I’ve noticed this issue cropping up more often recently. When you go to update Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2, the following message pops up.
When you check the Windows Update service, you find that it is indeed already started. Rebooting does not resolve the issue.
There does not appear to be a Microsoft fix for this. However, the following steps appear to resolve the issue.
1. Stop the Windows Update service. Open up services from Computer Management, or run SERVICES.MSC from the Run command. Then locate the Windows Update service. Right click and Stop the service.
2. Browse to C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\ and delete everything from this folder.
3. Start the Windows Update service, and all the folders will be recreated.