Fix ‘The data is invalid’ error

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
Managing Editor
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If you’re getting the ‘ERROR_INVALID_DATA’ error code with ‘The data is invalid’ description, follow the troubleshooting steps listed in this article to fix it.

The data is invalid: Error background

The ‘ERROR_INVALID_DATA’ system error code, also known as error 13 0xD, usually occurs when users install new apps, new updates or a new OS version on their computers. It indicates that particular files and folders are broken or corrupted. If this error occurs when upgrading your OS, most likely the Software Distribution folder is corrupted.

The ‘ERROR_INVALID_DATA’ system error affects all Windows versions.

How to fix ‘The data is invalid’ error

Solution 1 — Run the Windows Update Troubleshooter

All Windows versions feature a dedicated Windows Update Troubleshooter that automatically detects and fixes update issues. This tool can fix general update issues.

You can download the Windows Update Troubleshooter online from Microsoft’s website for the following Windows versions: Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. Windows 10 features a built-in Windows Update Troubleshooter that you can launch from the Settings page.

1. Go to Start > type “settings” > select the first result

2. Go to Windows Update > in the left-hand pane, select Troubleshoot

If the update error is quite complex, and still persists after using this utility, continue the troubleshooting process with the solutions listed below.

Solution 2 — Repair your registry

The simplest way to repair your registry is to use a dedicated tool, such as CCleaner. Don’t forget to first backup your registry in case anything goes wrong. If you haven’t installed any registry cleaner on your computer, check out our article on the best registry cleaners to use on Windows 10 PCs.

You can also use Microsoft’s System File Checker to check for system file corruption. However, this utility is only available on Windows 10. Here’s how to run an SFC scan:

1. Go to Start > type cmd > right-click Command Prompt > select Run as Administrator

2. Now type the sfc /scannow command

3. Wait for the scanning process to complete and then restart your computer. All corrupted files will be replaced on reboot.

Solution 3 — Rename the Software Distribution folder

1. Stop Windows Update: go to Start > type services in the Search box

2. Scroll down to the Windows Update service > click the Stop button to disable the Windows Update services

3. Rename the Software Distribution folder, which should be located in your C: Driver, under the Windows folder.

4. Restart the Windows Update service > update your system again. Your PC should now be able to download the latest updates, and recreate the SoftwareDistribution folder. In this manner, the files from that folder are updated as well, and missing or corrupted files are repaired.

Solution 4 — Use Microsoft’s Update Catalog website

If you can’t install particular Windows updates, you can also download them directly from the Windows Update Catalog website. All you need to do is type the KB number in the search box, hit Enter and then click the download button.

Solution 5 — Install the updates in Clean Boot

Clean Boot eliminate software conflicts that may  sometimes occur when installing various apps, programs, or updates. It works by starting Windows using a minimal set of drivers and startup programs. Here’s how to perform a clean boot:

  1. Type System Configuration in the search box > hit Enter
  2. On the Services tab >  select the Hide all Microsoft services check box > click Disable all.

hide all microsoft services windows 10

3. On the Startup tab > click on Open Task Manager.

4. On the Startup tab in Task Manager > select all items > click Disable.

disable start up items windows 10

5. Close the Task Manager.

6. On the Startup tab of the System Configuration dialog box >click OK > restart your computer.

7. Try installing the latest Windows updates while in clean boot.

For more information on how to perform a clean boot on Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 8.1, check out Microsoft’s Support page.

Solution 6 — Reset Windows Update components

1. Go to Start > launch Command Prompt as Administrator

2. Type the following commands and hit Enter after each one:

net stop bits
net stop wuauserv
net stop appidsvc
net stop cryptsvc

3. Type the following command to delete the qmgr*.dat files, and press Enter:
Del “%ALLUSERSPROFILE%Application DataMicrosoftNetworkDownloaderqmgr*.dat”

4. Type the cd /d %windir%system32 command to repair corrupted repository.

5. Reregister the BITS files and the Windows Update files by typing the following commands in Command Prompt. Hit Enter after you type each command.
regsvr32.exe atl.dll
regsvr32.exe urlmon.dll
regsvr32.exe mshtml.dll
regsvr32.exe shdocvw.dll
regsvr32.exe browseui.dll
regsvr32.exe jscript.dll
regsvr32.exe vbscript.dll
regsvr32.exe scrrun.dll
regsvr32.exe msxml.dll
regsvr32.exe msxml3.dll
regsvr32.exe msxml6.dll
regsvr32.exe actxprxy.dll
regsvr32.exe softpub.dll
regsvr32.exe wintrust.dll
regsvr32.exe dssenh.dll
regsvr32.exe rsaenh.dll
regsvr32.exe gpkcsp.dll
regsvr32.exe sccbase.dll
regsvr32.exe slbcsp.dll
regsvr32.exe cryptdlg.dll
regsvr32.exe oleaut32.dll
regsvr32.exe ole32.dll
regsvr32.exe shell32.dll
regsvr32.exe initpki.dll
regsvr32.exe wuapi.dll
regsvr32.exe wuaueng.dll
regsvr32.exe wuaueng1.dll
regsvr32.exe wucltui.dll
regsvr32.exe wups.dll
regsvr32.exe wups2.dll
regsvr32.exe wuweb.dll
regsvr32.exe qmgr.dll
regsvr32.exe qmgrprxy.dll
regsvr32.exe wucltux.dll
regsvr32.exe muweb.dll
regsvr32.exe wuwebv.dll

6. Reset Winsock by typing this command:
netsh winsock reset

7. Restart the BITS service, the Windows Update service, and the Cryptographic service. Type the following commands and hit Enter after you type each command:
net start bits
net start wuauserv
net start appidsvc
net start cryptsvc

8. Go to Windows Update and install the latest updates.
9. Restart your computer and make sure that the latest updates have been installed.

Solution 7 — Disable your antivirus/ firewall

If you still can’t install the latest updates on your computer, try disabling your antivirus and firewall. Turn off these tools temporarily, while downloading and install the updates. As soon as the updates have been installed, enable your security solutions again.

Solution 8 — Download the System Update Readiness tool

Microsoft’s DISM or System Update Readiness tool helps you fix Windows corruption issues. If your Windows updates and service packs fail to install, this utility may help you. However, the System Update Readiness Tool is designed for support agents and power users, requiring some extra technical skills. Here’s how to use it:

1. Go to Search > type Command Prompt in the Search box > right-click Command Prompt > select Run as administrator. Type the admin password if prompted.
2. Type the DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth command > Enter. Wait until the command operation is completed.

3. DISM uses Windows Update to install the files required to fix update corruption issues. If your Windows Update client is already broken, you should use a running Windows installation or use a Windows side-by-side folder from a network share or from a removable media. To do this, run this command instead: DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:C:RepairSourceWindows /LimitAccess
Replace the C:RepairSourceWindows placeholder with the location of your repair source.

4. Now, type the sfc /scannow command > hit Enter > wait for the scanning process to complete.
5. Close CMD and try to install the latest Windows Update again.

For more information on how use the System Update Readiness tool on Windows 7 and how to fix error detected in the CheckSUR.log, check out Microsoft’s Support page.

We hope that the solutions listed above helped you to fix the ‘The data is invalid’ error. As always, if you’ve come across other solutions to fix this problem, you can help the Windows community by listing the troubleshooting steps in the comments below.