When you use Control Panel / System to configure Automatic Updates, all functions are dimmed and The Windows Update Service is Unavailable is displayed.

To resolve this issue:

1. Start / Run / Services.msc / OK.

2. Scroll the list for Automatic Updates.

3. If Automatic Updates is present, double-click it and set Startup type to Automatic. If the Start button is available, press it. Press Apply and OK.

4. If the Automatic Updates service (HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\wuauserv) is missing, open a CMD.EXE prompt and type the following command:

%SystemRoot%\System32\rundll32.exe setupapi,InstallHinfSection AutoUpdate 132 %SystemRoot%\inf\au.inf

NOTE: If you are prompted for the Windows XP SP1 CD-ROM, point to the %SystemRoot%\servicepackfiles\i386 folder.

5. Repeat step 3.

NOTE: Users have reported that this tip works for Windows 2000 also.