VMware and Windows Update Error number: 0xC80003FB

If you receive Error number: 0xC80003FB when trying to use Windows Update or Microsoft Update from within VMware Workstation 6.5 (and possibly other versions of VMware), here is a quick fix:

To force Windows Update or Microsoft Update to work in VMware Workstation 6.5, perform the following steps in the Windows VM:

  1. Launch a command prompt
  2. Execute the following commands:
    1. net stop wuauserv
    2. regsvr32 c:windowssystem32wups2.dll
    3. net start wuauserv
  3. Exit the command prompt
  4. Run Windows Update or Microsoft Update again

NOTE: These commands assume Windows is installed to C:Windows.

This is not a fix all. Normal Windows Update problems may still occur. This is a specific fix for running XP, Server 2003 or Server 2003 R2 in VMware Workstation 6.5.

Is Windows 7 Better than Windows Vista?

This question must be asked and answered by IT Directors that have been delaying the upgrade from Windows XP to Windows Vista. Is Windows 7 better than Windows Vista for current XP users? I would suggest that the answer is yes – assuming the final product is as good as the current candidates suggest it will be.

The one feature that I feel is most appealing is XP mode. The press is covering XP mode as if it is a band-aid and something that is less than beneficial in the long run (see NetworkWorld, June 1, 2009); however, I see it as an essential component of the new operating system. The biggest complaints about Vista have been in two categories: performance and compatibility. Windows 7 seems to be performing better than Vista on like hardware, but I’m not going into that in this post. In my opinion, Windows 7 is better than Windows Vista even if it performs the same. The XP mode makes it worth it.

I know that some will say you could use either Terminal Services on Windows 2003 servers or Virtual PC on Vista to run XP apps that are not otherwise compatible; however, those solutions are much more costly (Terminal Services) or confusing to the users (Virtual PC). With XP mode the applications run as apparent local applications but are indeed running in an instance of Windows XP. Yes, there will be more work for the IT group, but the goal is seamless operations for the user. (The "more work" for IT would be in updating and maintaining the "XP instance" as well as the Windows 7 installation.)

I think it’s worth it. For me, yes I’d rather use Virtual PC or VMware Workstation, but for my users I’d much rather them have the simpler tool that XP mode will provide. Time will tell, but I am one techie who likes the looks of Windows 7 so far.