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Fresh install of Windows7, i think the only things installed so far are the nvidia drivers, windows essential AV, and some other device drivers such as wifi.

There are tons of updates. it downloads some in the background and the first time i reboot, it shows the usual installing updates. All goes well. Next day, it is trying to install updates from a total of 66. it hangs on 21. the disc is spinning just fine.

I left it there and go to sleep. this morning it is still on the very same state (8+ hours!)

It is a passive cooled system that uses the metal case as cooling, so i can touch it and feel if the temperature is on the high 50C or lower 60C... it usually stays on high 50C if it is completely idle for some time and lower 60C if it is doing work on the CPU... it was in the lower end temp, which led me to believe it was doing nothing all that time.

I forced a shutdown by pressing the power button for 4sec. it booted up, i selected to start windows normaly and it rebooted instead of showing the login screen, and then rebooted to the 'removing badly installed updates' or something on those lines screen and then system was usable.

I selected all the security updates and installed them actively, it now hang on number 17, kb2653956, nothing breaks, there is no weird process doing extra work as far as i can tell. the progress bar lights up as if it were working. nothing is abnormal, despite this update never installing.

after several hours i clicked cancel. now it is there, but saying canceling update 17, and the cancel button is disabled. I'm sure it is not going anywhere again.

I did a full backup via windows right before the update... but never used windows backups for anything, so i'm not sure if there's anything useful there.

Everything i found about updates not installing people report an error code. i get nothing. just takes forever and does nothing.

the history shows a bunch of the failed ones from when i reboot, that the logs only have day, not hour, so i'm not sure if the order will hint at the first one that 'failed'. does it? And the shutdown screen also has no info at all, so i have no idea if the KB# that is hanging now is the same one that hang when it was installing during shutdown...

how should i fix/debug this issue?

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Read/try this info from MS: How do I reset Windows Update components? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Dec 27 '13 at 21:26
thanks! that did not solve it (didn't find anything wrong) but while trying to run it as i was running the update, it told me that i can't use runas with it, i have to run under a admin session. i did that for the updates and everything finally worked. weird that the first time it halted the updates was during shutdown. can't imagine what microsoft screwed up for the last user session impact that... – gcb Dec 28 '13 at 9:35

I was running windows with 2 users. an admin user that i used just to have a password, and a non admin user that had auto logon.

Everytime i had to do something with admin access (when windows ask you to click OK on that silly modal dialog) i had to type in the password. It was a nice setup for a HTPC that everyone used.

But apparently that was impacting one update. it just stayed there forever, not timing out on some auth. and that even happened when the updates installed at shutdown if the last user to request the shutdown was the non-admin one.

thanks to techie007, i noticed that logging as the admin user in its own session and manually applying the updates solved it.

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