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Windows automatic update service not working

I have installed updates to my Win2000 server twice using Windows automatic update service. Upon performing the customary 'You must reboot your system,' the server will not boot and I have to go through the Emergency Recovery Process. I have noticed that this is occurring to others by posts in newsgroups requesting how to recover from this situation. Is something wrong with my server settings or is there something wrong with how I am doing the updates?

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The server is set to automatically obtain the updates and then notify me when they are ready to be installed. I usually look over the updates and instruct the server to install all updates. The server then shuts down and when it reboots, I get the white starting Windows 2000 screen and watch the progress bar climb all the way to the end (100%). At that point the server reboots again and is now in a loop performing this reboot process over and over until I stop it by inserting boot disk 1. Virus scans reveal nothing.

Situations like this are notoriously difficult to debug, but they are sometimes due to faulty device drivers. One way to try and debug the problem is to remove all hardware that does not absolutely have to be there to get the system to boot, then try adding devices one at a time and see if that helps. Video device drivers are sometimes the culprit here; see if booting in Safe Mode helps, and then try removing and reinstalling video drivers with fresh copies downloaded from the manufacturer.

This was first published in December 2003

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