Configuring updates Stage 3 of 3, 0% completed (aka the heart attack screen)

There is on rare occasion an issue where Windows Vista, ultimately Windows 7 and even Windows Server 2008 will get stuck on patching.  It does not happen often at all, but on the very very rare time that it does, it gives you a heart attack for sure.  Not to worry, it’s something that one can recover from.

The symptoms are that the server stays on Configuring updates Stage 3 of
3 0% completed and stays there forever.  Meanwhile you have a heart attack. 

First rule, don’t panic.

Second rule, take a deep breath and find your install media.  Remember to hit F8 to get into the recovery console.

But here’s the workaround:

– Using the install media, the server was booted into the recovery console.
– In the following directory, c:\windows\winsxs, the pending.xml file was
renamed pending.old

These two steps allowed the server to boot back into the desktop.

The issue is similar to this:

The update is not installed successfully, you receive a message, and the computer restarts when you try to install an update in Windows Vista:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/949358/en-us

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