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Windows 8.1 update hangs the system requiring hard shutdown to use

Posted on 2015-01-15
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Last Modified: 2015-01-19
The issue occurs when the system updates are being installed.  The progress bar sticks forever.  Need to force shutdown the system to use again.

Looking to remove or disable the install of the failing update.  Not sure how to see which one failed or how to removed the update that is pending to be installed now.
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Question by:SolutionsHarmony
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Author Comment

by:SolutionsHarmony
ID: 40550732
To mention also the system is in wonderful heath and is only a few months old and the user treats it well.  The system is performing perfectly for all other tasks.

I am hoping there is a way to fix this remotely where getting physical access to the computer is not easy.

Thank you for all help and assistance here.  Even if you read and got nothing ... thanks for reading ;)
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Andy M earned 167 total points
ID: 40550772
I would start by checking event logs - there may be something in here that points to the problematic update. Other option would be to install each update one at a time until you find the one that causes the issue (very time consuming depending on the number of updates unfortunately).

Running sfc /scannow is also worth a look as it will check the system for any corruption.

Also ensure there's no unnecessary devices connected to the computer during the update.
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Author Comment

by:SolutionsHarmony
ID: 40550780
All great directions.  Thank you.  Will get back with update on what the logs state and if that fixes it.

Is there a way to clear out the downloaded Windows updates?  Like maybe deleting all from "C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download" or something ...
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Assisted Solution

by:McKnife
McKnife earned 167 total points
ID: 40550802
open windows update and view update history. It will display which update failed to install. Sometimes simply retrying works, so that should be the first to try now.
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Assisted Solution

by:rindi
rindi earned 166 total points
ID: 40550893
Windows update by default creates restore points. So just use a restore point to go back to before the updates were starting to install. Then change the update setting to not automatically update, but rather to "Check for updates but let me choose to download and install them". After that you can try selecting only one update at a time, or 2. That way it is easier to find out which one fails, and often if they are installed individually, they are more likely not to fail installing.

Besides that, it is often better to wait with the installation of Windows updates for 1 or 2 weeks. The last year or so m$ has had a record of releasing untested and buggy updates which caused rather big problems and which were removed from their update servers after a short period. With the setting I mentioned you can decide for yourself when you want to update.
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Author Comment

by:SolutionsHarmony
ID: 40557284
Thank you everyone for the great recommendations.  Let me elaborate on what I found in my case.

McKnife - Simple post, but I gave you credit because it made me look in the simplest of places.  In Windows 8 there is a link in the Windows Update in the control panel when checking for new updates called "Update History".  In there it was obvious which update failed in the history.

Andy Morton - I would have went the same way but not necessary for the SFC /SCANNOW in this case.  

The final was to set to download but let me choose when to install.  Then I "hide" the update in the manual update install where it actually was the only one pending.

In Windows 8 i was not able to find a way to do the delayed install.  I have seen on Server 2012 though.

For extra credit anyone know how we can do an Automatic Customer Update to Microsoft that causes them to pull their head out of their arse and start testing the updates more!  In this case it was some BS patch for .NET Ver4.5.352.555343.98244.BS-845239 that caused the problem! Really I do not care about the bleeding edge patches! Urgh!!!
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