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2012 R2 Hyper-V server stuck at Updating your system 6% after windows update

I built a new server a few days ago, 2012 R2 Standard on a 2012 R2 Standard Hyper-V host server.  Host is a PowerEdge 2950 32 GB RAM, Xeon 2.0 GHz Processors, drivers are all up to date.  (Another nearly identical virtual server on this host that has not been updated is working perfectly.)  After running all available windows updates, the virtual server gets stuck at the Hyper-V screen and says "updating your system (6%)" and never proceeds.  I had this happen on an earlier server I built so I scrapped it and started over and the exact same issue occurred again.

So far I have:
Let it run overnight to see if it completed: no change
rebooted many times: no change
booted into safe mode and safe mode with networking: no change
went into safe mode command prompt and renamed the SoftwareDistribution folder: no change
removed all network cards from Hyper-V VM and rebooted: no change

I am out of ideas.  I can always rebuild it again and avoid installing all of the updates at once but I would rather know how to fix this in case it comes up on one of our other production servers.

Anyone seen this before?  Google has very little on the issue.

Thanks!
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bobbailey22
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bobbailey22
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1 Solution
 
Cliff GaliherCommented:
As I recall, the 2950 is still not certified for 2012 R2. That isn't a coincidence. There was (is?) a known compatibility issue with some main board drivers and the 2012 R2 integration services, and the server was old enough that Dell was not going to release updated drivers adding support. So while you can get a basic install working, any patch that touches the integration services will cause issues. The only workaround I know works (and is more painful than  beneficial) is to install the guest, disable all integration services on the host, use legacy vNICs, etc, and use DISM to yank out the integration components and drivers from the guest, all before patching.
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bobbailey22Author Commented:
I am happy to do that, but do you have any ideas on how to get the current server to boot?  I tried disabling all integration services and that did not make a difference either.
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
Once an incompatible patch has been applied....restore a backup or reinstall. I don't believe there is another clean way back. Just the downside of running an OS on unsupported hardware. It isn't a path I recommend.
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Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/StorageCommented:
Boot to your OS load (optical or flash) and CMD.

Delete the Pending.XML file that is hosting the updates sequence and reboot.

It _should_ come back.

Is your OS load 2012 R2 U1 Refresh? Files on ISO should be dated late November 2014 or early December 2014.

That's an _old_ server. I highly doubt that it's worth spending too much time with it. If for a lab a Dell C1100 1U (not the clones) can be had for a song on eBay. Intel Xeon Processor E5600 series (don't purchase "L" codes), RAM, and 1U server. Just add drives. BIOS will have relatively recent virtualization acceleration features needed and the NICs may be relatively virtualization friendly too.
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bobbailey22Author Commented:
Thanks for the suggestions Philip.  The server is a brand new ISO downloaded from Microsoft VLSC last week and nothing mentioned U1 refresh.  The file says date created 5/19/2014 in the details tab of properties.  File name is Windows_Svr_Std_and_DataCtr_2012_R2_64Bit_X19-53588.iso

No change there with your pending.xml suggestion unfortunately.  I also moved the VM to an R710 server with the same base OS and it still won't boot so I presume the damage has been done and it's toast.  I will let you know what I find as I research further.
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Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/StorageCommented:
We download via MVLS a lot. The current file is:

SW_DVD9_Windows_Svr_Std_and_DataCtr_2012_R2_64Bit_English_-4_MLF_X19-82891.iso

Note the -4 in the name for the rev number. That is the most current version.
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bobbailey22Author Commented:
I am thinking of making this server just a single physical server with the base OS only, does the incompatibility you mentioned earlier apply to that as well, or is it just when using virtualization?
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
It is an old server. The same drivers that are having issues with the integration components will have issues with other updates. As I said, consequences of trying to run an OS that has known supportability issues on old hardware. YMMV. Seems like high risk for little reward to me. I'd not do it.
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bobbailey22Author Commented:
I may still use this server for non production as the host seems to run properly, but Cliff's information was accurate in the incompatibility between Server 2012 R2 and the Dell PowerEdge 2950.
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Walter RamekinCommented:
I have just encountered the same symptoms but with a brand new Dell R720.

The problem was this update: KB3000850KB3000850 and, specifically, having created Generation 2 VMs with Secureboot enabled.

I was able to recover the situation without resorting to backups by restarting the VMs, and turning them off on the cusp of the restart so no damage was caused; then disabling SecureBoot in the VM settings.

I had to apply all updates again, which of course I did rather gingerly :)

So my hunch is that maybe the problem was not with the age of the OP's Dell ?
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Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/StorageCommented:
I suggest reading the Known Issues section of the KB. It deals with this problem and the patch to apply before running the update.
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Walter RamekinCommented:
I suggest reading the Known Issues section of the KB. It deals with this problem and the patch to apply before running the update.

Well, yes, I did, obviously, but it doesn't say how to recover from the problem if you didn't read the KB article until after you applied the update, as I didn't :) and, perhaps, neither did the OP nor other future finders of this thread, hence reporting my get-out-of-jail tactic which saved me a ton of grief and might help others in the future.
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bobbailey22Author Commented:
Disabling SecureBoot did not work in my case.  I ended up just rebuilding a new VM on a different host since there was nothing on it but the base install of windows and one round of updates.  Thanks for the tip, hopefully it will help the next person who has the issue.
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exxonvaldCommented:
Have a similar problem, "Updating your System (8%)" stuck forever. Solutions found elsewhere all suggest going into safemode first, but even going into safemode, I get the "Updating your System (8%)" which prevents me from doing anything
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