OS & relevant HW:
Windows 7 Ultimate amd64, Marvell BIOS RAID1
3 days ago I installed 8 important updates from WU. As I was in the middle of several projects, I didn't reboot until 2 days ago right before going to bed. 8 hours later, it was still showing the "Preparing to configure Windows. Do not turn off your computer" message. I'm still fighting to get it to wake up normally.
After resetting, I still got the "Preparing...", although I let it sit for 5-10 mins and waited for disk activity to stop (occasional slight flickers of drive LED, but nothing like it's actually working). I tried to troubleshoot startup problems with no luck. Windows also said I didn't have any restore points, although I've never turned them off.
At some point early on, booting into recovery broke my RAID, so I have essentially two images to work with.
After trying everything I could to get Windows Update to complete, I finally restored from a 6-month-old system image to drive 1, with the expectations that I could restore my full-system weekly backups. That's apparently not how Windows & Backup & Restore work, but I'll post in that forum for details.
I then booted off the drive 2 and this time Windows said the update failed and was reverting. Again, it sat on this screen for over 8 hours. After resetting again, it gave me the standard login screen and things seemed to be going okay. But after showing my desktop, it stopped doing anything. No desktop icons, no start menu, nothing. Mouse still worked, but there was nothing to click on.
I tried logging in as Administrator and it behaved similarly. I got the pop-up "customizing settings" box, but nothing else. That window never went away, so it seems like the freeze/hang/whatever happens up to a certain point after boot.
I can get into Safe Mode w/Networking, but I'm not sure where to go from here. The Windows-Won't-Boot tutorials here seem to be about getting to the login screen, not getting past that.