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Update Stuck In A Loop


Problem: windows update constantly prompts me to "restart your computer to finish installing important updates". After restart i can boot successfully, but after a few minutes the "restart your computer" dialog again appears.

The update that appears to be triggering this is listed in the windows updates log file as:

     Update for windows 7 for x64-based systems (kb980408)

     Installation status: pending
     Error details: code 80242014

No subsequent updates can be installed, as windows update indicates "windows update cannot currently check for updates, because you must first restart the computer so that a previous installation can be completed. "

Machine configuration:

Intel  i7 920 running at 2. 67ghz    
6 gb ram, 64-bit windows 7 (came installed on the machine)
Os version = 6. 1. 7600. 0. 0. 65792
Os product type = 0x00000030
Computer brand = dell inc.
Computer model = studio xps 435t
Bios revision = a13
Bios name = default system bios
Bios release date = 2009-02-06t00:00:00
Locale id = 1033

Antivirus: symantec endpoint protection, version: 11. 0. 5002. 333

Approaches i have tried to address this error:

1. Using "uninstall programs" i have uninstalled this windows update and rebooted. After doing this kb980408 is no longer listed as being installed, and yet the reboot prompt continues to appear. I also did a full virus scan (no viruses) and also verified that there is plenty of disk space.

2.system restore. Unfortunately i don't have restore points going back far enough to when this first started happening.

3. Manually downloading and installing the windows update, then rebooting. I had hopes that this would update whatever registry entries are causing the problem, but instead all i have now is a second pending entry in the windows update log:

     Update for windows (kb980408)
     Installation status: pending
     Error details: code 80242014


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