General discussion

Problem with Microsoft Windows Update

I'm running Windows XP Pro SP2 on a PC with 1 GB of RAM and lots of Hard drive space.

On Oct 12, Windows did its update thing as it does every month. In turning off the computer, I was given the usual prompt to shut down or to shut down without installing updates. I chose to install as I always do but the following morning my computer wouldn't boot up. It would get to a certain spot and then reset itself. This would occur in normal mode and even when trying to get to safe mode. Even safe mode with command prompt wouldn't work. I went to the recovery console and tried restoring the registry but that didn't help

As it happens I had done a backup the day before so I ended up doing a restore of the partition and was back in business. I then tried doing the update again and once again the computer wouldn't start up.

So here's the question. How can I find out which update is causing the problem? I went to the software distribution folder and found what was downloaded that date but the KB article isn't completely consistent with the updates listed in the control panel.

More importantly, how do I stop that update from ever loading? One day I can visualize the computer restarting and installing the update in error and I'll be back to square one.

I do have quite a few programs loading at startup so it's possible there might be a conflict somewhere but given the computer won't start up at all after the update, any iterative attempts to figure it out will involve a 1 hour restore every time it doesn't work. Als, this resetting happens very early in the startup sequence so I doubt this is the case. I think I'd rather live with the vulnerability and let my security programs protect me.


Discussion is locked
Reply to: Problem with Microsoft Windows Update
PLEASE NOTE: Do not post advertisements, offensive materials, profanity, or personal attacks. Please remember to be considerate of other members. If you are new to the CNET Forums, please read our CNET Forums FAQ. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Reporting: Problem with Microsoft Windows Update
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
- Collapse -
Minor suggestion

how do I stop that update from ever loading? Next time, when you go to windows update site, select 'custom' install, that way you can select which ones to install or not install.
Hopefully, someone will have a better solution for your main inquiry.
Good luck,

- Collapse -
Thanks for the suggestion.

The problem is that the update is already on my computer. It's the last step, the reboot, that causes the problem.

I went to the update site and the only thing that was recommended was an update to Windows update itself. I think I have to install it before I can do anything else.

The problem is it's a Catch 22. When I try to install it, it will require a reboot and I'll be back in a jackpot because that other update is there waiting for such a reboot. On the other hand, that may be the update that's causing the problem in the first place.

That's why I'd like to find out which update it is and how to get rid of it.

- Collapse -
October's Updates Were Only 4 or 5 Updates.. Have You??

....revisit the Windows Update site and install them one by one. (You can easily deselect all but one for each installation option.) Reboot after each one and see when the problem occurs.. You should be able to narrow it down quickly.

Better yet, you could also download each update's installer file and install each one manually. Reboot after each one. Here's the "Security Bulletin" link where you can get them:

In fact, occasionally, I've found installing them one by one will fix the problem.

Hope this helps.


- Collapse -
I Actually Tried That

Thanks for the response

However, I already tried that. I went to the software distribution folder; found an update with the Oct 12 date and installed it manually. I still got the prompt to restart and when I did, I had the same problem as before.

I proved that the update requiring the restart was the one creating the issue. That's why I'm trying to find out which update(s) are queued and how to get it removed for good. I know I can hide certain updates. My problem is I don't know which one and it's already on my system except for the restart.

I just wondering if there's a file or a log I can refer to that triggers the message to install updates at shutdown or to click a different icon to shutdown without installing updates.

- Collapse -
Ok, I'm Confused..

You said: "I proved that the update requiring the restart was the one creating the issue." This means you know which one out of the 4 or 5 October updates is causing the problem.. Correct? If so, then you can install all the other updates without an issue and "Hide" the problem update.. It should no longer both you in the future because it's hidden and won't show up unless you allow it to.

But then you state: "My problem is I don't know which one and it's already on my system except for the restart." Which is it? Do you know which update is causing the problem or don't you..? If you don't, then you apparently didn't try to install each one by itself, manually, then restarting between each manual update, as I suggested earlier.

Of course, your issue may be the result of using the "Automatic Updates" setting in the Control Panel.. I don't use it.. I disable "Automatic Updates" and only do updates from the Windows Update site.. I can hide a specific update and it will never show up again unless I want it to.

Hope this helps.


- Collapse -
Also, confused

Quote: "I ended up doing a restore of the partition and was back in business. I then tried doing the update again and once again the computer wouldn't start up." So you know system restore works for you, and if you did a system restore I wouldn?t think it would be on your computer any longer. Period.

Quote: "The problem is that the update is already on my computer." Hmmm. Quote: "I went to the software distribution folder; found an update with the Oct 12 date and installed it manually." So you know which one is causing the problem, so delete it from this folder and if you feel ambitions, then do the following, windows key + R, type regedit and go here: Hkey _ local _ machine _ Software _ Microsoft _ Windows _ Current Version _ click plus sign _ for uninstall and then delete the KB you found that is causing your concern / problem.
As previously mentioned, you then go to windows update and 'hide' that update.
Only a suggestion,

- Collapse -
That's More Like It - The Regisrty Key May be the Answer

Here's how it unfolded. Last weekend when I shut off my computer, it alerted me that I could either shut down and install updates or choose to shutdown without installing updates.

As I always do, I chose to install updates. The next morning when I turned on my computer, I had my problem. After trying many different ways, I ultimately chose to restore my Windows partition. That put me back in business.

I went to Windows update, ran the update and the only missing update was the one that updates Microsoft update itself - no other updates showed as being available on the site. Then I looked in the software distribution folder and found only 1 update dated Oct 12. I manually ran the install, rebooted, and found my system wouldn't startup again. So I reloaded the partition a second time to get me running again

So basically, the update in my Software distribution folder is causing the problem or it's the update for Microsoft update itself that causes the issue. Or another scenario is the update in my software distribution folder is, in fact, the update to MS update itself.

What I was looking for is the registry key you mentioned in your post. At this point, I'm out of town until Saturday night so I won't get to test this until Sunday. I just want to be ready when I get back to deal with it.

- Collapse -
Yes, But Do You Or Don't You??

..know which update number is the problem? If you don't know the update number, (which you really haven't been clear about) then you can't uninstall it or eliminate it from the registry.. You don't simply want to be removing any and all updates from the computer or from the registry..

Eddie's suggestion is good but you better know the specific update number before tinkering in the registry.

Hope this helps.


- Collapse -
I have a KB - Not Absolutely Sure It's the Right Number

I have the KB number from the Software Distribution folder and another that came up as I was fumbling with this problem.

I won't know until I take another look next Sunday but hopefully there won't be a surprise when I look at the uninstalled updates in the registry key. I would expect that it's one or the other but there shouldn't be anything else as I generally install updates as they become available..

Until I get this resolved, I'll be taking copious backups.

- Collapse -
I Think I'm OK Now

I'm not sure but I think my problem may be gone now. I uninstalled the 3 updates downloaded to my PC on Oct 12. One was an Outlook Junk mail filter so it's hard to believe that caused a problem but I uninstalled it anyway. I also uninstalled (my recently installed) new version of Spybot S&D as I find too intrusive and it never finds anything anyway. I turned off MS Updates for now as well.

While I was trying to deal with my issue, my PC rebooted 2X for no reason in the middle of working with it. It also hasn't been keeping cookies too well either. After restarting, it did a chkdsk and found something. My theory is that one of the updates (or Spybot, possibly) had a corrupted file (or files).

Anyway at this point, my computer isn't asking me to install updates when I shut down, so I think I'm probably OK.

Thank-you everyone for your help.

- Collapse -
That's good.

You can disable Automatic Updates. I have mine on notify me but don't download or install. When the alert pops up to tell me there are updates available, I choose custom, not express. That way I can see what it wants to update and uncheck anything I don't want updating. It gives you more control.

If there are any updates you don't want, just go to the Microsoft Update site and "hide" that update and it won't keep notifying you about that update.

- Collapse -
I'm not surprised.

I have seen several others in different forums have problems because of the latest updates from Microsoft, myself included. Some sounded similar to your rebooting problem.

I don't have any rebooting problem, but I have noticed a few programs on my computer not working right the past few days and every day I find another one isn't working right. I'm to the point of transferring all my files I want to keep and format and reinstall Windows. I think I nailed down all the problems to one particular thing.

I don't go to the Microsoft update site very often. I have Automatic Updates set to notify me when there's an update but not to download or install anything without my permission. When it does tell me there are updates, I choose Custom so I can see what updates there are and have more control over what gets put onto my computer.

Well today I went to the update site and did the custom option because of all the problems I've been having with other programs. The only updates it found were for .NET Frameworks 1, 2, 3 and an update for 3. This was such a shock to me because I know I already had all of those in my computer, so those should not have been in that list.

So I check all of those to download and install. Everything goes fine, except for .NET Framework 3 failed. It didn't even ask me to restart after finishing the other updates, another shock. So I go back through and tried again to install 3, failed again.

I searched to find out why with the error code and found that others were having the same problem with 3 not installing and that same error code. I followed the steps to get it to install, but didn't work. So now I'm not able to get that installed.

I did uninstall and reinstall most of the programs that weren't working right, but some problems still persist. IE7 was one of the problems. I click to open the browser, it flashes on the screen real quickly and disappears. Works fine after reinstalling it.

With all these problems so many people are having from the latest Microsoft updates, I'm left to wonder what they are "updating" on our computers they don't want us to know about. I can almost bet something in those updates had something to do with all my .NET Frameworks disappearing from my computer and why I can't reinstall 3.

Linux is looking more and more appetizing by the minute. Sorry for the long post, but I had a lot to say.

CNET Forums

Forum Info