists/directories?
2. Remove it if it is installed?
3. Stop it trying to install on every shut-down?
4. Regain the use of System Restore?
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Old 01-06-2008
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1
It is unfortunate that you can't use System Restore.

Just to be on the safest side, You should run full virus and anti-spyware

No guarantees you will find any malware, but malware has been known to cause
bizarre system behavior.

I did a search, and probably your solution is to contact Microsoft.

I followed advice, and sent a report off to Microsoft, both the
links in their reply direct me to forum, the first was not much help, the
second directed me here! I get the feeling I'm going around in circles!

'Software Distribution Service 3.0' - created by Windows Update when updates
are installed automatically.

Excellent site for SR problems

So what you are saying is, that just because there are updates being
installed every time I shut down, doesn't neccessarily mean it's 'SDS 3.0'
being installed?? (Sorry, I'm a bit of a dullard when it comes to this - you
have to spell it out!!)

As for the system restore, I've visited that link you suggested, I'd already
tried a restore in safe mode before posting my original question. . . I got
the same error message, that the 'Restoration couldn't be completed'

Start Windows in safe mode, install service pack 3 ...wow!!

Have you tried doing a System Restore in Safe Mode (F8) to a point in time
before you started experiencing this problem.

Check back later, though. I,m sure more knowledgable people will be along
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Old 13-06-2008
Posts: n/a
2 days back My Pc started freezing and wasn't allowing me to open the
internet explorer, when I went to system restore, I found something called
installed Windows XP wdf01005.
I used the system restore and every thing was fine, last night the same
problem happened again, but this time I found Software Distribution Service

I think its interfering with my Nivada display card, because the whole pc
fonts have been changed, the brightness has been changed, and I can't even
stay on pc more than 15 minutes now, although I have changed my monitor

I tried system restore many time, but unfortunately every time it says

Can any one help me with this? It's driving me crazy; I can't work on my pc
any more because of this

I have the same problem. I have AT&T FastAccess DSL with windows xp home. I
contacted their tech support and they said it wasn't compatible with their

A simple Windows restore and turning off automatic updates works for me, but
its annoying that I can't have auto updates on.

At first I was annoyed at my ISP, but then after doing a bit of googling it
appears that a lot of people are having problems with 'Software Distribution
Service 3.0'.

I am also having problems after installing the above update.
I see it has been said," That’s not something coming from windows update.
There is nothing called that in the update catalogue." From Eddie Bowers
Security Support Microsoft Corporation.
However, I've rung Microsoft New Zealand and they confirm that it is a
Microsoft update and it has issues with Zone Alarm. They say that, they and
Zone Alarm are working towards a fix.
I have restored my system, not in safe mode, to just before the above update
took place and immobilised Windows automatic up date until this problem is
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Old 10-07-2008
Bob Hinton
Posts: n/a
I'm having the same thing with "Software Distribution Services 3.0", and
zonealarm says the MS Windows Software tool (KB890830) is trying to launch.
When it dose and re-boots I have no access to the internet. I have to go back
to systen restore to deleat it. Then after reboot I have access to the
internet. If this is not from MS then somebody went to a lot of time to make
it work like it was. Guess the only thing to do now is to shut off auto
update for ever now..
I am also having problems after installing the above update.
I see it has been said," That’s not something coming from windows update.
There is nothing called that in the update catalogue." From Eddie Bowers
Security Support Microsoft Corporation.
However, I've rung Microsoft New Zealand and they confirm that it is a
Microsoft update and it has issues with Zone Alarm. They say that, they and
Zone Alarm are working towards a fix.
I have restored my system, not in safe mode, to just before the above update
took place and immobilised Windows automatic up date until this problem is
Hope this helps.

Are you talking about KB951748? This is a security update which Zone Alarm
chokes on - ZA have released a fixed version, by the way - but it isn't called
"Software Distribution Service 3.0". Where did you see this string appear?

I do have Zone Alarm and I too have disabled updates until I hear of a fix.

I believe I generated this question. It was my first ever post and it is
kind of freaky to see it disappear - why is that?

I don't seem to have the up date you show, however, I do have the one that
seems to be giving the same problem you are experiencing. I rang Microsoft
and they say it is a problem between the up date and Zone Alarm. If you go
onto the Zona Alarm site, they suggest a couple of fixes. Their new up date
fixed my problem. I didn't do options one or two.

Recommended Actions -
Download and install the latest versions which solve the loss of internet
access problem here (English only):
• ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite
• ZoneAlarm Pro
• ZoneAlarm Antivirus
• ZoneAlarm Anti-Spyware
• ZoneAlarm Basic Firewall
- or follow the directions below.
Option 1: Move Internet Zone slider to Medium
1. Navigate to the "ZoneAlarm Firewall" panel
2. Click on the "Firewall" tab
3. Move the "Internet Zone" slider to medium
Option 2: Uninstall the hotfix
1. Click the "Start Menu"
2. Click "Control Panel", or click "Settings" then "Control Panel"
3. Click on "Add or Remove Programs"
4. On the top of the add/remove programs dialog box, you should see a
checkbox that says "show updates". Select this checkbox
5. Scroll down until you see "Security update for Windows (KB951748)"
6. Click "Remove" to uninstall the hotfix

If you have Office and/or Outlook installed, every Office/Outlook update you
receive from Windows Update (or Microsoft Update or Office Update) will
reset Outlook as the default email client. If you normally use Outlook
Express, you'll need to go into 'Internet Options|Programs' and reset OE as
your default. You will have to do this again every time there is an update
to Office/Outlook applied to your PC.
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Old 11-07-2008
Carpe Diem
Posts: n/a
I don't have zone alarm installed and it won't let me send email it wants me
to create a profile in microsoft office outlook ?????? I have all my mail
coming into outlook express so I have profiles set there but its not
recognising these. so I have had to turn off the updates and roll back and
yup my pc works fine now !!!

Its down to this update so why wont microsoft accept responsibility and tell
us how to delete the darn thing instead of saying its this and that ie
passing the buck !!!

I can't even see the thing in my list in add remove programs so totally

Just had a rash of the same on my 2 identical laptops. One lost
Internet connectivity, the other one did not power down correctly.
The one with connectivity problems could be rolled back to an earlier
date, then KB951748 was uninstalled - I also searched for the name,
and deleted all files and folders with KB951748 in the name. Works
like a charm so far.
The other one could not be rolled back - it has lot's of restore
points, but they don't work. So I just uninstalled KB951748 and it
seems to work so far.

It's already been fixed. Go to Zone Alarm's web site to get the latest version
or update. (The Microsoft update itself does not need to be fixed; the fault
was in Zone Alarm.)

News servers don't usually keep newsgroup posts forever. How long ago was this?
You may still be able to find it in Google Groups, which keeps archives.

haven't been back to forum until now. Actually, I posted
message same day, 10th July.

No matter, it seems the big boys sorted themselves out and I can now happily
continue to receive automatic updates.

This is the exact same issues we incurred. Save yourself time and grief. Need
to Service Pack 2 and stick with this one. Then you need to UNISTALL Windows
and Reinstall. This is the one and only way you will be able to clean up the
computer and have full use of it again. Believe US we found out about ALL of
this the Hard Way, with Four Verification to do this.
Hope I we were able to help you

This doesn't make sense. What's the point of uninstalling service pack 3 if
you're then going to uninstall Windows?
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Old 26-09-2008
Posts: n/a
Ok i researched This pretty thoroughly and finally found what was happening
with the

Software Distribution Service 3.0

1st when the Microsoft Rep said it was not a microsoft issue he was Wrong.
This is a microsoft Software Distribution

Im sure in many cases it is related to various microsoft products that are
not part of the Core Automatic updates, so disabling or manually enabling
these will do nothing.

If you really want to find out exactly what update it is do what i did

Go to Run and copy this


Then click ok

It will pull up a log of events. Now Go to Start / Accessories / System

Click through the dates until you find the last time that Software
Distribution Service 3.0 installed

Now cross reference that date and exact time with the log.

You will have to do quite a bit of scrolling.

I found out exactly what update was causing the Software Distribution
Service 3.0 to show up on my system restore logs.

It was WINDOWS DEFENDER adding new definitions to the spyware protection

It might be the same for you it might be different but its a sure fire way
to figure out exactly whats causing the SOFTWARE DISTRIBUTION SERVICE 3.0 to
auto update without your permission

And about the internet explorer or other internet connection acting up.
This is going to cause errors in bringing up pages etc because it usually
downloads around 2 am (for defender at least) check the system restore log to
find out what time yours is downloading. You may be able to change this in
the advanced settings feature of Defender or whatever program is causing
SOFTWARE DISTRIBUTION SERVICE 3.0 to run. If you happen to be on within an
hour or 2 from when it began downloading your going to have slow or NO

Also for the impatient people or those who randomly tried to delete or turn
off updates, that is why you are getting an UNSTABLE Environment.

Hope this helps everyone. Can we get a Sticky on this so everyone with the
same question will get the CORRECT ANSWER.
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Old 14-12-2008
Posts: n/a
I have found that it is a Microsoft distribution
I had the same problem That software update completes after a full reboot
and not just a restart so whatever it does is at the root level before
windows even loads. Regardless what worked for me was I booted from my last
Known good configuration - you get there by toggling one of your f keys at
your initial boot screen (f8, f10 and f12 are common but it could be another
one) After everything loaded I went to Microsoft's web site checked for
security updates It listed that I needed to update Internet Explorer 7 so I
did after that everything worked fine. Before every time I powered down I had
to go to my last Known good configuration to get logged back in (otherwise my
screen would freeze right after the xp loading screen with the blinking blue
dashes). Updating to IE 7 fixed that.

Can someone please help with the Software Distribution Service 3. I have a
sony laptop using Norton internet security. I seem to have picked up a
similar problem to a lot of other people. I cannot access the internet at
all. I cannot system restore, my computer will not let me. I have tried a few
suggestions, removing files but nothing seems to work.

I see this problem started a while ago so i am hoping someone has a fix for

I found this same Software Distribution Service 3.0 in my software restore
points. I didn't knowingly download it. If it's not coming from microsoft,
somethings making it look like it is. Any ideas how to stop it from
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Old 29-12-2008
Posts: n/a
Your problem with System Restore is EXACTLY what I'm currently going
through. My Lenovo Thinkpad is less than a year old. I have never been able
to get System Restore to work. Every two or three months, I give it another
try. It goes through all the steps ending with "shut
down....restart....WELCOME....a longish wait.......Theme jingle.......another
longish wait.....and the I get the screen that reads RESTORATION INCOMPLETE.

Oftentimes I drop what I'm working on and delve into Microsoft Help and
Support, looking for anything that might help But I'm always end up here, at
microsoft.com, no more enlightened than when I started. By then I've wasted
an hour or so and give up. Until the next time.

Did you ever get a solution your problem?

Thanks for reading this long, whiny letter. And thanks for any info you can
give me.

ALL restore points in XP that are created when updates install are named
Software Distribution 3.0.
What Eddie was referring to is the NAME of the update, which begin with
KB______, not the name of the *restore point* it creates.

I have had the same problem and I think I've solved it by reading all your
posts, so this is what I did.

Go to Control Panel
Internet Properties
Up your security rating to Restricted Sites.
Click on the up-down arrow and you will find: windowsspywaredefender.com.

Microsoft wouldnt put this in there if it was theirs, so it seems that
somewhere on your computer you have installed windowsspywaredefender which
isnt a Microsoft program but is spyware, I think!?

Find it and delete it which is what I did.

I also found a very old Zone Alarm dll and deleted it.

Turn off Automatic Updates in Control Panel

When you want to update your system click on Start then on Windows Update.

Since doing this I havent had that problem again with Software Distribution
Service3.0 downloading and installing.

I also don't use Microsoft Outlook so don't can't answer for that one.

Thanks for all your comments and tips.

The exact same thing has haooened to me on bith work computers, one will let
me me restore to an earlier date to remedy it and the other one wont -
arrggghhh. So annoying. If you find a fix please let me know.

My problem is a bit different than those shown here. I reecently installed an
HP laserjet printer on my home network and got confirmation wirth a test
page. Then, a few days later, when I tried using it, realized that had lsot
the connection with the printer.
Thinking it was just a bad installation( using the printer's cd), I removed
it and reinstalled it. The network is really simple - just a wireless router,
a printer and two computers.
As I finished the last installation last Saturday, I was able to print
several times from either pc. Then, yesterday when I tried it again, it did
not work.

Went to System Restore and saw that almost every day for the last three
months, Service Distribution Service 3.0 shows up, with the last one one day
after I did get my prints.

I do get internet connections and to my Hotmail email but ,is it possible
that this SDS is somehow disabling my network connection to my printer??

I looked at my Internet Options/ Properties as suggested and did not see
the "windowsspywaredefender.com" .

I do have the automatic Windows update activated ( Windows XP Pro)and I'm
wondering if I should disable it before I go thru another installation of the
printer or if there may be something else affecting it ?/
Would appreciate comments and please elaborate on what I may nned to do in
detail as I 'm just learning about pcs.

I used an HP LaserJet printer for about 10 months connected to my Dell ( XP
Pro) with ethernet cbl. Last month decided to connect it to my home network
thru my LynkSys router ( wire & wireless) so I could also use it with an
Acer netbook ( Windows 7).

I installed it and got a test page from both computers. Then, I did not
print for a few days and when I tried, it did not from either one. Thinking
it was just a bad installation, removed it and reinstall it, also getting
test pages. I also printed several documents from both without any problem
that day. The next day, when I tried it, it would not print nor could I get a
test page so I had lost the connectivity to the printer.

I access the internet thru the network/router which works fine. To make
sure it was not the cable, got a new ethernet cable for the printer and tried
it connected to all four cable connection positions of the router, none

I looked Internet Properties and I don't have : windowspyware defender.

I went to System Recovery and tried restoring it the day of the last
installation and it would not. Then, selected one, two and three days before
and again was not able. I did noticed that almost every day for the last few
months, there was a Software Distribution Service 3.0, so I'm wondering if
that in itself is impacting the printer.

A while ago, after reading some comments on the net about Software Dist
Service and folks losing internet connection, went ahead and changed/disabled
Auto Update, as you said. I also noticed that according to System Recov, it
ran today also, before I made the change.

I would appreciate your thoughts and comments and please elaborate in detail
as I 'm a novice learning. I just joined so I hope I was not too lenghty above
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Old 21-01-2010
Harry Johnston [MVP]
Posts: n/a
I don't know about your printer problem, but Software Distribution Service 3.0
is just another name for Windows Update.

I have a MS Update for Silverlight (KB982926) that keeps trying to Update,
but then fails, and "Could Not Be Installed". It keeps posting SDS 3.0 to my
System Restore
everytime it attempts to update. This seems to prevent IE8 from loading. I
would like to delete this update, and Silverlight in general, and wait for a
newer release with less bugs. If anyone could help, I would appreciate it.
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Old 07-06-2010
Posts: n/a
Re: Software Distribution Service 3.0

Uninstalling previous versions of Silverlight from Windows

Download and view the video or just run it. The steps are the same for
Vista and Windows 7.

If you're still experiencing difficulties with Silverlight, suggest you
check the forums dedicated to it
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