Gray Screen with an X in the middle

My computer is stuck in a loop caused by a windows update. The system loads to the point where it says it is configuring update 3 of 3 with 0% progress. After a few minutes the system restarts. This is a continuing loop and it seems to be a prevalent problem with Microsoft from some of the other forums I have read.

This recovery CD seems to be some of the best advise I found but when I run it from the disk I burned it loads up to a point and then the screen goes gray with an X in the middle. I need to do one of two things to fix the problem.

1) System Restore
2) Delete the file causing the loop.

I can't do either because of the loop and was hoping this software would get me to the system restore screen. I am running Vista and the only thing I can think of that might cause an adverse reaction from this recovery software is that I bought the system loaded with XP on it and Dell sent me an upgrade disk for Vista, so its not a clean Vista install.

Any ideas?



Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Hi Bob,

Send an email to to get a different version of the recovery CD that should boot up fine.


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
And problems caused by WUD qualify for free support from MS.
Contact them before you mess with the OS.
Microsoft Support