Fix: Cumulative Update December 2020 – KB4592438 Failed to Install

The Windows 10 update (i.e., KB4592438) may fail to install if the services required for its operation are in an error state. Moreover, the corrupt temp files or unavailability of the storage space for the update may also cause the error under discussion.

The user encounters the issue when he tries to update his system to the KB4592438 update but the update fails to install (for some of the users, the failure occurred when update install was at 100%).

Cumulative Update December 2020 – KB4592438 Failed to Install

Before moving on with the solutions to fix the failed Windows update, make sure all the pending updates are installed (even optional updates) and then retry to update your system.

Solution 1: Start/Restart the WMI and IP Helper Services

The WMI and IP Helper services are essential for the completion of the update process. You may encounter the error at hand if the said services are disabled or in an error state. In this case, enabling or restarting these services may solve the problem.

  1. Click in the Windows Search bar and type Services. Then, right-click on the result of Services and choose Run as Administrator.
    Open Services as Administrator
  2. Now right-click on the IP Helper service and choose Start (or if already started, then select Restart).
    Start the IP Helper Service
  3. Then Start (or Restart) the Windows Management Instrumentation and check if the update can be installed.
    Restart the Windows Management Instrumentation Service

Solution 2: Use the Offline Installer of the KB4592438 Update

If the issue is a result of a communication glitch between your system and the update servers, then using the offline installer of the KB4592438 update may solve the update issue.

  1. Launch a web browser and navigate to the Windows Catalogue KB4592438 page.
  2. Now download the EXE file of the update as per your OS and architecture.
    Download the KB4592438 Update Offline Installer
  3. Then launch the downloaded file of KB4592438 with admittatur privileges and follow the instruction on the screen to check if the update can be installed successfully.

Solution 3: Use the Command Prompt

Windows update is a complex process and depends on several different aspects of your system. The update process may fail if any of its dependencies are corrupt or in an error state. In this case, we can use different cmdlets to streamline these dependencies and thus solve the problem.

  1. Press the Windows key and in the Windows Search box, type Command Prompt. Then, in the results pulled by search, right-click on Command Prompt and choose Run as Administrator.
    Open the Command Prompt as Administrator
  2. Now execute the following one by one (do not forget to press the Enter key after each command):
    net stop wuauserv
    net stop cryptSvc
    net stop bits
    net stop msiserver
    Ren C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old
    Ren C:\Windows\System32\catroot2 Catroot2.old
    net start wuauserv
    net start cryptSvc
    net start bits
    net start msiserver
    Rename the Software Distribution and Catroot2 Folders Through The Command Prompt
  3. If some of the commands did not complete successfully, skip those commands and exit the Command Prompt.
  4. Then check if the update can be installed successfully.

Solution 4: Clear the Temp Files and Free Up Disk Space

The update may fail to install if there is not enough disk space available for it to install. In this case, clearing the temp files and freeing up disk space may solve the problem. Keep in mind that if you have directed the Temp folder to another disk (other than the system drive) by using the environment variables, then make sure that disk has enough space available to complete the update process or otherwise direct the Temp folder to the system drive (which has enough free space available).

  1. Clear the temp files and perform a Disk Cleanup of the system drive.
  2. Now make sure your system drive and temp folder drive (if the temp folder is on another drive) have enough space available for the update.
  3. Then check if you can perform the update operation.
  4. If not, then check if using SFC and DISM commands solve the update issue.

Solution 5: Perform an In-Place Upgrade

If none of the solutions solved the issue, then you can try to perform an in-place upgrade of the system to sort out the issue. But keep in mind that whenever in the upgrade process you are asked, make sure to select the option of Keep Files and Applications. For some of the users, the 20H2 Enablement package may remove the said option, so, removing the 20H2 Enablement Package and then performing the in-place upgrade may solve the problem.

  1. Create a system restore point, just in case.
  2. Then press the Windows key and select Settings.
  3. Now open Update & Security and then, in the right half of the window, select View Update History.
    View Update History of Your System
  4. Then open Uninstall Updates and select the 20H2 Enablement Package update.
    Open Uninstall Updates
  5. Now click on the Uninstall button and then follow the prompts to remove the update.
    Uninstall 20H2 Enablement Package Update
  6. Then launch a web browser and navigate to the Microsoft Windows 10 page.
  7. Now, click on the Download Tool Now button (under Create Windows 10 Installation Media) and wait for the completion of the download.
    Download Media Creation Tool Now
  8. Then launch the downloaded file with administrator privileges and Accept the license agreement.
    Launch the Media Creation Tool as Administrator
  9. Now select Upgrade This PC Now and follow the prompts to check if the issue is solved.
    Select Upgrade This PC Now
  10. If not, then repeat steps 1 to 4 but at step 4, choose Installation Media for Another PC.
    Create Installation Media for Another PC
  11. Now, select the ISO file and then wait for the completion of the download.
    Select ISO File Type
  12. Then extract the ISO file and launch the Setup.exe with the administrator privileges.
    Launch the Setup.exe in Windows 10 ISO Folder as Administrator
  13. Now, follow the prompts on your screen to check if the update issue is solved.

If that did not solve the issue, then create a bootable USB with the downloaded ISO file and then try to upgrade your system through that USB.

If the in-place upgrade fails, then either perform a clean install of Windows or disable the update in the system’s settings (not recommended). If the clean install does not solve the issue, then try to install Windows on another hard-drive as the issue could be due to the hardware compatibility.


Kevin Arrows

Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.
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Fix: Cumulative Update December 2020 – KB4592438 Failed to Install

If the issue is with your Computer or a Laptop you should try using Restoro which can scan the repositories and replace corrupt and missing files. This works in most cases, where the issue is originated due to a system corruption. You can download Restoro by clicking the Download button below.

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