Fixing a bit of pending.xml

On March 26, 2010, in news, by

If you ever get a stuck Win7/Vista or Server 2008 on installing patch 3 of 3 it may be a stuck pending.xml file…

1.  You need to delete this file – C:\windows\winsxs\pending.xml

2.  You need to run this command at a c:\ that is running with elevated credentials.

click on Start

Find the command prompt in the start menu

right mouse click on it

choose “Run as administrator”

In the resulting “elevated” command window then 
Type in the following commands:

takeown /f C:\Windows\winsxs\pending.xml

cacls C:\Windows\winsxs\pending.xml /G :F

Then delete the file

del C:\Windows\winsxs\pending.xml

Vista/Win7/Win2k8 all use the same patching process and this getting stuck on 3 of 3 is more often seen on Vista, less on Win7, sometimes on Win2k8.

 http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/949104?p=1

Go there for the latest WU for 64bit:
http://download.windowsupdate.com/windowsupdate/redist/standalone/7.4.7600.226/windowsupdateagent30-x64.exe

If THAT doesn’t work then look at the log files here:

1. Boot into Safe Mode with Networking and run System Files Checker (SFC):
Open command prompt as an administrator, then type in “SFC /SCANNOW” without quotes.

2. Run CheckSUR:
Run CheckSUR from the link below and collect the generated log:

“Description of the System Update Readiness Tool for Windows Vista, for Windows Server 2008, for Windows 7, and for Windows Server 2008 R2”
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/947821

If you are not able to find CheckSUR, please visit the link below:
http://catalog.update.microsoft.com/v7/site/Search.aspx?q=System%20Update%20Readiness%20Tool

The log files are:
%SYSTEMROOT%\Logs\CBS\CheckSUR.log
%SYSTEMROOT%\Logs\CBS\CheckSUR.persist.log

 

3 Responses to Fixing a bit of pending.xml

  1. Dean says:

    Two questions

    1. Does Microsoft support deleting the pending.xml file ?

    2. What is this step for ?

    1. Boot into Safe Mode with Networking and run System Files Checker (SFC):
    Open command prompt as an administrator, then type in “SFC /SCANNOW” without quotes.

    The SFC always scared me because I was always afraid it was going to replace newer files with the originals and then you would have a mess of old and new files.

  2. How’s Life?

    I have two vista laptops on the bench now doing the 3 of 3/start up repair loop.

    Does same thing in safemode

    Have used a boot cd to remove the pending.xml, same loop.

    Called Microsoft support and went thru the same procedure and was told to backup and restore, which they meant boot from vista cd and use notepad to “copy” the data files to a usb drive for a “backup”

    I had already recovered the data as both folks just went out and bought new laptops, one a hp (old was compaq), 2nd a mac (old was dell). Dell user did call dell for three hours/fifty dollars and was told the motherboard and hard drive were bad and that all the data was gone. I did recover the data for them and was told they will never use a windows computer again 😉

  3. bradley says:

    Grab some technet media and do a repair install over the top.
    I’m guessing these might be Vista pre sp1 as we saw it more often in the pre sp1 era in Vista.