Dec 2017 update fail. Windows 10 stuck for hours "Preparing to configure Windows"

SP4 Windows 10 update (Dec 2017) took a long time (hours).  Eventually came back with windows 10 working but continuous high cpu on module installer. Update reported showed failure of Nov update of Malicious software removal tool. + 2 other updates waiting. 

Tried resetting with update troubleshooter. 

KB4954517 Cumulative update trying to install. Goes quickly to 99%, then stalls, with high cpu on Windows module installer worker. No further progress. Still 99%



Question Info

Last updated October 5, 2019 Views 14,772 Applies to:

I posted this somewhere else but it sorta got drowned out by the way this forum works.

TLDR; Settings > Update > Advanced Options > Pause Updates > on > Hard reset > Install update manually from catalogue > Unpause after updater reset.

This is what worked for me when '2017-12 Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version 1709 for x64-based Systems (KB4054517)' was not installing, even manually:

  1. Start.
  2. Settings.
  3. Update & Security.
  4. Windows Update > Scroll under the 'Update Settings' click > 'Advanced Options'.
  5. Advanced Options > Scroll under 'Pause Updates' click the slide button to 'on' to pause the update. If its not there scroll down this post to see an alternative to this step.
  6. Make sure nothing is writing to your storage and then force shutdown your computer by holding the hardware/physical power button down, then turn your computer back on. NOTE: Step 5 is what fixed manually updating for me. Other methods that official Microsoft posters have suggested may work properly from this step on but the following is what I did.
  7. When it starts back up, install the update manually from the Microsoft update catalogue. Search: KB4054517 or the one you want. Then click the download button on the right for your version and run the link that pops up after.
  8. It should do its slow, updating restart but actually work now because of step 5.
  9. Turn the pause updates off so things work normally and remember this process if the same issue occurs in the future. Hopefully it does work normally in the future though.
  10. If it doesn't work maybe try below instead of step 5

If Pause Updates isn't there

Do this instead of step 5

  1. Open the Run command (Win + R), in it type: services.msc and press enter
  2. From the Services list find the Windows Update service
  3. Right click > properties > startup type > disabled > apply
  4. Hard Restart, go back to step 6
  5. When you get to step 9 set this service back to Automatic.

I had hangs at 99%, I used the troubleshooter, I used the update assistant, I had the updater download the same failing update file repeatedly in the background without deleting the one that wasn't working until nearly all 110GB of my SSD was filled up, I had a bunch of error codes (don't remember which ones though), I reset/refreshed/reinstalled the Windows 10 install 3 times with no solution in sight. I was at this for 3 days.

The clue for my issue:
The Microsoft update catalogue download of the update failed saying "the following update was NOT installed" (pointing to itself) and the update troubleshooter said that there was a 'pending restart' so it could not help. Which is what lead me to pause the updates because that would turn off the pending restart. If that was making the update troubleshooter not work, maybe that was also making the manual update not work. I think that turned out to be the issue, for my case.

Someone on this thread did some more digging into why this happens I don't understand it but here:

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