Thank you for posting this, Chuck. You're in the right place in the FAQ -
and the three likely causes are the presence of a proxy server between the
client and the internet that's preventing the target client from accessing
the needed catalog files from Microsoft.com (this can be resolved by making
a direct connection to the web - not through a proxy, or open Internet
Explorer and choose FILE | WORK OFFLINE to un-check the 'work offline'
selection if its checked).
You also may need to update the Windows Update Agent on the target machines.
This is the most likely cause and can be resolved by either installing the
latest WUA client as indicated in the FAQ or selecting the option in MBSA to
'Configure computers for Microsoft Update and scanning prerequisites' which
will allow MBSA to push and install an update WUA client on each target
If you're completely offline (meaning, you have no connectivity to the
internet), you can resolve this from another item in the FAQ titled, “MBSA
uses files that it downloads from the Internet, but the computer I want to
use to scan my network doesn't have Internet access. How can I use MBSA in
an offline and secure environment?”
You can either perform the scan using the mbsacli command-line utility with
the /nd (do not download) parameter, or you can perform the scan using the
GUI. Before scanning you must copy the necessary files to the computer
performing the scan. Four types of files are required:
• Security update catalog (wsusscn2.cab), available from the Microsoft Web
• Windows Update Redistribution Catalog (wuredist.cab) located at
• Authorization catalog (muauth.cab) for Windows Update site access,
available from the Microsoft Web site or by examining the contents of the
wuredist.cab file located at http://update.microsoft.com/redist/wuredist.cab
• Windows Update Agent standalone installers (if not already installed):
• For x86-based computers (WindowsUpdateAgent30-x86.exe) or
• For x64-based computers (WindowsUpdateAgent30-x64.exe) or
• For ia64-based computers (WindowsUpdateAgent30-ia64.exe), the latest
versions are available by examining the contents of the wuredist.cab file
located at http://update.microsoft.com/redist/wuredist.cab
After downloading the files from the Microsoft Web site, copy all files
listed above to the following folder on the computer performing the security
C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Application
I hope that helps.
Doug Neal [MSFT]
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
If newsgroup discussion with experts and MVPs is unable to solve a problem
to your satisfaction, feel free to contact PSS for support on the Microsoft
Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA). Information is available at the following
This e-mail address does not receive e-mail, but is used for newsgroup
Post by Chuck
Two customers I have are experiencing this problem. One is on an XP-SP3
system and another vista. Solutions provided to this point have not been
successful. Please provide other options.
Post by geekseeker
Running XP Home with SP2
Scanning efforts quickly lead to: "Failed to download security update
databases" followed by "The catalog file is damaged or an invalid catalog"?
"These errors may also appear if Internet Explorer is running with the
offline setting, which will prevent MBSA from being able to download the
BUT ... what and where is the offline setting?
What else might I do to correct this problem?