server 2008 r2 looks stuck on windows update

I have a server 2008 r2 server running sql 2008 and it is also my backup server (backup exec). I set the server to auto update this morning at 2am. At 7am this morning It didn't appear to be processing any updates and when I checked for new updates it failed. If figured I would reboot the server and try again. During the reboot it went to a screen the says do not turn off or unplug processing update 27 of 127.. . That was almost 10 hours again. There is activity on the drives and it doesn't appear to be frozen in that the two dots after 27 of 127 continue to move. This is a production server and very important but I am getting nervous about how long it is taking and wondering if it will be completed by open of business tomorrow morning. Any advice?
xrayeyesAsked:
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BillBondoCommented:
A thought... is it waiting on you to respond? I have seen for ex. IE do a pop under.
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bas2754Commented:
I have had a few servers do the same thing on a rare instance.  In my case I had to just take a chance and power cycle the server.  In most instances it will revert the update changes and boot up normally.  After this I run through the logs.  Do a cleanup on the server of temp files and such and then run the Windows Update Preparedness Tool (http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=14668).

Doing a power cycle of a server doing updates is usually a very, very bad idea, however when I see a server stuck on one update for more than 4 or 5 hours to me it pretty much means it is hung up.  If I cannot login to the server to kill the update process then the only option I have left is to power cycle it.  This being said, having a good backup is always a plus before doing this process.
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xrayeyesAuthor Commented:
BillBondo,

Thanks for replying so quickly. I don't think so because there were no windows to respond to or even an indication that updates were occurring when I chose to reboot. It is the screen you see when you reboot and it then starts processing updateswindows-server-update-screen. I have attached a picture.
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xrayeyesAuthor Commented:
bas2754,

That is kind of my last resort option. I just don't want to use that option unless there are no others. Scary option.

Thanks Gary
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bas2754Commented:
I think there is particular update that hangs when trying to install along with other updates.  I have had this problem and may 3 or 4 servers.  Left one running 24 hours and figured that was long enough.  Only way to get around it is to reboot.
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bas2754Commented:
Microsoft does offer free support for Windows Update problems, but I don't think the priority is as high as server down issues.  The only choices you have are to:

1.  Wait to see if it ever completes (never seen this happen on one of these hangs)
2.  Reboot the server (wincing as you do so praying it all comes back up  - Windows is more resilient than most people realize).
3.  Call Microsoft support and open a case and see if they have a way around it.  

If you cannot ping or connect to the server really 1-3 are all the choices you have.
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BillBondoCommented:
RDP? See what that yields??? JAThought
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xrayeyesAuthor Commented:
bas2754,

I think I am going to open a support case with Microsoft. Hurts paying so much but this server is pretty important.

BillBondo,

I tried mstsc and no luck can't remote in. I can however browse files on the server (and ping it). I am able to get to the WindowsUpdate file in the C:\Windows folder, here are some of the last lines it wrote.

2015-08-30      16:58:23:398      1000      ed8      DnldMgr      Regulation: {9482F4B4-E343-43B6-B170-9A65BC822C77} - Update B5BB2280-7B5D-4C7F-8EAE-E1289581965D is "PerUpdate" regulated and can NOT download. Sequence 951 vs AcceptRate 0.
2015-08-30      16:58:23:398      1000      ed8      DnldMgr        * Update is not allowed to download due to regulation.
2015-08-30      16:58:23:398      1000      ed8      DnldMgr      Regulation: {9482F4B4-E343-43B6-B170-9A65BC822C77} - Update B5BB2280-7B5D-4C7F-8EAE-E1289581965D is "PerUpdate" regulated and can NOT download. Sequence 951 vs AcceptRate 0.

Thanks, Gary
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BillBondoCommented:
Im guessing RDP was enabled? If not you can remote registry into server and enable... Wonder if you can open MMC's into server? Thoughts...
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bas2754Commented:
Bill -

When you open the case with MS, make sure you tell them it is a hung update causing your server to be down.  Ask them to waive the fee since it is an update.  Sometimes they will.
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bas2754Commented:
Sorry last comment was for original poster, misread the thread.  Anyway Bill brings up a good point if you can get into server manager and connect to the server from there, you may be able to do some manipulation to shutdown everything prior to the power cycle.
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xrayeyesAuthor Commented:
BillBondo,

I can MMC into the server. I am 99 % sure RDP was enabled but let me see if I can get to that registry section to confirm. I don't use MMC much but was able to get to the Task Scheduler on that server.

Thanks, Gary
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BillBondoCommented:
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xrayeyesAuthor Commented:
Yup I am remoted into the registry at this location HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\RCM but I am having troubling figuring out if it is enabaled.
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xrayeyesAuthor Commented:
Ok so I just remoted into the Services for that server and the Windows Update Service is trying to stop. Is there something I can do from there?

Thanks, Gary
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BillBondoCommented:
http://archive.oreilly.com/pub/a/windows/archive/server-hacks-remote-desktop.html
Set key to 0.. Might not help since a reboot is needed.... hummm

http://mediarealm.com.au/articles/2013/03/remotely-enable-remote-desktop-in-windows-7/

just maybe..

I didnt think a reboot was needed????
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BillBondoCommented:
Im sure you can kill the service? Once remoted in. MMC into services?
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xrayeyesAuthor Commented:
BillBondo,

Thanks for the O'Reilly site. I used it to confirm that RDP is (was) enabled but I still can't remote in with any credentials administrator or otherwise.

Do you think there is a service I can stop that will allow it to continue to reboot. I am guessing the Windows Update service that states it is stopping but it is unable to get to stop is the issue.

Thanks, Gary
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xrayeyesAuthor Commented:
Yup I am in the servers Services panel but it is grayed out. Here is how it looks:
remote-servers-services.png
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BillBondoCommented:
Trying everything under the sun... you could try Dameware or powershell.

https://benchristian.wordpress.com/2006/01/11/opening-a-local-command-prompt-for-a-remote-machine/

https://4sysops.com/archives/three-ways-to-run-remote-windows-commands/

Minga... Try pulling nic for a second.. curse and threaten the freakin thing!

bas 2754 has a point. MS is pretty easy when it comes to these things. As long as the server is doing what it needs to do.... Give it more time
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xrayeyesAuthor Commented:
Got it. I will be patient and wait for MS to call. I will report back what happens. Thanks BillBondo and bas 2754 for the help so far. I do appreciate.

Gary
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bas2754Commented:
Another thought in case you get tired of waiting or bored: http://blogs.technet.com/b/chrad/archive/2011/02/16/remote-machine-spinning-process-and-getting-your-machine-back-2-step-process-to-get-it-back.aspx

I thought you could do this but couldn't remember since I am at home with no server to check.  You can use taskkill with the force option to sometimes to kill a process that task manager or services fails to stop.
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Michael MachieFull-time technical multi-taskerCommented:
Press CTRL+ALT+DELETE the same as to get a login prompt. Sometimes the updates display message hangs and all that is needed is to press CTRL+ALT+DELETE.
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xrayeyesAuthor Commented:
BillBondo and bas2754,

Thank you so much for the assistance last night. I split the solution because I felt both of you really brought up good points and were helpful.

So in the long run doing exactly what was the last resort was what I did. MS did call me back and was on the line. I had the server 2008 r2 enterprise disk in the drive just in case they needed to help me in recovery console. Once I manually held that power button and forced the shutdown the server came back up fine. I kind of figured that would be the case considering there was very little disk activity but you know they put that warning "don't power down or unplug" for a reason and this server is so important to us that I really wanted backup support. I also remoted into the server services and disable the windows update service before the forced shutdown. During the power on cycle it went through a series of windows update config screens and another reboot but ultimately I was back at Ctrl-Atl-Del.  MS was really good about the whole thing and although I did have to secure the call with $499 a manager got on the phone with me and said because of what happened they would not be processing the charge.

So here are some taka ways for me. First - forget where my healthcare vender wants to put the backup software for the application. Having it on the same server that is running SQL just doesn't work for me. I will be moving the drive and software to a different physical box or maybe converting my DB server to a new VM box. Going to do my homework there. Second, I have been doing this work long enough to know that sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith. Hoping that your knowledge, patience and input from others pay off.

Thanks again for everything, take care and have a Great Day,
Gary
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