Some of the more unusual but fortunately uncommon error messages and issues you might see in patching on the 2k8 platform:
1. Pending.xml symptoms include getting stuck on “stage 1 of 3″:
The update is not installed successfully, you receive a message, and the computer restarts when you try to install an update in Windows Vista:
2. Generic listing of Windows update error messages: http://inetexplorer.mvps.org/archive/wuc.htm
3. Resources when you hit an issue…. taken from this excellent blog: http://blogs.technet.com/joscon/archive/2009/06/16/help-me-help-you.aspx
Before you call into Microsoft with one of these issues, please attempt to do the following:
Have the exact error code you’re getting when it fails. When I say exact, I mean the entire hex code that the error has as well as word for word verbiage. A lot of people like to make the error more friendly (we’re guilty internally of this too) and that makes it almost impossible to find at times. So please, be specific.
Run CheckSUR against a machine. CheckSUR is a tool we developed that can fix certain types of corruption in the servicing stack. It does this automatically without any input from you. It can be found here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/947821
From an elevated command prompt, run SFC /SCANNOW. This command will project files from the component store (\Windows\winsxs) to the proper location in the file system. Sometimes its as easy as just making sure that the right file is there for a fix to install properly.
If all else fails, go ahead and get your logs together. The logs we typically need for troubleshooting these issues are the following:
System Event log