feb 15

“Configuring Updates Stage 3 of 3 0%”

Tag: SystemsJoaquim Anguas @ 8:01 pm

After the last “Patch Tuesday” you may have found that some of your machines got into a lather-rinse-repeat cycle –seems that the endless loop disease catches more on Windows Vista Enterprise–

If after the update reboot you get the message: “Configuring Updates Stage 3 of 3 0% complete Do not turn off Computer” and some seconds after, the system reboots and it starts all over again, here’s a solution I have found:

From the comments, Marcus posts a solution for those who do not have a restore point or install media:

RE: Graham’s fix worked for me!

For those without an OS disc, Vista has repair tools built in.

To access them, boot the computer, but when you see the “Microsoft (C)” with the moving lines, hold the power button until it shuts down.

Now windows thinks it didn’t boot properly, and when you turn it back on, you should get the option to run Windows Startup Repair.

Choose this. When it loads, cancel the scan it starts (it won’t find anything anyway), and choose the text on the bottom that says something like “Show advanced repair options.” When it asks for the user, change from the Administrator to your user account, and then you’ll have access to a few more tools, incluing a command prompt where you can run fixes.

Instead of deleting the “pending.xml” files from the c:\windows\winsxs folder I renamed it, so that it can be put back later if needed. Hope this helps everyone else!

Thanks for sharing Marcus!

UPDATE:

Pieter shares this solution:

I have used the following solution.
Restart computer. Press f8 then choose option restore computer.
Choose option open command.
type: prompt winsxs (press enter)
type: move C:\windows\winsxs\pending.xml text.xml (press enter)
type: exit and restart computer.
Computer should be working again.

UPDATE:

And Spr-y has had a good experience trying this:

All i did was boot under “last known good configuration”, then install this – http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=5639710d-dfbf-4527-806e-9a1634d0cc8e&DisplayLang=en&displaylang=en , which wil apparently stop this happening again…

UPDATE:

User Glissando posted this some days ago:

A follow up to my post @ 38.
It felt so good to have my computer back that I feel obliged to make it easier for anyone in my position to get there step by step,as I did. So there it goes:

  • STEP 1. As your computer restarts erratically over and over and reaches the point where you see the “(c) Microsoft” and the moving lines, hold the Power button down until it shuts off your computer completely.
  • STEP 2. Turn on computer. Now your computer is going to start in the “Windows Startup Repair” diagnostic mode. Press ENTER so that the “Startup Repair” may commence. I let it ran until the search was done and I got the message “Windows cannot repair this computer automatically”
  • STEP 3 Look down for the “View advanced option for system recovery and support” and CLICK on. You’ll be prompted to “System Recovery Option”; select your keyboard language (US) and click NEXT button.
  • STEP 4 Now you are in the “Administrator Account”. In the “User name” pop up, change “Administrator” to “user” (which is you). Than enter your usual “log in” password (if you have one on your computer) and press NEXT.
  • STEP 5 .You are now in the “Choose a recovery tool”. Go down to “Command Prompt” and CLICK on. You are prompted in to the MS DOS/ text mode.
  • STEP 6. In here simply apply Pieter magic text (as per his post @ 21):

type: prompt winsxs (press enter)

type: move C:\windows\winsxs\pending.xml text.xml (press enter)

type: exit and restart computer

  • YOU ARE DONE!

And don’t forget to backup your photos, important files and the rest on an external Hard Drive or a DVD asap!

Thanks!

169 Responses to ““Configuring Updates Stage 3 of 3 0%””

  1. Marijn says:

    Hi janguas, thank you for posting this! Have been searchin for a while now, a lot of peaple have the problem, no one the solution! I will try this right now! Thank you!

  2. Michael Neill says:

    Toshiba
    No restore points trying solution. Odd.

  3. Rupesh says:

    Hello,

    I went in to same problem yesterday night. Now its rebooting since yesterday..I do not have the vista boot disk ??
    please help.

    Thanks,
    Rupesh

  4. Vista constantly rebooting after this week's updates - "Configuring updates stage 3 of 3" - Page 6 - Microsoft Windows Vista Community Forums - Vistaheads says:

    […] system restore and restore to an earlier point. After that, I just followed the steps showed in Configuring Updates Stage 3 of 3 0% | e1m6 . Now my computer is working fine. Hope this will also work for […]

  5. Re-stating: Vista Users: Turn OFF automatic updates before it is too late | Robert Wilkens’ Home Page says:

    […] http://www.anguas.com/?p=47 Sphere: Related Content […]

  6. Rob Wilkens says:

    What do you do if you don’t have ‘system restore’ turned on — considering it is a security risk (i.e. system restore allows you to undelete deleted files by going to a previous system restore point; in general when I delete something I like it to stay deleted). I think Microsoft is going to find itself owing a lot of people a lot of money.

  7. Jak Salad says:

    Thank you so much, wasn’t much hair left to tear out.

    JS

  8. David says:

    Thank you so much! You made my day, I was looking all over the place and this is the only solution that worked at the first try. Thank you again

  9. Peter says:

    What do you do if your computer doesn’t have any restore points?

  10. H.D. Akkerman says:

    i did update again because i didn’t know what was happening at that time. Now my computer isn’t able to go to a restore-point anymore. It gives error: 0x80071A91 ..????
    I have no idea how to get out of this mess.

  11. Joaquim Anguas says:

    Hello all,

    I am glad that my post helped some of you.

    For those who didn’t:

    – Rupesh, I am afraid that I cannot think of a solution that does not need the Vista install media.

    – The ones who can’t access a restore point, you can try an upgrade install. Perform a backup copy of your data (see below) and perform at your own risk. Boot from Vista install media, go to “Install Now” instead of “Repair your computer”, select and confirm your Vista edition and click on “Upgrade”. Then try to manually install the offending update (see http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=5639710d-dfbf-4527-806e-9a1634d0cc8e&DisplayLang=en). Reboot and update normally after that. Again, backup and perform at your own risk.

    – Rob, you’re right, in fact restore points are an important resort when working in forensics. But also is freed but unused disk space…

    Hope this helps.

    Backup P.S: If you want to backup your files, get Knoppix (http://www.knoppix.net/get.php), burn the ISO image to a cd and boot the bounce-bounce-bounce machine with it, plug an external storage device and copy the files you want to keep.

  12. TRF says:

    Different problem: After the update, my computer refused to boot normally. I booted from the Vista install CD, choose your language, time, currency and keyboard settings. I Selected “Repair your computer”, my Vista installation and the first option that appears on the menu. It fixed it.

  13. Tom G says:

    Thanks for the procedure.

    Worked perfectly.

    Good luck to those who do not have the vista CD or have
    restore point enabled.

  14. Fibble says:

    My recovery disk does not have a “Repair Windows” option. It simply tries to reinstall Windows (Vista Home Premium). It says it will store my “existing windows files” in windows.old. Believe me I have been through the bootup process MANY times, each time carefully looking at all the options on each screen … “Repair Windows” never appears. Any suggestions?

  15. Tom says:

    This seemed to do the trick for me. If it hangs on Stage 3 at 0%. Reboot, F8, select safe mode w/networking. Stage 3 will continue and finish normally.

  16. Fibble says:

    Oh by the way, no other method of startup works for me – safe mode, safe mode with command prompt, safe mode with network, safe mode with condom, etc. (Okay, I made up one of those, but if I dont laugh at this totally screwed up situation MS has put us all in I will end up crying.) Anyway, I have tried all the suggestions here and in other posts (forums.microsoft.com/technet, etc) and nothing is working. My biggest obstacle is that the recover disk CyberPowerPC gave me does not give me the option to Repair Windows or Restore my system. I know I’m not the only one in this boat – anyone else get past this hurdle?

  17. Lachesis says:

    Thanks a lot! Worked with the 5th try! But worked!

  18. AlanSonnenberg says:

    Fibble,
    You’re not alone by a long shot!

    I’ve tried everything I’ve found from this and other forums, but apparently Microsoft doesn’t know how to fix it yet!

    They better not make me reinstall and lose all my installed apps!

  19. Dr. Livingston, I presume says:

    SAME problem:
    1. Endless 3of3 loop.
    2. No restore points.
    3. No restore disk – It’s a partitioned restor installation.
    4. Would like to try more technical approaches other than giving up to the beast and backing up the machine!
    Thank’s in advance.

  20. Joaquim Anguas says:

    Hello Dr. Livingston (and others),

    In fact what I was proposing was to perform an upgrade install, which (in theory, that’s why I insist on backup) keeps programs and data intact. This process would revert your system files to their original version, allowing you to manually install the offending patch and apply the subsequent updates.

    I think that there is another path to solution by manually removing the patch from the command line (see http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa372104(VS.85).aspx), but you need to know the GUID for the application (Windows Vista?) and the patch GUID.

    I’ll let you know if I get into something…

  21. Rob Wilkens says:

    Suggestion: This may happen again, those that have the problem ‘fixed’ may learn that the same (or another) problem may come back in — so do yourself a favor (even if you don’t feel like it) and download and burn a Linux CD/DVD… Download it from any number places on the net. Don’t INSTALL it yet, wait till you need it, but feel confident that there’s another option if MS or whoever causes this problem again.

  22. Grahm says:

    If u do not have any restore points this does not work. I have no restore points because I run dual boot and I booted into xp after i was stuck in the loop to look for help so restore points are deleted during boot up to xp. I had only just re-installed Vista last week and it was running great (for 3 days) when microsoft automation broke my vista again. Before mail and internet just stopped loading up so i started from scratch. It is annoying to start from scratch yet again as there are lots of customisation settings which take time and how long will it last.

    Question: Is there any files in windows.old my previous install which i could copy over via explorer when I am in xp that would allow me to boot up?

    Thanks …

    G

  23. JD says:

    How do I get my computer to boot from the install media? I have the CD in the drive, but the computer still stuck in the loop.

  24. Joaquim Anguas says:

    Hi JD,

    You have to tell the computer to boot from the optical drive, either changing the boot preference on the BIOS or by pressing F12 when your computer starts the boot sequence and choosing the CD unit.

    Best,

    Joaquim

  25. Joaquim Anguas says:

    Hello Grahm,

    Yes, booting from XP erases restore points.
    As for the files under windows.old, I am unaware of any solution that makes use of them.

    I keep looking for a way to manually uninstall patch KB937287, but need GUID for product and patch. And this may not help some of you who can’t even get to “Safe mode with command prompt”…

    Let’s see if Microsoft releases a solution soon.

    Best,

    Joaquim

  26. Graham says:

    J

    I got back in ….

    used system disk to boot ….. repair computer …. command prompt ….. negotiate to windows/winsxs …. delete pending.xml (del pending.xml) …

    restart … and got back in ..

    Got this solution from Ernest Dunhim and nugat on windows vista techNet Forums ….. happy it worked although i see a post from nugat now saying it can cause problems in the future making vista unrecovarable …… so a MS bod advised him …. right now i’d tend to go with what works as opposed to what microsoft think they know …. ie they don’t know so say … ahhhh … don’t do that!

    I was forced with a re-install anyway so unless microsoft come up with the solution best to use what works i guess …

    Best,

    G

  27. Marcus says:

    RE: Graham’s fix worked for me!
    For those without an OS disc, Vista has repair tools built in. To access them, boot the computer, but when you see the “Microsoft (C)” with the moving lines, hold the power button until it shuts down. Now windows thinks it didn’t boot properly, and when you turn it back on, you should get the option to run Windows Startup Repair. Choose this. When it loads, cancel the scan it starts (it won’t find anything anyway), and choose the text on the bottom that says something like “Show advanced repair options.” When it asks for the user, change from the Administrator to your user account, and then you’ll have access to a few more tools, incluing a command prompt where you can run fixes. Instead of deleting the “pending.xml” files from the c:\windows\winsxs folder I renamed it, so that it can be put back later if needed. Hope this helps everyone else!

  28. Henery says:

    I want to start by offering my thanks for the fix. My wife’s laptop was driving me batty working around it thru multiple reboots in Safe Mode. I now have an issue with this fix not addressed above:

    When I went to the Microsoft page for the patch, none of the downloads applied to her computer. What happens now?

  29. Joaquim Anguas says:

    Hello Henery,

    You mean this page? http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=5639710d-dfbf-4527-806e-9a1634d0cc8e&DisplayLang=en
    If not, please, specify.

    Thanks,

    Joaquim

  30. Greg says:

    I tried both of these fixes, and I guess I totally screwed something up. Now, no matter what I do, it goes to the System Recovery options page. I have no restore points, in fact, in no longer even goes to the page that would allow me to select it. It says to perform an offline System Restore, you must specify with Windows installation you want. Windows will not even try to start, and I would like to even see the “Updates 3 of 3″ page.

  31. Greg says:

    Also, on the system recovery options page, it show the operating systems is unknown on unknown local disk.
    How do I just reformat my whole computer? Will that fix anything. I don’t have anything on it I can’t live without.

  32. sudeep says:

    mate you are a genius…! who ever you are thank you thank you thank you

  33. ixfinito says:

    Same problem as Henery:
    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=5639710d-dfbf-4527-806e-9a1634d0cc8e&DisplayLang=en
    After downloading and installing it on Vista Ultimate x86, it says: “The update does not apply to your system”

    I’ll simply avoid the updates until some solution to this comes out. Thanks a lot anyway, cause I have dual boot with Ubuntu / Grub and haven’t googled yet how to restart in MS Safe Modes in such cases.

  34. Joaquim Anguas says:

    I read at http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/blogs/mowgreen/index.php?showentry=1240:

    “In addition, Vista Ultimate and Business editions also require the installation of KB935509 as a further prerequisite to the offering and installation of SP1.”

    The whole post may help.

    Best!

  35. Jimbo says:

    Let me get this straight…Microsoft continues to send out the Vista Update that sends computers into a death loop even after knowing of a problem for which it has no fix? What the…? BTW, the shutting it off and getting into the Startup Repair did not work for me. Apple store, here I come.

  36. arfa c says:

    hello you genius`s. i am desperately in need of help. i have read the posts but i am unable to follow and get my laptop working again. pls help. i was running windows vista business, but i am stuck on the same screen roll every one else was. i dont have the os disk. can some one please help me and guide me through. thank you.

  37. Joaquim Anguas says:

    Hello all,

    Last news from Microsoft regarding this problem are from April 7th:
    http://blogs.technet.com/mu/archive/2008/04/07/windows-vista-sp1-prerequisite-kb937287.aspx
    But they do not give a clue on how to solve this.

    As for a solution, on April 7th too:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/949358/en-us

    Best luck!

    Joaquim

  38. Rick says:

    The fix that Marcus posted works. For those without the boot CD, do exactly as he recommended.

    Once you have a command prompt, change to C:\Windows\winsxs

    (Refer here for some command prompt commands: http://www.ss64.com/nt/ren.html )

    I had to do ‘CD ..’ a bunch of times to get back to ‘C:\’ because it takes you to some ‘Tools’ folder by default.

    Once in C:\Windows\winsxs, do ‘REN C:\Windows\winsxs\pending.xml test.xml’

    Which renames the pending.xml file, to test.xml (just incase it needs to be changed back later).

    Exit command prompt and restart, and you will see the “Configuring 3 of 3 etc etc” message, but then it should let you log in. I have just done it, and am connecting an external harddrive as we speak to backup all my stuff.

    I dont know if this is a permanent fix, but at least it has allowed me back into the computer to backup my stuff.

    Hope this helps.

  39. Nathan says:

    Hello, after searching for a solution for a long time I came across this page. I couldn’t do what rick and mark said because it still asked for my cd. (computer came with recovery partition,I deleted it so maybe that’s why) Anyways if you have any way to edit that file name you can make it boot. I used an ubuntu live cd. (linux cds are free to download)

  40. Kaioo says:

    I have the problem: Vista hangs on the Update 3 of 3 0% Installed

    I do not have the DVD to reinstall as it was already installed on my new HP laptop. I am not able to to the DOS renaming by just following your instructions.
    I was able to get to the DOS window, and the cursor is at the end of the first line. How do I get to a new line to enter what you suggest? If you could You need to just write it out and I will copy it exactly to my screen. Thanks.

  41. Joaquim Anguas says:

    Hello Kaioo,

    On comment 38 Rick says:


    The fix that Marcus posted works. For those without the boot CD, do exactly as he recommended.

    Once you have a command prompt, change to C:\Windows\winsxs

    (Refer here for some command prompt commands: http://www.ss64.com/nt/ren.html )

    I had to do ‘CD ..’ a bunch of times to get back to ‘C:\’ because it takes you to some ‘Tools’ folder by default.

    Once in C:\Windows\winsxs, do ‘REN C:\Windows\winsxs\pending.xml test.xml’

    Which renames the pending.xml file, to test.xml (just incase it needs to be changed back later).

    Exit command prompt and restart, and you will see the “Configuring 3 of 3 etc etc” message, but then it should let you log in. I have just done it, and am connecting an external harddrive as we speak to backup all my stuff.

    He refers to post 27 from Marcus.

    I haven’t tried this myself, but it makes sense, I hope this helps.

    Be safe,

    Joaquim.

  42. Slazy says:

    When I did my firstrestore point and restarted it completed the third restore point!! Yeah

    –Slazy

  43. Slazy says:

    Not restore point… But it completed the third update!!

  44. Randall says:

    I have a simliar situation but not exactly the same thing. Using Vista Ultimate, I had installed some language packs (via Windows update) and then was uninstalling them in addition to some updates – but no SP1. Upon rebooting the system came up and took a while to work on cofiguring 3 of 3 updates and did eventually finish but it stuck at 100%, just sat there for 1/2 hour at least.

    Annoyed, I did a hard reboot and now, the system does the configuration again but now just sits at 3 of 3 0%.

    I can get to a command prompt via Vista DVD and was excited to see the note about pending.xml but (my luck) I don’t have a file named pending.xml. I thought it might be permissions but I tried del pending.xml in addition to attrib -H -S pending.xml, just in case it was hidden… no luck. The only *.xml file in winsxs is cleanup.xml, which I renamed to cleanup.old.xml just in case it’s sticking on removing some files or something of that nature.

    I just installed Vista fresh (I had a RAID change that required it) and am not running with any other OSs installed. I was just getting to the point of almost installing SP1 when this happened.

    Last important note, I had one restore point available to roll-back to and did, but I’m in the same boat.

    Anybody know of a way to just skip update configuration on startup or manage windows updates from the command line? Is there a windows update GUI available from the DVD menu?

    Thanks for any thoughts!

  45. Edd says:

    Marcus – THANKS SO MUCH.

    A lifesaver. My PC was junk for three months because of this.

    Microsoft are a-holes of the highest regard. This one stupid action of theirs (combined with 10 years of crass decision-making) means my next laptop is an Apple

  46. smallsmoker says:

    Graham – ur a god xD
    rename or delete pending.xml solved it !
    ok for those who arent that good with commandline …
    go in repair option start the console and start regedit then under the main menu click export so you can access a “normal” explorer
    mfg smallsmoker

  47. flyer40r says:

    same crap still happening sept 5 08 after an update. what is wrong with microsoft that they don’t give a rats ass that 100s of thousands of computers totally puke on their shoes after an update? If we want to fix the american economy we should outlaw vista. I personally have spent many hours of wasted time diddling with this crappy OS. I am now on a mission to wipe and install XP (while it’s still available) on every vista machine (6 so far) I can. I have yet to regret this. I view it as a time saving measure!

  48. Sankar says:

    I could not access the file pending.xml. It gives “Access Denied” msg

  49. Joaquim Anguas says:

    Hello Sankar,

    There could be a permissions problem. Before trying to erase or rename the file “pending.xml”, you could try to issue “icacls pending.xml /grant your_username:(F)”. This command grants full permissions for user “your_username” to the file “pending.xml”.

    I hope this helps,

    Joaquim.

  50. Sean Connolly says:

    Many thanks for the fix – got me out of hole with an existing customer.

  51. Natalia says:

    Alright.. this is the first time I did anything i command prompt.. but I looked up the codes online and it all worked out for me.. I renamed the file from pending.xml to test.xml all managed to get back to windows.. thank you guys!!!!!!

  52. Allan Wallace says:

    Ok, a client’s machine ( Dell C521 – Windows Vista Home Premium ) was brought in the other day displaying the same reboot loop issue after the client had tried installing SP1. So following the instructions, i renamed and move pending.xml from C:\windows\winsxs, then booted the machine up – everything looking fine and dandy, except for WINDOWS UPDATE.

    WINDOWS UPDATE is failing – failure code 80070490

    – I have tried to follow the advice here ( http://www.microsoft.com/communities/newsgroups/en-us/default.aspx?dg=microsoft.public.windowsupdate&tid=1f153ed7-8081-4715-a18a-fbf64f9a0012&p=1 ) but trying to install subinacl fails (setup was interrupted) and if i try and manually install ANY windwos update, I get “The update does not apply to your system”.

    so… long story short, this problem still continues – and i can’t try the “repair” option (even though i do have the client’s xp recovery cd that came with the dell) – because it is grayed out.

    Reinstallation is not an option, but it would seem that getting a solution out of microsoft is pretty difficult too.

    Does anyone have a solution for the Windows Update issue?
    – Is there some utility i can use on pending.xml to continue with the updates to the registry etc it has listed in it (i nosied in the file – the first section of which was corrupt gobbledegook by the looks of it, the latter part being plain text)

    Thanks in advance

  53. Hsew says:

    I don’t get the option of windows startup repair. I don’t have the boot disc either.

  54. Joaquim Anguas says:

    Hello Hsew, Allan,

    Please review comment 38 here http://www.anguas.com/?p=47 and see if this works for you.

    Best luck,

    Joaquim

  55. kc says:

    FUK VISTA!!!! I cannot believe MS would allow this to fuking happen, this has been a problem for a year now and ur telling me that its still a fucking problem today, how can this still be happening wtf is wrong with them, i have exams the next two fuking weeks and i cant get on my laptop with my notes on it, are you fucking shittin me? Like id understand if i was fuking around with the registry or downloaded some bad software but i wasnt doing shit this time. this is fuking BS and MS needs to get their shit together! …..and i dont know how to use the command line, could someone plz just show us step by step wat to put in in order to rename or delete the file, you cant just assume we know how to do it. Thank

  56. [Peque says:

    […] la soluci

  57. Kerry says:

    Graham’s fix worked for me also as this is the second time this problem has occurred. The first time the restore fixed it but this time the restore did not work.
    Thanks Graham.

  58. Vista blijft eindeloos opstarten na windows update | hilpers says:

    […] voor een > oplossing? > > Als je een Vista-DVD hebt wordt hier een oplossing beschreven: http://www.anguas.com/?p=47 — […]

  59. stuck in reboot look after windows update | keyongtech says:

    […] Re: stuck in reboot look after windows update On 16 Feb, 14:32, Jak Salad <Jak Sa…@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote: > Same issue here – Vista Home Premium. > > Vista was pre-installed on this system so I don’t have a Vista installation > DVD I can try using for this work around.. > > not happy. > > JS > > "Bhodie" wrote: > > > "Viv B" wrote: > > > > rogan08;613838 Wrote: > > > > I found a way… Without re-installing everything :) > > > > – Boot with your Vista installation DVD > > > > – Perform a "System Restore" (to access this choose "Repair your > > > > computer" AND NOT "Install now") > > > > – Select a restore point (before the upgrade) > > > > > Then, my computer restarted properly. > > > > > The first thing I did then was to disable the automatic update. > > > > > Hope it will work for you as well ! > > > :D > > > many thanks for the tip, worked for me and better than the 2 hours on > > > phone to Dell > > > > — > > > Viv B > > > While this may work, it is a poor solution at best and Microsoft needs to > > address their update issues and if nothing else put a loop counter or > > something on the number of restarts to break the cycle.. I’m sorry, but this > > torques me off… after all the warnings you get about leaving your > > automatic update settings on… Have a look at :- http://www.anguas.com/?p=47 […]

  60. Jon says:

    Hi
    I have been trying to fix this problem for over a month. I cannot restore to a previous point and renaming the file pending.xml did not work. Any other ideas?? My other option is to re-install windows…but will this wipe my files?

    thanks so much for any help in advance

    jon

  61. Jared says:

    I found that if you just reboot your computer in safe mode with networking it installs the update with no problem. Might try that before all the other effort.

  62. Dwayne Mayo says:

    I managed to go to a restore point. I was confused at first because it seemed like nothing happened when i clked. then of course it was just slow slow slow Vista and finally it came up. but same thing when i try to install the patch says doesn’t apply to my system. does that mean no updates for me? god i never thought I’d miss XP. Are there particular updates I need to avoid or all of them? Thanks
    so much tho you helped me save my puter

  63. Dave Weston says:

    I have the same prob as many others with continue reboot 3 0f 3 complete etc. I can now get to command but how do I change from X:\windows\system32 to c:\windows\winsxs and then change pending.xml

    Please help I have no hair left and don’t want to start anywhere else.

  64. okrgr says:

    i’m in the same boat as many here, no media to access with and no restore points. i’m trying to follow the advice about accessing the command line and “navigate” to C:\Windows\winsxs or “change” to \Windows\winsxs but it’s apparant there is something i’m not getting. what do i type at the command prompt to get to this \windows\winsxs location to rename that file?

    i’ve tried typing every variation of \windows\winsxs at the command prompt and get messages syaing that what i’ve typed in is not recognized as an internal or external command, etc.

    i
    ve tried using capital W, lower case w, back slashes, forward slashes, nothing seems to work, so i’m gathering there something else i should be tyoing at the command prompt to get to this \Windows\winsxs file.

    i’ve tried googling how to access it and haven’t gotten anywhere. i’ appreciate it if someone could clue me in on what i should type at the command prompt

  65. Joaquim Anguas says:

    Hello Dave, Okrgr,

    Sorry if I am not getting your point, but, have you tried typing “cd c:\Windows\winsxs” at the command prompt? (without the quotes)

    Regards,

    Joaquim Anguas

  66. Joaquim Anguas says:

    Dwayne,

    In my experience, once you have bypassed this problem you can apply updates normally.

    Regards,

    Joaquim Anguas

  67. Beni Gerber says:

    i’ve the same problem but i get the message in the \cmd\ that he couldn’t fine this file.. o0

  68. john rock says:

    I had the stuck problem when I downloaded Explorer 8 for yahoo upgrade , I guess it through in some updates too the 3 of 3 update ,itsaid configuring for like hours so it was stuck but when I got to this site it helped me I shut and started into safe mode ,then I guess I got lucky because when it started up in safe mode the 3 of 3 update configured very fast like 3 minutes, then I started up computer normal and it is fine .So try safe mode first you might get lucky. Good Luck all with your updates! Happy Vista owner John Rock

  69. ted says:

    Guys!! what just currently happening to us is intensional by Microsoft
    Read this Page–> http://www.bobreyes.com/myblog/2007/12/04/microsoft-software-check-wont-shut-down-pirated-vista/

    I think they accidentally discovered ways to detect pirate OS user, but I think some to us, including me dont deserve this, because I bought my os, but I accidentally broke my cd and buy a pirated one, since I have a geniune licence, I think it’s fair to be treated like this!!!

    I dont understand, they’re beginning to be so selfish. Bill Gates you’re so rich enough, o my…
    I just call microsoft regarding this…

  70. ted says:

    I think it’s fair to be treated like this!!!

    I mean unfair.. LOL!!

  71. pieter says:

    I have used the following solution.
    Restart computer.press f8 then choose option restore computer.
    choose option open command.
    type: prompt winsxs (press enter)
    type: move C:\windows\winsxs\pending.xml text.xml (press enter)
    type: exit and restart computer.
    Computer should be working again.

  72. Brad says:

    Restore computer worked grest for me.
    Thanks for the info!

  73. Cathie says:

    You guys rock! I am away from home and didn’t think I could fix my laptop until I got back to my media. What a pain! I had work to do. Renaming pending.xml worked for me!

  74. Ann says:

    Pieter you rock!!!!!!!!!!!!! Your suggestion works!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hallelujah!!!!!!! I have been working on this for 3 days straight in fear that I would lose all pics of my baby and family if I had to restore my HP Pavillion laptop to factory settings. I pray this works for all of you as well. I am backing up EVERYTHING on my external hard drive and turning updates OFF!

  75. Chris says:

    YAY for Pieter! Nice job.

  76. Ary says:

    Pieter, you just won a place in heaven 4 yourself hahaha THANKS A LOT.

  77. Rosie says:

    Ive 2 big problems, My system restore bar on HP Pavilon Ent goes half way and then looks like it glitchs and restarts over and over…you get the point. Where as my windows vista update says “confuguring updates stage 3 of 3 0% and repeats and repeats again it doesnt move. Ive no boot disk and am in big trouble. Anyone know the problem?

  78. Joaquim Anguas says:

    Hello Rosie,

    Have you tried booting in safe mode? (Press and hold F8 key when the boot sequence starts, then select “Safe mode”)

    If already you have, you may consider following Pieter advice (comment 21):


    I have used the following solution.
    Restart computer. Press f8 then choose option restore computer.
    Choose option open command.
    type: prompt winsxs (press enter)
    type: move C:\windows\winsxs\pending.xml text.xml (press enter)
    type: exit and restart computer.
    Computer should be working again.

    Let us know how it goes.

    Regards & best luck,

    Joaquim Anguas

  79. Spr-y says:

    All i did was boot under “last known good configuration”, then install this – http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=5639710d-dfbf-4527-806e-9a1634d0cc8e&DisplayLang=en&displaylang=en , which wil apparently stop this happening again…

  80. Joaquim Anguas says:

    Hello Spr-y,

    Good to know, thanks for sharing!

    Joaquim Anguas

  81. Richard Bell says:

    I have the same issue after downloading a Microsoft Vista update dated July 14/2009.
    I was lucky.
    I tapped in F8 at start up
    & got the screen that allows for safe mode then chose “Repair Computer”
    then chose to “restore to an earlier point” which fortunately I had. Apparently not everyone does.

    This also helped me. Hopefully it can help you too.

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/itprovistasp/thread/cd1af59e-f710-4a1d-a288-1bbfb4900f65

  82. Lorne says:

    Why is this still happening in July of 2009?
    You would think that they would debug this by now! I tried all of these
    troubleshoots and Marcus’ worked but then I had to do it again. WTF!!

  83. Dave2 says:

    I have this problem too, but I can’t even get it to boot to a command prompt. I tried booting it in safe mode, safe mode with prompt, , safe mode with networking, I tried using the “repair” setting — they all get to a point of copying some files and then stop or go to a blank blue screen and stop. Going back to the last known good configuration just keeps it in the reboot loop. I can get to the boot setup menu, obviously, but then I can’t get further. Is there any way to force it to command prompt that you are aware of?

    It also wants to run chkdsk everytime — if I let that run it gets to 39% and freezes. The computer is a Compaq laptop. And, no, I don’t have the boot disks.

  84. andro says:

    hey guys! i’ve been experiencing this same prob for 2 days already. i’m working with up to now, trying to resolve the issue. THANK GOD, i finally found the solution.
    1. go back to the store where you bought it.
    2. show them your laptop.
    3. power on your comp then press f8.
    4. grab a hammer, start to yell at the store representative. THEN SMASH THE LAPTOP WITH THE HAMMER! this really works! WTF
    i will be using the warranty instead.

  85. Joaquim Anguas says:

    Hello Dave2,

    I haven’t tried myself, but you could download Knoppix (a live Linux distribution), boot it and rename the file windows/pending.xml and see if this solves the issue. You can get Knoppix ISO file at http://knopper.net/knoppix-mirrors/index-en.html.

    But for what you are explaining, looks like you have some other problems in your disk you would want to repair first. There was a Vista Repair disk you can try moving around here: http://neosmart.net/blog/2008/windows-vista-recovery-disc-download/.

    Let us know how it goes.

    Best luck,

    Joaquim

  86. Fergus813 says:

    Pieter you rock thanks for the help

  87. Leonardo says:

    Thanx Pieter!!!

  88. glissando says:

    Yesterday I encountered the same problem with my 2007 Hewlett Packard MS Vista OS POC (piece of crap), “configuring updates STEP 3 of 3 0%; do not turn off your computer” after which the computer would turn off by itself and restart OVER and OVER and OVER again. After hours of doing everything possible (that I knew)I ran hard drive tests: All OK; Windows memory tests: PASS; Start up repair, Nothing there…I tried the Safe Mode…nothing, try to use the limited restore features,nothing. Out of desperation I lapnapped my daughter’s TOSHIBA and browsed the web like crazy until I came across this site. Did I mention that her computer is two months older than my HP and never had a single problem? And let’s not forget that in Jan 2009 after my HP went completely DEAD on me I had to send it for repair, under a service alert for HP Pavilion dv6000, so it was free, not the case now. Anyway, I followed Pieter advice (post 21) and it worked!!!!! Here it is:
    “Restart computer.press f8 then choose option restore computer.
    choose option open command.
    type: prompt winsxs (press enter)
    type: move C:\windows\winsxs\pending.xml text.xml (press enter)
    type: exit and restart computer.
    Computer should be working again.”

    THANKS A LOT GUYS!
    Question: Computer started with the same screen ” configuring updates Step 3 of 3 0%…” and then prompted to the “log in” page. Something wrong with that and/or do you recommend to ever update anything that comes from HP?
    THANKS AGAIN!

  89. Joaquim Anguas says:

    Hello Glissando,

    I am glad you solved this (thanks Pieter).

    For those that can not get to command prompt, booting to a live CD and renaming C:\windows\winsxs\pending.xml does the trick too.

    As for your comment regarding HP, I’ve seen this happen to Toshiba, Sony, Lenovo, IBM, DELL… and HP.
    I don’t know what triggers the problem, but to my knowledge it has nothing to do with the computer brand.

    Regards,

    Joaquim

  90. glissando says:

    A follow up to my post @ 38.
    It felt so good to have my computer back that I feel obliged to make it easier for anyone in my position to get there step by step,as I did. So there it goes:
    STEP 1. As your computer restarts erratically over and over and reaches the point where you see the “(c) Microsoft” and the moving lines, hold the Power button down until it shuts off your computer completely.
    STEP 2. Turn on computer. Now your computer is going to start in the “Windows Startup Repair” diagnostic mode. Press ENTER so that the “Startup Repair” may commence. I let it ran until the search was done and I got the message “Windows cannot repair this computer automatically”
    STEP 3 Look down for the “View advanced option for system recovery and support” and CLICK on. You’ll be prompted to “System Recovery Option”; select your keyboard language (US) and click NEXT button.
    STEP 4 Now you are in the “Administrator Account”. In the “User name” pop up, change “Administrator” to “user” (which is you). Than enter your usual “log in” password (if you have one on your computer) and press NEXT.
    STEP 5 .You are now in the “Choose a recovery tool”. Go down to “Command Prompt” and CLICK on. You are prompted in to the MS DOS/ text mode.
    STEP 6. In here simply apply Pieter magic text (as per his post @ 21):
    type: prompt winsxs (press enter)
    type: move C:\windows\winsxs\pending.xml text.xml (press enter)
    type: exit and restart computer
    YOU ARE DONE!
    And don’t forget to backup your photos, important files and the rest on an external Hard Drive or a DVD asap!

    PS. Joaquim, thanks for your comments. I’ve already bookmarked your site and recommended it to my friends. By the way I restarted my computer a few times and YES that line”configuring updates Stage 3 of 3… 0%” is gone. Thanks for the forum.
    Glissando

  91. Joaquim Anguas says:

    Thank you Glissando, good job!

    Joaquim Anguas

  92. Wayne Smith says:

    I have had the same problem while I was traveling in New Mexico a week ago. The tech in Santa Fe fixed it and said it was a corrupted file– $135.00 later. Well I am back in Canada now and used my desktop to find this sight when my HP laptop again went into the continuous loop of 3/3 setup. The F8 series seems to have worked and to be on the safe side I have removed both Yahoo and Google Chrome, the later was added just before I started having this problem. The system seems twice as fast now

  93. Joaquim Anguas says:

    Hello Wayne,

    This is the first time I hear of the problem recurring…
    It seems to be caused by a corrupted file while updating. I may be wrong but I would say it’s no related to Yahoo or Chrome. Anyway, if your system feels faster now, it seems enough good reason to let them go.

    Joaquim Anguas

  94. klhmusic says:

    Hi,

    I am having the same repetative loop problem and have tried everything I’ve found so far over the past 12hours. I’m am now attempting the following advice in Pieter’s post

    I have used the following solution.
    Restart computer.press f8 then choose option restore computer.
    choose option open command.
    type: prompt winsxs (press enter)
    type: move C:\windows\winsxs\pending.xml text.xml (press enter)
    type: exit and restart computer.
    Computer should be working again.

    However maybe I’m being completed stupid here but I’m am nearing my tethers end and at almost 1am my time I’m shattered! I have pressed F8 and arrived at the black screen with the following options: Which of these is the restore computer option?????

    – Repair your computer (attempted)
    – Safe mode (attempted)
    – Safe mode with networking
    – Safe mode with command promt (attempted)
    – Enable boot logging
    – Enable low-resolution vdeo (640×480)
    – Last known good configuration (advanced)
    – Directory services restore mode
    – Debugging mode
    – Disable automatic restart on system failure
    – Disable driver signature enforcemen
    – Start windows normally

    I’m sure I made restore discs however I’ve no idea where they currently are, having moved my office to a different room at home and everything being in boxes! Please can anybody help? Many thanks in advance!

  95. klhmusic says:

    Hi,

    I’m having the same looping problem and have attempted every solution I have found to date with yet no cure! I’m possibly being very stupid here, but on the F8 menu there appears to be no system restore option, can anyone help?????

    Thanks in advance!
    Kate

  96. klhmusic says:

    Hi,

    I don’t appear to have the option of system restore on my F8 menu, any ideas?

    Thanks in anticipation,
    Kate

  97. Joaquim Anguas says:

    Hello Kate,

    User Glissando posted this some days ago:


    A follow up to my post @ 38.
    It felt so good to have my computer back that I feel obliged to make it easier for anyone in my position to get there step by step,as I did. So there it goes:
    STEP 1. As your computer restarts erratically over and over and reaches the point where you see the “(c) Microsoft” and the moving lines, hold the Power button down until it shuts off your computer completely.
    STEP 2. Turn on computer. Now your computer is going to start in the “Windows Startup Repair” diagnostic mode. Press ENTER so that the “Startup Repair” may commence. I let it ran until the search was done and I got the message “Windows cannot repair this computer automatically”
    STEP 3 Look down for the “View advanced option for system recovery and support” and CLICK on. You’ll be prompted to “System Recovery Option”; select your keyboard language (US) and click NEXT button.
    STEP 4 Now you are in the “Administrator Account”. In the “User name” pop up, change “Administrator” to “user” (which is you). Than enter your usual “log in” password (if you have one on your computer) and press NEXT.
    STEP 5 .You are now in the “Choose a recovery tool”. Go down to “Command Prompt” and CLICK on. You are prompted in to the MS DOS/ text mode.
    STEP 6. In here simply apply Pieter magic text (as per his post @ 21):
    type: prompt winsxs (press enter)
    type: move C:\windows\winsxs\pending.xml text.xml (press enter)
    type: exit and restart computer
    YOU ARE DONE!
    And don’t forget to backup your photos, important files and the rest on an external Hard Drive or a DVD asap!

    If this doesn’t help, how familiar are you with a “live” Linux distribution as Knoppix?

    You could download an ISO image from the closer server listed here http://www.knopper.net/knoppix-mirrors/index-en.html, burn this ISO image to a CD and boot to it (you may have to change your boot order on your computer’s BIOS or select the CD drive from the boot menu some computers present when you press F12 when you turn your computer on).

    Once you boot, you will see your computer hardisk listed on the desktop. Double clik it and change the name of the file “\windows\winsxs\pending.xml” to whatever you want, (text.xml would do the trick).

    To rename it, navigate to the containing folder and select the “rename” option from the menu that appears when you right click the file.

    I hope this helps.

    Regards,

    Joaquim Anguas

  98. Jourdan says:

    Hello,

    I had the looping problem recently then was able to solve it thanks to Pieter. I am now able to log on and access most things, but i have discovered a few issues. I immediately tried to run a sstem backup but it failed, and now I have noticed that when I try to open any microsoft works or office application i get the following message: “The application has failed because its side-by-side configuration is incorrect. Please see the application event log for more information.” Not sure how to acces the event log, but any suggestions? I should also mention the hp support toolbar that used to popup at startup no longer does and is accompanied by an error message as well. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    -Jourdan

  99. Glissando says:

    Hi Joaquim,
    Something I’ve noticed since last week’s “step 3 of 3 0%”…intervention. I’m used to do a weekly Disk Clean up using the Windows program. To my surprise the “Files to delete” menu was almost 11GB in size out of which the “System queued Windows reporting” is like 10.9 GB in size. Is this related to the changes I made in the registry (with Pieter’s code) or could be something else? Also my updates from Microsoft for Windows Vista do not complete the downloading (I get an error message like Error Windows 8000FFFF). Any suggestions?
    Greetings, Glissando

  100. Glissando says:

    Hi there again!
    Weird, how this starts to feel like a monologue now. Just after posting #49 I said to myself, what a heck, let’ s check Microsoft web site for this particular Error (8000FFFF). Surprise, surprise…MS has a solution to this.
    So, I went to http://www.microsoft.com and I typed “Windows error 8000FFFF” in the search box and I was prompted to a page full of Articles related to this issue. After a lot of browsing I came across the following Article (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/946414) Name (Error when you download updates using Windows Update or Microsoft Update: 8000FFFF). I went down the page where it says “Resolution” and followed “Method 2” to the letter! Here it is:
    ” Click Start
    1. In the Start Search box, type regedit.
    2. In the Programs list, click Regedit.exe.
    If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or click Continue.
    3. Find and then click the following registry subkey:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\COMPONENTS
    4. Right-click COMPONENTS.
    5. Click Export.
    6. In the File Name box, type COMPONENTS.
    7. In the Save in box, click Desktop, and then click Save to save the file to your desktop.
    8. In the details pane, right-click PendingXmlIdentifier, and then click Delete. If this value does not exist, go to the next step.
    9. In the details pane, right-click NextQueueEntryIndex, and then click Delete. If this value does not exist, go to the next step.
    10. In the details pane, right-click AdvancedInstallersNeedResolving, and then click Delete. If this value does not exist, go to the next step.
    11. Restart the computer.”

    Now, why did I share these with you, guys? Because it solved several problems related to the ones before. After RESTART (no problems there) I went back online and start looking for new Windows updates which I could not download and install since the “step 3 of 3, 0%” thing. I was able, this time, to download the latest updates and install them successfully and to my delight I witnessed the last step( #3) completed to 100% after which I was prompted to my usual Log In page. Fingers crossed, it seems that my Registry is back in reasonable shape.
    Plus, guess what…there are no longer “System queued Windows error reporting” in the Disk Clean Up dialogue box as mentioned in post #49.

    Joaquim, I do apologize for the long post. Hope it helps someone out there. Cheers! Glissando

  101. Joe Beatty says:

    Joaquim,

    Thanks for post 47! It ended several days of frustration.

    I haven’t successfully installed an update since 11 Aug, so I have a backlog of updates anxious to be installed, and I suspect one of them is the villain. Any ideas about how to keep from getting into the “step 3 of 3″ loop again?

    Joe

  102. Joaquim Anguas says:

    Hello Glissando,

    Sorry for the delay, I am in a trip and sometimes it is not easy to get a decent internet connection.

    I’ve been offline for almost one week but I’ll be well connected for the next 5-6 days.

    I am glad you managed to solve the issue you had yourself.
    Thank you very much for keep all informed about the solution.

    Best regards!

    Joaquim Anguas

  103. Joaquim Anguas says:

    Hello Jourdan,

    It may be related to a corrupted installation of Microsoft Visual Studio, but I guess you do not have this product installed…

    Could you please take a look at the event log and post any error related?

    You can access event log by right clicking over “my computer”, select “manage” and then you’ll see a subfolder called “event viewer” under “system tools”.

    Regards,

    Joaquim Anguas

  104. Hana says:

    I have used the following solution.
    Restart computer.press f8 then choose option restore computer.
    choose option open command.
    type: prompt winsxs (press enter)
    type: move C:\windows\winsxs\pending.xml text.xml (press enter)
    type: exit and restart computer.
    Computer should be working again.

    Once I type prompt winsxs” the words winsxs appear below. Then I typed in the next command and it says: The system cannot find the file specified.

    I have tried it with a space between “winsxs” and the word move and without a space but no luck.

    HELP! What am I doing wrong! I’ve been working on this for over 5 hours!

  105. Joaquim Anguas says:

    Hello Hana,

    Could you please issue this command when under winsxs prompt, please?
    dir c:\windows\winsxs\p*.xml
    You can leave no space between winsxs and the command.
    Tell us what’s the answer.

    Regards,

    Joaquim Anguas

  106. PJ Johnsen says:

    Hello Hana.

    You have the regular command prompt, and typing prompt winsxs just renames the prompt. You dont have to type prompt winsxs.

    Just type c:
    then type cd windows\winsxs
    then type move pending.xml c:\
    then type exit (or just reboot the computer)

    after the reboot, might take some time, took the last laptop I fixed hours, but it did get fixed in the end.

    Good luck, and sorry for the poor english.

  107. Josh says:

    hey,

    i want to try this to try and fix my girlfriend’s computer. i have several problems however: 1)i can’t do a simple system restore – because i think there isn’t any restore points (since the system restore repair wizard doesn’t work when i boot from the windows vista media), and 2)the administrator account is deactivated, and when i log in (from the windows vista media) to her ‘regular’ named account, i don’t have access to the command prompt (or any of the advanced repair options – there’s only ‘startup repair’ and ‘system restore’) what should i do?? help!

    thanks,
    josh

  108. Joaquim Anguas says:

    Hello Josh,

    I am not sure what do you mean with “the administrator account is deactivated”. Do you mean that it has been blocked? There’s ways to unblock it if so…

    The steps in this comment do not require administration rights:
    http://www.anguas.com/?p=47&cpage=2#comment-2351

    Let us know if this solves the issue.

    Regards,

    Joaquim Anguas

  109. Josh says:

    hi,

    I think I understand the steps that I need to take once into the windows recovery screen, but the problem is that once i log in to the user account with the password, the only 2 options that i have to choose from are “startup repair” and “system restore”. i’m not able to access any other options like a command prompt (which I need to make the changes).

    thanks,
    josh

  110. Monique says:

    Hi there, I’m just trying to fix a friends computer and when I try to download the patch for the computer on the microsoft site it says that the update doesn’t apply to my system. I’m just scared that this will happen again if I restart my computer now, any other ideas on how to stop it?

  111. Joaquim Anguas says:

    Hello Josh,

    Have you tried login in as administrator? If the account is blocked, you can use ntpasswd to unblock it / reset the password. You can find this tool at http://home.eunet.no/pnordahl/ntpasswd/.
    If the problem is not the user but the system which does not provide with the rest of the options, you can boot your system to a live Linux CD (like Knoppix) and erase the offending file.

    I hope this helps, do not hessitate asking if you need further assistance.

    Regards,

    Joaquim Anguas

  112. Joaquim Anguas says:

    Hello Monique,

    Do you mean this patch? http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=5639710d-dfbf-4527-806e-9a1634d0cc8e&DisplayLang=en&displaylang=en
    It is intended to be downloaded to a Vista system. Are you trying to download it from an XP machine? If so, do you have a Vista computer available to perform the download?

    Regards,

    Joaquim Anguas

  113. Glissando says:

    Hi Joaquim,
    Do you happen to know what a “cancelling downloading subscription rights” message means? I was in the middle of listening a CD on my Windows Media Player.I ejected the CD and then this message showed up, in a small window similar to the ones that appear during downloading. I could not stop or cancel until it was done. Right after, I watched a DVD movie and my Windows Media Player worked all right. The CD was legally purchased I have no pirated material or programs on my computer. Any ideas of what happened? And should I be concerned? THANKS, Glissando
    PS. I’m running Windows VISTA

  114. eshiv says:

    thx pieter..u are the man..

  115. Paul says:

    Hi everyone
    ran the fix mentioned by pieter and got the laptop started…excellent

    but now ! aghhhhh! getting windows explorer has stopped working…constantly looping
    every program is now not working
    what have i done……..i cant get anything done to it
    help me please
    paul

  116. Peter says:

    Pieter rocks. Thanks.

  117. pieter says:

    Hello paul,

    Try to do a restore point in safe mode, and restore your computer to a date, two or three weeks before.
    Hope this might solve your problem.
    If it doesn,t work please let me know and I will see if I can solve the problem for you.

    I also want to thank all the people who have used my fix and solved the problem.

    best regards from pieter

  118. Brian says:

    Can someone please email me if there is a way email me. My vista ultimate will not get past the 3 of 3 and I have too many settings, programs, and all product key’s. This was not suppose to be like this Microsoft assured. I made sure I made backup disc’s and everything. It will not repair, no restore points, it even says none on my restore dvd’s(meaning I went through 50 dvd’s and hour’s wasted for nothing) Now it get’s halfway through the fill line with the dvd and say’s somethings corrupted restart reboot. I am so mad at microsoft and no longer trust their patch’s and because of there trade secrets they won’t let people make own like linux. what can I do besides compleate reinstall, which means find factory disc, then use my upgrade to ultimate disc and then take weeks to get all my programs and settings back since none of my backup or repair disc’s work. Microsoft should have to help instead of want 100 dollars to talk to a tech, it was there damn update.

  119. pieter says:

    Hello Brian.

    Please use this solution thta I have placed two months ago on this forum.

    Please follow exactly these steps then you computer should be working again.

    I have used the following solution.
    Restart computer.press f8 then choose option restore computer.
    choose option open command.
    type: prompt winsxs (press enter)
    type: move C:\windows\winsxs\pending.xml text.xml (press enter)
    type: exit and restart computer.
    Computer should be working again.

    good luck.
    hope it works for you.
    pieter.

  120. Nisha says:

    Pieter you are the greatest in the world. I’ve spent 2 1/2 weeks watching this stupid notebook do that configuring thing and 2 days reading through the microsoft website and the technician’s help answers. Burning CD’s and wasting hoursss of time. Nothing worked until just now. Thank you!!! Thank you!! Thank you!!!!!!!!

  121. Jimmy says:

    renaming that xml file worked great for me, thanks!

  122. pete says:

    fantastic thanks so much

    thank you ..

    THANKS

    WOW THANKS

  123. pieter says:

    Thank you Nisha, pete en jimmy for all the compliments.
    I,m happy my solution worked for you.

    best regards from Pieter from the netherlands.

  124. charn says:

    First time i have ever texted on a forum and its about 1.30AM tryed it and thanks so much Pieter not very often you get excellent advise 4 free!!!cheers mate and I hope you do well

  125. Kevin Korol says:

    Thank you so much for all the information provided here. I ended up using my vista disk and choosing Repair Computer. I chose command prompt and entered the text above from Pieter. When I rebooted, it showed the “updating stage 3″ screen again. I almost shut down again, but after about 10-20 seconds it went to the screen where I could choose the profile I wanted.

    Thanks again.

  126. Ryan says:

    love you guys…this worked after 3 frustating days trying everything else
    thought i was gonna lose an eternity worth of music to cyberspace

  127. sakura says:

    Hey Peiter,

    I wanted to try your solution as I dont have my vista CD with me unfortunately however there was no option restore computer for me!! is there any other way I can do this?? :(:( I try restarting in safemode and it didnt work either!

  128. Joaquim Anguas says:

    Hello Sakura,

    I understand that you have tried also to abort a boot and force “Windows Startup Repair” as Glissando describes in comment 90. If not, give it a try.

    If you already did, as I have mentioned at comment 85, there’s still an option you can try:

    You could download Knoppix (a live Linux distribution), boot it, rename the file c:\windows\winsxs\pending.xml as Pieter advises and see if this solves the issue. You can get Knoppix ISO file at http://knopper.net/knoppix-mirrors/index-en.html.”

    If it doesn’t resolve the issue, you can rename the file back and you’ll be in the same position you started. But maybe someone else has other advice.

    Don’t hesitate to ask if you need help getting/burning/booting Knoppix.

    Regards,

    Joaquim Anguas

  129. palito says:

    omg!!! thank you so much for posting this. now my computer is workinggggg yay!!

  130. rob says:

    Pieter’s text saved me. Back up and running. Currently backing everything up. Thanks again for the info.

  131. Vishwas says:

    Thanks a ton Mr.Pieter. This is Vishwas from India. Ur post helped me a lot.

  132. Liz says:

    Thank you so much Pieter. You saved you hours trying to fix my daughter laptop. You
    are a true computer hero. THANK YOU.

  133. May says:

    Glissando, Pieter,

    Thank you for your postings which helped me to restore not only my Toshiba laptop but also my normal life.

    I would like to share bit of my experience which I hope someone who has the same problem can benefit from. At first I only had two options under Choose a Recovery Tool at Glissando’s Step 5, and “Command Prompt” is not one of them. I restarted the steps again and I changed User (which is I) to Administrator at Glissando’s Step 4. This time, when I got to Step 5, I got a list of 6 options under Choose a Recovery Tool, and “Command Prompt” is one of them. From there I finished the complete steps successfully.

    Best!
    M

  134. CLABORNE says:

    It worked!!! I tried Glissando’s solution and it worked like a charm!!! You still get the “configuring updates – 3 of 3″ but shortly afterward the “welcome” screen pops up. Thank you soooo much!!!!

  135. Chris says:

    Pieter shares this solution:

    I have used the following solution.
    Restart computer. Press f8 then choose option restore computer.
    Choose option open command.
    type: prompt winsxs (press enter)
    type: move C:windowswinsxspending.xml text.xml (press enter)
    type: exit and restart computer.
    Computer should be working again.“

    Thanks so much Pieter I was pulling my hair out and this finally sorted for me

  136. Sharon says:

    Pieter

    God bless you! This was happening on my store’s retail computer and I was panicked!!

  137. Lindsay says:

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! that was so cool, I was about to go crazy and spend money to fix my computer. Thank you for the info :)

  138. Claire says:

    Hi

    Had to just say thanks Glissando as your solution worked straight away :-)

  139. Tamsyn says:

    I got all excited, I’ve only had my computer back from the shop for 5 days after it failed to startup (they took it away for 4 weeks to replace the HDD…) and now, the third time I turn it on, it comes up with this loop. I’ve tried to force start the Windows Repair option, but it just flicks back to it, even if I leave it for the 30 seconds to automatically ‘choose the highlighted option’ it just goes back to the same screen. I pressed enter about 100 times, in the hope that sometimes perseverence works…it didn’t.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks though, this site has been far and away the most useful! I’m just a bit annoyed that my computer was working fine for 13 months, then it failed to startup, I get the HDD sorted out and laptop returned to me, and then this happens…they probably put a different type of Vista on my laptop…I dunno, I’m clueless about these things!

  140. Joaquim Anguas says:

    Hello Tamsyn,

    Just to make sure, are you following Glissando’s compilation here?

    “STEP 1. As your computer restarts erratically over and over and reaches the point where you see the “(c) Microsoft” and the moving lines, hold the Power button down until it shuts off your computer completely.
    STEP 2. Turn on computer. Now your computer is going to start in the “Windows Startup Repair” diagnostic mode. Press ENTER so that the “Startup Repair” may commence. I let it ran until the search was done and I got the message “Windows cannot repair this computer automatically”
    STEP 3 Look down for the “View advanced option for system recovery and support” and CLICK on. You’ll be prompted to “System Recovery Option”; select your keyboard language (US) and click NEXT button.
    STEP 4 Now you are in the “Administrator Account”. In the “User name” pop up, change “Administrator” to “user” (which is you). Than enter your usual “log in” password (if you have one on your computer) and press NEXT.
    STEP 5 .You are now in the “Choose a recovery tool”. Go down to “Command Prompt” and CLICK on. You are prompted in to the MS DOS/ text mode.
    STEP 6. In here simply apply Pieter magic text (as per his post @ 21):
    type: prompt winsxs (press enter)
    type: move C:\windows\winsxs\pending.xml text.xml (press enter)
    type: exit and restart computer”

    If so, take into account that steps 1 and 2 goal is to force a recovery boot. So you have to turn off the computer abruptly when it gets to the “copyright notice + moving lines” point by pressing and holdig the power button for 10 seconds. Once it is off, you can turn it on again and it should go into recovery mode.

    Is this what you are trying?

    Regards,

    Joaquim

  141. tara says:

    Thank you all for your advice! I had this problem in the past, took the computer in to be fixed and was told I needed to buy a new computer, now I saved several hundred dollars, I guess they think I’m dumb and try to make a buck eh?

  142. Joe Smore says:

    Hi,

    THe fix work the Dell Desktop Vostro_200 1 gb 32-bit Intel Premium Dual CPU E2160 @ 1.80 GHZ

    After spending all day Googling and trying different fixes which none work!!

    Finally, this one worked!

    Posted by Joaquim Anguas @ 8:01 pm

    I have used the following solution.
    Restart computer. Press f8 then choose option restore computer.
    Choose option open command.
    type: prompt winsxs (press enter)
    type: move C:\windows\winsxs\pending.xml text.xml (press enter)
    type: exit and restart computer.
    Computer should be working again.“

    Many thanks

    Joe

  143. RM says:

    Hi all,

    I have a real issue with the solution proposed.

    I do not have a ‘restore computer’ option once I enter the f8 mode, so how can I choose ‘open command’ and then follow the instructions set out?

    Please help

  144. Joaquim Anguas says:

    Hello,

    4 comments up I reminded a compilation user Glissando did:

    “STEP 1. As your computer restarts erratically over and over and reaches the point where you see the “(c) Microsoft” and the moving lines, hold the Power button down until it shuts off your computer completely.
    STEP 2. Turn on computer. Now your computer is going to start in the “Windows Startup Repair” diagnostic mode. Press ENTER so that the “Startup Repair” may commence. I let it ran until the search was done and I got the message “Windows cannot repair this computer automatically”
    STEP 3 Look down for the “View advanced option for system recovery and support” and CLICK on. You’ll be prompted to “System Recovery Option”; select your keyboard language (US) and click NEXT button.
    STEP 4 Now you are in the “Administrator Account”. In the “User name” pop up, change “Administrator” to “user” (which is you). Than enter your usual “log in” password (if you have one on your computer) and press NEXT.
    STEP 5 .You are now in the “Choose a recovery tool”. Go down to “Command Prompt” and CLICK on. You are prompted in to the MS DOS/ text mode.
    STEP 6. In here simply apply Pieter magic text (as per his post @ 21):
    type: prompt winsxs (press enter)
    type: move C:\windows\winsxs\pending.xml text.xml (press enter)
    type: exit and restart computer”

    If so, take into account that steps 1 and 2 goal is to force a recovery boot. So you have to turn off the computer abruptly when it gets to the “copyright notice + moving lines” point by pressing and holdig the power button for 10 seconds. Once it is off, you can turn it on again and it should go into recovery mode.

    Please let us know if this makes any difference.

    Best,

    Joaquim

  145. KarenVT says:

    I had the recurring error after applying Windows Update for Vista SP2 ” Configuring Updates Stage 3 of 3 0% complete ”

    After following many of the above steps (worked 12 hours straight unsuccessfully trying to fix the issue)
    what I couldn’t get past was the ” Access Denied ” message when trying to rename, move or delete pending.xml

    Then I found a VERY USEFUL TIP. Vista comes with a HIDDEN ADMINISTRATOR and this chap – Gary on a site called internetfixes.com had simple instructions on how to unhide the REAL Vista administrator in Windows Vista Home or Home Premium.

    1. Click START
    2. Type: cmd
    3. Right click cmd, click Run As Administrator
    4. Open the command prompt in Vista and type so it says:
    5. C:\> net user administrator /active:yes
    6. Press enter

    (Credit to: http://www.internetfixes.com/administrator_account_vista_home/ net user administrator /active:no
    5. C:\> net user administrator /active:yes

  146. KarenVT says:

    I had the recurring error after applying Windows Update for Vista SP2 ” Configuring Updates Stage 3 of 3 0% complete ”

    After following many of the above steps (worked 12 hours straight unsuccessfully trying to fix the issue)
    what I couldn’t get past was the ” Access Denied ” message when trying to rename, move or delete pending.xml

    Then I found a VERY USEFUL TIP. Vista comes with a HIDDEN ADMINISTRATOR and this chap – Gary on a site called internetfixes.com had simple instructions on how to unhide the REAL Vista administrator in Windows Vista Home or Home Premium.

    1. Click START
    2. Type: cmd
    3. Right click cmd, click Run As Administrator
    4. Open the command prompt in Vista and type so it says:
    5. C:\> net user administrator /active:yes
    6. Press enter

    Credit to: http://www.internetfixes.com/administrator_account_vista_home/

    Once I had logged onto the real adminstrator and START (search for) winsxs , I was able to locate the pending.xml file. I couldn’t rename or move it but I could DELETE it :) Which I did.

    After this I restarted my computer a couple of times and miracle of miracles the Stage: 3 of 3 error was resolved. I immediately donated $20 to Gary’s site!!
    Wish I had known this a few months ago when I had another issue with User Accounts!

    You can hide the REAL Vista Administrator again in a simialr way but type in: 5. C:\> net user administrator /active:no
    5. C:\> net user administrator /active:yes

  147. Max says:

    Guys, you are my last hope b4 i kill my computer, i’ve tried to use my installation disk, Then i got a 0xc00000e9 Error.

    Then i try to tapp / hold f8 nothing happens… ive tried the HOLD power button then restarts trick but there is no startup recovery or anything similar exept Safe mode, Safe mode with Networking, Safemode with Comand prompt or Load windows with the last succesful configuration or something like that.

    I dont know what to do can you guys help me? How come f8 dont do anything

  148. Joaquim Anguas says:

    Hello Max,

    Sorry for the delay.

    If f8 does not work try f12. Google shows some results related to f8 not producing the expected result.

    But going to the source of your problem: you can try to boot up your computer using a live Linux distribution and rename the offending file as it is descrived in previous comments.

    Please let me know if you need help choosing a distribution, booting your computer from the live distribution or finding the file.

    Best,

    Joaquim Anguas

  149. AndyUK says:

    This page is a Godsend – finally I’m back on my laptop (luckily I had my mums laptop here as I was doing some updates to it so at least I could get online
    Anyway, one small point – if your laptop is dual core you will have to change the C: from the fix to D:\

    Thanks again

  150. Jackie says:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! THIS WORKED ON THE FIRST TRY. :)

    YOU SAVED ME FROM LOSING ALL MY DATA… I AM BACKING UP NOW!!!

  151. angie says:

    Hello all 3 of 3 ‘s or 98% ‘ers

    this Vista nonsense started out early 2008 > now we have SEPTEMBER 2010 and the current updates still cause THIS problem!!!!?????? Shame on MS!
    I will try out all your tips 2mrw at my daughters comptr – hope they still work. Thanks everybody upfront!

    We actually ended up in this mess, because we realized that Vista didn’t make any restore points – due to a system owned shadow..copy.service failure thing “Schattenkopiedienst..”.

    Thought by installing the newest VIsta updates, this problem would be fixed…BUT thanks to Microsoft it left us with this annoying issue of configuration problem “stage 3 of 3″ PLUS no restore points.

    WHY DONT WE GET FREE UPGRADES TO WINDOWS 7 Mr.MS – the least MS could provide us with, is an official problem solver / solution for this mess.

    Thanks to this wonderful, helpful community in this forum,
    it’s comforting to know that one is not left alone with this mess.

  152. drwyan says:

    I got hit by this insanity some hours ago. Thank goodness I stumbled into this forum. The solution worked like magic and I have my laptop up and running again. Thanks to everyone for all your contributions

  153. pieter says:

    Pieter from the netherlands shares this solution:

    I have used the following solution.
    Restart computer. Press f8 then choose option restore computer.
    Choose option open command.
    type: prompt winsxs (press enter)
    type: move C:windowswinsxspending.xml text.xml (press enter)
    type: exit and restart computer.
    Computer should be working again.“

  154. clafran says:

    November 23, 2010
    Santa Maria, Ca

    Thank you, Glissando for sharing the solution. I followed it and it worked in Toshiba Satelite A135. God bless.

    clafran

  155. funkyjedi says:

    Pieter, you nordic son of a bitch, I effing love you. You come to denver and its wet sloppy kisses, my man.

  156. adam dressler says:

    thank you very much Pieter for sharing this solution, you save me.

    Thanks
    http://www.micro-tronik.com/forum/

  157. access architecture says:

    thanks for this. does anyone know if this is only limited to Vista, or can it affect servers too?

  158. Joaquim Anguas says:

    AFAIK only client OS are affected.

    Best,

    Joaquim.

  159. Chris says:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!! I’ve spent two frustrating days watching that configuring update 3 of 3. No help whatsover on the Microsoft site! I’m so glad I found this site. Merci beaucoup!!!

  160. Dave says:

    Pieter (comment 71) thank you. Fixed mine first effort.

  161. lorne says:

    Arrggghhhhh….I’ve tried every possible solution…I don’t have the original DVD and am not getting to the repair…..frustrating! Is there anything else i can do?

  162. Tlhogi says:

    Your solution Marcus helped me a lot, thank and thank again

  163. Oliver says:

    Thans a bunch for the help. Saves a lot of time.and money. A technician would have probabaly charged a lot for this. It worked and I immediately disabled he automatic updates, so this never happens again! Thanks again!

  164. Frustrated says:

    This problem still exists.. oh dear..

  165. Frustrated says:

    I tried the solution(s) above but now I am getting “Updates were not configured correctly. Reverting changes.”

    Any thoughts?

  166. Jen says:

    Another Big Thank You, got in using the command prompt!

  167. Joaquim Anguas says:
  168. Gregory Despain says:

    My computer showed errors every time I turned it on. It was annoying. yet it is so important thing and can get screwed up so easily.

  169. obama sucks says:

    hi- Im running windows vista premium …have the recuring 3 loop. Anyways I tried to do -peters advice- but after f8 there is no open command? it starts with safemode etc witch that does not work. tried but still loops. does windows vista have a different area for that open command task ? anyone know – thanks