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PC wont boot into Windows

by Frizzel / April 15, 2005 10:11 AM PDT

Yesterday I downloaded updates from Microsoft(it does it automatically)- then after installation it asks to reboot, so I did so- but when it rebooted, it got to the Welcome screen, but then turned off and rebooted again. It kept doing it over and over until I booted into Safe Mode. Does anyone what happened or what I can do to fix it. Thanks.

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Frizzel, More Information Please..
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / April 15, 2005 12:18 PM PDT

Whenever posting questions on these forums, please give us as much information as possible about your computer. Depending on your issue, we might need the operating system, processor speed, amount of RAM installed, brand name of the computer, (if there is one), and any EXACT error messages you are receiving. The more information you give us, the better informed our answer will be.

While in Safe Mode, have you tried uninstalling the new updates from within the Control Panel-Add/Remove Programs?

And if you happen to be using Windows 98 or ME, uninstall the one listed as: "891711" That particular update has caused a number of problems for many users.

Hope this helps.

Grif

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Grif, same problem here
by Dick White / April 15, 2005 2:04 PM PDT

Frizzel's basic description (also posted over in the XP forum is exactly the same as is happening on my wife's system. Hardware is an older Gateway, P3, 256mb, nothing fancy. OS is a recent format/reload of XP Pro because the OEM WinME was overwhelmed after all these years. Was working beautifully until this afternoon. Automatic updates is turned on so it downloaded Tuesday's MS patch cycle by itself when nobody was looking. Reportedly the screen was awry when she came home from the store, but seemed to find itself after a while. Little popup balloon said downloads are ready to install. No biggie. She checked email and some other stuff, then turned it off, but it gave a bunch of messages about installing things, don't power down til I say it is ok. Let it do its thing. Now it starts, goes through the BIOS POST, WinXP splash comes up for a bit, disk drive light blinks, things sorta stop and go quiet for a moment (seemingly normal), then a tiny blip of the drive light and screen goes completely black and all system lights go out. Then BIOS splash and POST again, followed by .... rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat...

Hit the F8 just after the POST to try the DOS screen boot options list. Safe Mode - same thing, round and round. Turned off the Autorestart on Error option and got some information from the blue screen. It said something about fatal error in session initialization at [string of memory address numbers]. Not helpful. Nothing else produced a different result. Definition of a neurotic - someone who does the same thing again and again expecting something different to happen.

So I got out the install CD and reinstalled the operating system. My DSL tech support call center always advises that when their network goes down, so why not for this one too. If nothing else, it occupies the customer for 40-50 minutes.

OS is reinstalled, and the system is running again. Appears to be no data loss, so far so good. Little balloon by the Windoze Security Center icon in the systray says downloading updates, please wait. After a bit, the balloon says 16 updates are ready to install, click here. Ok, clicked. It grinds away as one would expect. Finally ends with the usual "ya gotta restart" dialog. Ok, do it. BIOS POST (normal, expected that). WinXP splash (normal, expected that). After the little blue bar has diddled back and forth a few times, the screen goes black for a second (normal, expected that). Then the disk light blinks, all system lights go out, and then the BIOS splash. Rinse and repeat. ***, seems we've been here recently, haven't we?

Am in the process of the second OS reload of the evening, and this time will turn the freakin' Auto Updates OFF!!!

So, anybody have any other brilliant ideas? (Please humor me, I'm not in a very good mood at the moment...)

dw

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D i c k, Turn Off Automatic Updates...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / April 15, 2005 2:14 PM PDT

Obviously, you'll need to reinstall XP again..but the next time, turn of Automatic Updates in the Control Panel. (Personally, I've never used that particular feature, even on our corporate machines.) Once that's done, visit Windows Update while in Internet Explorer and now you have two choices.

You can simply let Windows Update perform the update process, (I'll suggest leaving out the new Windows Installer 3.1 update as I've seen some issues with it on a few computers.) or you can write down all the Critical Update Knowledgebase numbers and do manual downloads of each update file from the link below. When all the manual update files are on your desktop, install them manually, one by one. It won't be quick this way, but you should be able to verify which update is causing the issue.

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/current.aspx

Click on the link above, scroll to the lower part of the page and find the various bulletins that apply to your knowledgebase numbers list. You should be able to find the manual download in each of the Security Bulletins.

As I said, try installing the other updates without the Windows Installer 3.1 update.

Hope this helps.

Grif

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Yup, great minds think alike...
by Dick White / April 15, 2005 2:35 PM PDT

Second reload just finished. Already turned off AutoUpdates, but it had already downloaded the 16 patches. I unchecked all but the first in the list, and am installing them one at a time, exactly as you propose. I'll let you know which one starts the idiocy again. Note that I was just over on the Microsoft board, and somebody over there has the same issue. Gads I hate it when they ask me after the fact if beta testing is fun...

dw

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News...
by Dick White / April 15, 2005 3:51 PM PDT

got a lazy towards the end of the list and let the last 4 load at the same time. Boom, dead again. DO NOT INSTALL updates number 890859, 891781, 893066, or 893086. It was one of those that just blew me off for the third time. I'll work on it some more another time (it's 1:45 o'fuquinclock in the morning and I am not about to continue on it at this point, but the wife expects to be able to get her email when she get up in the morning. 'nuf said about what my priority is right now...)

dw

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Richard, A Clue For You
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / April 16, 2005 2:21 AM PDT
In reply to: News...

The 891781 Update is an older update from February 05..You should be able to install it without issue, so try that one before installing the other three you mentioned.

Update article numbers 890859, 893066, and 893086 are all from the most recent group of Critical Updates.

Another thought...Try disabling your antivirus during the installation of the updates and be sure to restart the computer each time a restart is requested by the update.

Hope this helps.

Grif

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yup...
by Dick White / April 16, 2005 12:36 PM PDT

Thanks for looking at the background on those updates. Just now returning from a day-long trip and I think I'll try your hint on the A/V and then go through just those 3 updates one at a time - after the wife checks her email and can do without the system for the hour that it is going to take restoring it when we find the one miscreant...

dw

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SOLUTION FOUND!!!!
by Dick White / April 16, 2005 2:11 PM PDT
In reply to: yup...

Hotfix number 890859 is the culprit. Another tech in Microsoft's own newsgroup has documented it as well. But I can't find any evidence that Microsoft itself has acknowledged it. The easier solution than my method of reinstalling is outlined here.

http://windowsxp.mvps.org/spuninst.htm

So put out the word - turn off Automatic Updates, install updates manually and do not install # 890859. You may need to check the "hide this update" box so it doesn't get included again in future update cycles.

dw

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D i c k, Thanks For The Solution...It Is Strange Though...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / April 17, 2005 5:45 AM PDT
In reply to: News...

I've installed that update on about 20 XP machines and maybe 10 Windows 2000 machines and so far, no problems here...Obviously though, that particular update is messing up a few machines.

You did a good job of troubleshooting and keep up the safe computing.

Grif

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Yup....
by Dick White / April 17, 2005 11:53 PM PDT

I've got 5 other computers in the house that all took it with no trouble. That one just choked. And the interesting thing is that mine is worse than anything the Microsoft newsgroup moderator has seen. He and his colleagues have been able to quickly uninstall that one errant patch with the recovery console and the systems start again without needing a complete dirty reinstall. I did a controlled test with mine yesterday - started with a fresh SP2 dirty install, went to WinUpdates for any new patches (there were 16), deselected all except this problem-child so that it would be the ONLY patch on the system. Of course, I knew it would blow down, and I then went into the recovery console to uninstall the only patch that had ever been installed. Alas, it still would not finish booting, so I got another round of practice with the dirty install. I have a support request in with MS and they've reported it to "the Product Group." We'll see.

cheers,
dw

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