August 4, 2010

203 words 1 min read

Internet Explorer: “The requested lookup key was not found in any active activation context”

I recently installed a new Windows 2003 server and right off the bat started doing the Windows Updates.  Even with Service Pack 2 installed, this process takes a while. Normally it wouldn’t be a big deal, but after letting the updates run on automatic for a while… Internet Explorer blew up.

During one set of updates, the system installed Internet Explorer 8, nothing wrong with that.  Unfortunately when I launched it, to do more updates, all sorts of strange things started happening.  One of the error messages I got was when I tried to hit

Update.Microsoft.com; the system said “The requested lookup key was not found in any active activation context".  That’s a new one on me.

Fortunately, it turns out this issue is easy to fix (albeit a bit time consuming):

  • Enter Add/Remove Programs (Start > Settings > Control Panel)
  • Find Internet Explorer 7 or Internet Explorer 8
  • Click Uninstall
  • Reboot
  • Re-Launch Internet Explorer (now back to 6)
  • Run Windows Update again

Done.  Yea, it isn’t exactly hard to fix: uninstall and re-install.  It is slightly annoying that this can’t simply be “repaired”, and silly that it happens in the first place.  But what do you expect? It is Microsoft after all.