Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Before the desktop is displayed, my computer displays a message:

(1) Installing update 3 of 3 (0%)
(2) Installing update 3 of 3 (100%) complete
(3) It then reboots itself and goes back to #1

Even if I select to boot into Safe Mode, it does #1 above.

How can I stop my computer from doing this?

share|improve this question

migrated from Jan 20 '11 at 22:11

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

up vote 2 down vote accepted

If for some reason restore fails to get it booting, load the recovery environment command prompt and type

Del C:\Windows\winsxs\pending.xml

hit enter key

exit recovery environment and restart the pc, you may get 3 of 3 again but be patient, the desktop should load.

share|improve this answer
Interesting. I wasn't aware of this file, but it makes sense. +1 for teaching me something new. – user3463 Jan 20 '11 at 23:55
I forget where I learned that, oh well I guess it does not matter, at least I remembered where my note for it was :-) . – Moab Jan 21 '11 at 14:20

It's a fairly "common" problem, you should use a Vista (recovery) disk to "Repair" your installation by restoring the system to a point before the updates were installed. (System Restore) Then re-install the updates.

Get your Vista recovery disk here:

share|improve this answer

See this Microsoft Support article: An update is not installed successfully when you try to install the update in Windows Vista and Windows 7. What you want to do is either repair the system using the Windows installation DVD, or restore the system from the previous restore point. If you are running Windows Vista, you will also need to install a patch at the bottom of the support page.

To resolve this problem, use the following methods in the order in which they are presented. Method 1 is the simplest fix, and method 3 [sic] is the most complex.

  • Method 1: Start Windows with the Windows installation media, and then use the Repair feature
  • Method 2: Start the system in safe mode, and then use the System Restore feature
share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.