In response to reports of endlessly rebooting PCs flooding support newsgroups, Microsoft has pulled an update designed to prep Vista for Service Pack 1. This pair of prerequisite files modify Vista's install components.
According to [Nick] White [Vista program manager], Update 937287 was the cause of the problem. In a support document, Microsoft describes that update as one for Vista's installation software, "the component that handles the installation and the removal of software updates, language packs, optional Windows features, and service packs." Along with a companion update pushed to users starting Feb. 12 and another that was offered to machines running Vista Ultimate and Vista Business in January, the guilty update is required before Vista can be upgraded to Service Pack 1 (SP1).
Shortly after the two prerequisites hit Windows Update last week, users began reporting problems on Microsoft's support newsgroups. Most said that the update hung as the message "Configuring Updates Step 3 of 3 — 0% Complete" appeared on the screen. When users rebooted hoping to clear the error, their PCs went into an endless cycle of reboots. A smaller number of users said that their computers refused to boot normally.
Some users have been able to regain control by booting from a Vista install DVD and selecting the "Restore from a previous restore point" option.
While the problem is being reported as new, testers of the Vista SP1 release candidate containing the prerequisite files have been reporting the endless reboot issue since Dec. 13.
It is not yet known if this will delay the mid-March release of SP1. Currently, only beta testers, Volume Licensing customers, subscribers to TechNet Plus, and the Microsoft Developer Network have been able to download the service pack.
Many people are not planning to move to Vista until the release of SP1. Does this make you less likely to use SP1 as a benchmark to switch? Does it make you a bit leery of Automatic Updates altogether?
[Vista] Rebooting at "configuring updates 3 of 3. 0% complete (Microsoft TechNet)
Windows Vista Team Blog: Update on Windows Vista SP1 Prerequisite KB937287 (Microsoft Vista Blog)