I’m installing updates for my Windows 7 machine on shutdown. There seem to be two of them, and I get the usual warning:

Please do not power off or unplug your machine.


Installing update 1 of 2.

This has been on my screen for the last 75 minutes now, and I’m getting impatient. Granted, there’s the rotating circle and the moving dots, but nothing seems to happen; Usually an update installs in less than 5 minutes (I’m on a cable connection).

What can happen if I do power it off? Is there a risk that my Windows installation will become corrupted?

  • There isn't really a universal answer; it depends on what's being installed. Realistically, though, you can't just let a hung process sit there forever. If you do decide to power off, Joris Groosman's answer is good advice. The system may also run chkdsk automatically when you restart to clean up incomplete disk writes (but that doesn't replace the need for sfc). – fixer1234 Sep 5 '15 at 18:27
  • You say you are shutting down your machine right? Then why are you impatient? Just turn off the monitor—if it’s connected to one—and then forget about it? If this is a laptop and you cannot turn off the display and it’s somehow visually distracting just move it to a closet or another room? But don’t babysit a process like this. – Giacomo1968 Sep 5 '15 at 18:27

I decided to take the risk when the same thing happened to me. PC rebooted OK, it just showed a message that it wasn't shutdown properly.

Disclaimer: I can't guarantee that it will always reboot, just saying it did in my case

You're advised to run

sfc /scannow

from the command prompt after rebooting. Requires administrator rights. This will check system files (SFC = System File Checker). More about sfc: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/929833

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