Windows updates fails

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Nov 17, 2011
I have built PC and its been working for last 4 years with no issues. I have upgraded windows 10 pro and recent updates 2018-09 , its not completing windows properly and always holding with Initializing and never comes out of it.
I tried to stop windows update service and reboot the PC and it will try to complete and again the same problem. After several attempts windows are corrupting and fails to reboot and its not repairing the windows as well. I need to reinstall the windows but the problem repeats .

Could you help what is the problem why it is not able to update the windows updates.?


I believe you can try to hit F8 as the bootup starts and hope that takes you to the REPAIR option Windows 10 has.

Alternatively you can get to REPAIR by creating a W10 Install media.

a) on working PC insert 8GB+ USB stick (no data you want)
b) download and run the MS Media Creation Tool
c) choose "for other PC" option, and "W10 64-bit" as OS (covers Home and Pro)

d) wait for download and install to finish
e) put USB in your computer, and go into BIOS to select the USB as boot device (quick boot option if possible)
f) choose "REPAIR" link once an option

g) should be an option to RESTORE Windows which the UPDATE process should have created (Not a System Restore option but a Windows Update backup)... I forget the name.

If you can't restore that update then try a Restore Point if you have one (note the date too as it would delete any applications installed after that date.. not data just programs)



*I believe at the beginning of this video the option is "Go back to previous version" to go back to the BACKUP that W10 should have made prior to updating.

So again, if F8 can get you there then try that option and it should just roll back to prior to the update. Then Google for how to DELAY an update as hopefully that will get sorted... and use a tool like Acronis True Image to setup automated backups of the Windows partition or drive.

System RESTORE is for restore points. Try that if the previous option fails. System IMAGES are large backups made periodically by W10 similar to what Acronis does. You likely don't have that setup. If you did, then try that LAST.

I guess if all that fails try "Startup Repair" but I have no idea what that would do to a failed Update... still, it's better than nothing and if gets you into Windows with no obvious issues then great.
Are you using the computer while installing updates? The updates sometimes pop up an installation dialog box that you need to click through to proceed with the install. Unfortunately, malware was exploiting pop-up dialog boxes, hoping you'd be typing something when the malware popped up an admin privilege elevation request, and you'd accidentally approve it. So Microsoft changed it a few years back so these pop-ups are now pop-unders. This means if you're doing other stuff while installing updates, the installation dialog boxes can show up underneath your other windows where you can't see them. The update just appears to hang.

So try closing all your open windows, or don't use the computer (have no windows open) while updating.

Some updates require other updates to be installed first before they can install successfully. Unfortunately, Microsoft doesn't seem to have a system in place to insure they're installed in the proper order. So if an update fails and there are other updates pending or available, go ahead and try installing them first. Reboot, check for more updates, install, reboot, etc. Eventually you'll get the required update installed, and the failing update will then install correctly. An alternative approach is to try installing updates one at a time, instead of everything at once.

You can try manually downloading and installing the update. A Google search for the failed update's ID will usually turn up a link to download the update directly from Microsoft's website. Then you can right-click it and run it as administrator to try installing it directly.

If you suspect Windows Update is borked, there's no need to reinstall Windows. Simply disable the Windows Update service. Then delete everything in the C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution folder. Re-enable Windows Update (and manually do a check for new updates if you're impatient). That's the folder where Windows stores downloaded update, and maintains a database of installed updates. Deleting it will force Windows to check your PC for all updates which have been installed, then query Microsoft again to see which updates are available. Basically it puts Windows Update in the same state as a clean install (except you still have the old updates installed). Be forewarned that it will take a very long time the first time you check for new updates after doing this.
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