I had situation latelly where update process where failing on updating master DB with msdb110_upgrade.sql script file.
2012-12-15 01:53:35.09 spid7s Error: 537, Severity: 16, State: 3.
2012-12-15 01:53:35.09 spid7s Invalid length parameter passed to the LEFT or SUBSTRING function.
2012-12-15 01:53:35.10 spid7s Error: 912, Severity: 21, State: 2.
2012-12-15 01:53:35.10 spid7s Script level upgrade for database 'master' failed because upgrade step 'msdb110_upgrade.sql' encountered error 537, state 3, severity 16. This is a serious error condition which might interfere with regular operation and the database will be taken offline. If the error happened during upgrade of the 'master' database, it will prevent the entire SQL Server instance from starting. Examine the previous errorlog entries for errors, take the appropriate corrective actions and re-start the database so that the script upgrade steps run to completion.
2012-12-15 01:53:35.11 spid7s Error: 3417, Severity: 21, State: 3.