What to do when Windows 7 appears to hang during the installation of updates?
1. Solve the Halting Problem
Obviously you ought to try to decide if the machine's really frozen. The main indicator you can look for is hard drive activity. If your hard drive LED is blinking, the machine's probably still doing something. If you don't have an LED, put your ear to the machine and listen for disk activity. Similarly, if you see heavy blinking on your network card, it may just be downloading some delicious MS-certified spyware (etc). If the machine really appears to be doing stuff, then leave it. If many hours (>5) pass with no change on the screen, it's probably hung.
2. Make a decision
Once you've decided your machine is indeed frozen, you have two basic choices:
- Pretend it's not frozen, until a power surge frees you
- Reboot (press your reset button, or hold in your power button for many many seconds)
It's just that simple.. If it's frozen, all you really can do is reboot and hope that your file system's in good enough shape that it takes care of everything. Else, you get go learn about recovering your data and reinstalling your OS.