SBS 2011e Server Freeze During Windows Update


  • We recently encountered a problem with our Windows SBS 2011 Essentials server that I hope you can help me with.  In general, this server has been very stable and has worked well since it was installed.  However, on Friday night I was installing OS updates on the server via the Windows Update process.  The server is configured to download but not install the OS updates (that way we can manually install these patches, which often require a reboot of the server which needs to be done outside of business hours).  The process has always worked well in the past.  This time, however, the server seemed stuck on the "Preparing to Configure Windows, Please Do Not Turn Off Your Computer" phase.  Although the disk drive light would flicker on occasion and the Windows "hourglass" (spinning circle) was still moving on the screen, nothing else happened for well over an hour.  This is far longer than any previous update has taken, even the rollup packs.

    After waiting for a significant amount of time (the server appeared to be frozen on this phase), I reset the server by holding down the power button (a "soft" keyboard reset did not work).  I booted into safe mode, ran CHKDSK, etc.  I then rebooted into standard Windows, which told me that the Windows had not been shut down properly.  I then got a message that some of the OS updates had not completed successfully.  Windows then proceeded to roll the server OS back to its previous (pre-update) state.  This took a few minutes, but everything worked (thankfully), and the desktop loaded correctly.  The server has been working fine since that time.

    Is this a known or common problem with SBS 2011e updates? If so, is there a solution to the problem?  SBS 2011e had been updated numerous times in the past without incident, prior to this problem.  The last update was earlier in August, so the OS is relatively current.  Since the server is essential (no pun intended) to the operation of the entire network, I am now concerned about trying to apply the last round of updates again (they last few were .Net Framework 3.5 updates, even though the server has .Net Framework 4 on it, rather than version 3.5).

    Thanks very much for any assistance you can offer.


    mercredi 4 septembre 2013 17:48


Toutes les réponses

  • Hi,

    Thanks for posting in the forum.

    Regarding the current issue, please understand that there are several reasons why the installation or finalization of one or more Windows updates can hang.

    Most often, these types of problems are due to a software conflict or a preexisting issue that simply wasn't brought to light until the Windows updates started installing. Much more rarely they're caused by a mistake on Microsoft's part regarding the update itself.

    At this time, I suggest we could refer to the following articles for troubleshooting.

    How To Recover From a Frozen Windows Update Installation

    Solution for Stuck "Preparing to Configure Windows. Please do not turn off your Computer"

    Hope this helps.

    Best Regards,

    Andy Qi

    Andy Qi
    TechNet Community Support

    vendredi 6 septembre 2013 11:21
  • Andy,

       Thanks for the valuable information and links.  I have a follow-up question to ask.  As I mentioned, I was able to get the server working again by rolling back the Windows updates.  I then reinstalled some (but not all) of them.  Should I try again to install the last two updates (.Net Framework 3.5 updates, the server only has .Net Framework 4 on it)?  Or should I not tempt fate in case the same problem recurs (locked server) if I install the last two updates?

       Thanks again.


    samedi 7 septembre 2013 21:10