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Windows XP update locks up


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#1
AviatorTim

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I tried to update Windows XP (with service pack 2) after the automatic update notification told me new updates were available. The regular window "Installing Updates" appeared with the message "The updates are being installed. Installation status: Initializing Installation...". However, after 20+ minutes the installation showed no progress so I selected the cancel button which brought up the message "cancelling updates..." that lingered for about 15 minutes until I finally did a forced shut down of Windows Explorer.

When I turned off my computer, the final screen that normally says "shutting down" said "updates are being installed, please do not turn off your computer, it will be turned off automatically, installing udate 1 of 1". However, the message lasted over 30 minutes until I finally killed the power.

I assume XP did NOT update correctly since it hung until I did the hard shut down, so I manually launced Windows Update from the state menu. After it checks for the latest updates, I selected "custom install" which shows Microsoft Windows Installer 3.1 as an available update. It shows a download size of 0 bytes, 0 minutes which makes me suspect this was the component that locked up the update previously. When I try to install it, I get the repeat problem of hanging at "initializing intallation..." and also hanging at "cancelling updates..." when I try to cancel.

Does anyone have any ideas what went wrong and what, if anything, I should do?

FYI, I suspect the initial installation failure may be related to the fact I was connected to the internet thru my cell phone which may have had a firewall type effect keeping the update from installing. My succesive attempts have been through a regular broad band connection but to no avail.

Edited by AviatorTim, 20 May 2005 - 10:37 AM.

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#2
gerryf

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tough to say....maybe. There was a problem with windows installer 3.1 for some machines, so MS made a v2 version available.

http://www.microsoft...&displaylang=en

download and install it manually
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#3
AviatorTim

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Gerry,

Good guess that the problem was with Windows Installer 3.1. When I restart mycomputer, the yellow shield for new windows updates appears in the system tray. When I click the shield and select "custom" to see which updates it wants to install, Windows Installer 3.1 is indeed the culprit.

I followed your link to download version 2 of Installer 3.1. However, when I execute it, it gets as far as "creating restore point" then hangs there for over an hour with no hard drive activity. Any further ideas how to get version 2 of the installer to install?

Tim
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#4
yas

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hi, im having the exact same problem, it hangs on "initialising installation...", and ive installed the windows installer v2 (had the same problem of hanging at Creating a restore points, but it worked after i disabled this). Any suggestions please???
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#5
AviatorTim

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Yas,

I have not been able to repair the problem yet but I have been working with a Microsoft support agent and I can share the steps he has walked me thru thus far and you can see if they work for your situation.

First, you should know the original Windows Installer 3.1 had bugs and was replaced by Installer 3.1 redistributable version 2. Try searching support.microsoft.com to find it, download it and see it it will install. If not here at the steps from MS....

....
This issue can be caused by the previous file downloads being corrupted.

I suggest we perform a System Restore to back up the system to a state before the issue had occurred.

Note: If you have some important documents or files which were created after the restore point, please copy them to My Documents. By doing this, even if you back the system up to the initial status, the documents will be saved in My Documents.

To restore your system to a previous state, we can use the following steps:

1. Before you start, please close all open files and close all open programs.
2. Click "Start"; click "Programs or All Programs"; click "Accessories"; click "System Tools"; and click "System Restore". The System Restore user interface should appear.
3. Select "Restore my computer to an earlier time" and click "Next".
4. From the restore points available, select an appropriate restore point when your system was working correctly and click "Next".
5. Click "Next" again. The restore process will run and your system will restart automatically.
6. After restarting, check whether your system functions correctly now. If not, you can undo your last restoration or select another restore point in the System Restore user interface.

For more information, please refer to the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:
Title: Restore the Operating System to a Previous State in Windows XP
Link: http://support.micro...KB;EN-US;306084
After we perform the System Restore, please download the package again Wrom:
http://www.microsoft...en&Hash=8T6PHSD
If the issue persists, please try the following steps to troubleshoot:

Step 1: Disable and Enable System Restore to clear the corrupted restore point.
-------------

1. Click Start, click Run, input "SYSDM.CPL" (without quotation marks) and press Enter.
2. On the "System Restore" tab, click to check the "Turn off System Restore on all drives" box, and click OK.
3. Please repeat the above steps to enable System Restore again.

Step 2: Check for viruses
-----------------

I suggest we use Symantec's online Virus & Security checker to examine your computer's security status:
http://security.syma...id=ie&venid=sym
Click GO to proceed with a security scan and virus detection.
If you find a worm virus, please obtain the latest removal tools from Symantec:
http://securityrespo...tools.list.html

Step 3: Disable the Automatic Updates feature
--------------------------
1. Click Start, click Run, enter "SYSDM.CPL" (without quotation marks) and then press Enter.
2. On the Automatic Updates tab, select the option "Turn off Automatic Updates", and then click OK.

Step 4: Go to the Windows Update website to scan again to check whether Windows Installer 3.1 is still offered.
http://v5.windowsupd...t.aspx?ln=en-us
If yes, please check whether it can be installed this time.
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#6
AviatorTim

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Yas and Gerry,

I finally got the Windows Installer 3.1 error fixed. It was cleared by renaming the SoftwareDistribution folder in Windows and purging the history of downloaded updates to get Windows to do a full install of Installer 3.1 instead of resorting to the partially downloaded, corrupt version of Installer 3.1 Once I followed the steps below, Installer 3.1 downloaded directly from Windows Update--I didn't have to download version 2 from the MS Knowledge base articles. Apparently version 2 is now incorporated into Windows Update.

Here are the steps from MS Tech support...

Let's erase the whole SoftwareDistribution folder at this time. Please try the following steps:
1. Click Start, Run, type: cmd and press Enter. Please run the following command in the opened window. Net stop WuAuServ
2. Click Start, Run, type: %windir% and press Enter.
3. In the opened folder, rename the folder SoftwareDistribution to Sdold.
4. Click Start, Run, type: cmd and press Enter. Please run the following command in the opened window. Net start WuAuServ

At this time, let's first perform a Clean Boot. A Clean Boot will disable all third-party software temporarily. To do so, please follow these steps:
1. Click Start, and then click Run.
2. In the Open box, type "msconfig" (without the quotation marks), and then click OK.
3. On the Startup tab, click Disable All.
4. On the Services tab, check the box before "Hide All Microsoft Services" and then click Disable All.
5. Click OK. When you are prompted to restart the computer, do so.

A dialog box will appear indicating that some changes have been applied to Windows Configurations. Please mark the check box and then cancel this dialog box.

Note: To restore the computer to use a Normal Startup, click Normal Startup on the General tab in the System Configuration Utility, click OK, and then restart the computer.

Next, clear your proxy cache.
1. Click on Start, and then click on Run.
2. Type cmd in the Open box to get a DOS prompt.
3. Type proxycfg -d at the command prompt, and press Enter.
4. Type net stop wuauserv at the command prompt, and press Enter.
5. Type net start wuauserv at the command prompt, and press Enter.
6. Now try the site again.
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#7
Retired Tech

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Thank you for posting the solution
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