Rookie Mistake - restarted during software update

I have a 3 year old Presario running Vista which has been virtually trouble free for all this time. My company made us aware of a great deal where we could get MS Office 2010 for $10. We are a huge multinational company) So unable to resist I paid my $10 and downloaded Office along with a couple of other free programs Business Contact Manager and Lync). When I started the exe files, they took an uncharacteristically long time to install.

I ended up having to contact AT&T tech support because I couldnt get Outlook to import my Live Mail settings. In the process the tech, saw I had 22 updates. I explained my PC was up to date and that this was as a result of just downloading Office 2010. Anyway he had remote control so he hit the button to start the updates. I would have waited to do this.

We come to the rookie mistake part of my story, when I restart the computer it quickly downloads 16 of the 22 updates, but when it gets to 17 appears to hang up. An hour later it hasnt moved off of 17 and I dont see any activity light flickering on my computer, so assuming (wrongly) that even though it says not to power off your computer during updating, I decide its hung up so I may as well power it down. Large mistake. It now will not boot up except in Safe Mode. So now I have tried to go back to a restore point from 5 days ago and am watching the PC try to repair itself. Uncharacteristically, I actually have the Recovery Disks which I created when I bought the computer.

Any advice at this point would be appreciated. And I take it that using the recovery disks will not wipe all my data? I have about 6,000 photographs I would hate to lose. Please dont make me go to the Geek squad! So far still wont stop going into Safe Mode.
and am watching the PC try to repair itself

Was the System Restore successful? That should have preserved everything and all it would mean is that you need to start over with installing Office and the other software. I would try it one step at a time. Before you try make sure that all updates are in - Vista SP2 and set Windows Update to select updates for all components using Microsoft Update, that way it will check everything.
Office can take an age to install, I know. Depending on how many parts of it you want of course. I usually only install what I need using a custom installation which saves time.
Can't you back up your photographs to a thumb drive or media in Safe Mode?
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I have tried System Restore 3 times now, and all the native repair programs accessible when you F8. The computer just doesnt want to leave safe mode. I am in the process of Backing up all my photos and music. I have a thumb drive but it only has 2G. I also have a 16G SDHC card which I typically use for my video camera so Ive pressed that into service.

I booted up the Receovery Disks and it seemed to give me only two options - full restore and erase followed by full restore, in each case wiping out my data. I think I must be thinking back a few Windows versions where you could reinstall it and have nothing else affected.


The version of Office 2010 we were given had everything in it. The Exe file was 1G all by itself. I thought I would try uninstalling Office. I use Revo Uninstaller and it couldnt uninstall it and for a final step it finds all the leftover registry items. The count was over 20,000 and rising when I decided this could only make things worse, so I cancelled.
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That's too bad. I can't think of what else to do except what you are doing, backing up and then reinstalling the system. Pity, that means a zillion updates to go of course, let alone installing everything again.

Maybe Terry has some ideas.
Only other idea is to contact Microsoft.
Problems caused by Windows Update are about the only time you can get one-to-one support from them for free.
Follow the links you'll find in WUD > Update History for an email address (and you could always skip the fact that you deliberately turned the PC off and pass it off as a power cut or unfortunate accident !!)