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  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger djmoore's Avatar
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    Vista Business 32-bit Update loop

    When my son went away to college in 2009, if we wanted the IT department to support his PC in any way we had to buy one through them; having waited until the last minute, for various reasons, we got him a Dell laptop with (no choice here) Windows Vista - Business 32-bit version. He is now home after his Junior year and with him he brought his laptop, which had crashed during finals (of course).
    Called Dell to set up an on-site technician visit earlier this week - he replaced the motherboard and adapter - Dell forgot to include the heatsink, and after the repair ths system wouldn't boot because now there was no hard drive detected. Dell asked if I wanted the replacement hard drive sent directly to me, which I did - so they sent me both the hard drive and the (had been backordered) heatsink. Not a problem.
    I replaced both and the system booted ok, and the imaged hard drive went through some Windows configuration screens and then was ready to go. My son took the laptop to go and install everything he needed (a/v software first!) and that was that.
    Until about half an hour later, he brought it back, saying it was 'stuck doing updates'. Turn it on and I get the message that it's doing Windows update 3 of 3, and is 0% complete. After about a minute it jumps to 100% complete and reboots. After rebooting, we get the same message - update 3 of 3, 0% complete. And so it goes, ad infinitum.

    I searched the web for a reasonable solution, and most of them just say to reinstall the OS. unfortunately, he cannot find his Vista CD and while I know I have a couple sitting around from my job, it seems they are hiding at the moment. So I found an 'alternate' solution on the web:

    http://nctritech.com/vista_update_loop.php

    I tried my own method first - mounted the hard drive in a dock and accessed it with my own PC, and tried to delete the 2 files identified in the article above - no luck, since they are controlled by SYSTEM. I didn't want to foul up the entire Windows installation by changing ownership, so I gave up on that idea.
    Since we couldn't find a Windows CD, I opted for the Linux suggestion - my son couldn't find Vista, but happened to come up with an Ubuntu CD someone had burned for him - why, I don't know - he could care less about how a computer works, just as long as it DOES work.

    Running off of the Ubuntu CD, I tried to use the commands outlined in the article to delete the files, but I couldn't even mount the installation.
    Oni the first try I was identified as an "uinprivileged user" - not sure if that was because I was running off of the CD or not. I then tried using sudo, and got this back:

    NTFS signature is missing.
    Failed to mount '/dev/sda1': Invalid argument
    The device '/dev/sda1' doesn't seem to have a valid NTFS.
    Maybe the wrong device is used? Or the whole disk instead of a
    partition (e.g. /dev/sda, not /dev/sda1)? Or the other way around?

    (I got the same result following the suggestion to try sda instead of sda1)

    I am now officially out of my depth. As usual, I took the long way around to get to this point, but I always figure it's better to have too much information than not enough. With no available Windows Vista CD to reinstall from, or to do a repair from, what are my options to recover this laptop from reboot oblivion?

    Thanks, as always - and, as always ... cookies!
    Have a cookie -

    Don

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by djmoore View Post
    I didn't want to foul up the entire Windows installation by changing ownership, so I gave up on that idea.
    "dj",

    Hello....Changing ownership is no big deal ...Setting yourself as the owner, so you can delete the 2 files is the way to go ...Post back if your not sure how .... Regards Fred
    PlainFred

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free (J. W. Von Goethe)

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  4. #3
    3 Star Lounger djmoore's Avatar
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    It's not the actual task of changing ownership that worries me - I've done it a number of times in the past, when I had to get data off of old drives - what concerns me is that I would be changing ownership of the Windows directory and subdirectories on HIS hard drive while it is connected to mine - from SYSTEM on his computer to Administrator on mine - which still wouldn't be a problem if I was just trying to get data off of it.
    But what happens to his Windows directory when I put it back in HIS computer - how will the new ownership from my computer affect Windows' ability to function as it had in the past, when it can no longer find the Administrator account from my computer?
    Will it somehow automatically switch back to SYSTEM, or will his computer come to a grinding halt because of the changes I made?
    Have a cookie -

    Don

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by djmoore View Post
    Will it somehow automatically switch back to SYSTEM, or will his computer come to a grinding halt because of the changes I made?
    Don ,
    Hello....If your "Taking Ownership " of two files ,then deleting them i can't see how it would be of any consequence ...There are several things that you can do if this worries you.

    1. You can try to remove the files by taking ownership while the HD is in your son's PC.

    2. Also you could make a "Full Image" before you do anything ..Place (Save) the Image on your PC, this way you could always recover the image back to his HD if needed.

    3. If your not sure about Imaging ..i can recommend a free program from Macrium Reflect I have, and many lounger's have used this program with success . Post back with any questions about Imaging if your not familiar with these type of programs.There a few things to do before you use them.. Regards Fred

    4. Have a look see at this MS Fix it
    Last edited by Just Plain Fred; 2012-06-02 at 07:22.
    PlainFred

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free (J. W. Von Goethe)

  6. #5
    3 Star Lounger djmoore's Avatar
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    1. I'm unable to actually access anything while on my son's computer. It goes from Updates 0% complete, to Updates 100% complete, to reboot, and back to Updates 0% complete ... and will repeat endlessly while the computer is powered on.

    2 - 4. Can't make a full image on his computer - see #1. (Unless it doesn't require Windows to be running.)

    Still looking for his Windows CD.

    Additional info: when I tried to delete the files while connected to my PC, I wasn't allowed to just change the permissions on the individual files because they inherited permissions from the Windows directory; when I disabled that feature for the files, it took me to a window where I apparently had to delete current ownership, at which point it would rely on permissions granted by the Admin ID (I assumed that it referred to MY Admin account). After I did that, I still could not delete the files - I received the same explanation as in the beginning, that they were either protected or in use.
    Have a cookie -

    Don

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by djmoore View Post
    Can't make a full image on his computer - see #1. (Unless it doesn't require Windows to be running.)
    Don ,
    Hello... If as you said that you can place and access his Hard Drive on your PC you can Image the whole thing without it running (His OS) Once you have Macrium Reflect Installed ( and a Recovery Disk made, and tested) you can Image the HD ...It's built in compression will reduce the size some 40-60% of the actual size .. You (if you have the room on your HD ) can create a folder to store it in ...or place the Image on an "external" drive of your choice ... I have always been able to set myself as "Owner" and then give myself full control ... Windows is very "Picky" about how and the correct sequence of how it's done ....You might be missing a step or two Regards Fred

    PS: There is a Free tool Unlocker that may be of help in deleting things that are "Running" .. Your security might complain at the installation of this software ...Just make sure you don't accept "tool bars" or whatever else comes with it when installing.

    PPS: Have you tried to boot into "Safe Mode " on your sons PC?
    Last edited by Just Plain Fred; 2012-06-02 at 15:38.
    PlainFred

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free (J. W. Von Goethe)

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  9. #7
    3 Star Lounger djmoore's Avatar
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    I'll give that Unlocker tool a try and hopefully that will do the trick. At any rate, I don't know if more details fo the scenario will change the ability to image as you indicated, but his computer is a laptop and mine is a desktop - I'm connecting his hard drive using a Rosewill HDD docking station, so I am actually accessing it via USB - just to clarify things.
    I'll let you know how things go with Unlocker. Thanks!
    Have a cookie -

    Don

  10. #8
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    Don ,
    I just booted up my Vista... If you can get into "Safe Mode"...You could try accessing "Services" and switching off Windows Update Regards Fred
    Attached Images Attached Images
    PlainFred

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free (J. W. Von Goethe)

  11. #9
    3 Star Lounger djmoore's Avatar
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    Fred,

    Safe mode wasn't working either - I could hit F8 until my finger fell off but it would go straight to the update message regardless.

    Unlocker, however, did the trick very nicely. I connected to the hard drive via USB again after installing Unlocker and navigated to the right directory - Unlocker appeared in the context menu for each file and they both deleted quite easily.
    I had a little moment of panic when I started up his laptop for the first time and got the Updates 0% complete message again - buit it was apparently just a leftover from the previous status - after a few seconds it went away, the computer started normally once again - I tried rebooting several times just to make sure - and the problem is now solved.

    Many thanks for your patience!!

    Don
    Have a cookie -

    Don

  12. #10
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    Don,
    What kind of cookie? Regards Fred
    PlainFred

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free (J. W. Von Goethe)

  13. #11
    3 Star Lounger djmoore's Avatar
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    The simple things always seem to elude me - like when I wanted to re-use my old avatar (Cookie Monster) when this new site was brought up, and for the life of me couldn't find how to do it.
    But the default cookie is chocolate chip ... unless you have another preference.

    My only challenge now is to try and recover data from the old hard drive - I started copying things over to myown drive when I started to get cyclic redundancy errors. I figured it must be the old drive (easy assumption given the fact that it wasn't recognized the first time I tried to connect to it, and it obviously has problems to begin with) - so I started to do a defrag using PerfectDisk in order to resolve that issue.
    I started yesterday around noon, and almost a day later (it's Monday, 9:30am now) and the defrag is at 13%, with an estimated completion time of Tuesday night around 8pm.
    If my hinky video card doesn't pink out on me like it does every other time the computer's been on for too long, I still have a day and a half to go before I can even resume copying files. If I do get a reboot in the middle of this defrag, I guess I'll just copy over what I can. I don't want this effort to become a full-time occupation.

    Thanks again for all the help, Fred!!

    P.S. - Found the option, and the picture. Enjoy!
    Last edited by djmoore; 2012-06-04 at 09:58.
    Have a cookie -

    Don

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