Configurating Updates: Stage 3 of 3 Stuck in Endless Reboot Loop

Windows Vista Service Pack 1 might very well deliver users from the Reduced Functionality Mode black screen of death kill switch, but the prerequisite updates for the service pack are doing a wonderful job at cutting access to the operating system. Following Microsoft’s monthly patch cycle non-security updates released on February 12, 2007, containing two of the remaining prerequisite updates for Vista SP1, Vista users began complaining about installation failures. Some Vista machines, after the implementation of updates via Automatic Updates are thrown in an infinite reboot loop, while stuck on displaying the following message: “Configuring Updates Stage 3 of 3 0% complete. Do not turn off Computer.”

The number of user complaints on the TechNet forum for Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) under the thread “Configuring updates: stage 3 of 3 stuck in endless reboot loop“, as well as the “Stage 3 of 3 – 0% then reboots” thread is growing in consistency. But Microsoft is saying little to almost nothing on the subject. It is still unclear at this point in time if the users affected by the infinite reboot loop have also attempted to deploy Vista SP1 RC refresh 2 or RTM builds. However, all of them had the machines configured to deploy updates automatically via AU. Speculations are pointing to a conflict between some of the updates, specifically the prerequisites for Vista SP1 and security solutions installed on the computers.

“I got five sets of logs that are currently being investigated. Thanks for the logs I have received to date. If the machine came with Windows Vista Pre-installed try using F8 safe mode options. They may have installed the repair scenariossystem restore option onto the hard disk as a Safe Mode option. You may be able to do system restore from those scenarios. Your options in Safe Mode may be different depending on the vendor you got your machine from and to whether they offer this choice. System Restore is best solution right now whether that is booting from media or from a F8 ( Safe mode option).

We are still looking for other workaround other than using System Restore if your machine doesn’t have any restore points available,” revealed Microsoft’s Darrell Gorter.

The Redmond company has failed to reveal when or if they plan to issue a resolve to alleviate the problems, and also to disclose the number of Vista users affected by the issue. Microsoft only managed to indicate that it is currently investigating the matter. An alternative to the System Restore approach, for the Vista users whose operating systems do not have any restore points, is to kill the updating process, then boot from the Vista media, select the “Repair your computer” option, but instead of looking for Restore Points, start a command prompt and delete, rename or move the “C:Windowswinsxspending.xml” file.

When restarting the machine, although Vista will still hang on the configuring updates screen, it will also permit access to the desktop. Eventually…

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