While patching an environment with SP1 I was stumbled by the fact that it took a really long time to complete the patch process. So I opened up the upgrade.log file (which you can find in the C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\LOGS folder). And there a hour long the following line was written :
[SPManager] [DEBUG] [4/19/2008 10:51:53 AM]: SyncUpgradeTimerJob: sleeping for 10 seconds
So I fired up Google and found the following post by Bill Bear : KB934525 Troubleshooting "Cannot start service SPAdmin on computer '.'." , now the answer was not directly found in the post but in the comments section where Chris Fields had the same problem I had. His problem was the following :
We noticed that in our from dev and stage farms this message was only logged for a minute or two before the upgrade process proceeded. We also noticed that the upgrade had stopped the sptimerv3 service but we had an automated MOM rule that had restarted it. We simply stopped sptimerv3 for a few minutes then re-started it. Within 5 minutes the upgrade had proceeded passed the sleeping phase and was upgrading databases. It completed successfully.
Acting on his solution I also restarted the SPTimer job, but didn't succeed to eliminate the the logging of the 'sleeping for 10 seconds' event. What I did next was to restart the SPAdmin service and after that restart the patch process happily continued and the environment had SP1 on it ;)