After Windows updates, can't start computer!

 matthew cannon -
Hello everyone,

First of all, I want to state I really don't know too much about computers. I know a little but I really don't know all the names/fuctions/etc. and I'm going to try and make this say exactly what my computer is doing but I may have a few of the words jumbled because my computer is at home being stupid and I'm at work trying to earn money to buy a new one. :p

Anyway, last night my computer automatically restarted itself in order for my latest set of Windows updates to take affect. After it restarted, it came up with the usual screen that states it is installing the updates, Step 1 of 3 and then the percentage of it being complete. After completing the first and sometimes the second step, my computer will suddenly restart again and then the screen with state "Loading Files" and then come up with a screen that says Windows could not start and that it is scanning the files to repair. After doing this for several minutes it tells me that it must restart and to click "Finish" to restart. I do so and my computer restarts and then loops right back to the Installing Updates screen and once again, after completing Step 1 or Step 2 it restarts and goes to the Loading Files screen and then to the Windows cannot start and the the repair scan. It looped like this all night long and then again was doing it this morning when I left for work.

Any advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Opearating System: Windows Vista

Also, I don't really know how to do a System Restore and am concerned I will loose all my files. I also don't have a backup, though most of what is on my hard drive is music (all gotten in the legal way though a complete pain to import).

113 replies

I had the Vista reboot for a day. I tried Safe Mode and got hung at crcdisk.sys. I noticed a couple of interesting things, and now I have my computer back--I thought it was dead forever.

1). If you shut your computer down when you see the "Configuring Updates" screen, when you boot up again you will see the useless options to boot in safe mode.

2). If you shut your computer down shortly after you start it up, you should get different options: to either Launch Repair, or to Start Windows Normally. Choose Launch Repair.

3). I didn't watch the Launch Repair process the first time, and it didn't work. But by the third time I tried it, about 30 seconds in it asked me if I wanted to do a System Restore. Yes!!

4). When my computer restarted, the blue screen stated that it was back to Stage 1: Installing updates. It immediately skipped back to Configuring updates, and got stuck in the loop.

5). I got back into Launch Repair and did the same System Restore, but this time I didn't wait for the blue screen to load up. I shut the computer down shortly after starting it up, and if I recall correctly, it was at that point that I was offered a whack of new options. I chose system restore (there was also the option to go to a command prompt--finally!), and the two restore points I was offered were a day before the loop fiasco.

6). Ah, mon dieu. Everything booted up, I have my life back! The Word files I was working on look good. It just seems to be a matter of major patience and not giving up--your computer is not wrecked. Hang in there!
Thank you

A few words of thanks would be greatly appreciated. Add comment

CCM 2821 users have said thank you to us this month

Excellent advice! It worked! Thanks for posting this! :)
I am a yearbook adviser at a school and we had
most of our book on the computer and I was panicked.
Thanks again.
Just had the same issue and followed the above. Nice and easy...saved a lot of frustration!
Disregard everything else.. heres the fix:


1. Insert the Recovery/Install DVD into the computer
2. Boot off of the DVD. When you first start your computer, the first screen you see should give you the key combination to press to enter a 'multi-boot' menu. On Dell's this key is F12 but it varries by each manufacturer. Once you find it and are at the multiboot menu, choose to boot of CD/DVD
3. When prompted (after it has booted to the CD/DVD) choose "repair my computer" and enter the command prompt
4. Type C: (with colon) and press enter
5. Then type cd c:\windows\winsxs and press enter
6. Then type del pending.xml and press enter
7. Restart your computer

That should kill any pending updates.

All that other advice about safemode and recovery, switching memory sticks, launching to last known config... does not work!!!! But the directions above do. I know, I tried everything.. this advice above actually worked, and I didnt have to reset to defaults, or reformat.
Good luck everyone, Microsoft better get their shit together or they just lost another customer to Mac.
This is the only thing that worked for me...Days of struggling.

Thank you so much
i tried the steps above, but after typing "del pending.xml" the computer says it can not find that file, upon rebooting, still stuck in loop. I have even tried booting in safe mode, it is also stuck in update loop, I have tried anything and everything that is out there on the net in regards to this issue, and nothing worked. so tried booting from the vista disk, it took FOREVER for the system restore tool to come up, and since there had been multiple updates over the last month and a half, I chose to restore at a point when a java update was applied -- which put me taking the computer all the way back to mid sept, but this option worked, and I went into the desktop, looked for that file (pending.xml) was not found, so I created a new restore point then went to microsoft's website using this link - downloaded this update by itself and then proceeded to manually update files, in groups (ie office together, security together etc), and before I turned the computer off made a backup disc in case, and created a new restore point. may be a lot of extra work, but pretty bad this issue has been going on since 2008 and microsoft hasnt come out with a fix it file that can be downloaded from another computer and inserted into the affected computer's cd/dcd drive and fix the issue. (i only just now developed the problem after upgrading the hard drive size, so I had slowly gotten to the crap update that created this problem in the first place.. knock wood, so far so good
joshuacogo thank you thank you it worked for me

THis is wonderful ....... Thank you! I hope this will work on all brands
Take your PC and throw it out of the window.
Microsoft sucks
So true!

Windows have really fucked it up this time! And I'm a programmer as well! Mac's are so much more reliable!

my Packard Bell EasyNote came with vista, and ive been installing updates for ages. I recently installed some more updates but my laptop ran out of battery halfway through configuring. Every time I boot, I get:

Configuring Updates 3 of 3 ..... 0%
and then it restartes and does the same thimg again. I have no Windows Vista DVD. Where can I get one, and do I even need one?
Hi guyz,

Its really bad to see that computers come up with probs after you install updates..
However if that doesnt help or does no good.. its of no meaning keeping that update.
So you can try tapping F8 while computer is booting up and select safe mode..
go to control panel and select view installed updates and uninstal the updates that was instaled on the date your comp started coming up with the issue. Restart the computer and should work fine, if its because of the update
Try this should work fine... ;-)
sorry for all the posts but just letting everyone know what worked for me...

I reinstalled the Windows updates and the 3 of 3 0% screen of death popped up againg during the reboot but quickly jumped to 100% and everything worked fine......... so far.......
when your system boots or restarts again press the F8 or tab key it will take u to the choice screen.
select the last known good config option.
hope it will work.............................................
Hi Ban I do what you said but nothing happened it still doing the same..
Ok here is how you fix this problem.... If your pc doesn't work after installing windows update, It's mainly because there could've been an error while windows was updating new protection software,, So what you do is....
Go to safe mode... Resotre system to : before installing updates.. After this windows will try to re=install the update once again.. and the same problem shouldn't happen again...

Hope this helps.
> Soni
hey don't know if u fix that problem with ur pc update problem I had the same problem and I was able to fix it and it work I downloaded the vista recovery and use utorrent to download the files. then used Iso Recorder v3 to burn onto disc. then re-boot pc and boot from cd at first it did like the system recovery did. then it did the same update problem then I try again and got and list of options heres a link to see what im talking about
and then I pick the earliest restore point and it worked

link to vista restore

link to utorrent
hope this helps
> Soni
my 64-bit vista kept being like that...
and unfortunately,,, I was downloading games,, and playing them while updating the windows update !!!
now the only option is to restore to the point bfore installing the windows update??? hell yeaaah!
i cant go on safe mode or login
plz help me.. my computer shutting down in 3 seconds.. what should I do ,,
computer can't see boot sequenz..
my board is ibm .. how do I see.. pls help me ..
I was updating a Vista system that didn't even have SP1 installed. After updating to SP1 computer rebooted, but while booting up it got blue screen of death. I rebooted again and tried to use option to repair statup. It didn't work. Then I booted up with Vista CD and chose to repair installation. The system could not even see any Windows installations present on the computer. That puzzeled me.

After trying variety of different stuff, here is what fixed it (you need Win XP CD and Win Vista CD):

1. Boot up with Win XP CD!

2. Chose Repair Windows using Recovery Console

3. In command prompt type fixboot and enter

4. Type chkdsk /r

5. After checkdisk is done, boot up with Vista CD. (If you boot up without CD, you will get an "Missing NTLDR file" error)

6. Chose Repair Installation. Miraculously now system sees a Vista installation present on the system.

7. Chose Vista installation from the choices on the disk and Next.

8. Chose Repair Startup. It took less then a second for the repair process to finish.

9. Restart. Now you should be able to boot up normally.

I did this twice on the same system after two consecutive Windows installations messed up startup. You should not have this problem after SP2 installation. I hope it will work for your system too.

Thanx Microsoft for "flawless Vista updates"!
I have followed the discussion as I also had the problem by installing the windows vista service pack 1 and then thereafter NOT being able to start my computer at all. I tried to restore to earlier point by using windows system restore from my windows vista DVD, but without luck. Then I tried to repair it also using my Windows vista DVD, and this helped me, after that I was able to restart windows vista as earlier.

But you must use a windows vista CD/DVD because not even restart in safe mode where possible, because the system crashes before entering start-up of vista.

It´s typhical microsoft to release an update which destroys the computer, basicly i´m feed up with service packs that dosen´t work.
Hi. I had the same prob. but I got mine working, I would like to share! Ok, first of all my problem was that when someone had turned off my computer, it came on and it said, Configuring Updates 3 of 3 0% and would restart over and over again. so I was like steaming when it did it all night, well, I figured out that I should try safe mode and no luck just restart. well, I pushed F8 over and over til a screen came up... click next, then a screen of lists should come up click the SECOND one. it should have you do stuff to do like a scan and then you restart it then it works, NO MONEY OR NOTHING! I hope that many of you having the same problem will be resolved by me hopefully! this was a vista basic computer btw. well good luck to all!
Ok, here is what I did and it worked.... hit F8 during boot, select repair computer at the top and then I did a system restore to 2 days ago, right before the auto windows update ran and F-ed everything up. Things looks good but my NortonIS is having some issues, and when I hit the fix now button it doesn't fix it.... oh well, at least I'm back up and running so hope this helps someone else.
ok now what u can do is if you have the windows xp cd run a repair installation and everything will be back
this is te link to do a repair and the best part is you will not loose any of trhe data.
regards rahul
my computer did that a while back too, dumb ass microsoft, they cant do anything right.
Since I have the deep freeze installed in my computer, to update my windows, I selected "thawed for the next restart" and restarted my computer. Then I started to update, which was going fine. The computer restarted and since I had the "thawed for the next restart" on, this time, it was "frozen", and did not allow the windows to finish installing. The computer would not boot, and I tried the windows recovery and it doesn't work. Does anyone know what to do?
Same here.. I have selected the same option to thaw on next 1 restart.. update windows and computer restarts to windows configuration stages and tried to restarts itself again after completing the configurations. Since I only thawed on next 1 restart, it means that windows is doing it's configuration stages on a frozen stage which was being wiped clean of the updates when it is done. Now the computer is stuck at configuration stage and keep restarting. Please advice.
Make sure you don't have anything hooked up via USB. Couldn't figure why it wouldn't boot after restart then I realized my iPod was charging. I disconnected, restarted and it worked fine.
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Wednesday October 29, 2008
Last seen
October 31, 2008

I have pretty much the same problem as you. I also ran system restore, which reinstalls the files to how they were before the update occured. Unfortunately, this never completes and I am left with the problem of my laptop not being able to get anywhere. I blame microsoft for sending an incomplete or pretty f***ed update, as I also know of a friend whose laptop did exactly the same, she had a full backup though so hers is up and running again.
> Tom C
I keep having the same problem, too. How do you remove the battery from your computer?
> Tom C
please tell what is the risks] of removing the battery in a computer
> mina1345
Well the only battery would be the bios battery which really should nvr have had any effect on how it would reset its autimatic updates sry no answer other then that.
@ mina1345
Desktop: if you remove the motherboard battery, you loose your CMOS settings. After the battery has been replaced you will need to reset system time among other things. In set up (press F1, F2 or delete during POST) look to see if you can restore defaults. That will save a lot of time. The coin-cell battery usually lasts 5 years, sometimes longer; it doesn't last forever, and if you see that your system clock seems to loose time in between uses, it's due to low charge from this battery (worn out). Some systems, Dell's Dimension 8300 in particular will flash a warning on the screen that your CMOS battery is getting weak. Most people never see this because they replace a computer before the battery goes dead. I have seen it because I still use a Pent. 2 system I built over 10 years ago. I have replaced the battery in it twice.

Laptop: The main system battery is usually in a compartment underneath. Removing it will not affect the computer, but some models may not operate without it inplace, even with the powersupply connected to AC power.
I downloaded a windows update for Windows Vista at start of May which didn't seem to complete to part 3. The computer crashed up start up stating that a recent update was to blame. The screen showed computer repair option but would not allow me to select it while starting windows normally stalled about a third of way through the files. Acer wanted to charge £50 for a Vista recovery disk but I managed to get one from Microsoft. However even loading from DVD has failed to rectify the problem and Microsoft have washed their hands of it so I have to find a computer engineer to hopefully recover my data.
My advice is NEVER NEVER LOAD A WINDOWS UPDATE as there is no guarantee they can adversely affect your computer and end up crashing it losing your data forever.!

Recently had the same issue with Vista too. I read some where else that if you install the Vista SP1 Service Pack and then try to install your updates after that, it would work. I tried it and have finally had some luck. Hope this works!
What if you did the Last Known Good Config and that didn't work? Im running Windows Vista on a laptop. This happened once already but Im not sure how I corrected this. I had disabled automatic updates (hoping to avoid this problem again) but it seems to still be running updates automatically.
I don't have that option under safe mode... only "with networlng" or "with commnad prompt". Neither works. "Last configuration" won't boot either. I can't even get to system restore.
When ask to choose from, Safe mode, With Network, or Command promp.. Choose... either, Safe mode. or Safe mode with Network" Either... What you want is, to go into windows. Remember safe mode, Is running the basic Files needed to start windows. Once in windows.. Go to START. Then go to system restore. And choose to restore before the installation was launch. Hope that helps.
RangerDoc, did you ever get your machine to work, without restoring to factory setting? if so how?
I have tried safe mode and safe with networking, I still cannot get onto my laptop in order to go to system restore. I do not have a disc. I have tried all options on starting the computer, and it just goes back to configuration. ARRRRR! This is really pissing me off, as there are very important documents on here.
exactly what I have :(
I am having the same problem. I have tried f8 , I have tried safe mode, I have taken the battery out and let it set for 24 hours nothing works it still will not start I just get a blue screen.
Blue screen = Computer crashing, Crashing = Lack of memory RAM, and Hardware problem.. try upgrading ur RAM, Might have a VIsual Cirus.
not the problem.I'm 100% sure.Its a conflict with an update file.I'm trying to resolve it myself.System was fine till I did a microsoft update.