We've all been there. You're installing a new major system for a client and you're finishing up with installing all required updates and this happens.

enter image description here
Image taken from petur.eu

Or, more specifically, this is the one I am seeing right now (sorry for the German):

Phase 3 of 3 - Configuring Windows - Please do not turn off your computer

The message is pretty clear. Do not power off or unplug your machine!

But I have been looking at this screen for 2 hours now and I begin to suspect that whatever is hidden behind it, failed.

So, what is the right thing to do in this case?

  • 4
    Its a VM, hard reboot it. worst case scenario you get to reinstall Windows. More likely is that Windows will recover and avoid any damage – Akash May 12 '12 at 14:03
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    @Akash: I have a hard time accepting that reasoning ;) I may have just spent 48 hours installing this machine and configuring critical services on it. Yes, worst case is a reinstall, but that's a pretty major worst case. – Der Hochstapler May 12 '12 at 14:06
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    Well, you have two choices. Either leave it there for the rest of time, or decide how long you are will to wait before pulling the plug. Obviously the longer you can wait before you pull the plug, the safer your strategy is. – Robin Gill May 12 '12 at 14:09
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    This is an impossible question to answer. What can you do when you cannot turn off the machine? Well, you could play pool. Or go shopping. You've already postulated you can't turn off the machine. And of course the worst case scenario - you may need to reinstall - NEVER goes away. The way to deal with that may be to create an image so the process can be automated and repeated. But you can't ever expect to eliminate the root cause. :) – The Dag May 12 '12 at 14:30
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    May be this is what you are looking for microsoft answer. – avirk May 12 '12 at 14:41

Many users has this problem on Windows Vista/Windows 7 and there are some solution to this.

  1. If it is still stuck on the Installing Update page, then restart the computer and choose boot normally and check what happens.
    If you get into Windows and not all of the updates were installed, then you can install the updates one at a time and see if one of them is having a problem.

  2. If you are not able to boot normally to the desktop, then you may follow the steps given in this link to do a Startup repair or System restore booting from Vista/7 full version Disc to boot to the desktop:

  3. When you are able to boot normally,check the update history to find out the installed updates by following the link:
    See which Windows updates are installed

If there any failed updates,then try to download and install the standalone package of the updates from the Microsoft download center.

  1. Download updates from Microsoft download.
  2. Enter the KB article number in the search field and download the same.
  3. Double click on the downloaded file.
  4. And Click Run and Follow the wizard to install it.

As I have read many thread regarding this and user did the restart the computer and if they are unable to boot in normal mode then they fix it by repairing the windows.

All information above is from the Microsoft QA.

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Just pull the plug, it will attempt to revert.

This will revert any changes it has done, such that you can try again:

Failure configuring Windows updates. Reverting changes. Do not turn off your computer.

Normally, you would be near the state your computer was in before installing the updates.

Get your system back in a proper state, depending on what happens.

Sometimes it does happen that your system breaks, but this could happen in various ways. Microsoft suggests two approaches:

  1. System Repair, which brings you back to where you were using a restore point; if you disabled this for any case, you could attempt to do sfc /scannow instead (this might however remove changes from earlier updates without your intention).

  2. In-place Upgrade, which brings your Windows back into a working state by upgrading it to the same version and will install all updates again. So, if your current update keeps failing even after System Repair this might be the right approach to ensure the system is in a proper state.

Of course, as a Super User, you might be able to troubleshoot individual updates; if you have time...

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If the network still on. Try issue few command from remote

  • tasklist /S \thePC /U administrator
  • tasklist /S \thePC /PID XXX
  • shutdown /m \thePC /r /f

If not responding to any. Hold down the power button and turn it off.

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