From a newsgroup post: "If you are receiving the 800A138F error message at the update site, please do the following. You need to check your windowsupdate log (plug it into file search if you can't find it on your own in the Windows file), because the 800A138F error message is only a general error indicator. The real culprit error message(s) will be in the update log. If the error messages that show there are either 800C0005 or 80072EFD, I may be able to help thanks to some other excellent sleuths out there. As far as any other error messages go, I claim ignorance, but those errors are the ones you want to focus on, not 800A138F.
Some applications like web accelerators, spyblockers etc, can add static IP entires for the Windows Update site into your HOSTS file. You need to get rid of them. The easiest way is to go to Start, My Computer, then follow the path for Windows\System\Drivers\Etc. There you will find a file called HOSTS. You can look at it with Notepad if you want and try to edit it if you are an advanced user, but the easiest thing to do if you're a simple person like me, is just rename the HOSTS file something else (OLDHOSTS is fine). Then restart your system."
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