“Service reached limit of transient errors. Will shut down. Last error returned from Service Manager: 0x80029c4a” when trying to install .net Framework 3.0 on Server 2008 or .net Framework updates from Windows Update

System Requirements:

  • Windows Vista
  • Windows 7
  • Windows Server 2008, 2008 R2

The Problem:

So we had a server with a corrupted .net installation, Windows Update kept on trying to install a .net 3.5 QFE and failed it, which showed up on the SUS server error logs. Investigation revealed that it would not install the update.

After running the .net cleaner utility, Windows Update still insisted that the machine needed the QFE – despite the fact that .net 4, 3.5, 3.0, 2.0 and 1.x were not installed.

The next obvious step was to put .net back on the machine, starting with 3.0 in the Windows Server Manager ‘Features’ list. It would not reinstall the feature however terminating with

Service reached limit of transient errors. Will shut down. Last error returned from Service Manager: 0x80029c4a

There were two problems here

  1. A .net Framework update was stuck in the Windows Update Catalogue and could not be cleared (even by purging SoftwareDistribution)
  2. The .net Framework 3.0 feature could not be reinstalled onto the operating system via Windows Server Manager

The Fix

In this instance the following solved the problem:

  1. Browse to:
  2. Check to see if there is a machine.config file present within the folder
  3. If there is not, make a copy of machine.config.default in the same folder and rename it to machine.config

Note that you may need to look through other folders under C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework for this .config file as the ‘v2.0.50727’ part changes with the service release.


Once this was done, .net 3.0 could be reinstalled from Windows Server Manager. Once that was done .net 3.5 SP1 could be reinstalled (along with .net 2.0 SP2 and .net 3.0 updates). This allowed the stuck update to actually install and cleared the original error from WSUS.

After that .net 4.0 went back on and everything on the server was back to normal again.

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