Today Microsoft released a new KB targeting problems with the Install Software Updates hanging when you use the Install Software Updates step in a Task Sequence. This issue has been around since Configuration Manager 2007 and is still an issue in Configuration Manager 2012 with some updates.
“Software Updates That Require Multiple Reboots may Cause Task Sequence Failure within Configuration Manager” http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2894518/
The KB article is applicable both to Configuration Manager 2007 and 2012. Keep an eye on the KB above as it will be updated with more updates as they are reported, that will save a lot of troubleshooting time!
From the knowledge base article:
“If a Configuration Manager Task Sequence that leverages the Install Software Updates step installs a software update that triggers multiple reboots, the task sequence can fail to complete successfully.”
The first reboot initiated by the software update is properly controlled by the Task Sequence. However the second reboot request is initiated by a Windows component (typically Component-Based Servicing) and therefore not controlled by the Task Sequence.
“To resolve this issue, it is recommended that any updates that require dual reboots be applied using the normal Software Updates feature of Configuration Manager instead of Task Sequences. The following software updates have been reported as requiring multiple reboots. This KB will be updated as more updates are reported.”
2862330 : MS13-081: Description of the security update for 2862330: October 8, 2013
2771431 :A servicing stack update is available for Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012
2871777 :A servicing stack update is available for Windows RT, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2012: September 2013
2821895 A servicing stack update is available for Windows RT and Windows 8: June 2013
2545698 :Text in some core fonts appears blurred in Internet Explorer 9 on a computer that is running Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, or Windows Server 2008 R2
2529073 :Binary files in some USB drivers are not updated after you install Windows 7 SP1 or Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
2871690 : Microsoft security advisory: Update to revoke noncompliant UEFI boot loader modules
Another workaround would be to either include these updates in your master image or deploy these updates in the Task Sequence using a Package/program.