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Windows 7 SP1 service pack install stuck in loop

HP DV6, Windows 7 Home Premium, SP1 is stuck in a loop of configuring, do not turn off your computer and gets into the 70's of percent at least, then I hear it restart (sound all goofed up by the way) and then it says "failure configuring service pack, reverting changes, do not turn off your computer."  Well and good, but I cannot get into computer to check on things like "was the AV turned off?" etc.  How can I get it to boot without automatically trying to install or uninstall?  then how can I get it to install properly?
Thanks,
Dave
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aadih
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Hit f8 when the computer restarts and get into safe mode.

(You could then just do a system restore, check things, and then, install the service pack.)
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I tried safe mode with networking, last thing it loaded was disk.sys then please wait, then it rebooted and started the cycle again. Will try again.  Is currently int "Failure configuring Service Pack
Reverting Changes
Do not turn off your computer.

Regardless of what it says can I just reboot it and try F8?  this stuff takes forever...
and then just starts the cycle again.

found this regarding some vista update issues, do you think it might be worth a try?

1. Insert your Vista Media into your dirve and boot from it.  (I have some windows 7 media)
2. Select "Repair your Computer" from the list.
3. Select "Command Prompt" from the recovery choices.
4. At the command prompt type C:
5. Type cd WindowsWinSxS
6. Type del pending.xml
7. Exit and reboot
Try booting up in safe mode with command prompt.

Then try system restore (rstrui.exe at the command prompt).

Not sure of the Visa update thing.
ok, tried that,
Loading windows files, last loaded disk.sys... now please wait...
was able to log in...
only shows two restore points a windows update at 5/22
and a windows 7 sp1 at 5/21
went for the win 7 sp1 as it was the oldest.  I tried checking the box for show more but there were no more...
after it gets done doing the restore point business, it goes right back to reboot and " preparing to configure windows" do not turn off your computer business
tried getting back to command prompt safe mode.  Stuck in endless please wait... might try booting from a linux distro and deleting that file mentioned above...  my windows 7 disk said it was not the proper version to allow me to use the repair functions (was just looking for a command prompt..)
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aadih
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got rid of the pending (you have to take ownership of it in order to change permission if booting from the drive it is working on) di not do the cleanup, but when it rebooted it ran the Failure configuring Service Pack
Reverting Changes
Do not turn off your computer. bit but only for a few minutes, then let me log into windows.
whew.  Now how do I get rid of every bit of pending updates so I can start fresh?