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Ask Microsoft: Stuck in Windows Update loop

Microsoft's Brian Keogh offers advice for a user stuck in a loop -- his Windows 2003 Server is reporting an update available over and over again.

On a regular basis, top Microsoft executives answer readers' toughest technical questions about Windows-based systems....

This installment of "Ask Microsoft" was answered by Brian Keogh, Microsoft IT Group Manager for Server Patch Management.

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Question: I have problems with Windows Update. Right now I have a Windows 2003 Server that is reporting an update available over and over again. I press "Install" and it is installed successfully. However, in a minute or so, I am prompted again to install it. The Microsoft Web site shows the installation as successful. Is there any exit from this Windows Update loop apart from a full server reinstall? (Note: I tried to run MSI Windows installer update, which is now 3.1 Update 2, but that still didn't help.)

Answer: It appears the patch has not landed properly. Here are a couple of suggestions:

  • Try manually de-installing the patch (add/remove programs) and attempting to run the update process.
  • Try re-installing the latest service pack and re-installing the patch
  • Manually download the patch and install. You may get increased logging with this approach.

If for some reason these suggestions do not help, I would recommend checking some of the great help sites available from Microsoft or via MSN Search.

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