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Windows Update Loop  - Win2k8 Server

Posted on 2009-05-01
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
We have a Windows 2008 Standard Server which we've done Windows updates on this morning. It now boots up, and says 'Configuring updates: Stage 3 or 3 - 99% complete' then shuts down gracefully and then reboots and does the same thing.

i've tried booting in safe mode and it still does the same.
I've also tried the 'last known good configuration' and the same thing happens.

What can I do now?
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Question by:edz_pgt
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tigermatt earned 1500 total points
ID: 24281196

Call Microsoft PSS and tell them you have a Windows Update issue. Any issues related to THEIR updates will be resolved for free.

-Matt
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by:edz_pgt
ID: 24282426
Ah, interesting!
I've been working on this machine all day. A colleague suggested that the hard disk might be on the way out so I ghosted it across to a new drive and sure enough it failed to read the source disk at one point.
I then re-ghosted it and this time ignored any bad clusters. Once this was done, the windows installation refused to boot. I ran the 'repair' function on the installation DVD and it fixed that issue.
Trouble is, now the loop has started again on this new drive!
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by:tigermatt
ID: 24282694

Did the loop only occur after installing the updates? I'd presume so, seeing as it is looping on the configuring updates.

With not much to go on and very little ability to boot the server, I would seriously suggest giving PSS a call. Failing that, what happens if you boot in Safe Mode? If you can, check the Event Logs and let me know what you find.

-Matt
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by:edz_pgt
ID: 24282736
I think calling Microsoft is possibly the only option. Trouble is, I'm not sure it's worth the hassle. I know we could all learn from the experience but it just takes so long, doesn't it. The server is used in-house and it's only a standard terminal server that would only take a couple of hours to rebuild from scratch.
Safe mode does exactly the same and so does 'last know good configuration'.
Just a thought - is it possible to exctract the event log via the file system? I mean, if I boot the machine with a Linux 'Live CD', I could browse the file structure.
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by:tigermatt
ID: 24282785

If it's failing in Safe Mode and Last Known Good Config too, there's something wrong with those Windows updates.

The Event Logs are located in %SystemRoot%\System32\Winevt\Logs\ and are in *.evtx files. If you can retrieve the Application and System files, you can import them to Event Viewer on another Server 2008 or Vista machine and analyse them.

-Matt
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by:tigermatt
ID: 24282791
One thing I should mention, though, is if the system cannot be booted in Safe Mode, it's unlikely you'll be able to pull off any update which needs uninstalling anyway.

-Matt
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Author Closing Comment

by:edz_pgt
ID: 31576822
Whilst I'm sure this is the right answer, I ended up reformatting the server as I thought it would be a quicker fix.
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