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Solved Freezes During Update


New Member
The other day during an update we started having a serious problem. When we try and boot our Pro 2 we get the black screen with the word Surface in the middle, and below that it says "Fatal Error applying update operation XXXX of XXXX (the number is different every time. I can do a hard reboot and get to the repair screen, but none of the options seem to help. I can't do repair because it says there isn't enough free hard drive space (and obviously I can't free any up), I don't have any system restore points, and I tried a USB repair but it just does the same thing mentioned at the beginning. I'm a pretty tech savvy dude, but I'm at a total loss on this one....


Well-Known Member
Welcome to the forum

I feel this is a problem that will get solved by someone here but I'm moving this to the help forum.


Super Moderator
Staff member
It kind of sounds like your problem stems from lack of disk space.

Does the number count up on the update failures? 2 of 10 then 3 of 10???

I think I would try to use Advanced recovery console to clear up some space. delete temp files and memory dumps, copy off any larger personal files or All of them... see where that gets you. If it's not enough you may need to get more aggressive on freeing up space.

Once you get through this initial problem you can do a more through Disk Cleaning and reorganization. Perhaps adding a microSD and relocating some folders.


New Member
No, the number doesn't count up. I left it on all night and it didn't budge. I can reset it and it always does the same. It just gets stuck on the first number.

You said I should use the advanced recovery tools to clear some disk space, but I don't see any option for that. Can you explain how to do that?


Super Moderator
Staff member
Just to clear up some terminology, by "reset" do you mean "Power Off"?
because there's a "Reset" which means to completely reinstall Windows.

Anyway I'm wondering if you are anywhere near a Microsoft Store and you could take it in? This might be your best option.

Try to force it into Recovery:
Press and hold the power button as soon it starts booting. This will obviously shutdown Windows incorrectly, but by performing the action three times, Windows will automatically boot into the Automatic Repair environment, where to can diagnose and fix the operating system.

Otherwise you will need to boot to a Recovery USB
If you don't already have one you need to download a recovery image from Microsoft.

Not sure which screen you'll get but options might be Troubleshoot, Advanced Options, to get to Command Prompt

You'll probably have to enter the Recovery Key it will tell you where to get it.
Http://windows.microsoft.com/recoverykeyfaq follow the instructions...

Login, you'll get a tiny Command window... tap the black icon in upper left select properties:
I like to use Font 12x16
Layout -
Buffer Size width 120 height 3000
Window size width 120 height 45

Change to C Drive

Delete this file... to kill pending updates.
Navigate to C:\Windows\WinSxS\ folder, search for a pending.xml file and delete it.
Cd windows\Winsxs
Dir *pending.xml or just *.xml
File may have big number prefix.pending.xml
Del *pending.xml

If you have maybe downloaded any large files etc. you can remove, do it now.
or just try Restarting , use Exit command follow the menu.

OR Contact MS Support :)
Answer Desk Link at bottom...


New Member
Thank you for all your help. What I actually ended up doing is opening the command prompt and I was able to delete a few specific folders and that cleared up enough space to be able to do a refresh. Now I have to reinstall all my programs, but that's a small price to pay. Thanks again. I probably wouldn't have thought of that without your help.