Stuck on "Updating Your System"

Hey Experts !

Struggling with this one.

Server HP Gen 8 Micro Server
OS Windows 2012 R2 Essentials

After installing automatic updates the server restarted itself (no option not to unfortunately)

Upon restart the server hung @ "updating your system" splash screen with the little dots going around in a circle. I'm unable to get the option to boot the server into safe mode (i think that is down to a driver issue)

Only thing if have tried so far is booting a win pe disk and deleting the pending.xml file from the winsxs folder. this has not changed anything besides the message "updating you system" has gone, now its just the circle of dots going around and around and around, please help this is a production server.

Restoring from backup is not an option unfortunately.

Regards,
infiniteit_solutionsAsked:
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johannortjeCommented:
2012 generally boots fast. Shutdown (do not restart) the server and once you power it on again. Spam the F8 button by pressing is alot.
You should see Safe Mode.

Once in Safe Mode, uninstall the update by going to Control Panel -> Programs and Features -> View installed updates.
WS2012R2-SafeMode.JPG
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infiniteit_solutionsAuthor Commented:
johannortje, I managed to get into the advanced boot menu, but when trying to boot into safe mode it does a similar thing to normal mode. There is around 5-10 seconds of disk activity, then keyboard flashes (I'm assuming its loading drivers) then silence, and left with the windows splash screen.

Could this be a driver issue with the storage controller ?? Although it actually knows where to the boot sector is initially ?

HELP
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johannortjeCommented:
Have you tried any other options like "Repair Your Computer option" or "Disable Driver Signature Enforcement" or "Disable automatic restart on system failure"?
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infiniteit_solutionsAuthor Commented:
Where is this repair you computer option ? The server boots into a troubleshoot mode after I forcefully restart it,  the options are, refresh your PC, reset your pc, advanced options > system restore, system image recovery, startup repair, command prompt.

I have tried a system restore but it fails with a error "you must specify which windows installation to restore"

I'll try the driver signature option now,
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infiniteit_solutionsAuthor Commented:
Driver signature option did not change the startup behaviour :(
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infiniteit_solutionsAuthor Commented:
OK when using the "repair you computer" option from the advanced boot menu the server also hangs. Any ideas ?
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johannortjeCommented:
What about "Disable automatic restart of system failure"? Does it show a error message?
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Have you tried using Last Known good configuration start?
Usually installation of Windows Updates create system restore points. Boot the system to recovery interface from an installation DVD and perform restore point. If your drive is not dying then it will start.
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infiniteit_solutionsAuthor Commented:
@johannortje Disable automatic restart provides no different result.

@noxcho Have tried the LKGC with the same result, hard drives are fine as I can see their contents when booting to a winpe cd and injecting the raid drivers. I dont have any installation media on hand, do you know where I could download an ISO from ?
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johannortjeCommented:
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infiniteit_solutionsAuthor Commented:
Thanks Johan, I guess I would need to inject the RAID drivers into this disc so it can recognise my windows volume ?
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johannortjeCommented:
Yip.
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
You need to upload the drivers when asked by the Recovery environment from this DVD. If it does not see your RAID then there will be an option to load the driver. Use it to load them from USB stick.
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infiniteit_solutionsAuthor Commented:
Hey Noxcho when you say from "this" DVD ? Are you referring to the eval copy Johann linked ?
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Yes. Once you boot the server from it - you have there a choice - to repair the previously installed version. If it fails to find the OS - then you need to load drivers.
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infiniteit_solutionsAuthor Commented:
Thanks Nox, the download is almost complete, will let you know how I go.

Regards,
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infiniteit_solutionsAuthor Commented:
There is no option to do a system restore. see attached
unnamed.jpg
unnamed--1-.jpg
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
What do you get under system image recovery?
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infiniteit_solutionsAuthor Commented:
It asks for a windows backup image.

Anything else I can try ? I managed to get into the system restore via loading the storage drivers via drvload in a command prompt, but unfortunately there were 0 restore points.

If I use dism to check the pending updates I can see a whole bunch of them. But when I try and do a /clean-image /revertpendingactions it doesnt remove them upon reboot.

Any suggestions ? help please!
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infiniteit_solutionsAuthor Commented:
OK PROBLEM SOLVED !

Here is the basic steps I took

- Download windows 2012 R2 media
- Boot from recovery media
- Load drivers by press Shift+F10 to bring up cmd then drvload x:\driver.inf
- Find windows drive letter, mine happened to be f: you can confirm by doing a dir on the drive
- Rename pending.xml>pending.old in windows\winsxs folder
- Run dism /image:f:\ /get-images > c:\pending.text
- Created batch script to remove all the pending updates, dism /image:f:\ /remove-package /packagename:[packagename]
-Ran batch script, it would sometimes halt after a few removals so I would do another shift+f10 to bring up a new cmd, close the old one and run the script again.
- After removal of all pending updates windows booted successfully

PS I probably could of found the one true culprit but I decided this way would be quicker than removing one and waiting for a reboot to remove the next one.

Hope this helps others having the same issues!!
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Well, there is for sure some reason why I got no points for suggesting you to use DVD drive and I am keen on knowing it. Can you tell me why was I no help in this case?
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infiniteit_solutionsAuthor Commented:
Follow steps
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Windows Server 2012

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