Error message when you try to download updates from Windows Update on a computer that is running Windows Vista: "Error 0x80070003 The system cannot find the path specified"

Symptoms

When you try to download updates from Windows Update on a computer that is running Windows Vista, you may receive an error message that resembles the following:
Error 0x80070003
The system cannot find the path specified.
Additionally, an entry that resembles the following may be logged in the WindowsUpdate.log file:
2007-03-17 12:14:47:639 6128 a54 Handler Post-reboot
status for package Package_for_KBxxxxx~31bf3856ad364e35~x86~~6.0.1.2:
0x80070003. 2007-03-17 12:14:47:639 6128 a54 Handler WARNING: Got
extended error: "POQ Operation LoadDefaultUserHive"
Note The WindowsUpdate.log file is in the following location:
%Windir%\WindowsUpdate.log
Note The entry in the WindowsUpdate.log file references an extended error that occurs when the system tries to load the Default User Hive.

Cause

This problem occurs because the
Disk:\Users\Default folder is missing from the computer. This folder contains the NTUser.dat file. When the Default User folder is missing, you cannot load the Default User Hive.

Note In this path, Disk represents the disk where you installed Windows Vista.

Additionally, by default, the Default folder is shown as a hidden folder in Windows Vista.

Resolution

To resolve this issue, create the
Disk:\Users\Default folder. Then, copy the NTUser.dat file to this folder from one of the following locations:
  • The Windows Vista installation media
  • Another Windows Vista-based computer
The NTUser.dat is the registry hive that is used when you create new user accounts. Therefore, use only the NTUser.dat file from the
Disk:\Users\Default folder. Other versions of NTUser.dat file may not correctly reflect the locations of user-specific files or folders.

If the issue continues, see Windows Update error "0x80070002" or "0x80070003".
Properties

Article ID: 942967 - Last Review: Jun 6, 2014 - Revision: 1

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