Contact Info


Windows won’t start after Microsoft Update installation

Share this:

Windows won’t start after update installation

This is a common problem we run in to while providing IT support with older computers. After applying a Microsoft Update patch, windows will partially boot, or not boot at all. Most of the times, windows will boot to its start screen, with a message similar to the below :

“Configuring Windows updates… 90% complete… Do not turn off your computer.”

“Preparing to configure Windows. Do not turn off your computer.”

“Please do not power off or unplug your machine… Installing update 1 of 3…”

You might also see a “Stage 1 of 1” or “Stage 1 of 3” or a similar message prior to the second example. There might be some wording differences too depending on which version of Windows you’re using.

We recently had this happen on a Microsoft Windows SBS 2008 machine, where the server would go to a black screen with cursor only, before rebooting in a loop. The root cause was corrupted update files due to an aging, failing hard disk.

To Fix:

  1. Try starting windows in safe mode. This is done by repeatedly hitting F8 on startup. You will get a black screen with “Advanced Boot Options”. Select “Safe Mode”, and see if windows boots. Sometimes the update is conflicting with a driver, and safe mode will allow the update to install successfully.
  2. Boot from your installation media (Windows 7 CD, Windows SBS 2003/2008 CD, etc.) –
    1. On the beginning screens of the Windows installer, there is an option to “Repair Installation”, which gives you recovery options. First try “Startup Repair” – this will look for a corrupted file system or boot record, and many times repair your system automatically.
    2. If this fails you will want to perform a “System Restore”. Look for a recent restore point before the offending update was installed.
  3. If neither of these work, you’ll likely need to reinstall windows or restore from a backup.


SEE ALSO :  “Failure configuring Windows updates. Reverting changes. Do not turn off your computer” error when you try to install Windows updates”

Good luck!

Questions, comments? Let us know!