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  1. #1
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    Inescapable Update Loop

    I'm in an interesting and frustrating situation. I have a Lenovo Ideapad U400 I had upgraded it experimentally to Windows 10, knowing it wasn't completely compatible.This isn't a critical machine, and I didn't make a backup (there was essentially nothing on it but the OS and a few easily-reinstallable applications). When Win10 didn't work well, I tried to roll back to the previous Windows 8.1 install, but the rollback failed -- the GUI never started, though I was able to boot to safe mode with a command window. There was enough of an OS there to install a WIndows 7 upgrade, and from there a Windows 8 upgrade.

    Somewhere in this I lost the ability to get to the BIOS or multiboot setups, so hitting F2, F8 and F12 during boot do nothing. I believe this is because somehow "Fast boot" got turned on, and all my setup attempts have been done by running "setup" from the respective DVD.

    My real problem is in trying to upgrade from 8 to 8.1. I can't download the upgrade from the Windows store because Win8 needs to complete updates. But after installing 200 updates, Windows says there was a failure configuring the updates and it reverts everything back. When the rollback finishes, it starts trying to configure the updates again. fails, retries... each of these cycles takes hours and hours.

    I cannot seem to break the loop. Since I cannot choose to boot from DVD or USB, it seems to be impossible to get a clean boot from external media of any sort. Does anyone have any advice or a keyboard combo I've missed in the last 21 years of working with Windows for getting out of this Groundhog Day situation?

  2. #2
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    Hold down Shift when you click "Restart". You will now get options to boot from other media / change the BIOS settings.

    cheers, Paul

  3. #3
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    To restore your F2 and other keys functions, open a Command Prompt (Admin) and enter -

    bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy legacy

    exit

    This article will show you how to change the update settings so that you decide when they are installed so that you can deselect them.

    http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/how-to/wi...cally-3424920/

    Back at the Cmd Prompt (Admin) enter

    dism /online /cleanup-image /checkhealth

    and if that says the volume is repairable then enter -

    dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth

    This can appear to hang at 20% but will complete.

    Follow that with sfc /scannow to see if it reports any corruption.

    If you have the update loop under control, you can also run this MS Windows Update troubleshooter, but Windows diagnostics can only be run in normal mode.

    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/...-update-issues

    To upgrade to Win 8.1 this article may help with pre-requisites -

    https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/kb/2919355

  4. #4
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    Thanks both, very useful information. I'll check it out when I get home this evening. I hope I can get the machine back on track this weekend!

  5. #5
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    Is your attempt bring a success? I used the same procedure as Sudo15 recommend on my Win 8 netbook, and failed completely. (Mine laptop was dell inspiron 11".)

  6. #6
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    What are you attempting to do on the netbook?

    cheers, Paul

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrgeek.1974 View Post
    Is your attempt bring a success? I used the same procedure as Sudo15 recommend on my Win 8 netbook, and failed completely. (Mine laptop was dell inspiron 11".)
    Not at all. It wasn't the fault of anyone here, but the problem actually got worse. The laptop may as well be bricked now... it won't accept any keyboard input during the boot process, so I cannot get into the BIOS or use an alternate boot method, such as USB or optical drive, and when it attempts start Windows it goes into a frowny-emoticon screen. I can't do anything more than shut down and start the cycle over again. I've never seen a system so badly hosed. I my try yanking the hard drive out and see if I can force it to see an alternate boot device, but I'm not even sure if I can do that with this machine, or how much more time I want to waste on it.

  8. #8
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    I suppose the machine has been shut down long enough that a cold boot would be futile.

  9. #9
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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Sudo15 View Post
    I suppose the machine has been shut down long enough that a cold boot would be futile.
    Was that for me, Sudo15? The machine has been off for a couple weeks at least. I don't understand what the amount of time it's been powered off has to do with a cold boot. And don't I need to be able to get to a command prompt to enter the proper shutdown command?

    Of course, if you weren't talking to me, I'll just slink into the corner and pretend I wasn't here...

  10. #10
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    Yes it was aimed at you.

    A cold boot drains the memory just as it would if left off for a while.

    You could power shutdown and remove all power sources then hold the power button in for about 30 secs.

    If you feel up to stripping it down you could check the keyboard connectors but you should be able to boot up with a SeaTools for DOS disk as that doesn't need any user interaction, although it won't get you into your OS but will give an initial report on the status of your HDD.

    I already have my machines set to check the DVD and USB drives before HDD but when booting up with that disk, you aren't prompted to press any key to boot from CD/DVD, so I assume it will do it itself.

    http://www.seagate.com/gb/en/support...oads/seatools/

  11. #11
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    Thanks! I'd never heard of SeaTools before. The machine is worth saving, I think, if only to have an emergency machine available. We have more than enough dead laptops around the place than we need right now.

    I, too, keep my machines set to boot from USB/DVD first...most of the time. Obviously, this one, which I had just "inherited," hadn't gotten that treatment yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sudo15 View Post
    Yes it was aimed at you.

    A cold boot drains the memory just as it would if left off for a while.

    You could power shutdown and remove all power sources then hold the power button in for about 30 secs.

    If you feel up to stripping it down you could check the keyboard connectors but you should be able to boot up with a SeaTools for DOS disk as that doesn't need any user interaction, although it won't get you into your OS but will give an initial report on the status of your HDD.

    I already have my machines set to check the DVD and USB drives before HDD but when booting up with that disk, you aren't prompted to press any key to boot from CD/DVD, so I assume it will do it itself.

    http://www.seagate.com/gb/en/support...oads/seatools/

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