We couldn’t complete the updates. Undoing changes. Error on Windows Server 2012 R2

I ran into this problem with 3 Virtual Machines. All of them were brand new installations, so it was not an issue with badly behaving applications.

The cause appeared to be the way Gen2 virtual machines worked with a particular recent update. Gen 1 virtual machines did not present this issue.

Thanks to Susan Bradley and GurliGebis on the technet forums here (http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windowsserver/en-US/e58c8b30-b91a-4d90-a1b5-8859ffc3b92c/kb2920189-fails-to-install-on-generation-2-vms?forum=winserverhyperv), we have a workaround.

  1. Shutdown the Virtual Machine.
  2. In the VM settings, disable Secure Boot.

  3. Start the VM and install the updates.
  4. Shutdown the VM and re-enable Secure Boot again.
  5. Start up the VM.


34 thoughts on “We couldn’t complete the updates. Undoing changes. Error on Windows Server 2012 R2”

  1. Almost a year later and I just ran into the same issue. Gen 2 VMs, fresh install of Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows updates, bam, all 3 are stuck.

  2. It worked also for us.
    Starting VM after the “Undoing Changes” message we have to wait a lot… but it runs!


  3. I have this problem with a Gen 1 machine. Do you have any ideas how to fix that issue.
    It is a brand new install. All I have done is updates.

  4. AWESOME!!!!
    Thank you a million times.
    I have been struggling with this for some time now and couldn’t find a good solution until I came across your article.
    You saved me a lot of time.

  5. Worked for me too.

    It did take a long long time for it to come right but eventually Undoing Changes completed and the VM rebooted into Windows.

    Thank you.

  6. This is one of those problems that makes you shake your head and wonder which inmate is running the asylum at Microsoft. I waited for about an hour and a half for the nearly 1 gig of updates to download and install. Upon rebooting I got the message about updates not being applied and “undoing changes”. That’s been going on for 2 hours. When it finally reboots I’ll apply the fix so generously provided on this site. By the time it’s all said and done I’ll probably have waited 5 or 6 hours to spin up one completely clean VM…all because I chose a Gen2 machine. Incredible. Thanks for posting this fix.

  7. disabled secure boot but no change … still sitting at the “we couldnt complete the updates undoing changes dont turn off your computer”

    …. will give it a few hours and see what happens. will post back when i do.

  8. A Gen2 VM is doing that right now, even though all seems to be working fine for the users. They can connect to shared folders, DHCP and DNS is working. There are no issues for the clients but the server shows “Undoing Changes”. I will work on this later since it is not affecting any users.
    The solution states to shut it down but I can’t get into the server. Do I try from the Hyper-V console, or just power it off?


  9. We are using a server 2012R2 VM.it’s a Gen1 VM, and we are getting “we couldn’t complete the updates undoing changes ” error during reboot after running update.

  10. thanks for the post,

    Still my issue is not solved. Its getting stuck 88% of Working on Update and reboot after long time, the undoing changes.

    Please advice with any other fixes…

    Thanks a lot for your time.

  11. Disabled the secure boot on Gen2 Hyper-v machine but still giving the same message, can someone has any idea? I left it run overnight and nothing changed.

  12. I’m having the same issue We couldn’t complete the updates. Undoing changes. Error on Windows Server 2012 R2.

    Its been going on for about 5 hrs now..

  13. F>F>S Microsoft!
    And what do I do with the vm I have on Azure? How is that changed to switch of Secure Boot?

    Got this exact issue with vm in Azure that was created a while ago and the previous support mob never put on updates in over a year!

    Any ideas????

  14. We have the same issue with server 2012 r2 vmware virtual machine. “WE COULDN’T COMPLETE THE UPDATES. UNDOING CHANGES”
    Kindly share if you have any fix for it…

  15. If you’re getting this problem and the article’s fix doesn’t work, try running just a couple updates at a time to narrow it down. In my case I found that kb4036479 was causing this problem. It is a known issue and the update has been pulled by MS.

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