Updates fail to install in Windows Vista, and you receive an error message: "WBEM_E_CRITICAL_ERROR (0x8004100A)"

Applies to: Windows Vista BusinessWindows Vista EnterpriseWindows Vista Home Basic More

Support for Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) ends on July 12, 2011. To continue receiving security updates for Windows, make sure you're running Windows Vista with Service Pack 2 (SP2). For more information, refer to this Microsoft web page: Support is ending for some versions of Windows.

Problem description


When you try to install or uninstall Windows Vista Service Pack 1, or other Vista updates, the installation fails after the installation restarts your computer. This problem occurs at 100% of stage 3 of 3 of configuring updates. You may also receive an error message that includes a WBEM_E_CRITICAL_ERROR error code, or a 0x8004100A error code.

Fix it for me


To resolve this problem automatically, click the Fix it for me button. Then click Run in the File Download dialog box, and follow the steps in the Setup Wizard to install the fix.



Note If you are not on the computer that has the problem, save the automatic fix to a flash drive or a CD so that you can run it on the computer that has the problem. If you do not want to use the automatic fix, you can try to do it yourself.

Next steps

Let me fix it myself


To fix this problem yourself, add %windir%\system32\wbem to the PATH environment variable. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start Start button  , right-click
    Computer, and then click
    Start Search.
  2. Type Sysdm.cpl and then press ENTER.

    User Access Control permission If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the password, or click Continue.
  3. Click the Advanced tab, and then click
    Environment Variables.
  4. In the System variables section, click to select Path, and then click Edit.
  5. Add the following text at the end of the Variable value text box:
    ;%windir%\system32\wbem
  6. Click OK three times to close System Properties.
Next steps
Advanced Troubleshooting
If adding the Wbem folder to to your system path does not resolve the problem, run the winmgmt /salvagerepository
command to check the Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) repository for consistency and to repair any errors that are found. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, and then click Start Search.
  2. Type cmd.exe.
  3. In the Programs list, right-click Cmd.exe, and then click Run as administrator.


    User Access Control permission If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the password, or click Continue.
  4. At the command prompt, type the following command and then press ENTER.


    winmgmt /salvagerepository
  5. The Winmgmt command checks the WMI repository for consistency and repairs any errors that are found. If the following text is displayed in the command prompt, then no errors were found.

    WMI repository is consistent.
Next steps
  • To verify that you fixed it, try to install or uninstall the update that failed again.
  • If the problem is not resolved, you might want to contact support.
Possible causes for this problem

This problem occurs for one of the following reasons:
  • The PATH environment variable does not contain the following information:
    %windir%\system32\wbem
  • The Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) repository is not consistent.
Similar problems and solutions

For more information about errors that you may encounter when you install Windows Vista Service Pack 1, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

947366 Error message when you try to install Windows Vista Service Pack 1: "Installation was not successful" or "An internal error occurred while installing the service pack"



951386 Error message when you try to install updates on a computer that is running Windows Vista: "WBEM_E_CLASS_HAS_INSTANCES (0x80041026)"