Shelter-in-Place Journal, Day 372

I checked with some appliance repair people and got unanimous recommendations to replace, rather than repair, the washing machine. They thought the problem was the main bearing, and that was a multi-hundred-dollar fix. So we went to Home Depot and Best Buy to look at what they had on the floor. Home Depot wasn’t very useful – the guy had to search their website to tell me anything about the machines they had available, and I can do that myself! Best Buy was more informative – the salespeople seemed knowledgable and were able to answer questions. We couldn’t find any front-loaders that would fit in the space we have available, so I have more web searching to do – “compact” washers will fit, but they are significantly smaller than what we have now. We don’t have our ducks in a row yet, but we made progress.

Diane’s Windows update remained stuck at 61% overnight, so I searched some more and found this page, which offered a batch file to fix things. Unfortunately, the file wasn’t downloadable, and the version on the web page was one long line, but I used it, as well as some other suggestions to delete Conexant audio drivers as part of the upgrade, and eventually succeeded in getting her machine upgraded.

The recipe for success was a multi-step process, which I document here in hopes of helping other seekers:

Step 1. Open Windows Update and suspend updates for 7 days.

Step 2. Open a Command Prompt in Administrator mode, then issue these commands (leave the command prompt window open – you’ll come back to it):

net stop wuauserv
net stop CryptSvc
net stop bits

If wuauserv doesn’t stop for some reason, reboot and try again, starting with step 1.

Step 3. Open Device Manager, go to “Sound, video, and game controllers” and uninstall Conexant SmartAudio HD. Be sure to check the box to delete the drivers from the system. Do not reboot – rebooting reinstalls the drivers.

Step 4. Go back to the command prompt and issue these commands:

cd C:\Windows\System32
rename CatRoot CatRoot.old
rename catroot2 catroot2.old
cd C:\Windows
rename SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old

If you already have any of the “.old” directories, you can delete them and do the rename.

Step 5. Now, restart the services you stopped:

net start bits
net start CryptSvc
net start wuauserv

Step 6. Go back to the Windows Update window and resume updates. Windows should be able to update successfully to the new version.

Step 7. Reboot when requested – after rebooting, you should be running the new release of Windows.

Step 8. Open Command Prompt as Administrator and delete the ‘.old’ directories you created in Step 4.

You may want to open Storage Settings and delete the old version of Windows once you’re up and running – in our case, we got back nearly 30GB by doing so.