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XP won't restart, sticks at "Updates are being installed"

XP Pro OEM SP2 on a Sony VAIO

On a Remote system controlled by pcanywhere

Made a system restore point
Installed Sony web site updates for
Audio drivers
Mouse Drivers
DVD Firmware upgrade
Restarted and it got stuck saying
"Updates are being installed  1 of 2" or similar
"Do not switch off your computer"

After a long time waiting, I sighed, got someone local to switch off & switch on and logged on ok,
tried to restart.
Same problem.

Switch off, switch  on, log on ok, restored the restore point
it said it was OK, I tried to restart and again
stuck at "updates are being installed"


Sony say it might be hardware fault  or OS corruption so use their
system recovery disk to go back to square 1 , which is not very helpful.

Microsoft say they want £185 + taxes yes that is over $300 for a technician to
discuss anything on OEM XP Pro
How do I recover this?

I don't want to do a repair install or upgrade install if I can help it as the machine is
in another country and set up manager unattended repair install is not possible and upgrade install is
tricky to get right first time I imagine.

I would just like to delete some registry keys or whatever which are telling XP to do these updates at shut down time.
Then roll back the drivers I would imagine.
Don't see any earlier firmware version for the DVD on the web site so if that is the problem, it will be tough.

I have a recent tape backup, but when the backup is restored with System State,
will it overwrite the problem immediately, or after it restarts?  In other words will I still
be stuck trying to close down?  If so what happens if I switch off and on at that point?

Many thanks Experts


PS The registry key for system restore says the last restore was interrrupted
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\SystemRestore   RestoreStatus=2

Also somewhere along the way using remote registry editing from another PC I deleted a key in

"*Restore"="C:\\WINDOWS\\system32\\restore\\rstrui.exe -i"
To get out of a loop and back in to some control.

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1 Solution
It took me about 45 min to install SP2, until I aborted the installation. Maybe it is just taking a long time to install.
GrahamGristAuthor Commented:
It was left for over an hour.
And it is only installing a few small drivers, nothing like installing SP2
Glen A.IT Project ManagerCommented:
It's a known issue right now.  I don't think Microsoft has posted a fix.

What I did at our office was log into the PC in safe mode, go to system properties, Automatic Updates, and turned it off (was set to Automatically Download and Install Updates) then booted normally.

I was then able to download and install the update and reboot and everything was fine.

Should work for you as well.
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Glen A.IT Project ManagerCommented:
BTW this fix worked for the user here as well: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/WinXP/Q_21167724.html
GrahamGristAuthor Commented:
Egg on MS for this one - must have been in a recent auto update  !!.

It had also just happened on a local office machine with no driver update red herrings.

Hacker window is now open for a while, auto updates switching off around the world as we speak!

Glen A.IT Project ManagerCommented:
My wife had three machines in her office do similar things.  So far it seems to only be happening on SP2 machines with Automatic updates installed and configured to download and install automatically.

Curious, GrahamGrist, why the 'B' grade?
GrahamGristAuthor Commented:
Sorry - you are right - it was instinct because it was an "easy" answer.

In fact it also happened here in my own office to my own pc and I had found the solution before I read your answer, although in timing terms your answer was there but I had not collected my email as I was working the problem!

But now I have read the grading suggestions, I see it should have been an "A"
This is only my 3rd question here so am learning.

Don't see where to change it though.

Graham Grist & Co Ltd
Glen A.IT Project ManagerCommented:
Apologies not needed, thanks though!  

As for the grade -  unfortunately, you can't change it, but an administrator can.  If you have no objection I can see that it's done.

You'll often find experts here are very protective of their grading ratings, and so we tend to ask the questioner if we think a grade was given in error.

As both a participating expert and a Page Editor (Admin) on the site, I try to watch for grades given against the guidelines not just for me, but for other experts in my Topic Areas as well.  Thanks for understanding.

I'm sure I speak for all the experts and admins when I say "Welcome to Experts Exchange!"

We're glad to have you here at EE, and I really hope that the other Experts and I can provide you with a great experience!
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