Posted inExperience / Information Technology

Windows Update KB5034441 and Error 80070643

Windows Error x80070643

Error 80070643 is something that won’t “fix itself.” Part of me thinks it was deliberate because most of the “fix” recommendations consist of “upgrade to Windows 11.” Nobody wants Windows 11! It just might go down in computer history as the Next Windows Vista or Windows 8 from the grave. Microsoft seems to have forgotten the “Personal” part of “Personal Computer.” Yes, many of us do much online, but we want our computers to be fully functional off-line. Our Word Processor, spreadsheet, Solitaire game, et-al need to work without an Internet connection and without having to jump through hoops to make them work without Internet.

Agile is Not Software Engineering

Engineering means “Do it right the first time” and Agile means “fling uncooked spaghetti at a wall constantly, praying the roof is leaking bad enough for something to stick.” I’ve written about Agile on this blog many times, even written a book about it. For most non-geeks hacking on the fly seems way more fun that actual Engineering. It is! It also has an extremely low percentage of creating valid outcomes. You have to have Donald Trump’s 7-layeres-removed connection to “the truth” to declare any Agile outcome valid.

This error is one even non-geeks can understand.

TDD (Test Driven Development) is not a valid development methodology.

TDD is the stinking core of Agile, so steamy it waters the eyes. The developer reads a “User Story,” writes some code to “satisfy” the story, writes some other code to “test” the code they just wrote, and turns it in. There is no point in the process where anyone steps in and says “No, dumb-ass, you read that wrong!” You will declare valid and push into production something that is completely incorrect, but your TDD “proves” it works.

Roughly 90% of software usage/functionality, cannot be tested via TDD.

Here is a big shining example! Error 80070643 exists because nobody at Microsoft tested shit. The standard bullshit answers of “in place upgrade” aren’t going to fix this for you either . . . not unless it wipes out your pre-installed software in your Recovery partition.

No End of Bloat at Microsoft

The DOT-NOT framework and massively sloppy coding of Microsoft minions have produced an update, that even when compressed, won’t fit into the sub 500MB recovery partition on most computers. Not with all of the other stuff there anyway. Those in the restaurant business know you can’t put 8 pounds of shit in a 4 pound bag . . . Microsoft developers have yet to learn that lesson.

Only way to fix this is to make more room on the Recovery partition. If an “in place upgrade” fixes this for you, it “fixed” it by deleting your Office and other pre-installed software on the Recovery Partition. If you ever try to use the Recovery Partition to restore your computer to “new” all that stuff will be missing.

Before You Do Anything

You need a full image backup! I’m not talking about one of those hokey backups that run as a task under Windows. That’s not an image backup. If you pooch your system you have no boot media to do a bare metal restore. I use the TeraByte Image for Windows product. It’s not free. It does also come with a license that lets you create Image for Linux boot media. I burned that to a DVD and booted from it to make my image backup. Yes, you can “burn” it to a thumb drive as well.

Use whatever bare metal backup software you want, but make certain you create the backup using the boot media for that backup software.

Fixing 80070643

Telling Windows users to “use the command line” to fix something is like telling a devout Orthodox Jew to eat ham and shell fish on the Sabbath; not gonna happen. Worse yet, the token few who try it will want to cut and paste rather than follow instructions.

Acer and a few other manufacturers put the Recovery Partition at the end of the hard drive. The instructions Microsoft provides ASS-U-MEs the Recovery Partition is at the beginning. See above about bare metal backups.

Which End and Gotcha’s

Before you can fix error 80070643 you need to know which end of the drive your Recovery Partition resides at and you need to know if you have any “gotcha” partitions. The “gotcha” partitions tend to exist on larger computers with RAID controllers and drives configured in a RAID array. Don’t guess!

Drive showing a 16MB gotcha partition

To see a pretty display like this you need to download and install Paragon Partition Manager Community Edition. It’s free. When you look at your boot drive and see a gotcha partition don’t try to use it to fix this problem. If all you see is the Recovery Partition, 100 MB UEFI (boot), and Local Disk C, this software should work flawlessly for you.

The Process

Recovery Partition at the beginning

  • Shrink Local Disk C a bunch
  • Slide Local Disk C to the far end of the drive
  • Slide the 100 MB (or so) UEFI (boot) partition down to Local Disk C
  • Expand Recovery Partition to roughly 1000MB
  • Move UEFI (boot) partition back next to Recovery Partition
  • Move Local Disk C back up against UEFI partition
  • Expand Local Disk C to use up remaining free space.

Recovery Partition at the end

  • Shrink Local Disk C by enough so Recovery Partition can be expanded to roughly 1000MB
  • Slide Recovery Partition up to Local Disk C
  • Expand Recovery Partition

The Details

After reading the instructions you probably realize why some manufacturers put the Recovery Partition at the end of the drive instead of the beginning. They knew Microsoft bloat would eventually exceed partition capacity.

Please ignore the fact I took this screen shot on the machine with a gotcha partition.

When you click on one of the partitions the menu at the left shows up. When you choose “Move or Resize” you get the above dialog. As you are following the order above, when you get to the end of a step you click “Place in queue.” When you have everything entered you will have some number of entries in the queue button on the main screen. Lower right corner.

Once you tell it to apply, it will take off running, tell you it needs to restart, then restart in some Paragon flavor of minimal Windows OS displaying stuff in a terminal screen. Go watch TV. Once you get to that point it will “just finish” and you are done.

The Systems With Gotcha Partitions

You have a much slower road. This solution will work for any system but it cannot take advantage of big memory, massive system buffers, yadda yadda. Because it has to work anywhere it has to be written for the Least Common Denominator systems. Download SystemRescue disk and build boot media. There are instructions for doing that so I won’t provide them here. I always burn a DVD and usually do it from a Linux box.

After booting from SystemRescue you may or may not be prompted to type startx to begin a graphical session. Depends on the version you got. In the lower right corner of the screen there will be some application icons along with the “start” menu. Mouse over them until one says “GParted.”

Once you have chosen your boot device in the combo box at the upper right, you will see the list of partitions. Right clicking on the partition brings up the menu. GParted can handle moving the gotcha partitions around. When you choose Resize/Move you will see something much like this.

After you’ve changed something you click the dialog button with the green arrow and “Resize/Move” on it to add the step to the queue. Keep moving and resizing until you have completed all of the steps for your particular Recovery Partition location.

If you screw up here, don’t worry. Until you click the big green check mark in the tool bar, nothing has actually changed on disk. You can just reboot and start over.

After you have added all your entries, click the big green checkmark and go to bed. This will take a long time even when using SSD. It can’t cheat and use things older systems wouldn’t have.

All Done!

There is always a little bit you cannot use on a drive, just deal with it. Do not switch to another computer with a KVM though. The video drivers aren’t high end. When you switch back you will have a black screen with a mouse cursor. Yeah, I did that. Had to judge completion by when the hard drive light stopped flashing.

Roland Hughes started his IT career in the early 1980s. He quickly became a consultant and president of Logikal Solutions, a software consulting firm specializing in OpenVMS application and C++/Qt touchscreen/embedded Linux development. Early in his career he became involved in what is now called cross platform development. Given the dearth of useful books on the subject he ventured into the world of professional author in 1995 writing the first of the "Zinc It!" book series for John Gordon Burke Publisher, Inc.

A decade later he released a massive (nearly 800 pages) tome "The Minimum You Need to Know to Be an OpenVMS Application Developer" which tried to encapsulate the essential skills gained over what was nearly a 20 year career at that point. From there "The Minimum You Need to Know" book series was born.

Three years later he wrote his first novel "Infinite Exposure" which got much notice from people involved in the banking and financial security worlds. Some of the attacks predicted in that book have since come to pass. While it was not originally intended to be a trilogy, it became the first book of "The Earth That Was" trilogy:
Infinite Exposure
Lesedi - The Greatest Lie Ever Told
John Smith - Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars

When he is not consulting Roland Hughes posts about technology and sometimes politics on his blog. He also has regularly scheduled Sunday posts appearing on the Interesting Authors blog.