Fix for Blank or Empty Windows Features List in Vista and 7

If you’ve uninstalled a program in Windows Vista or 7 from Control Panel, perhaps you’ve noticed “Turn Windows features on or off” in the left pane. When you click on it, the Windows Features dialog will appear asking you to “Please wait” and it will start searching for a list of windows features such as games, indexing service, internet information services (IIS) and other system components that you can turn on or off. Vista and 7’s Windows Features list is actually pretty much the same as Add/Remove Windows Component in Windows XP. You can also run Windows Features by typing “optionalfeatures” at the run dialog or command prompt.

One of the most common problems that many people are facing with the Windows Features dialog is the window comes out empty or blank and the features list doesn’t appear. You can see “please wait” initially as it tries to make up a list but then it totally blanks out.

Blank or Empty Windows Features

Microsoft of course is well aware of this problem and they’ve created a knowledge base article 931712 to acknowledge the problem and also provided 2 solutions to resolve this issue. The first method is to run the sfc /scannow command to scan all protected system files and replace incorrect versions with the correct Microsoft versions. If that didn’t work, they recommend a System Restore. There’s also another method on Google that claims to fix it by running the command “reg delete HKLM\COMPONENTS /v StoreDirty”. We can assure you that all these above solutions don’t work. One of the only known recommended solutions that will fix the blank Windows Feature is to re-install Windows but that’s rather overkill just to fix a blank window.

Don’t worry though, because we’ve found a REAL fix for the empty Windows Features problem without re-installing Windows. What we’ve found is that this problem is most often caused by missing or corrupt files in a folder called C:\Windows\Servicing\Packages. The reason why SFC or System Restore don’t work is they don’t restore anything in the Packages folder and therefore miss the problem altogether. Here’s how to get your features window populated again.

1. Download the System Update Readiness Tool from Microsoft. Expand the Download Center by using the “+” and download the correct version of the tool according to your operating system. For convenience, the links to the Vista and 7 Readiness Tool are provided below.

Download System Update Readiness Tool for Windows Vista 32-bit
Download System Update Readiness Tool for Windows Vista 64-bit
Download System Update Readiness Tool for Windows 7 32-bit
Download System Update Readiness Tool for Windows 7 64-bit

2. Once you have finished downloading the file, close all running programs and run it, the Readiness Tool has an extension of .msu. Click OK to install the KB****** update for Windows. You will see that it looks as though an update is being installed, but actually it’s trying to fix any problems that it finds on the system in the background using checksur.exe. This will take a while, up to 10 or 15 minutes is possible, so be patient and let it finish.

Install kb947821 update

3. When installation has completed, click Close and restart your computer. Once Windows has booted, try running Windows Features (optionalfeatures.exe) again and see if the list loads into the window or not. IF not, continue to the next step.

4. Go to C:\Windows\Logs\CBS\ and open the CheckSUR.log file with notepad. The following steps are possibly going to be a little tricky because everyone gets different results in the log file.

5. Take note of the section that says “Checking Package Manifests and catalogs” in the CheckSUR.log file. If there are errors, you will see a line starting with (f) followed by an error code and path. If you see (fix) on the next line below the (f), it means the tool managed to fix that particular error.

Analyzing CheckSUR.log file

As you can see in the image above, the fourth and eighth (f) lines highlighted in pink don’t have (fix) on the next line and are therefore not fixed as the checking continues. You need to make a note of all the unfixed “MUM” entries in your log file (line 4 above is a MUM error that wasn’t fixed).

6. Now you will need to manually delete the related registry keys according to what you see in the CheckSUR.log file. Run regedit and go to the following location.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing\Packages\

As an example, the fourth line error in the CheckSUR.log file above shows the file:

Package_2_for_KB2757638~31bf3856ad364e35~x86~~6.1.1.2.mum

So you’ll need to look for that key in the registry at the location stated above and then delete it. There won’t be a need to use the .mum extension in the registry. As long as the whole name matches without the extension, you can delete it.

Delete corrupted packages in registry

7. You WILL need to set full control permission before you can delete the corrupted registry key. Refer to this article on how to set the permissions for the key.

After deleting all the corrupted registry keys, the Windows Features should start to show in the list. The good thing about running the System Update Readiness Tool is it might fix some other problems which you are probably not aware of.

412 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. Roniel Navarro 46 mins ago
  2. ryuuna 4 days ago
  3. Sakuya 1 week ago
  4. sysw7pro64 1 month ago
  5. kamil 1 month ago
  6. Ed 2 months ago
  7. Joe K 2 months ago
  8. Danuta 3 months ago
  9. Glenn 3 months ago
  10. Ads 5 months ago
  11. Eric Farslow 5 months ago
  12. dev 5 months ago
  13. W.T. 5 months ago
  14. Ritesh Sharma 5 months ago
  15. Fin24 6 months ago
  16. A. Lenze 6 months ago
  17. John Arkle 6 months ago
  18. Manuel 7 months ago
  19. Michael 7 months ago
  20. Jürgen R. 7 months ago
  21. François Ducrennier 7 months ago
  22. Eli 8 months ago
  23. Bob B. 8 months ago
  24. Aditya 9 months ago
  25. its_tricky83 9 months ago
  26. Brian 9 months ago
  27. Don 11 months ago
  28. Venu 12 months ago
  29. yusuf 12 months ago
  30. Terrence 12 months ago
  31. Roman Ivanov 12 months ago
  32. sam 1 year ago
  33. April 1 year ago
  34. Leandro 1 year ago
  35. parmeet asija 1 year ago
  36. Sophie 1 year ago
  37. joel 1 year ago
  38. Param 1 year ago
  39. Mark 1 year ago
  40. Jordan 1 year ago
  41. doubleUTF 1 year ago
  42. Edward 1 year ago
  43. zed 1 year ago
  44. Random guy 1 year ago
  45. Cyrus Law 1 year ago
  46. sivaramakrishna 1 year ago
  47. Elaine 1 year ago
  48. Bob E 1 year ago
  49. Bill 1 year ago
  50. aris95 1 year ago
  51. Samahir 1 year ago
  52. chalmers 1 year ago
  53. max 2 years ago
  54. John Duncan 2 years ago
  55. carlos siqueira 2 years ago
  56. Jill 2 years ago
  57. Jim 2 years ago
  58. Jaime 2 years ago
  59. Kris 2 years ago
  60. Debbie 2 years ago
  61. Phillip 2 years ago
  62. Rubi 2 years ago
  63. Eddy 2 years ago
  64. dinadan 2 years ago
  65. Markus 2 years ago
  66. Ralph Clark 2 years ago
  67. Hannah 2 years ago
  68. Tony B. 2 years ago
  69. Hamid Noahdi 2 years ago
  70. Robert Oswald 2 years ago
  71. MickM 2 years ago
    • David 2 years ago
  72. KC13 2 years ago
  73. Isael Alberto 2 years ago
    • Robert 2 years ago
  74. Vlad 2 years ago
  75. Cao 2 years ago
  76. deepak 2 years ago
  77. Reginaldo Gois 2 years ago
  78. Ravikanth 2 years ago
  79. John 2 years ago
  80. Santa443 2 years ago
  81. Chaz 2 years ago
  82. TimH 2 years ago
  83. Jack 2 years ago
  84. Fairway 2 years ago
  85. allan 2 years ago
  86. 2QeVn3d5 2 years ago
  87. Guillermo 2 years ago
  88. Alex 2 years ago
  89. VenumadhavK 2 years ago
    • Rian 2 years ago
  90. NguyetNguyen 2 years ago
  91. Nick 2 years ago
    • HAL9000 2 years ago
  92. Loren Rex 2 years ago
  93. Philip Beck 2 years ago
  94. Eryk 2 years ago
  95. Damon B. 2 years ago
  96. Matt 2 years ago
  97. MadEngineer 2 years ago
  98. Steverini 2 years ago
  99. MGP 2 years ago
  100. KSILAR 2 years ago
  101. Pat 2 years ago
  102. Nghia Harvey 2 years ago
  103. Paul 2 years ago
  104. Paul 3 years ago
  105. TheShare Wizard 3 years ago
  106. Peter 3 years ago
  107. Glenn 3 years ago
  108. Markismus 3 years ago
  109. 123 3 years ago
    • aresilva 2 years ago
  110. Alan 3 years ago
  111. AKoseki 3 years ago
  112. RaymondHan 3 years ago
  113. shirley 3 years ago
  114. K Chinn 3 years ago
  115. Dong 3 years ago
  116. Kurt 3 years ago
  117. Chris Bergman 3 years ago
  118. Bernd 3 years ago
  119. paul jennings 3 years ago
  120. Howard 3 years ago
  121. Nestor 3 years ago
  122. glm 3 years ago
  123. Jos 3 years ago
  124. Lee in Gloucester, UK 3 years ago
  125. Ryan 3 years ago
  126. Marcus 3 years ago
  127. dirk kettner 3 years ago
  128. Jay 3 years ago
  129. littlewelshguy 3 years ago
  130. Anton 3 years ago
  131. yonubear 3 years ago
  132. Fabio 3 years ago
  133. Sergey Batishchev 3 years ago
  134. Darren 3 years ago
  135. Avinash 3 years ago
  136. Dean 3 years ago
  137. Indra F. Mulyanto 3 years ago
  138. Amol G 3 years ago
  139. carmen617 3 years ago
  140. Rob G 3 years ago
  141. Helge Sverre 3 years ago
  142. cherub23 3 years ago
  143. Ludo 3 years ago
  144. Paul 3 years ago
  145. Pat 3 years ago
  146. Sweedj 3 years ago
  147. martijns 3 years ago
  148. Yimby13 3 years ago
  149. Franky Esguerra 3 years ago
  150. mjw 3 years ago
  151. pw 4 years ago
  152. Francesco Milano 4 years ago
  153. Mi 4 years ago
  154. Ankur 4 years ago
  155. andrew 4 years ago
  156. Nguyen 4 years ago
  157. Timur 4 years ago
  158. Chris de Groot 4 years ago
  159. wei lun 4 years ago
  160. Ricky 4 years ago
  161. samg 4 years ago
  162. Bogdan Yurchak 4 years ago
  163. justin 4 years ago
  164. Shyam 4 years ago
  165. hitecyem 4 years ago
  166. Lizzie 4 years ago
  167. Simon 4 years ago
  168. Anmol 4 years ago
  169. rvfultyn 4 years ago
  170. Vulpix 4 years ago
  171. Jose Luis Paulino 4 years ago
  172. A Happy Camper 4 years ago
    • Randy 4 years ago
  173. Guido 4 years ago
  174. KPW 4 years ago
  175. narmex7 4 years ago
  176. Brian Weiss 4 years ago
  177. Rob 4 years ago
  178. Harmon20 4 years ago
  179. sevag 4 years ago
  180. Eddy 4 years ago
  181. Roger 4 years ago
  182. Ula 4 years ago
  183. kunal sheth 4 years ago
  184. ST 4 years ago
  185. Donald MacInnes 4 years ago
  186. Pehuén 4 years ago
  187. kush61 4 years ago
  188. Yulianto 4 years ago
  189. Rohit 4 years ago
  190. Paul 4 years ago
  191. Gaurav 4 years ago
  192. sameer 4 years ago
    • Dennis 4 years ago
  193. Luiz Gonzales 4 years ago
  194. kingsx 4 years ago
  195. Moon 4 years ago
  196. Sandeep 4 years ago
  197. Amin 4 years ago
  198. Glenn M Musano 4 years ago
  199. Hani 4 years ago
  200. Rob 4 years ago
  201. stan 4 years ago
  202. ledeuf34 4 years ago
  203. Carl Underwood 4 years ago
  204. SagarK 4 years ago
  205. Kurt 4 years ago
  206. Edward 4 years ago
  207. David Hedrick 4 years ago
  208. vbernd 4 years ago
  209. Venu 4 years ago
  210. Branden Boucher 4 years ago
    • Atul Walke 4 years ago
  211. Tom 4 years ago
  212. Yura 4 years ago
  213. adigostin 4 years ago
  214. jpf 4 years ago
    • wilson 4 years ago
  215. jeff herr 4 years ago
  216. Martin 4 years ago
  217. DRE 4 years ago
  218. Benny van Panhuis 4 years ago
  219. Rg 4 years ago
  220. ZK 4 years ago
  221. David L. Morris 4 years ago
  222. Dylan 4 years ago
  223. Carrie 4 years ago
  224. Tomas Jukl 4 years ago
  225. Luc 4 years ago
  226. webra 4 years ago
  227. Fernando 4 years ago
  228. Stephan 4 years ago
  229. Richard Emerson 5 years ago
  230. Paul Robson 5 years ago
  231. Trevor 5 years ago
  232. Jordan Wood 5 years ago
  233. Abhijeet 5 years ago
  234. Jaykumar 5 years ago
  235. Johnny Seven 5 years ago
  236. henk stubbe 5 years ago
  237. Hüseyin Keskin 5 years ago
  238. Justin 5 years ago
  239. Adam 5 years ago
  240. Ali 5 years ago
  241. Stinkey 5 years ago
  242. Nikolai 5 years ago
  243. LTC 5 years ago
  244. Attila 5 years ago
  245. Isaiah 5 years ago
  246. Bryan 5 years ago
  247. Scott Wojan 5 years ago
  248. TW 5 years ago
  249. Nodsi 5 years ago
  250. ian 5 years ago
  251. Mohamed Tareq 5 years ago
  252. Owen 5 years ago
  253. Andy 5 years ago
  254. Tony 5 years ago
  255. Prodis a.k.a. Fernando Hamasak 5 years ago
  256. MagicNuggets 5 years ago
  257. Qba67 5 years ago
  258. Kristine 5 years ago
  259. Puyursu 5 years ago
  260. Jayfitzpatrick 5 years ago
  261. Andrew 5 years ago
  262. Tsnrent 5 years ago
  263. Tim 5 years ago
  264. Jp 5 years ago
  265. Dumb Moran 5 years ago
  266. Elpablo 5 years ago
  267. Kieran 5 years ago
  268. John 5 years ago
  269. Richard 5 years ago
  270. Starfish 5 years ago
  271. Geert Smelt 5 years ago
  272. aNonYmous 5 years ago
  273. GeorgeJetson 5 years ago
  274. M Razzaghi 5 years ago
  275. OrdinaryBefuddledGuy 5 years ago
  276. Ryan Frank 5 years ago
  277. Sadiq Rahimansa 5 years ago
  278. Ion Botnari 5 years ago
  279. Peter Chogudo 5 years ago
  280. Brian Myers 5 years ago
  281. Nicholas Banack 5 years ago
  282. play8oy 5 years ago
  283. Seth Lynch 5 years ago
  284. Max Welch 5 years ago
  285. Max Welch 5 years ago
  286. Deep Saha 6 years ago
  287. zetman 6 years ago
  288. kalyan 6 years ago
  289. Rude 6 years ago
  290. Paul 6 years ago
  291. JohnnyMac 6 years ago
  292. Johan 6 years ago
  293. Jan 6 years ago
  294. Yan 6 years ago
  295. Oztech 6 years ago
  296. Sandeep CompGeek 6 years ago
  297. Dama 6 years ago
  298. Robin Soole 6 years ago
  299. Vander 6 years ago
  300. Arslan 6 years ago
  301. xyz 6 years ago
  302. MehranNZ 6 years ago
  303. Chris 6 years ago
  304. Will 6 years ago
  305. Shawn 6 years ago
  306. FRANKLIN PEACH 6 years ago
  307. Armando Chibante 6 years ago
  308. harry x 6 years ago
  309. Randy C 6 years ago
  310. Sumit Gupta 6 years ago
  311. Don C 6 years ago
  312. Shawn N 6 years ago
  313. Gianluca1989 6 years ago
  314. Drew 6 years ago
  315. Steve N 6 years ago
  316. Igor 6 years ago
  317. devolution 6 years ago
  318. RobMac 6 years ago
  319. CC 6 years ago
  320. Sunnovah 6 years ago
  321. shashank 6 years ago
  322. Tony IT Manager 6 years ago
  323. Paul Morrison 6 years ago
  324. dee 6 years ago
  325. Brian King 6 years ago
  326. Marcio 6 years ago
  327. MD 6 years ago
  328. MERB 6 years ago
  329. RJ 6 years ago
  330. Robert Santos 6 years ago
  331. Luis 6 years ago
  332. Happy 6 years ago
  333. Claude Sammut 6 years ago
  334. Dave 6 years ago
  335. K@miK@zi3 6 years ago
  336. Alex 6 years ago
  337. D 6 years ago
  338. Curious 6 years ago
  339. kerby 6 years ago
  340. htwu 6 years ago
  341. vincent 6 years ago
  342. TrongBui 6 years ago
  343. GhostTiger 6 years ago
  344. Dustin S 6 years ago
  345. puti azka 6 years ago
  346. BuZain 6 years ago
  347. Kuba 6 years ago
  348. Ole 7 years ago
  349. Karrie 7 years ago
  350. puti azka 7 years ago
  351. X_X 7 years ago
  352. MartinR 7 years ago
  353. Pragnesh 7 years ago
  354. Andrew 7 years ago
  355. Tim 7 years ago
  356. Steve 7 years ago
  357. Nicola 7 years ago
  358. Naz 7 years ago
  359. rob 7 years ago
  360. Matt 7 years ago
  361. Vikas 7 years ago
  362. Tran 7 years ago
  363. Gary B 7 years ago
  364. UserNeedsHelp 7 years ago
  365. Alex C 7 years ago
  366. Raphael 7 years ago
  367. Denis 7 years ago
  368. LAV 7 years ago
  369. JJ 7 years ago
  370. Davinci Kalani 7 years ago
  371. Paul McGowan 7 years ago
  372. S 7 years ago
  373. valivali 7 years ago
  374. Igor Jovic 7 years ago
  375. Ravin Perera 7 years ago
  376. Eduardo - Portugal 7 years ago
  377. Wai 7 years ago
  378. Tom 7 years ago
  379. Rose 7 years ago
  380. Thanesh 7 years ago
  381. Shahzad 7 years ago
  382. Henry 7 years ago
  383. Matt 7 years ago
  384. anto 7 years ago
  385. Andy 8 years ago
  386. Bob Rodes 8 years ago
  387. gk 8 years ago
  388. Jerry 8 years ago
  389. Beezle Bob 8 years ago
  390. Alex 8 years ago
  391. Catherine Chandlet 8 years ago
  392. Glen 8 years ago
  393. mnmblair 8 years ago
  394. Jon 8 years ago
  395. Stephen 8 years ago
  396. hamish 8 years ago
  397. tolu 8 years ago
  398. Eka 8 years ago
  399. Bob 8 years ago
  400. IlanF 8 years ago
  401. FullOnPbod 8 years ago
  402. ChristheFuzzy 8 years ago
  403. Merlin_Magii 8 years ago

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Note: Your comment is subject to approval. Read our Terms of Use. If you are seeking additional information on this article, please ask in our forum or contact us directly.