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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Computer made unbootable while troubleshooting AU installation failure

    This happened on a 2008 vintage Dell Inspiron 1720 which originally was running Vista, upgraded to Windows 7 several years ago, then upgraded to Windows 10 Home 32-bit in July with the free upgrade. All was well until I started trying to install the Windows 10 AU. The system never offered me AU, so I downloaded it manually going though the "looking for the latest updates?" link.

    The update was successfully downloaded and validated, but the installation would get to a certain point, sometimes as high as 99% complete, and hang. A forced shutdown would be necessary, but then the computer would successfully reboot but with AU not installed. I tried this several times, trying to troubleshoot the problem. Running the update with Task Manager running, I would see disk activity at 100% when the hang occurred. BTW, at the start of the update process, the system reported it had adequate RAM, hard drive space, and CPU for the update. This system has 4GB of RAM.

    The last time I tried running the update I also had the Resource Monitor running. It got to about 77% and then gave me a blue screen. It said to look for a problem with memory management. Once again, the system rebooted with no problem but AU was not installed. I typed memory into settings, and it showed the link to "diagnose your computer's memory problems". This took me to "Restart now and check for problems (recommended)". I clicked on that and the system did restart and go into the memory checking routine, which runs before Windows has started. The check took about 30 minutes, but reached 100% with no problems reported, then began actually starting Windows. It got to where the screen was showing the Windows logo with the spinning progress indicator below but would go no further. The hard drive activity light stopped flashing, but the progress indicator continued to spin. I left it running overnight, but after over 10 hours the situation was the same. I did a forced shutdown and tried rebooting again, but with the same result.

    The fact that running the memory diagnostic damaged the Windows installation so it would no longer boot is very troubling. Can I ever trust that routine to run properly on any Windows 10 system? To me, this is infinitely worse than having the update fail to install as long as the system would still start.

    I called Microsoft's support number. They set up an appointment for me to take the system to a nearby Microsoft store. They told me the system would be restored and the AU installed for no charge. What happened was that they were NOT able to restore the system, but instead did a fresh Windows 10 install in a different partition. My data was preserved, but I had to re-install programs, a huge nuisance. The Microsoft technician told me they were seeing this problem frequently on systems that had been upgraded repeatedly.

    Now, when I start the computer, it finds two Windows 10 installations and asks me which one I want it to start. The working new installation is the default, but I would like it to stop asking me this. In File Explorer, I can see that each partition has a Windows directory and a Windows.old directory. I know which partition has the defective Windows installation. Can I safely rename the Windows directory in that partition to Windows.bad or something else to stop the boot manager from asking me which system to boot? I'm reluctant to experiment for fear of possibly corrupting the boot manager, resulting in a system that will not start.

    John

  2. #2
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Now, when I start the computer, it finds two Windows 10 installations and asks me which one I want it to start. The working new installation is the default, but I would like it to stop asking me this.
    Right Click on the Start icon and click on run
    Type msconfig and hit enter
    Click on the boot tab
    Click on the boot entry you want to remove and click on the delete button

    Jerry

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to jwitalka For This Useful Post:

    johnb3030 (2016-09-11)

  4. #3
    WS Lounge VIP Browni's Avatar
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    Run 'msconfig' from a command prompt and delete the extra Windows option from the boot tab.

    eta Jerry beat me

  5. #4
    New Lounger
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    Thanks to both of you for the msconfig suggestion. That problem is resolved!

    I'm still troubled by the fact that running the Windows 10 memory diagnostic tool damaged the OS so that it would no longer boot. Any thoughts on that?

    John

  6. #5
    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    Use
    http://www.memtest.org/
    or
    http://www.memtest86.com/index.html

    instead, they boot off of CD or flash so will not need to fiddle with Windows. and are considered more telling a test...

    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  7. #6
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    Only run MemTest86+ on one stick at a time though.

    When you remove the other stick(s) and run the memtest, you could find that you auto ID the faulty one.

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