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Windows Update Boot Loop

I'm guessing you're in the situation where Windows decided to "Update and Shutdown/Restart", but when your system comes back up, it continues to update and reboot over, and over, and over, and over.

Well, that's typically caused by a corrupt Windows update or the VM isn't saving it's changes.

Here's a way to stop your system from boot looping so you can dive into the OS and clear the Windows Update cache.

  1. Boot your system into Recovery Console by either booting from ISO or resetting your system during boot a few times (highly recommend taking a back up of your VM prior to using this method).
  2. Launch Command Prompt (cmd).
  3. Launch Registry Editor (regedit) from Command Prompt.
  4. Load the local Operating System's SYSTEM Registry Hive.
    1. Highlight the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE key and select "File > Load Hive".
    2. You can typically find the SYSTEM Hive at "D:\Windows\System32\config\SYSTEM"
    3. Name the Hive something like "TEMP".
  5. Set the Trusted Installer and Automatic Updates Services to Disabled.
    1. "TEMP\ControlSet001\Services\TrustedInstaller" and "TEMP\ControlSet001\Services\wuauserv"
    2. Change the Value "Start" to "4".
  6. Unload the Hive by highlighting TEMP and select "File > Unload Hive".
  7. Exit Registry Editor (regedit).
  8. Reboot the system.

Your machine should now boot into Windows without trying to install Windows Updates. This will even work on a VM that isn't saving changes (outside of setting the drive to non-persistent or using PVS).

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