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  1. #1
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    Major crash: Windows fails to start error

    It all started when the computer didn't. I hit the restart button when the black screen persisted and got the white-on-black "Windows failed to start - troubleshoot" The troubleshooter asked permission for a restore but didn't do one. After successful boot, Firefox wouldn't start. Had to replace Firefox AND build a new profile.

    My wife worked on her Spanish homework using Word's Spanish language function but the file could not be saved because of a reported problem with "Normal." Renamed Normal and restarted, didn't help. Cut-to-chase. I tried to repair word from the source disk and eventually removed office entirely, rebooted, and reinstalled office 2003.

    Problems persist. Files will not open in word - "Locked for edit by another user." Looked at error, it says, "Check permission / low on memory? / use text recovery." "Hello, world" file will not save in word, "Cannot save file due permission error."

    Excel "Cannot access file due permission error." Will not save a file due "not enough memory or disk space." 1.1 of 4 gigs ram being used, nearly half a T of free disk.

    I did find that all of the files in my wife's user space were marked read-only and I reset this bit. At this point, I don't know what else to try.

    Win 7 home 64 bit 4G ram
    Dan Lynch
    The stonecherub

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  3. #2
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    It occurs to me that this may not be so much an office 2003 problem as it is a windows 7 problem.
    Dan Lynch
    The stonecherub

  4. #3
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    It seems, indeed, a Windows 7 problem. To solve those permission errors, you could try using TakeOwnership in your documents folder. Not sure if it will solve all your issues, though.

  5. #4
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    Thanks, ruirib, this does not work. I checked permissions on the Spanish homework folder and find 5 entities. SYSTEM, Elaine as user and as admin, and two "account unknown." One of the latter has limited permissions. I am wondeering if I can delete the known unknowns.

    I am wondering, at this point, if it will take more of my time to troubleshoot this problem than to do a gut and rehab by reinstalling the OS. Elaine uses word, excel, poster, faststone, and firefox. The rest is overhead.
    Dan Lynch
    The stonecherub

  6. #5
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    If you are considering a reinstall, allow me to suggest a repair install, instead. It may be slower, but it will keep all your programs and documents, while refreshing Windows. If it goes well, and it should go (I have done it myself), you will have less issues configuring windows afterwards.

  7. #6
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    OK, that's what I'm going to do, her's and mine. I have lost EFS (which I don't need but one of my tools does).
    Dan Lynch
    The stonecherub

  8. #7
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    Ok, please let us know how it goes.

  9. #8
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    When they say this will take several hours, it does. The problems I was experiencing on both machines are gone, replaced with new ones. The lesson here seems to be, "Get a MAC!"

    On my wife's machine, update is badly broken and there is no help from Microsoft. They advertize a "fixit" which needed a dot.net component that, once downloaded, was found to be already installed. Fixit attempts always revert to needing that dot.net component. The regular troubleshooter is a bullshooter.

    It shows 77 updates and every attempt to install them (firewall and av off) always results in a rollback. I even tried downloading some of them, stopping the download and trying install those few and they rolled back. I need help with that one.

    On my pro machine, the reinstall and updates went smoothly but things did break. My mouse is an Evoluent vertical mouse (love the mouse, hate the company). The driver failed half way - the mouse drove the cursor OK but ignored the clicks - took me a while to figure that one out. I use Powerdesk 8 for a file manager, have since version 2. It's on its third or fourth owner (Avanquest) and the license is so fragile, I consider myself lucky when it works at all. It's down until they get me a new license.

    I'm more than half serious about the MAC thing. Microsoft seems to have a death wish department. The writer James Fallows was an enthusiastic windows user until Vista, he got a MAC. I think windows 8 is going to be a disaster, I'm afraid to try it and I'm fearless.
    Dan Lynch
    The stonecherub

  10. #9
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    Sorry about that. I can only state that my experience was much better than yours, as my problems were all solved.

    Do you get a specific error code for the updates?

  11. #10
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    Ran it again to get the steps down. Clicked "Install updates" and that took over an hour. At the end, a messagebox said "Some not installed (4)" Code 643. "Get help on this" went to the same old bullshooter that gave me nothing before.

    Click "restart now" went to blue screen of "configuring" and a restart. That went to a blue screen of Preparing for configuration" and that to "Update failure, reverting." Round and round.

    Is there some bit in the Registry I could set to off that would make it forget the previous update tries? I think it's stuck in a loop. I am.
    Dan Lynch
    The stonecherub

  12. #11
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    All security apps are disabled, even on reboot?

  13. #12
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    That is correct. I run Vipre and the only function not disabled is scan.
    Dan Lynch
    The stonecherub

  14. #13
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    Vipre never really gave me similar issues, when I used it.

    If you visit Windows Update and choose View Update History, what errors are shown, if any?

  15. #14
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    I just looked again at update history and it is remarkably unenlightening. It just says "failed" in the second column, no reason given. I just ran a test by stopping the download after the first one, two got downloaded. The re-start worked and the list of available files went down by 2. Clearly, it is choking on one file, maybe a few files.

    I think I'll download them ten at a time 'till it chokes. Either that or do a clean re-install.
    Dan Lynch
    The stonecherub

  16. #15
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    I tried the next 8 - fail. I tried all but windows explorer 8 and dot.net, fail again. Maybe if I go backward from the latest ...
    Dan Lynch
    The stonecherub

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