We updated our servers this weekend (windows updates), everything went fine except one of our terminal servers now hangs at login with the message, "waiting for windows modules installer." It eventually times out and leaves an event log message that the service has stopped unexpectedly. I have disabled the service and users can now login in a reasonable time frame. However we will need to re-enable the service in order to install further updates. I'm not sure where to start with this one, I'm an entry level admin and my colleagues are on vacation today, thank God this isn't a serious problem.

Further details:

-It affects all users. -The only third party software on the server is our ERP software and screwdrivers from Tricerat. -The only event log message is that the service has stopped unexpectedly. -The server manager screen does not display any information about roles it just says, "error". -The remote desktop roles all seem to be functioning properly, Remote app works as well as standard RDP.

Let me know if there is any further details I can provide, I will be checking this frequently throughout the day.

  • Okay so it stopped (for no reason) giving the waiting for windows modules installer message. However the roles still just say "error" and the trustedinstaller.exe is constantly crashing. I have tried to run the windows update readiness tool and that hangs for hours until I give up. Jan 4, 2011 at 20:51

7 Answers 7


Be patient, give the server time to do what is needed, mine took nearly 30 minutes after going a disk cleanup on the C Drive. I would certainly let it go 30-45 minutes, a hard reboot when the server is deep in thought is not a good thing.

  • 5
    I was getting worried until I saw this answer. I also had done a disk cleanup on C Drive and just needed to be patient.
    – eol
    Dec 23, 2015 at 19:53
  • 5
    Thank you. I was getting anxious before reading the answer. In my case, I ran Disk Cleanup, restarted the server, the server showed "waiting for windows modules installer." for 20 minutes, then "Cleaning up, don not turn off your computer" for about 1 minute. I believe it was directory winsxs cleaning that caused this long delay.
    – Hong
    Jul 30, 2016 at 7:03
  • I just ran in to this as well after running disk cleanup, and both the console prompt and RDP session login were delayed by 30 minutes. I did notice that the AD server, DNS server, DHCP server were all functioning after their normal (for our server) 60~120 seconds after the system startup event id 12. Also the remote management interface for "computer management" and "event viewer" were working. I also noticed that the available disk space did not start to get better until the message "Cleaning up...." appeared on the RDP screen, which was 25 minutes after startup event id 12. VM has 2GB RAM. Jan 11, 2017 at 8:53
  • Microsoft should be more clear with these messages. For example, we cannot see "The installer is calculating free space" taking ages (it isn't calculating some obscure function in physics). Also a "cancel" button (for emergency situations) would be nice.
    – luca76
    Nov 15, 2017 at 14:36
  • 2
    This explains why "Disk Cleanup" offered to free 6 GB space through "Windows Update Cleanup", but failed to do so when I ran it. It might be doing that just now that I have rebooted...
    – bers
    Dec 12, 2017 at 12:29

Hmm... I've never seen that problem, but here's my take:

Windows Updates needs to finish some post-update tasks and is unable to do so when a non-admin user logs on to the server.

My suggestion would be to log on to the console of the server with the local administrator or domain administrator account and allow Windows Updates to complete it's post-update tasks.

This is a pretty wild guess on my part, but it won't hurt to give it a try.

  • That does make sense to me, I'll give it a shot tonight and let you know how it goes. Dec 27, 2010 at 16:03
  • No luck, I received the same message when logged into console from the DRAC. Dec 28, 2010 at 14:28

This is an old thread but, since it was 1st result in Google, I thought I would add in a recent experience consistent with the first answer given. After executing a cleanmgr of the system files and system drive defrag of a Windows 2008r2 server, I experienced the same message when reconnecting. It to 4 hours to move to the next step - "Cleaning Up" which took another 2 hours. In short - PATIENCE! - Wait it out - go home and go to sleep - it will probably be fine in the morning.


I would suggest to wait patiently for Windows to do its thing. I did a Gparted operation to shift a partition and this came up after the operations. It took 45 mins in total. I was getting impatient and wanted to reboot the system but I saw this thread and decided to wait. Thanks for all the advice.

  • How does this relate to the question?
    – RalfFriedl
    Mar 22, 2019 at 7:05

I'm going to our data center for the weekend to do unrelated repairs so I'm just going to reinstall while I'm there. If anyone finds an actual solution to this problem let me know and I will accept it.


Like mentioned above, can take some time! I spent fair 2h of waiting for the title to pass "Please wait for the Windows Modules Installer" -screen. Then we got to next phase, which I did not type down. Some thing about installing updates or such. That took fair 1h too. At the end of the day, with waiting patiently and then giving fresh clean boot to Windows Server 2008 R2 OS, I got server running smoothly and issue of disk exhaust due to hickupping updates was gone. Server had 4Gb of disk remaining - when I started to reagt on this. Now it has 19Gb of free disk space. After initial wait and first reboot, it was only 13Gb of free, but then the second (clean reboot) got rid of some excess windowsupdate goo and now we are happy geegs here :)


you should just give it time, mine took like 10 hours to perform all updates and the message is gone. and I m able to login.


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