Apr 28, 2008
Tip and Trick Editorial

Endless Reboot Loop While “Configuring Updates: Stage 3 of 3″ During Vista SP1 Installation

In the middle of the process to install Windows Vista SP1, when the on-screen status message showing “Configuring updates: Stage 3 of 3 – 0% complete”, the system will suddenly going into shutdown and reboot. Worse still, after computer starts up again, it will comes to the same configuration screen, and goes into reboot again. The computer restarts error repeated itself again and again, causing endless reboot loop. The symptom also happens when boot into Safe Mode. Of course, the service pack update is not installed successfully.

This problem occurs when Windows Update is installing update 937287 for Windows Vista, according to Microsoft KB949358, which should has been fixed with publishing of KB949939. If you’re still encountering the problem, try the following steps to get your system working again.

Method 1: Start Windows Vista by using the Windows installation media, and then select the “Repair your computer” option

Note: If the computer came with Windows Vista preinstalled, you may not have Windows installation media. If you do not have Windows installation media, go to method 2.

  1. Insert the Windows Vista installation disc in the DVD drive, and then restart the computer.
  2. Press any key when you are prompted to start from the disc.

    Note: If the computer is not configured to start from a CD or from a DVD, you have to change the BIOS settings to set first boot device to CD/DVD drive.

  3. When you are prompted, configure the Language to install, Time and currency format, and Keyboard or input method options that you want, and then click Next.
  4. On the next page, click Repair your computer.
  5. On the System Recovery Options page, click the version of the Windows Vista operating system that you want to repair, and then click Next.
  6. On the System Recovery Options page, click System Restore.
  7. On the System Restore page, click Next.
  8. Select a restore point at which you know that the operating system was working, and then click Next.

    The restore point should be a date that occurred before you experienced the problem that is described in the “Symptoms” section. To select this date, use the Choose a different restore point option, and then click Next.

  9. If you are prompted for a disk to restore, select the disk to which the operating system is installed, and then click Next.
  10. On the Confirm your restore point page, click Finish.
  11. When the restoration process is complete, click Restart.

Method 2: Start the computer in safe mode, and then use the Repair or System Restore feature

  1. Make sure that there are no floppy disks, CDs, or DVDs in the computer, and then start the computer.
  2. Use one of the following procedures, as appropriate for your situation:
    • If the computer has a single operating system installed, press and then hold the F8 key as the computer starts. You have to press F8 before the Windows logo appears. If the Windows logo appears, you must try again by turning off the computer and then restarting the computer.
    • If the computer has more than one operating system installed, use the arrow keys to highlight the operating system that you want to start in safe mode, and then press F8.
  3. On the Advanced Boot Options screen, use the arrow keys to select the safe mode option that you want, and then press ENTER.
  4. Log on to the computer by using a user account that has administrator rights.
  5. Click Start, type system restore in the Start Search box, and then click System Restore under the Programs section. Alternatively, type in rstrui.exe.

    When you are prompted by the User Account Control feature, click Continue.

  6. On the System Restore page, click Next.
  7. Select a restore point at which you know that the operating system was working, and then click Next.

    The restore point should be a date that occurred before you experienced the problem that is described in the “Symptoms” section. To select this date, use the Choose a different restore point option, and then click Next.

  8. If you are prompted for a disk to restore, select the disk to which the operating system is installed, and then click Next.
  9. On the Confirm your restore point page, click Finish.
  10. When the restoration process is complete, click Restart.

Method 3: Rename the Pending.xml file (and optionally CleanUp.xml), and then edit the registry

This method provides a mean for users have tried all other methods but failed to recover, and computer has no restore points or cannot start to a repair option that offers the System Restore feature. However, it’s just a way to recover computer to bootable state, which users should determine if there is still problem with updating process, and decide whether to backup the data and reinstall Windows.

  1. Insert the Windows Vista installation disc in the DVD drive, and then restart the computer.
  2. Press any key when you are prompted to restart from the disc.
  3. When you are prompted, configure the Language to install, Time and currency format, and Keyboard or input method options that you want, and then click Next.
  4. On the Install Windows page, click Repair your computer.
  5. On the System Recovery Options page, click the version of the Windows Vista operating system that you want to repair, and then click Next.
  6. On the System Recovery Options page, click Command Prompt.
  7. Type cd C:\windows\winsxs, and then press ENTER.
  8. Type ren pending.xml pending.old, and then press ENTER.

    Note: If pending.xml alone doesn’t work to resolve problem, try to rename also cleanup.xml.

  9. Type regedit, and then press ENTER.
  10. Select HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.
  11. On the File menu, click Load Hive.
  12. Locate the following folder:

    C:\windows\system32\config\components

  13. When you are prompted for a name, type Offline_Components.
  14. In Registry Editor, locate and then delete the following registry subkey:

    HLKM\Offline Components\AdvancedInstallersNeedResolving

  15. In Registry Editor, locate and then delete the following registry subkey:

    HKLM\Offline Components\PendingXmlIdentifier

  16. Exit Registry Editor, type exit at the command prompt, and then press ENTER.
  17. Click Restart, Windows should boot into the same “Configuring updates” screen, but the screen will disappear in a short while, and system will be able to boot into desktop.

Note: Failure to delete the registry keys in method 3 will cause check user unable to check for latest updates in Windows Update with error code 8000ffff.

  • MRVirtual

    fantastic. Solved in 5 minutes with the third method, thankyou very much!

  • mkrmnrcc

    Thanks

  • John Merton

    Should have said in previous post – I used method 3, but I did not have a AdvancedInstallersNeedResolving key, just the other one.

  • John Merton

    This fixed my 2008 server, thanks heaps.

  • Casy

    I don't have a pending.xml file on my server 2008 cd:windowswinsxs any ideas?

  • pcgeek2008

    Used method 3 to recover my 2008 server. Worked great. Used all steps, the installed my other updated.

  • Bizz

    Ok I know where PendingXmlIdentifier. Its been successfully deleted but where the hell is

    HLKMOffline ComponentsAdvancedInstallersNeedResolving supposed to be in?

    I can't even find it on the same folder as that Pending one. I found one on the COMPONENTS folder and I deleted it but it still keeps on restarting. Ugh. I almost got everything except for find that 'AdvancedInstallersNeedResolving' in HLKM(what what? it looks like they are not even in the same folders! where is it then?)

    Someone please help me.

  • Richard

    Step 3 also work for me to restore a remote domain controller :) Thanks

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  • nas

    thank you so so so sooooooooo much

  • Bob Timmons

    Thanks for the help. I needed to use the DOS commands mentioned to rename the PENDING.XML file. But it came back to life successfully after that. I appreciate your sharing this information!

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  • torrrpl

    step #3 didn't worked !

  • Firas

    Wonderful information,

    I have used step 3, only removed the pending.xml and now it is ok.

  • Irnest

    Thank you thank you thank you. Method 3 saved my Server 2008 machine. :-)

  • Joe

    Thanks so much for the help! I used step 3 and it worked! I wasted half a day on this (trying everything from msft help) and your solution worked in 5 minutes!

  • Ajit

    Step 3 worked for me but I had to delete

    HLKMcomponentspendingXmLIdentifier

    becuase the other 2 mentioned in the forum were not there.

    It works like a charm… and installing service pack 2 right away

  • alex

    i forgot to add the error message when attempting to do system restore talks about "unresolved transaction (0x80071AA7)". also during these endless cycles, while waiting to try to boot, the screen briefly flashes some string which seems to begin with 2/18894, but it is so brief i have not been able to write it all down yet.

  • Alex

    Unfortunately, in method 3 at step 13 the reg editor refuses to load the components saying the file is in use by another process. moreover there is no cleanup.xml in the directory that has pending.xml in it. please advise further. oh and every attempt at system restore gives an error message as well.

  • steven

    awesome, got my system back. i had no restore point, so i had to use step 3. i also went to microsoft and they were as lost as i was. thank you.

  • Aaron

    Thank you so much. Step 3 saved me a lot of time.

  • Riphans

    this worked also for me.. thank alot..

  • Dan

    Hi,

    I am not finding the way to rename the components to offline_components. I rename it in the Load Hive but it did not change in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE. I am missing a step? Thank you

  • Jac378

    Method #3 worked perfect for me, I could not used System restore because I turned it off.so..

    Para Jhacobson : Pudistes arreglarlo??

  • Gapitta

    GRACIAS GENTE, FUNCIONA MUY BIEN!!!

    Les cuento lo que hice en base a los pasos que se describen al principio.

    En mi caso tengo un notebook HP con Vista y no tengo el DVD de instalacion.

    Lo que hice fue iniciar con F8 la opcion de reparacion y luego entrar a linea de comando por medio de las opciones avanzadas.

    Luego busque la unidad C que en realidad paso a ser la F y digite lo siguiente:

    rstrui.exe /OFFLINE:F:windows

    alli me abrio la consola de restaurar sistema.

    Tengan cuidado de poner bien la unidad. Si estan parados en la particion de reuperacion, entonces la consola de restaurar les dira que no tiene puntos de restauracion.

  • Jhacobson

    A mi no me ha servido ninguno, es que ni porque ponga de primero el disco CD/DVD me agarra, me podrían decir ya que de otroa forma puedo entrar?

  • Maciej

    THANK YOU! Step 3 saved my ass.

  • Sam

    Thanks alot for the help

    Thanks the step 3 has worked perfect.

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  • Yota chan

    Graciasssssssss mennnnnnnnnn!!!! jejejee

    Nota para los que no pudieron.. lo Mejor es el PASO 3…

    pero cuando esten en el Simbolo del sistema escribiran lo siguiente:

    c:

    cd windows

    cd winsxs

    ren pending.xml pending.old

    ren cleanup.xml cleanup.old

    regedit

    buscan las claves… y listo!!! funciona de maravilla!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • erfan

    realy thanks for this advanced trick. I realy use its very good and deep idea. tnx

  • banex

    Yes, confirming that setp 3 works even without having to go further than renaming both files.

    Interesting, but on microsoft forums there was a thread for this problem and no reply from MS at all, and after 6 months some visitor wrote this solution.

  • Macmillzy
  • Ishaq

    Thanks the step 3 has worked fine

  • http://Beyondunreal.com Jackal

    Thanks alot for the help. MS was very slow and didn't know jack shit about their own OS. A friend of mine sent me a Vista Business downloader and I burned it to a DVD since my Asus laptop didn't come with software. I also didn't have restore turned on because it takes up too much space and slows the computer down.

    I went right to step 3 and it worked the first time. Thank you very much for this tutorial.

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