* Help * | Win7 PRO Started with Endless Update Loop & Now Just a Blank Screen

NCDad

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Oct 24, 2009
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Hello,

I'm looking for a solution or steps of a solution for a notebook problem. Most likely due to a recent Windows update or updates, my notebook became stuck in windows update looping sequence. Being notified updates were available to install, I powered down the notebook. The next day, I powered up the notebook. Before Windows fully loaded, the screen said it was preparing to install the update(s). The update(s) would supposedly run its course, and then the notebook would shut down. The notebook would power back up and the update process would start again. The "updating" cycle never ended, running continuously.

Windows Recovery disk made from another Win7 machine was not successful when using the System Recovery option. At the command line available from same, I've used all the bootrec.exe commands. Windows still will not load.

As well, I have gone into DISKPART to make the partition active. LIST VOLUME shows Volume 1 with "*"; LTR = C; FS = RAW; Type = Partition; Size = 238GB; Status = Healthy. After rebooting, Windows still will not load.

I've tried a third party boot repair tool called Boot-Repair-Disk. I've run it several times, including the advanced option to repair the Boot MBR. After each recovery run, a URL* is created with output text showing the results of the recovery effort. Here are the URLs that have been noted so far, in the order they ran. Windows still will not load.


    http://paste.ubuntu.com/p/fjZ9mjHxzr/
    http://paste.ubuntu.com/p/ww4XN6spvS/
    http://paste.ubuntu.com/p/kvbJ9w4f95/ (NOTE**: Used MBR repair in Advanced Options)
    http://paste.ubuntu.com/p/wNYfgvxPvc/
    http://paste.ubuntu.com/p/G75fKRRZHK/


*NOTE: From date of creation, these URLs will expire in about 30 days or less.

After all this, the screen is now blank (black) with a "cursor" in the upper left corner of the screen.

[UPDATE 1] FYI. I can access BIOS using F2. I have tried to install WIN 7 PRO on USB thumb drive & screen goes blank (black) with blinking cursor at top left side of screen. I have also tried Windows installation using the optical drive same result occurs.

[UPDATE 2] Meant to mention when in BIOS, I have run the Panasonic Diagnostic Utility tool several times. All hardware components test OK on each run. Not sure how thorough these tests are, but no errors are reported.

[UPDATE 3] Connecting the Toughbook HDD to a Connectland USB SATA docking station, I ran EaseUS Partition Recovery (Free). No deleted or lost partitions found after using either fast or complete scans of the entire drive. Upon connecting the SATA HDD, a window also opened, stating the drive needed to be formatted before it can be used. I surmise at this point, the Toughbook HDD needs to be formatted in order to move forward.

[UPDATE 4] SATA HDD reformatted. Old image installed successfully as a test run. Newer, more current image to arrive soon.

[POST MORTEM] Could there have been anything done differently, recovery speaking, to prevent the HDD from getting to the point that it did? If you made it this far, I thank you for your time.

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System Info
Panasonic Toughbook CF-31 Mark 3
Windows 7 PRO (32-bit) via image
Intel CORE i5 vPro (64-bit)
238 GB HDD
8GB RAM Total Installed (2x4GB | only 4 usable)

++++++++

Any assistance, comments, suggestions, &/or thoughts on this issue are most appreciated.

Thanks!

Regards,

NCDad
 

CrazyDingo

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Hi NCDad,

I'm not a specialist in this area but I do have quite a bit of experience in repairing Windows and Ubuntu installations broken during these kinds of mishaps.

There are detailed methods of recovery that preserve the installation that specialists can advise you on.

In my experience, the fastest, least effort way to get the system running reliably again once things have gone quite a ways south is to do a clean install, recover files from the backups.

Specialists may advise you through detailed processes that preserve the drive / installation and in some cases that may well be the route you would prefer to take.

Good luck.
 

CrazyDingo

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Many notebooks like this have a recovery image stored on a small partition, that, when chosen as a boot option, will allow you to restore the laptop to the factory state. All data / applications will be wiped, but, being a responsible adult, you of course make regular backups and hence this was probably the easiest way to restore the device before trying the Boot-Repair-Disk (which you shouldn't have done).

The Boot-Repair-Disk is for repairing Ubuntu installations and wouldn't be useful for your goals in this setting.

If you have a bootable install media for windows 7 (if that's what you're aiming at) and can set the media that's on (preferably usb) as the boot priority in bios, you should be good to go - you'll probably have to wipe everything out, but no worries, because you make regular backups as you go.

Good luck.
 

NCDad

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Hi CrazyDingo,

Thank you for responding. The custom image on this machine did not have a recovery option. I did check when I was finally able to get to that system location. I also went to the Panasonic website looking for a recovery type file; they did have one. However, upon further review of their documentation, my particular machine model was not listed in the list of models that could use the available recovery zip file available on their website.

Prior to the screen going totally blank with the blinking cursor, I was also able to grab all my important files, signature(s), favorites, & other miscellaneous stuff before it went back into the Windows Update loop upon restart. I am so grateful & happy to have had that small window of opportunity to get the latest off my machine. Being that this now is my fourth Toughbook within about a 10-year span, of which two had HDDs that crashed, I am very sensitive to saving my work as I go, as best I can.

The Boot-Repair-Disk program used said it is able to "...repair any Windows computer that won't boot," and it did not. I will not use it again in the future.

The next step taken was to use the three highly recommended bootrec.exe commands. Those commands failed to work as well. After which, the screen went blank. I have never used them before, so I am not familiar with how they actually work. Can they work separately or do they need to work together and in any particular order? These commands were recommended by others, like you, in different MS Windows forums. Is it possible I did not use them correctly?

For this situation with the Windows Update process never-ending, I am most interested in learning what other steps could have been used instead of the ones I completed. If by using a different trouble resolution approach, could there possibly have been a different outcome other than losing the entire HDD?

Regards,
 

CrazyDingo

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May 1, 2015
156
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4,710
17
Hi NCDad,

I'm not a specialist in this area but I do have quite a bit of experience in repairing Windows and Ubuntu installations broken during these kinds of mishaps.

There are detailed methods of recovery that preserve the installation that specialists can advise you on.

In my experience, the fastest, least effort way to get the system running reliably again once things have gone quite a ways south is to do a clean install, recover files from the backups.

Specialists may advise you through detailed processes that preserve the drive / installation and in some cases that may well be the route you would prefer to take.

Good luck.
 

NCDad

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Oct 24, 2009
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I was hoping there was a not so overly complex "fix" for the Update loop, but I've yet to find one or heard of one from anyone as of yet. I've been searching since Wednesday morning. After I got the blank screen, I was fairly certain at that point a clean install would be needed. Yes, I will agree totally that a clean install is always the easiest way, especially if one has a good set of backup data to move forward with. I'm dreading all those Windows updates that will need to be downloaded again. <sigh>

Thanks again for your responses!
 

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