So there I was,  running Windows Update on bunch of computers at work like I do every month and on the final computer something goes awry, on the console there’s an innocent “preparing to configure, do not turn off your computer” message..  so what’s the big deal? you might ask,  well .. this one wasn’t going away.  I waited few minutes,  then some more and when I had waited for something like 10-15 minutes I felt my stomach cramp up (since that’s forever in my perspective since I have horrible luck restarting physical machines, they tend to die on me).  Something just had to go wrong on the last one .. and here I was looking forward to going home, start my extended weekend and catch up on some sleep.

Doing a hard reboot is always a last resort, especially on a production machine, so I didn’t want to do that right away .. what to do, what to do, the wheels in my brain started turning.  After trying few things that didn’t work I found that I could connect to the machine with the Computer Management tool (compmgmt.msc) and from there it turns out that the Windows Modules Installer was stuck in the stopping state.  Now how to kill that sucker remotely, since I haven’t had a reason to do anything like that before I googled for a solution and found The PsExec Tool which allows for running commands on a remote computer, after brushing up on my windows command prompt knowledge I used ..

C:\path\to\PSTools>PsExec.exe \\<computer> taskkill /IM trustedinstaller.exe /f

..to kill the process.  After that command executed I lost all contact with the machine and I stared at the ping output for few agonizing minutes (since I always have a continuous ping on the machines I’m restarting to know when they’re up again), at last I got a response from the machine which came up normally and without the blasted “preparing to Configure”.  The third longest Windows Update session to date finally over.  Now to go home, finish my book and catch sleep.

One Response to Preparing To Configure

  1. Nate says:

    You can also use the taskkill command remotely without having to use psexec. Syntax: taskkill /s /f /im trustedinstaller.exe