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#1 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 08:53 AM

My wife's friend Shari called about a Windows 10 problem yesterday. According to her she was informed that an update needed to be installed. However she saw no activity so after a while she shut down her laptop. Now all she had was a blue screen.
When I tried a restart I got as far as the welcome screen and then a blue screen with a cursor. I left the machine running about 5 hours with no result. There seemed to be some disk activity but nothing else. I booted the machine with Linux off a USB stick and everything looked fine. I was able to connect to my network via wifi in both cases.
I have never seen anything like this. At the end of the day I did a system reset, reinstalled Windows and got the desktop back. Of course all her software (browsers, Libre Office, CCleaner, Malware Bytes) was lost  So I need to reinstall all that, get her back on her network and reinstall her printer, log her back into her websites, bookmark them and so on.
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#2 OFFLINE   zlim

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 10:37 AM

And that's why I love images. If I do something stupid like turn the computer off if it appears that it is doing nothing and screw up all the system files, it saves so much time by restoring my newest image than saving hours reinstalling everything.
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#3 OFFLINE   Digerati

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 11:05 AM

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she saw no activity so after a while she shut down her laptop
I've seen this comment way too many times. Just this last weekend, a friend got notice to install the Fall Creators update. After "a while" of no apparent activity, he too shut his computer down. Fortunately, his rebooted where he immediately got notice the update was available. This time he looked into Windows Update History and noticed the same update had failed 5 times.

That's when he called me.

I asked how long did he wait before shutting down. "About 5 minutes." :( I told him to start it up again and go to bed. Watch a movie. Eat dinner. Play Monopoly. Do anything but shut down the computer.

So he let it be for a couple hours and woke the computer to see a screen that said, "reboot your computer to apply updates". After following a couple more instructions and one final reboot, his computer came up with all the updates properly applied and he was good to go.

Lesson of the day? "Patience Grasshopper!"

Heeding the notice, "Installing updates. Do not shut down your computer" helps too. :whistling:

It is not uncommon for Windows to appear to be doing nothing when in actuality, there is a lot of activity going on between the CPU and RAM. I note too many computers and computer cases these days don't have drive activity indicators. I think that is too bad, but that's for another discussion.
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#4 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 11:21 AM

Well I was not around when the update happened, just had to try to pick up the pieces. By the time I got involved all that was there was a blue screen and cursor. Task Manager would not work. Booting in Safe Mode gave no desktop but I did see a Start Button. Clicking on that gave a notice that Windows was not responding, did I want to shut it down?
I left the machine to chug along for 5 hours. Then I felt there was no alternative but a Reset and Reinstall. Things are OK now except I have to reinstall and reconfigure all her software today.
There was no backup or image to reapply.
I do not understand why the most technically incompetent people (Shari or Lillian) manage to get themselves into the worst messes. I have worked with Windows for over 25 years (and DOS before that) and I have never seen anything like this.
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#5 OFFLINE   Digerati

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 11:36 AM

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Well I was not around when the update happened, just had to try to pick up the pieces
Yeah, that's the nature of the game when you are the neighborhood/family "go-to" person for computer problems.

Sadly, by the time we are called into help, too much damage is done and drastic measures (like resets and reinstalls) are all that's left.

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I do not understand why the most technically incompetent people (Shari or Lillian) manage to get themselves into the worst messes.
It is about patience. Folks these days just expect their computers to work like any other "appliance" in the house - whether it be the TV, fridge (if not "smart"), microwave oven, or cell phone. You turn it on and go. Windows is actually getting there, but it does require users simply let their computers go to sleep. That way, most updates (and reboots) can happen in the middle of the night (3:30am by default) instead of next time they power up.

Actually, I blame much of this on the bad guys - with help from the Internet. If so much code (deep seated code at that) and system resources didn't need to be dedicated to security to protect us from the constant onslaught from bad guys, and if computing didn't require our systems be "connected", many of these update problems would never happen.
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#6 OFFLINE   zlim

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 10:44 AM

I also shake my heads at the people who post in desperation when the hard drive dies or Windows won't boot and the hard drive contains the only copy of years of "irreplaceable photos".
I can't figure out why people think it is okay to have just 1 copy of something important. <sigh>
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#7 OFFLINE   Digerati

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 11:37 AM

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I can't figure out why people think it is okay to have just 1 copy of something important. <sigh>
Yet this happens all the time - even in businesses. And the fact is, one backup is not enough. We need multiple backups with at least one being "off-site".

Look at the fires in California, or Hurricane Irma where entire homes (and neighborhoods! :() are reduced to ashes or washed off their foundations and swept out to sea. Not only do these folks lose their computers, but their exterior backup drives (and only backup copy) too.

I had a client whose house was robbed. The bad guy took the computer and the external drive sitting next to the monitor. They also looked in his computer desk drawer and took the index card of the users passwords. :( Note this was after I advised my client that badguys will sit at your desk and search everything at arm's length for just such lists.

"But I live in a safe neightborhood!" :rolleyes:

I am not a fan of "cloud" storage. I don't fear my data will be lost, I just don't trust it will not be stolen or compromised by hackers. So for those irreplaceable photos and other non-sensitive documents, the cloud is great. For other things (tax records, business records, client credit card information, etc.) I recommend keeping a copy at your bank in a safe deposit box.
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#8 OFFLINE   ebrke

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 06:29 PM

View Postraymac46, on 12 December 2017 - 11:21 AM, said:

Task Manager would not work. Booting in Safe Mode gave no desktop but I did see a Start Button.
I had a similar problem in win7, although it wasn't triggered by MS updates. It occurred after running backup software that had been in use for years without problems. User account just loaded a blank screen--no desktop icons, task bar, etc. In desperation, I logged on as Admin and changed the password for the affected user account, hoping that I might get a message with some indication of the problem. For some reason, having the Admin account update the affected user account seemed to clear up the problem--the user account came up normally after reboot when the new password was entered. Very strange.

Edited by ebrke, 13 December 2017 - 06:31 PM.

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#9 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 07:30 PM

I got Shari's PC reinstalled and working again - including her laser printer which is wired into her router. After this I tried a restart and another update began. I told Shari to leave it and 90 minutes later everything was fine.
She has an old Gateway laptop which ran Windows XP so I have installed Lubuntu on it as a backup machine so at least she can get her email in a pinch.
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#10 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 04:03 PM

Just chugged through a Fall Creator's Update on my Win 10 Pro desktop. Went fine and only took about 40 minutes with an SSD on board.
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#11 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 09:56 AM

Something weird is going on with Windows 10. Another neighbor called to say he was stuck in an infinite boot loop - this is a guy who knows better than to shut down in the middle of an update. He didn't appear to have the option of safe mode or restore. So I told him he'd need to reset.
After a nuke and repave he is back booting OK but of course all his apps are gone. I hope he synced his Chrome bookmarks. I'll spend a couple of hours today trying to get him back in business.
I wonder if this has anything to do with the patches for Meltdown and Spectre.
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#12 OFFLINE   Digerati

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 11:22 AM

If it was the patches, it is likely many millions of users would be complaining about the same thing. This is most likely a one-off situation.

The only problem I am aware of with those patches is some users with specific AMD processors ended up with systems that would not boot at all.
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#13 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 11:42 AM

I read about the AMD issue but that is with quite old AMD Athlon type processors. I believe Al has an Intel processor or at the very least one of AMD's Bulldozer APUs.
He has Norton Security as his AV but as far as I can see that has not caused problems with the Microsoft update.
As I am never around when this stuff occurs it is pretty hard to speculate why. If the user is smart enough to tell me what caused the issue it probably would not have happened at all. Problems others run into with Windows don't happen with me.
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#14 OFFLINE   Digerati

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 12:28 PM

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He has Norton Security as his AV but as far as I can see that has not caused problems with the Microsoft update.
As long as Norton is current, it should be okay. Antimalware programs needed updates for the Windows Updates to get installed. Norton was according to this list: https://docs.google....?sle=true#gid=0
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#15 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 08:07 PM

Spent some time this afternoon getting his apps reinstalled, his printer working and of course Norton reinstalled and running. I reinstalled Malware Bytes and did a scan, picking up a bunch of PUPs.
For some reason he was running both McAfee and Norton. I suspect McAfee came with the PC in the first place. Uninstalled it and he can use Norton. Since I had to re-download I am pretty sure he has the latest version.  BTW he does have an Intel processor.
And so it goes. I'll report back if anyone else in the hood borks their Windows 10 installation.
<Edit> Forgot to mention that Al had signed into Chrome and synced his bookmarks so he did not lose anything when we reinstalled the browser.

Edited by raymac46, 14 January 2018 - 08:24 PM.

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#16 OFFLINE   Digerati

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 12:59 PM

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For some reason he was running both McAfee and Norton. I suspect McAfee came with the PC in the first place.
My ISP provides McAfee as part of their service and when setting up connection the first time if you use their methods, if not paying attention, you can end up installing McAfee even if you don't want it. :(

As far as the Intel processor, I note many motherboard makers have released new BIOS update. See Corrine's post here.
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#17 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 07:02 PM

Al and I both have the same ISP (Rogers) and you have to download and install the online protection package if you want to use it. It's based on Bitdefender Internet Security.
His desktop is an Acer and as far as I can see they do have McAfee Live Safe included with their software package.
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#18 OFFLINE   Digerati

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 10:20 AM

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and you have to download and install the online protection package if you want to use it.
I bet that is not true. It is just worded to make it seem you must use their security package. My ISP (Cox) does the same thing with McAfee. They urge users to follow their installation steps because if any problems, their techs can follow their pre-prepared checklists.

They can strongly desire you use their bundled security package but, at least in this country, they can not force you to install 3rd party software you don't want  (unless, maybe, your entire Internet service is totally free).
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#19 OFFLINE   Pete!

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 01:14 PM

My ISP (Cablevision/Optimum) offers an optional co-branded McAfee suite as a no cost extra. You have to download, install, and activate it.

The other big ISP in town (Verizon/FIOS), has the exact same McAfee package (with the Verizon co-brand), at extra cost. My wife has FIOS at her business. I've installed (and uninstalled) both.

It's not going to get installed by mistake, nor by accident.
It doesn't "play nice" with other "real-time" anti-virus products, so making it mandatory would be a bad PR move for the ISP.

Edited by Pete!, 16 January 2018 - 01:16 PM.


#20 OFFLINE   Digerati

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 01:36 PM

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It's not going to get installed by mistake, nor by accident.
If you rent your modem from your ISP, you most likely will get an installation disk to help you set up your connection. This disk is not needed but the "Quick Installation" instructions will say to use it. And if you just follow the default prompts, you most likely will install McAfee.

Now granted, there are a couple "ifs" in there, but most users will not understand they don't need to use the disk.
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#21 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 05:31 PM

By "you have to" I don't mean "you must" but rather "it's necessary to do manually." Rogers doesn't force anyone to use their security package. In fact to get the premium package you have to pay $5 per month.
I didn't use an installation disk to set up my router/gateway even though it is supplied by Rogers.
If you do choose to use the premium package the installer will remove other competing security suites, according to the literature about it.

Edited by raymac46, 16 January 2018 - 05:33 PM.

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#22 OFFLINE   Digerati

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 05:52 PM

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By "you have to" I don't mean "you must" but rather "it's necessary to do manually."
So are you saying for new ISP subscribers, they don't get a disk to help them set up their modem and/or connection? If so that is rare. A good thing! :) But rare. :(

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If you do choose to use the premium package the installer will remove other competing security suites, according to the literature about it.
No way! I can see where installing McAfee will "disable" Windows Defender because Microsoft intentionally designed Windows Defender to step out of the way when you install 3rd party security programs to avoid legal issues.

Other programs are not designed to be disabled. And no way is their package going to "remove" Windows Defender or any other  decent security program. They are purposely designed so they cannot be removed, except by their own uninstall routines.

If any 3rd party security app can remove any other 3rd party security app with such ease, there would be constant turf wars going on and the bad guys would be having a heyday too.

So either the literature is lying or there is some other misunderstanding going.
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#23 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 10:06 PM

You are right.  I was reading the paragraph incorrectly.
You must remove the other antivirus software yourself as a condition of using Rogers software for security.

You must install Rogers Online Protection Premium using Rogers Hi-Speed Internet.
Your PC must meet these minimum requirements:
  • Microsoft Windows XP SP3 (32-bit)
  • Microsoft Windows Vista SP2 (32 and 64-bit)
  • Microsoft Windows 7 SP1 (32 and 64-bit)
  • Microsoft Windows 8 (32 and 64-bit)
  • Microsoft Windows 10 (32 and 64-bit)
  • 1 GHz processor or higher
  • 1 GB of RAM (1.5 GB for Windows Vista, 7 and 8)
  • 1.8 GB of free hard disk space
  • Removal of other antivirus software
I got no disk to set up the router. Rogers gives online instructions how to access the router (192.168.0.1) and how to set the wifi password.

Edited by raymac46, 16 January 2018 - 10:09 PM.

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#24 OFFLINE   Digerati

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 10:14 PM

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You must install Rogers Online Protection Premium using Rogers Hi-Speed Internet.
Yeah, that is a little ambiguous. It does not really say you have to use Rogers online protection as a condition of using their Internet access. It just says to me if you want to use Rogers Online Protection, you must be a Rogers Hi-Speed Internet subscriber. And that makes sense.
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#25 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 10:29 PM

I am not a big fan of Rogers but I think they do offer an effective antivirus solution in good faith. I know a couple of folks who use it and they seem to be OK.
Personally I prefer to choose my own security suite and I have not been pressured to use Rogers' product. Sometimes they offer it as a freebie in certain Intermet/TV packages but I just decline and they don't insist.
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