Windows 10 patch KB 3020114 fails with error 80070005

Users running the Windows 10 Technical Preview build 9879 report that yesterday's patch refuses to install

Caïn by Henri Vidal, Tuileries Garden, Paris, 1896
Flickr/Alex Proimos

It seems Microsoft can't even get Windows 10 patches right. Early yesterday afternoon, Microsoft spokesman Gabe Aul announced on Twitter that Microsoft had rolled out a new patch for Windows 10 Tech Preview, build 9879. KB 3020114 was designed to fix a problem that has been sporadically reported:

The Explorer.exe process continuously crashes and restarts after you upgrade to Windows Server Technical Preview or Windows 10 Technical Preview.

But many people can't install the patch, reporting an error 80070005. Paul Thurrott on his Winsupersite puts it this way:

I can't get it to install. When you install the update, you reboot, which I do. But when I sign back in after the reboot and check Windows Update, the update is still sitting there waiting to install. I've done this four times now.

Repeated attempts to install the patch, even after invoking the incantations described in KB 968003, proved unsuccessful.

Poster John Casmier on a Groovypost thread has different symptoms:

Getting a message in the screen; One Drive is not available at this time, try again later. I press the only option at bottom which is cancel, it than gives me the regular color screens as if to finish the install cycle. After about 2 minutes, a dark screen with just the recycle bin and long error message saying it cannot find the profile-not available. I reboot, and it all happens again all over.

Matthew Freestone on WinBeta isn't so kind:

The freaking update won't install, it says it installs each time, then I reboot and come back and it says it still needs to install, and my freaking explorer crashes every 20-30 seconds non-stop. Great job MS, freaking posted an update that doesn't work.

Minutes after the patch was released early Tuesday afternoon, Twitter lit up with problem reports and Aul tweeted, "Okay, looking into it." As of early Wednesday morning, I can't find any official announcement about the problem, its causes or workarounds, and the patch is still being pushed out the Automatic Update chute. (Remember that all of us running Windows10 Technical Preview have Automatic Updates turned on.)

Unfortunately, the patch doesn't address the problem with Explorer that I hear about most often: a bad memory leak in GDI. There's an extended discussion about it on the TechNet forum. Rseiler says:

Twice in one day I've seen GDI Objects (as shown in Task Manager--if you add the column on the Details tab--and Process Explorer) hit 10K for Explorer.exe. The first time was after about 15 hours, the second time about 4.

What caused me to look was a misbehaving taskbar: icons for some running programs were suddenly either blank or changed, some would do nothing when clicked, the Start menu was barely functional, my quicklaunch shortcut menu didn't work, etc.

Killing explorer.exe and restarting it allows you to proceed as usual.

No word at all from Microsoft about the GDI leak in build 9879.