notes to help me remember

Category Archives: Deep Freeze

Windows 7 Updates Interrupted by Deep Freeze

We use Faronics’ Deep Freeze to prevent changes to our computers.  With Windows 7 we have had a number of incidents where the computers are updated while thawed, but are frozen at the next restart, preventing the installation process from completing.  In these cases, the computers continually restart, completing the installation configuration, then failing to start because they are now frozen and so, rebooting.  I tried starting in Safe mode, but this didn’t change the configure/reboot cycle.  I tried loading the last known good config, also to no avail.  I needed to turn off Deep Freeze, but could not get into Windows to do it.

I found Martin Tjandra’s post here, that led me to do the following:

  1. Boot with a Windows 7 Install disk
  2. Choose an appropriate language
  3. Click on “Repair your computer” link at bottom left of box
  4. Select the “Use recovery tools that can help fix problems starting Windows…” radio button
  5. Select “Command prompt”
  6. Enter “D:” to change to the D drive (or whatever drive Windows is installed on)
  7. Enter “cd windows\winsxs” to change the directory
  8. Enter “ren pending.xml pending_bkp.xml” to rename the pending.xml file
  9. Enter “exit” to close the command window
  10. Shut down, reboot into Windows, and turn off Deep Freeze

From here, I am not so sure of the best way to clean up.  On one laptop, I repeated my steps to go back in and rename the file to pending.xml.  This apparently was not a good approach as I ended up with a persistent update error (80073712), which was immune to the Microsoft Windows Update Readiness Assessment Tool, but which hopefully will respond to the running Upgrade from the installation disk.

On another computer I just left the pending file as I had renamed it and after a couple of reboots, it seems to be happily installing a large number of updates.  Hopefully, this will end up nicely.

I have one more laptop with which to perfect my technique, so I should be able to update this post soon.