How To Fix Error 80070003 In Windows 7


What is error 80070003 in Windows 7?

Error 80070003 is a Windows error that occurs when an application fails to initialize. This error often starts after the user has recently installed Windows 7 and may continue to build up with more applications. When this happens, it is recommended that you install all of your updates and service packs before installing any new software.

Some reasons for getting Error 80070003:

  1. Windows update: The most common reason for this problem is because one or more of your Windows updates are not properly installed. To fix this, you should reinstall all of your Windows Updates as well as make sure your current driver versions are fully updated as well as higher than those currently on the machine.
  2. Bad Disk Partition:This can also cause Error 80070003 preventing Windows from being installed. To verify if one of your partitions is causing issues, boot up your computer with a Linux Live CD or USB Drive and test out each hard drive for errors. If there are any errors found on these disks it will need to be fixed before moving forward with the installation.
  3. Driver Issues:This could be due to issues with drivers, outdated driver versions, incompatible driver versions, corrupt driver files, or driver files that need to be updated. Most of the time having Windows Update run through Automatic Updates will resolve this issue, however you can also specify which drivers should be updated by going into your device manager and checking for updates. If any updates are available it is best to install them before continuing with the installation as the computer will prompt for these during setup.
  4. Disk Write Protect:Disabling disk write protection can cause issues with installing Windows 7. We have described how to fix this at the bottom of this post.
  5. Lack of space on your partition:If the upgrade failed due to a lack of space on your C:\ drive, or if you have other partitions on your hard drive that have more free space than what is required for this upgrade – it would throw the 80070003 error. We have described how to fix this at the bottom of this post.
  6. AV software:If you are using anti-virus, firewall or any sort of security software, it is possible that the software has disabled Windows Updates. You should make sure this is not the case and adjust your security settings to allow updates to pass through properly.
  7. Updates conflict:It is possible that another application (or set of applications) installed by the user has interfered with system updates. The quickest solution would be to uninstall any new programs then attempt an update again. If the problem persists, do a clean install of Windows 7.
  8. Service pack:Did you know Microsoft releases service packs for their operating systems? It’s true! So if you applied SP1 to your Windows 7 installation, you’ll need to uninstall that before the Windows Update service will work.
  9. Non-critical updates:The problem could also exist due to non-critical updates being installed. Uninstall these via your control panel and attempt to update again. If still no joy, do a clean install of Windows 7.
  10. Corrupt system files:SFC can repair corrupt system files and may fix this issue for you automatically. If it’s not, don’t worry: we’ll show you how to do it manually in a moment so don’t go away!
  11. Corrupt files in the %windir%\softwaredistribution folder.
  12. Corrupt system filesWhich can be fixed by running System File Checker (sfc /scannow from an elevated command prompt or via Windows 7 disk repair. Again we have shown how to fix this at the bottom section of this post.
  13. Missing DLL files:Which means to add the location of said .dll file to your PATH environment variable and then try updating again Before we go through how to fix this issue you might want to know what error 80070003 actually mean. This seems like a long list but really its just telling you that something went wrong and Windows was unable to update.
  14. Download manager or antivirus software blocking the download or install.
  15. Manually downloaded updates being corrupted.
  16. A registry problem, which can be fixed by reinstalling Windows Updates components through a repair installation of Windows.


If the above fails: follow these steps to fix the 80070003 error on Windows 7.

Let’s try using Windows Repair:

  1. To do this you must have your Windows 7 installation CD and enter into it when at the initial screen that asks you what language, time and currency format and keyboard layout you wish to use. Click next until you see a Repair option in the lower left corner of the window in a blue bar. On this bar click ‘Troubleshoot’, then ‘Advanced Options’ from the new menu that pops, followed by ‘Command Prompt’. Once you have the CMD window open type in this exact text:
  2. Click Start –> Windows Update. Click ‘Check for updates’ and wait until your machine scans for available updates. Click on ‘Important’ to sort by important updates first, then look through the list for any update that has an * symbol next to it. Click the update, a pop-up box should appear telling you that a newer version of some important component is available and ask if you wish to install it or skip for now. Hit the button which says either ‘Install’ or ‘Yes’. This will force a reinstall of all updated components related to Windows Updates.

Lastly If the above doesn’t fix the issue, try the below steps:

  1. Open Administrative tools from Control Panel or by typing “admin” into ‘Start search’ and click on ‘Administrative Tools’.
  2. In Administrative Tools open Task Scheduler
  3. Expand Task Scheduler
  4. Under Task Scheduler Library expand Microsoft
  5. Under Microsoft highlight Windows Update
  6. Right-click on Install Updates
  7. Click Run as administrator
  8. A Command Prompt will appear asking you to install the updates, type Y and press enter
  9. Reboot computer.

If all the above failed, you will need to get in touch with a professional who fixes computers.

How to fix disk write protection?

The steps below will allow you to disable and re-enable disk write protection as needed:

  • Step 1: Reboot your system and tap on F8 repeatedly until you enter advanced boot options.
  • Step 2: Select “Disable Driver Signature Enforcement” from the list.
  • Step 3: Select “Disable Early Launch Anti Malware Driver” from the list.
  • Step 4: You can now restart your system normally into Windows 7 safe mode. If you are prompted to install drivers, go ahead and do so. Otherwise proceed with installation as normal once your system boots up into safe mode.

How to fix lack of space in C drive?

Follow these steps it resolve the issue:

  1. Open My Computer and click on This PC in the left menu pane.
  2. Right click on your C: drive and select Properties.
  3. Click on the Disk Cleanup tab.
  4. Select both check boxes in the Files to delete section and click OK when you are done.
  5. The process of freeing up space may take a few minutes to complete, but once it does click retry upgrade for this installation to continue. It will now be able to successfully install without an issue. If still unsuccessful after, restart the upgrade process once more taking care not to remove any additional free space that is available on your hard drive before clicking retry upgrade again.

Also Read: How to fix Error 0xc00000e9 in Windows 10

How to Fix Corrupted System Files?

To begin, you must run the command prompt as an administrator – otherwise the command will not work even with the required permissions. You may start the command prompt as an administrator by following these steps:

  1. Open the Windows search function.
  2. Enter the term “cmd”.
  3. Right-click on the displayed entry “Command Prompt”.
  4. Select the menu item “Run as administrator”.

Also read: How To Fix 0x8024200d In Windows 7

I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...