Online Cached Mode Fails to Download Update: Illegal characters in path. HRESULT: -2146233079

For those of you using BatchPatch in online cached mode… Starting with Windows 10/2016 version 1709 you might start seeing these two errors occur together in the ‘Local Agent Log’ column:

An exception occurred during a WebClient request.. HRESULT: -2146233079
Failed: Illegal characters in path.

The Problem:

Starting with Windows 10/2016 build 1709 Microsoft began publishing some updates with different/new update URLs in the update metadata as compared to all previous versions of Windows.

These new update URLs are formatted like this:

http://tlu.dl.delivery.mp.microsoft.com/filestreamingservice/files/096dd15c-70d9-4d48-b99c-0272f32a1853?P1=1521499885&P2=301&P3=2&P4=DS9%2bc8sTV40DeDsw3Rjf98wBE%2bifv2dl%2fV%2buaU9HtGw%3d

Instead of like this:

http://download.windowsupdate.com/c/msdownload/update/software/secu/2018/04/windows10.0-kb4093107-x64_b5d9c24dfcf332de6968faeb867a31a2d6a10e8b.cab

The URLs that Microsoft embeds in the metadata for Windows updates is how BatchPatch knows where to download updates from when BatchPatch is running in online ‘cached mode’. Unfortunately, updates with the new URL format are not able to be downloaded in a web browser or by BatchPatch. As such, when you have online cached mode enabled, if you try to update a system that is running Windows 10/2016 version 1709 or later, you might see an error. If that happens, then in your ‘Local Agent Log’ column you will see something similar to what I have pasted below. Generally, all three of these things will likely be true in order for you to be experiencing the problem described in this blog posting. If you are not seeing all three of the below items in your ‘Local Agent Log’ column, you might be experiencing a different issue:

  1. A filename that ends with this text:
    %3d
  2. Exception text:
    An exception occurred during a WebClient request.. HRESULT: -2146233079
  3. Exception text:
    Failed: Illegal characters in path

Sample Local Agent Log That Contains The Aforementioned Exception Text:

Local Agent Log
::Begin download
 
1> 80f5d408-146c-4819-b094-424d7bafa43f?P1=1518618864&P2=301&P3=2&P4=XQl9XGC2jopOymNc05rGw5X11vmG1pBIUA6TVBR5N5s%3d :: Attempt 1: Failure: An exception occurred during a WebClient request.. HRESULT: -2146233079. Attempt 2: Failure: An exception occurred during a WebClient request.. HRESULT: -2146233079.
 
::End download
 
Files downloaded: 0
Files located in cache: 0
Files excluded by filter: 0
Files initiated by another row: 0
Failures: 1
 
::Begin file copy operation
 
1> 80f5d408-146c-4819-b094-424d7bafa43f?P1=1518618864&P2=301&P3=2&P4=XQl9XGC2jopOymNc05rGw5X11vmG1pBIUA6TVBR5N5s%3d :: Failed: Illegal characters in path.
 
::End file copy operation
 
Files copied: 0
Files skipped: 0
Failures: 1

Workarounds:

  1. Disable cached mode. When BatchPatch is running in normal/default mode with no caching, this issue does not exist. If you do not have a specific need for using cached mode, then I would recommend you simply disable it and run in normal/default mode.
  2. Enable offline mode. When BatchPatch is running in offline mode (aka: offline cached mode) this issue does not exist. Offline mode will generally only install Security Updates, so it may not be optimal for you to run in this mode at all times if you want other updates to be installed. It depends on your needs and preference. If you can disable cached mode altogether, then the previous option is the best option. If you must use cached mode, then you can use offline cached mode to get the security updates installed that fail with the issue described in this blog posting.
  3. Download the .msu update file directly from the Microsoft Update Catalog. You can find your update in the catalog by going to the catalog site and searching for the desired update or by submitting the search query yourself into your browser with a link formatted as follows, but of course you’ll need to substitute the KB ID of the update that you are searching for the KB ID that is used in my link here:
    https://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/Search.aspx?q=KB4480116

    Then after downloading the .msu update file you can deploy it directly to target computers using BatchPatch’s deployment feature. You may use this tutorial to guide you through the deployment process: Remotely Deploy a Standalone MSU File to Multiple Computers

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