Mysterious Windows 10 version 1511 patch KB 3122947 fails to install

Mysterious Windows 10 version 1511 patch KB 3122947 fails to install
Credit: FLickr/andyp uk

For most machines, there's an easy fix -- but we're up to nine patches in three weeks

Late Friday, Dec. 4, Microsoft released its latest update for Windows 10 version 1511, an odd patch called KB 3122947. If you aren't actively blocking forced updates in Windows 10 and your machine could get KB 3122947 to install, you will find that your winver (in the Cortana search box, type "winver" and press Enter) comes up at 10586.17. Unfortunately, many people are seeing notifications that KB 3122947 failed to install with error 0x80070643.

Not everyone will see KB 3122947. For example, if your machine hasn't yet upgraded to the Fall Update/Threshold 2/version 1511 patch level, for whatever reason, this KB doesn't show up.

Fortunately, for most of those who encounter a failure to install error 0x80070643, the solution's relatively easy:

Step 1. Make sure the installation file is on your system. Start File Manager (click the icon on your taskbar that looks like a file folder). You need to tell File Manager to show hidden files (View tab, check Show Hidden Files), then navigate to


You should have a file named either or

If you don't have either of those files, Windows didn't download the update. Try the solutions mentioned in this Tenforums thread.

Step 2. Figure out if you have a 32- or 64-bit system. If you don't know already, right-click Start and choose System. The System type entry will tell you.

Step 3. Right-click on Start, choose Command Prompt (Admin).

Step 4A. If you have a 32-bit system, copy and paste this line into the command prompt, and press Enter:

dism /online /add-package /packagepath:C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download\b0a5da1b24245bc4237166e09bae92da\

Step 4B. If you have a 64-bit system, copy and paste this line into the command prompt, and press Enter:

dism /online /add-package /packagepath:C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download\c4a1b8896ce9fbfea96c1ee6890d52a5\

Step 5. Windows 10 version 1511 installs the patch. Reboot, and you're ready to roll.

I call KB 3122947 an odd/mysterious patch for several reasons.

First, the description for KB 3122947 is essentially identical to the language that used to be in the description for KB 3120677, the third cumulative update for version 1511, released on Nov 24. The earlier KB 3120677 article has been modified since it was originally posted, taking out the text you can now see in KB 3122947:

After an upgrade to Windows 10 Version 1511 from an earlier version of Windows 10, a very small number of users may have had their settings for Advertising ID, Background Apps, SmartScreen Filter, and Sync with Devices incorrectly set to the system defaults.

For more information about this issue, see Microsoft Knowledge Base article 3121244.

If you go to KB 3121244, it confirms that it used to be attached to KB 3120677 -- the patch that no longer mentions KB 3121244. The KB article says:

Recently we learned of an issue that could have impacted an extremely small number of people who had already installed Windows 10 and applied the November update (Version 1511). When the November update was installed, a few settings preferences may have inadvertently not been retained for advertising ID, Background apps, SmartScreen Filter, and Sync with devices. This issue has been fixed in the update that accompanies KB3120677.

Apparently the switched-out privacy settings have been fixed in this new update, KB 3122947. Whether it's also fixed by the older update, KB 3120677, is anybody's guess.

I'm willing to bet that Microsoft is playing fast and loose with the patches and hasn't yet rewritten its documentation to cover up the sleight-of-hand. You may have a better explanation; if so, hit me in the comments.

Another oddity: As of this writing, KB 3122947 isn't available in the Microsoft Update Catalog. It looks like you can only get it by using Windows Update.

One more oddity: The version numbers don't line up. When you install Win10 version 1511 Cumulative Update 4, KB 3116908, the winver version numbers appears as 10586.17. If you then install this patch, KB 3122947, the winver version number stays at 10586.17.

On the other hand, the KB 3122947 article itself says the upgrade files are marked as 10.0.10586.26. I have no idea why version number 10586.26 doesn't appear in the winver box.

It isn't at all clear if getting to build 10586.17 will solve the privacy setting problems or not. As a byproduct of this sleight-of-hand, we've encountered a situation where version 1511 build numbers won't tell you if you have the latest version installed or not.

At this point, here's my list of Windows 10 version 1511 patches:

  • Version 1511 (OS Build 10586), released Nov. 12, is the first version 1511 -- the one that raised the old RTM build 10240 version of Win10 to the November Update/Threshold 2 level.
  • Cumulative Update 1, KB 3105211, brings the build number up to 10586.3
  • Cumulative Update 2, KB 3118754, Nov. 18, goes to build 10586.11
  • Cumulative Update 3, KB 3120677, Nov. 24, sets build 10586.14
  • Cumulative Update 4, KB 3116908, Dec. 2, runs up to build 10586.17

Then the one-off patches, which aren't advertised as cumulative:

  • KB 3116278, Nov. 18, "Out-of-box-experience update"
  • KB 3116903, also Nov. 18, "Compatibility update for upgrading to Windows 10"
  • KB 3103688, Nov. 10, patch for Flash Player in IE 11 and Edge
  • KB 3106246, Nov. 11, Update for DVD player
  • KB 3122947, Dec. 5, the odd update explained in this article, which may or may not duplicate the patches in KB 3116908

I count nine separate patches since version 1511 was released three weeks ago. Wonder how many of them are going out under the Windows Update for Business banner?

O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive!

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