Question Laptop Works with Linux But Not Windows


May 8, 2017
Hey, guys. I have encountered a situation with my laptop that I do not understand at all, and while it's not too important to me that I resolve this issue, I was just wondering if anyone has ever seen anything like this or could explain what's going on to me.

Unfortunately, this situation has a lengthy back story, but I'll try to keep it brief. In 2016 I bought an HP Pavilion 17" laptop. It has 8 GB of RAM and a 1.8 GHz AMD processor with built in Radeon graphics running Windows 10. I couldn't tell you the model number or anything like that. Anyways, after about 4 months of general school use and some moderate gaming (Skyrim, pretty much, on low settings), the laptop just completely crapped out. I restarted for updates and encountered an endless bootloop. It would attempt to start, get an NTFS File System Error blue screen, and then reboot into recovery mode. Recovery mode would then throw an FAT32 File System Error bluescreen, and attempt to reboot. So back and forth, the laptop would attempt to boot in normal mode and then recovery mode. I realized that the drive was bad, so I managed to extract it, pull the data, and then put it back in the laptop (like I had never taken it out) so that I could send it off to HP as I was still within warranty. By this point, the drive was completely dead. So, HP replaced the drive and when I got it back, all seemed well.

That is, all seemed well for like, one day. Pretty much the day after I got the laptop back and was using it at school, I got a Disk error notification in Windows. I can't remember exactly what happened next, I think the computer eventually wouldn't boot into Windows and would just go to the Recovery screen that says the system needs to be repaired, but I eventually sent it back into HP so they could take another look. When I got it back, it turned out that all they had done was reinstalled Windows; at least, that's all it said on the paper. I was pretty disappointed, but the laptop seemed to work fine for about a week. Then I started running into issues where the laptop would run incredibly slow, and the disk usage would show 100% in task manager despite the fact that there was no way the disk was under that much load. I tried all the fixes online: disabling pagefile, spotlight search, antivirus, superfetch, everything, but nothing worked. I even tried to reinstall Windows a few times, which would fix it for like, a day, but then it would just slow right back down. So, I put the laptop away and forgot about it and built myself a desktop PC instead.
Recently, I took it out to work on it again, and it was still the same as when I left it, incredibly slow with 100% disk usage. So, I took the laptop apart and started messing with things. I tried booting on each RAM stick individually, and both seemed to be working fine. I tried all the BIOS diagnostic tests, and all of them came back fine (although even the BIOS ran remarkably slow, which I've never seen before). At some point, I got stuck while booting into Windows and shut down, which I think corrupted Windows, because upon restarting I got the Recovery screen. So, the last thing I did was swap out the 1 TB HDD with a 500 GB SSD. I created a Windows 10 installation USB and was going to reinstall Windows onto the new SSD, but when I plugged in the USB and booted (yes, the boot order was correct, it was booting from the USB, and once I even chose to boot from the USB manually, just in case), the computer would go to the HP loading screen, think a little, and then reboot. Over and over again. I had pretty much had it at this point, so as a last-ditch effort, I made an Ubuntu disk and stuck that in. And, I couldn't believe it, but it worked flawlessly! Ubuntu installed fine, and the computer runs just as quickly as I would expect it to. No problems at all. Then, out of curiosity, I tried creating another Windows 10 USB boot drive using Rufus instead of Microsoft's Media Creation tool, and I got the same result where I would get to the HP loading screen, and then the system would crash and reboot!

So, to sum up, I have no idea why the computer works fine with Linux, but won't touch Windows with a 10 foot pole anymore. If anyone has any idea what's going on, I'd be happy to read. At many points during this, I just thought the motherboard was shot and I've have to get a new laptop, but now I don't know what to think. Any input or suggestions would be appreciated (because I would prefer Windows if I can help it). Thanks, guys!