Failed Updates – How to correct Windows updates that download but fail install

If you’re viewing this tutorial with the hopes that you can get your Windows Updates to install properly, chances are you’ve recently purchased a new computer or you’ve just performed a fresh OS install with windows XP or another Windows based OS that is supported by Windows Updates.  This has actually happened to me on Windows 2000 and XP in the past, and it just recently happened with a new Toshiba laptop I am setting up.

So what’s the issue?  You’ll go to run the Windows Updates and everything will appear normal.  The Windows Updates site loads and detects what the required updates are due for installation on your system.  You then click to download and install the upgrades and they seem to download normally.  Then, it happens!  Once all the updates are downloaded, it starts to go through them and install each one… but instead of saying “Complete” next to each one, the window is showing “Failed” for just about every update it tried to install, or flat out failed on every single one.

The first time this happened to me a few years ago, I searched Google for HOURS trying to figure out what was going on.  I cleared my cache, deleted temp files, deleted cookies, and finally, rebooted the PC, router AND DSL bridge to try and correct the problem.  After all that, I finally figured out what it was… it was a simple matter of the Microsoft Update sites not being part of my trusted sites within IE.
The sad part was that after all those hours of searching and tweaking, the fix ended up being a 20 second procedure… literally.

Step 1:  Open Internet Explorer and click on Tools > Internet Options

Step 2: One the Internet Options window opens, click the Security tab.

Step 3: Click the Trusted Sites icon and then click on the “Sites” button.

Step 4:  Uncheck the “Require server verification (https:) for all sites in this zone” checkbox and add the following sites to your Zone.  You do this by simply typing in the addresses below into the field next to the “Add” button:

  • https://*
  • http://*

Click OK to go back to the Internet Options window, then click OK again to go back to your browser.  Re-Run the Microsoft Updates scan and your updates should now download and install properly.

Hope this has helped you!

The Adsense and Yahoo Ad Networks Are Tightening Up, Here’s Your Warning.

It’s finally happened… Yahoo and Google have no choice but to address the click-fraud issue, because it’s costing them millions and the cash-cow is starting to keel over. Bogus clicks and conversion are a MAJOR issue in the advertising network community, and Google’s AdSense is especially in trouble. You see, Google basically let everyone and their monkey run AdSense on their websites, and there are absolute GARBAGE sites out there that are blatant Google Ad turn-key style websites looking to make a quick buck without doing any real significant work. Yahoo has been much tighter in their US exclusive beta program, but both major networks are closing the net up because it’s either that, or they become a complete waste of money to their advertisers and die a painful death.

Cash Cow Expired

Now most of you have heard the horror stories about people getting their adsense accounts suspended because of “invalid clicks” or some other form of “click fraud”. 99% of the stories I get from such webmasters portray them as completely innocent and ignorant as to why they were suspended. I’m sure that a few were suspended for reasons known only to Google (They don’t provide any real details as to why you were cut off), but a good chunk of you were really busted red handed and you just don’t want to admit it. That’s fine, that’s not what this is about anyhow.

Now the new trend with Google and Yahoo… you don’t have to be doing anything specifically against the terms to get cut off, you just have to have non-converting traffic. Yes folks, not only do the big boys track clicks, impressions, and pricing, but they also track if your clicks are in fact converting into sales. In other words, when people click your ads, are they buying anything? Well, you’d better hope so or you might find yourself on the end of a nasty email from Google or Yahoo.

Next up, we have the publisher trend that I am seeing quite a bit off: MySpace content sites, and tutorial sites. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean quality tutorial content sites like, I mean those generic tutorial sites that are specifically created to be surrounded in ads and the tutorials are the same old “scanlines” and “shiny buttons” deals you see all over the net as though that’s all you can do in Photoshop. Same deal with the MySpace sites… you have some great content providers, then you have others than runs a 90/10 ad to content ratio. It’s not hard to get a ton of traffic to these sites and score lots of clicks, but what’s become apparent to Yahoo and Google is that this traffic is, for the most part, completely worthless and non-buying users. Deep down inside, the creators of this site know it and they simply want to milk the system for what it’s worth, but we’re all going to get nailed for it.

Care for an example? A month and a half ago, Yahoo basically did a search on their search engine and Google and found the top 10 or 20 MySpace content sites that ran their Yahoo YPN ads. And then, they removed them from the YPN program citing poor conversion on clickthru traffic. Man, you should have seen the MySpace sites flying up for sale on the Sitepoint marketplace so that webmasters could get top dollar before having to show that they had lost the YPN ads and thus their revenues had plummeted.

The same deal happened with tutorial sites about 3 weeks ago with Google AdSense. Overnight, over a dozen webmasters I know received notices that they were no longer allowed to run AdSense ads on their tutorial sites. Mind you, this is an interesting and positive move by Google… they didn’t ban any accounts, they simply banned the ads from running on a specific URL. If a webmaster happen to own several other sites that were not red-listed, then they could continue to run ads on those sites as usual. As for the reason this was done? Emails cited poor conversion on incoming clickthru traffic once again.

Starting to feel sick yet? So now publishers have 3 major concerns:

1. Click Fraud – We have to make sure we run a smooth program
2. Ad Placement – We have to make sure that our ads are placed strategically for maximum visual impact and CTR.
3. CTR Conversion – Is your CTR traffic actually converting an ROI for the advertiser?

As far as I am concerned, the time has never been more right to look for direct internal revenue streams such as product and service sales and internal advertising systems. Google and Yahoo have no choice, they have to crack down on the markets and avenues they advertise on in order to maintain the integrity of the program and maintain a proven ROI to it’s clients. This makes things more than a little nervous for publishers like myself, and I will be looking to diversifying my income streams in case one day I get tagged. Of course, a lot of this could have been avoided if Google had been a tad more selective when approving publishers to run their ads instead of giving it out like candy at Halloween, but I suppose that’s a moot point.

So watch your butts guys and gals and remember not to place all your eggs in one basket!


New Wallpaper Released – ScrewHead!

With the new launch of my little wallpaper site, I wanted to start things off with a new piece, which I call ScrewHead.


You can download this new wallpaper as well as the rest of my backgrounds in all the popular resolutions on my free wallpaper site at!


New Home for my Wallpapers – is Open!

I was starting to get a decent collection of wallpapers going and some of them I thought were pretty cool and maybe you guys would like to me share these with you. I was starting to pile them up here on the blog but I decided a little mini-site just for my wallpapers would be cool. So, I give you and all the free goodies I can find for it!

My Free Wallpapers

I’ve already uploaded some of my older wallpapers from the past couple of years that I liked, plus a brand new one I whipped up lastnight called ScrewHead, wish is a cool little reflective bolt with some nice lighting that I just thought looked really cool. Check out the site and let me know what you think!


Photo Freebies – Free Online Stuff for Photographers!

Digg this article!

I was thumbing through some of my digital photography magazines and I found a great list of free resources for you online photographers. It’s not exactly free cameras, but hey, it’s better than a finger in the eye!

Photo Freebies

Free Professional Photo Lessons:

Head on over to and check out any of their dozens of totally free professional photography lessons in the Olympus America classroom! Once you’re done viewing those lessons, you can sign up on their e-mail listing to get automatic notices when they post new lessons.

A Free Camera?!

Remember when I said you don’t get a free camera? Well, I lied! Sort of… Surf on over to to learn how to make your very own Pinhole camera using 2 empty coffee cans and some film. If anyone tries this out, I expect you to email me some results!

Free Stock Photos:

Need some free stock photos for a project and need decent quality? Then you need to check out for more than 90,000 images that you can sample for private non-commercial use. If you end up using the full size image for online use, you simply have to provide a backlink to the site.

Run Your Own Gallery:

Sick of photo gallery sites because of bandwidth or drive space limitations, but love the thumbnail and slideshow capabilities along with an easy administration panel? No problem… if you have your own web hosting package, you can download and install the completely free Plogger Script to host your own powerful online photo gallery! Check it out at

Free Public Gallery Hosting:

Been living under a rock? Then you may not know of the net’s most popular spot to create and share your own personal photo gallery at

Free Historical Photos:

You can find over 1 million photos hiding at the Library of Congress and most of them can be downloaded in JPG format and some as HUGE high resolution uncompressed TIFF files. Now figuring out the usage rights and restrictions might be a bit tricky on these photos, so while using this in personal projects is probably OK, I wouldn’t use any of this in your commercial pieces.

Photo Editing for Beginners:

Are you a digital photographer but still a bit scared of Photoshop or simply can’t justify buying an expensive digital editing suite for simple photo tweaks? Well good news, because now you don’t have to! Check out Adobe’s Photoshop Album version 3 for a completely free download that allows you to quickly share photos, create slideshows and perform some basic photo editing without using Photoshop.

Enjoy the free stuff!