Windows update on server 2003 / Exchange Server 2003 stalled - best advice?

Hi,
I was doing a widows update on a server 2003. There were three .net security related updates.

One of them was taking a very long time to install so I choose to cancel it.
It has now been about an hour on the cancelling screen as shown.

What's the best advice to proceed?

windowsCapture.PNG
afflik1923Asked:
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
Best advice - don't cancel them mid way.

After that - sit and wait for it to cancel.  Sometimes they take an age - just let it be and it will finish eventually.
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afflik1923Author Commented:
I should have never cancelled it! But I was so keen to do a server restart before bed (other reasons for that need).
I wanted to get to sleep at normal time tongiht. Oh well.

Thanks Alan
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Obi WanFixerUpperCommented:
Yeah i done the same thing recently, left it for 48hrs and it was finished ok, same update too, but ran out of disk space, DOH!

Fingers crossed its that easy for you ! :)

Jamie
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
Sorry :(

Sometimes it pays to leave it to it's own devices!
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afflik1923Author Commented:
48 hours!!! boo hoo.
and even worse. Emails do not seem to be coming in or going out!!!
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
Some services get stopped during updates, so once the update has finished cancelling, the server may need a reboot to get the services running again.  Looks like a late night I'm afraid.

Ah - the joys of IT!
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afflik1923Author Commented:
hmm even internal emails not working. Outlook connected to server on workstations. goes into sent items
does not arrive
panic
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afflik1923Author Commented:
could I just stop and restart the services manually
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
Probably the store is offline.  Don't do anything - wait for everything to finish or you could make things worse.
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afflik1923Author Commented:
OK one thing I should add. One reason why we started this is because the IMAP service would not restart
When I look at that service, it is still in a state of "Starting"
from a previous restart we tried earlier
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afflik1923Author Commented:
I'll be honest. I'm panicing big time
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afflik1923Author Commented:
is there anyway I can track status of the update
anyway I can amke sure there is some progress.
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
If you know the KB Article, you can open the log relating to the KB that was / is uninstalling to see what it is doing.

Best advice - stop panicking - it should sort itself out and you can only make the situation worse by fiddling.
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afflik1923Author Commented:
OK you are probably right, but calling MS.
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
Unless it won't cost you a cent - I'd not bother.

Event logs may point to why IMAP was failing - anything useful in them?
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afflik1923Author Commented:
start smtp it works for a min, then stops again
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afflik1923Author Commented:
On phone to them now. Start SMTP service. emails come through for a few minutes, but then the SMTP service stops
nothing added into event log when this happens.
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
I would imagine that starting the service (or other services that have stopped) is only going to prolong the agony and cause the uninstallation to take even longer, causing you greater down-time.
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
I follow the old adage of:

"If it ain't broke - don't fix it"

At the moment - your server isn't broken (yet), so I would stop trying to fix it.
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afflik1923Author Commented:
I was advsied to kill inetinfo.xe process but on your advice I have asked they confer internally to make sure. I even showed your posting.
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
If you kill processes, then you may end up with a half installed / half uninstalled update, which may leave your server in an even worse state (it may not) but are you willing to take the risk?
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afflik1923Author Commented:
the thing is, but not being able to send emaisl it is kind of broken. IF this is not working by say 6am, it will be bad. and the 48 hour comment, would be unacceptable
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
The 48 hours was in one person's experience.  I would not take that as gospel that it will take that long.  It may only take another half an hour - but if you interrupt it, you will never know.

How long did it take before you cancelled the update and has that amount of time elapsed since cancelling?
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afflik1923Author Commented:
still waiting for them to confer. I will say I don't want to kill the process. I am on hold. Hopefully she will come back with some good ideas, which may be like yours, just wait, but I'm badly in need of a good nights sleep.
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
I'm UK based too :)

Don't normally go to bed until about 2:00am so should be around a while.  Appreciate you don't want to hang on for ever.

Can you access the server remotely from home (assuming you are in the office still)?
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DonNetwork AdministratorCommented:
Have you tried  taskmgr kill process msiexec.exe ???


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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
In terms of mail-flow not flowing, messages will queue internally and externally and you have up to 48 / 72 hours before messages externally will get timed out (although this depends on the sending server configuration).

Unless you have something Urgent to go out - or be received, I would let it sort itself out.

If you stop anything, you could be up all night fixing the aftermath.

The lesser of two evils would be to leave it (IMHO).
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afflik1923Author Commented:
to be honest it was probably only an hour before I got impatient and pressed cancel. MS also said "you should not have doene that" which of course I know and have learnt a hard lessone. I'm normally very cautious.
Since I pressed cancel about 2 hours 20 mins.
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DonNetwork AdministratorCommented:
It's a .net update, even if it get messed up it's fairly easy to repair with the .net removal tool!
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
If you bring up Task Manager - do the processors seem to be busy doing something and are the Hard Disk Drives flashing away?

I'm hoping you are the only one left in the office!

What spec processor is in the server and how much memory is installed?
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DonNetwork AdministratorCommented:
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
What time zone are you in dstewartjr?
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DonNetwork AdministratorCommented:
What dif does that make??
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
Just curious if you are going to bed soon or will be around for several hours more and can help afflik1923 if necessary?

If you are US based, then that's useful.
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DonNetwork AdministratorCommented:
ahhh. central

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afflik1923Author Commented:
notice I missed some of your earlier posts. Glad to know you are there Alan! seriulsy apprecaite it!
Note I'm at home now, Not in clients office. VPN access. They would not be happy if email down for an hour let alone day. One of there staff norma;lly works now but thanfully on holida.
MS asked me to try and restart some services. They assumred me would have no impact on what I'm doing. Then they wanted to restart IIS Admin.

We noted the other services that would also be restarted included IMAP - a service that has not restarted propelry anyway, and was the reason for me wanting to do a restart this evening.
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
Okay - so if the worst comes to the worst, afflik1923 is not going to be alone - just sleepy when I head to bed in about an hour :)

afflik1923 - your call as to where to go from here.  If you start killing services, you have MS and dstewartjr on hand to bail you out.
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afflik1923Author Commented:
So note that IMAP has a status of "STARTING" and I cannot press any buttons. It was like this before I started windows update.
It comes to mind that maybe this is holding things up?
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
If MS assure you all will be well, then might be time to cut your losses and follow their advice.
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
Could well be.  Can you run iisreset?
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afflik1923Author Commented:
OK picking up on bits of the conv I missed.
not much process activity in task manager. System idel 99 most time but does change occasionally.

Not eI can see two entries for msiexec. One run by system and another by administator.
system taking up 20mb, admin version taking up 108k
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afflik1923Author Commented:
iisreset from command line?
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DonNetwork AdministratorCommented:
Try killing inetinfo.exe using Task Manager then restarting the services in services.msc
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DonNetwork AdministratorCommented:
and kill both instances of msiexec.exe(If it will let you)
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
Sounds like a plan to me.
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afflik1923Author Commented:
OK. MS lady seems to have gone missing. Still on hold. Must be discussing. h shes ;back
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
They are not really MS people - Just pretending to be!
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DonNetwork AdministratorCommented:
Did you try killing inetinfo.exe and restarting imap ??
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afflik1923Author Commented:
woo hoo. Thanks guys. Credit to MS. She went away regarding my concenrs for killing the inetinfo service. She consulted with peers and came back and assurmed me it was safe. (as did dstewartjr)

Once done, all seemed to click into place. Was able to restart many services including IMAP4 and email working again.
relief and sleep!!!!.
also update is still cancelling, but now I can leave that as long as it takes.

But thanks to both you guys for sticking byy me. The good side of panic, is the releif feeling also feels so good. If only my clients knew what I go through for them.
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afflik1923Author Commented:
oh my and now I have "Installation Complete" I could even restart the server, but that's enoguh for tonight!!!
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
Excellent news.  Well done.

Hope the server is happy after a reboot :)
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afflik1923Author Commented:
apparently all three updates installed even though I "cancelled"
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
Typical!
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
Credit to MS and dstewartjr then.  Don't award me any points (if you were thinking about it).
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afflik1923Author Commented:
Also no high priorty updates available. All looking good (Still need server reboot for the REg change we made to fix error log issue -but that's another story)
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DonNetwork AdministratorCommented:
GOOD TO HEAR
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afflik1923Author Commented:
All input appreciated. But at the end of the day this was the right one.
Many thanks
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Windows Server 2003

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