Something scary happened recently, some of the Windows Server 2012 R2 installations totally froze on startup after Windows update with “Getting Windows Ready” message spinning for 20-30 minutes. Eventually just blank desktop appeared with only start button and unresponsive taskbar.
The thing is, testing environment went ok with updating, and also whole server nodes were patched prior to this and everything was ok.
First server that was stuck was Windows Server 2012 R2 with Exchange Server 2013 installation on it.
Since few of the same and identical configurations were already successfully patched, I thought at first that this Exchange 2013 installation is having some kind of problems that are not caused by patching.
While I was contemplating how to get to the logs of the server (since desktop was blank) with only Task Manager working and Windows Explorer constantly crashing, eventually (after 40-50 minutes)
server restarted itself.
This was the message
After undoing changes completed server rebooted and everything was fine.
So it was patches after all.
Since all the mess with Intel and Spectre and Meltdown we played waiting game with patching a bit longer since there were a lot of problematic updates after security crisis with Intel.
Updates that failed were KB4057903 and KB4072650
Both are updating Hyper-V Integration components for Vms.
I had a few problems with Windows Server 2012 R2 and Exchange 2013 updating Hyper-V integration services in the past, but wasn’t expecting these problems to be still lingering around.
Ok, so what is the solution.
Solution is simple. Disable and stop all Exchange Services on the server. After that, reset the server and try updating again.
Here you can find Powershell commands for disabling Exchange Services – https://www.informaticar.net/how-to-enable-or-disable-exchange-2013-services/
Updates were successful, server booted ok, and all the KBs were installed successfully
After succeeding in updating, enable and start all the Exchange services that were active in your environment and reboot server again.
You can find commands for enabling Exchange services here – https://www.informaticar.net/how-to-enable-or-disable-exchange-2013-services/
That is it, updates were successful.