Problem starting BITS on Windows XP SP3 en

By Eguna on Monday 29 October 2012 21:47 - Comments (1)
Category: Computers, Views: 4.505

I recently had to service a machine that got plagued by the infamous buma stemra virus, the one that threatens you with legal actions unless you pay the hefty sum of three hundred-something euro's. Declining of course will wreck the machine in such a way that it will try to kill the possibility to boot by changing the reference to the autologon.exe in the registry to nothing, among other things...

Most of the issues the virus had caused were solved but one still plagued the Windows XP machine a lot, it removed the features that make updating through Windows Update impossible.

It did so by disabling the Background Intelligent Transfer Service, otherwise known as BITS.
Windows Update uses this service to schedule download incase you've turned on automatic updating but even still manual updating follows the same path.

After a few hours of searching the internet it became clear that the BITS service would not start by using the following command line:

net start BITS

it gave the System error 2 Could not find specified file message and terminated the net start.

After making sure that the qmgr.dll was actually in the System32 folder and registered with regsvr32 I had to look for different causes as to why it wouldn't start this service, back to the registry...

In the CurrentControlSet node (HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM) you will find a folder Services, which contains a node BITS that should contain several keys, of which one should be called ImagePath

Look closely to the value of this key because in our case it said

%fystemRoot%\System32\svchost.exe -k netsvcs

Just incase you're not seeing it just like I didn't see it (luckily my friend did)

% f ystemRoot%\System32\svchost.exe -k netsvcs

...fystem?! No wonder the service could not properly start, for %fystemRoot% obviously doesn't exist! Changing the word fystem back to System should do the trick, you can test it by once again typing

net start BITS

in a command prompt.

Additional Information

Chances are you might get the message that you're not allowed to change these registry settings, in that case you will have to right click on the BITS node, click 'Permissions...' and give yourself full control of the node.

Happy updating!