XP SP2 hang: related to windows update stall?



Problem: OS becomes very unresponsive but shows little or no CPU load.
Launching applications, logging out, shutting down, etc become almost
impossible. Using already running applications seems to work until they need
OS services such as printing (I don't know about file saving).

Possible factor? I had started a windows update download last week of the
critical patches (I can't get to them right now because it's stalled). I
believe these include something about fixing the SP2 install. The download
did not complete b/c it's very big, and, as usual, we did not leave the
computer connected long enough. Typically windows update picks up where it
left off. Right now it's showing 60% download progress (tool tip of tray
icon) and hasn't budged in days or over reboots.

wuauclt shows 0 cpu time, 3 io reads. Launching windows update via the
browser (tools>) got me to the install download screen and no further.
Launching automatic updater in control panel didn't respond.

System overview:
Home computer used by 5 people. Dial up connection only. Home network w/ ICS
through this computer. Installed SP2 from CD. Enabled uPnP. Norton, SpyBot,


More info: after rebooting, windows update went from 67% to 85% and then
stalled. I don't know if it gradually ground to a halt or if someone
interrupting the phone line caused it to stop. Once it stopped, it did not
restart even after numerous reconnections to the internet.

I just rebooted and reconnected. There's no evidence that it's doing anything.

I've not been able to successfully shut down the system once it gets to the
crawl state. Explorer shows activity in the process view but not a lot after
selecting restart or shut down. If I force the logout to finish (kill
explorer), then the shutdown screen comes up and stays up with no apparent

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