Windows Server 2008 Hangs on reboot after Windows Update

August 7th, 2010 | Categories: SharePoint administration

Not directly related to SharePoint, but since SP2010 is hosted on Win2008 I’d say this would come in handy to SP admins. I ran into an issue a while ago where the server would become unresponsive after applying Windows updates. It would finish installing updates, and after restart it would just hang in step 3 of 3 or at "Applying computer settings" or "Applying user settings".

Even though at some point when I’d managed to logged in and see my desktop it was impossible to start anything service-based (IIS, SharePoint, Internet Explorer,…)

What did the trick for me? Couple of things, not sure which is THE fix, and I’m adding couple more that I’ve found searching the Web.

1. Reboot into safe mode after applying Windows Updates. This avoids any driver/service conflict issue. After successfully rebooted in safe mode, restart to normal boot.

2. Delete temporary files (to find them, open a "Run" window, type %temp% and press Enter.). This removes the chance of having some legacy corrupt update process file.

3. Check disk space on your system drive – no need for explanation there. Patches can be quite space consuming.

4. If you have IIS (if you have SharePoint, then you do), make a small registry fix to enforce service startup dependancy. Detailed instructions here:

Hopefully one of those "fixes" will work also for you if you’re facing the same problem.