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Windows Bug

Broken Windows 10 Update Causes Reboot Loops For Some Users 203

An anonymous reader writes: The Guardian reports that some early adopters of Windows 10 are finding their computers stuck in a reboot loop after installing a particular update. KB3081424 is a cumulative update, packaging together a group of smaller ones for ease of installation. For some users, the update continually fails to finish installing before issuing a reboot command to the PC. "It downloads, reboot to install. Gets to 30% and reboots. Gets to 59% and reboots. Gets to 59% again and then states something went wrong so uninstalling the update. Wait a few minutes and reboot. Back to login screen," said Microsoft forum user BrettDM. "This happens without fail, every single time."
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Broken Windows 10 Update Causes Reboot Loops For Some Users

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 12, 2015 @10:31AM (#50300885)

    What reboo..........

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Is that it reboots all the time, and you can't stop it, only delay it (and if you're not on your computer 24/7, eventually you'll miss the delay prompt and it will just reboot). I'm obsessive with saving (if there's one thing Windows has taught me, it's to hit control+s after every sentence in a document or email) so I haven't lost work, but countless coworkers have. Yet, they still always have excuses when I offer to install Linux on their computers.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Yet, they still always have excuses when I offer to install Linux on their computers.

        Could it be because Linux has even more weird breakage.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Some of the reasons are valid, like one of my coworkers who I know writes music and needs specific music software only for windows (maybe Mac too). But most cases, it's bogus reasoning like the kind Microsoft spreads, laziness, being afraid of something new, outdated fears that Linux requires the command line, etc. I've never heard them mention anything about Linux breakage, but maybe that's because they won't even say that when their excuse is something stupid like "Linux is free? It can't be good."

          • by Anonymous Coward

            I would love to have this wonderful experience of Linux desktop computing I read about on the internet. Trouble is it doesn't matter how often I go back to it or what distribution I try I always find it to be impossibly buggy. Google how to fix these problems and you're soon into the bowels of the system messing around with incomprehensible configuration files. I do often wonder if I'm just the unluckiest person ever to try Linux or Linux users are in denial about the problems with their operating systems.

  • I have 10 Pro on my own work laptop, personal desktop, and set it up on two systems over the week after and installed this patch no issue. Small data set, but no problems for me. Two were upgrades, two were fresh installs.
    • by jones_supa ( 887896 ) on Wednesday August 12, 2015 @10:50AM (#50301035)
      The headline clearly says that the problem only affects some users.
      • Yea.....? So? Just putting my 2 and reporting my own findings. Not disputing that it causes issues....
    • by Macthorpe ( 960048 ) on Wednesday August 12, 2015 @11:18AM (#50301275) Journal

      It's probably because they fixed it between the Guardian reporting it and Slashdot finally getting around to posting about it. []

    • by emil ( 695 )

      This is hardly the first time such phenomena has occurred.

      KB3033929 would kindly patch, fail, backout, and repeat for any users arrogant enough to overwrite the bootloader for multiple operating systems.

      I disabled automatic update, which is a luxury that I would have to forego on the dark day that I upgrade to Windows 10.

      That day will be a long time coming.

      • There was a similar update a few years back when I worked at a repair workshop, it touched the bootloader somehow to the extend that those who had infected MBR's from Viruses would not boot. Kind of a blessing in disguise though, it stopped infected systems from spewing out more crap.
  • by Falconnan ( 4073277 ) on Wednesday August 12, 2015 @10:37AM (#50300919)
    No update cycle is perfect. Problems happen. But being unable to refuse an update, or roll it back, etc., is a recipe for problems galore. The wise thing for Microsoft would be to establish four basic categories of update: Security, Important, Optional, and Driver. Security updates being mandatory makes sense given the general user's overall lack of understanding. Important could be major bug fixes, feature repair, that kind of thing. Drivers should be given a warning label and made completely optional and non-automatic. Optional is optional. "We want a unified support environment" does not help the end user who cannot do his/her homework.
    • No update cycle is perfect. Problems happen. But being unable to refuse an update, or roll it back, etc., is a recipe for problems galore.

      You can do all of those things [], although the means are extremely non-obvious.

      • by Falconnan ( 4073277 ) on Wednesday August 12, 2015 @10:47AM (#50301009)
        True, but that "non-obvious" part is the problem. It should be obvious, clearly labelled, and functional. The fact I can edit the registry and not nuke a computer is great. My father or uncle on the other hand... Just lots of "no". Though, really, I suppose I should thank Microsoft for the job security.
        • Actually they disabled the registry tweak in RTM, but you can either disable the service or use the group policy editor to restore the option to prompt you before updates, and the tool which hides driver updates can actually be used to hide any windows update.

          I think it's a bit shameful that you have to do anything but click a couple of times to make the system prompt you before installing updates. I want to review them every time, and that should be the default. People should be encouraged to actually read

          • by Culture20 ( 968837 ) on Wednesday August 12, 2015 @11:59AM (#50301671)
            Reading the patch summaries would be nice if most of them weren't a minor variation of "Fixes an issue with Windows on some computers". That's a pretty useless summary.
            • by wbo ( 1172247 )
              The summary is just that - a summary. If you want details, look up the knowledge base article referenced in the update which often has far more information.

              There are still some updates where the knowledge base article doesn't have very much detail but for many updates it will give a nice overview of what actually changed and why.
            • This is one of the things that tightens my jaws on software updates in general - I'm sick and tired of seeing that a new version of an app is available, and the sole contents of what the update changes is "bug fixes."

              May as well not have written anything at all.

            • It's almost useless. The summary tells you whether it's a bug fix, new feature, etc. It doesn't tell you anything about it, so that function would be better served by a column in the list view, but it's not actually useless information.

    • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday August 12, 2015 @10:46AM (#50300995) Homepage

      This is more about making life easier for Microsoft than it is about giving a damn about users.

      When I forcibly uninstalled the update to Windows 8.1 which started pushing Windows 10 at me, one of the things it said it was doing was adding a piece to monitor and evaluate how well system updates are going. Basically gather metrics on how bad they're doing.

      Microsoft has decided that it's their computer, that if they feel an update needs to be applied they will, and that if it breaks for some users that's an unfortunate side effect of having your customers doing your beta testing ... but thanks for doing our beta testing.

      The trend with computers and electronic devices is for the license to say "you don't own this, and you don't get a say in what we do to it". And people are going to start pushing back when they suddenly find themselves with a broken computer because Microsoft forced an update on them.

      Microsoft isn't going to pay to fix it, they're not going to pay for the loss of productivity. They're simply going to say "bummer", and keep doing it.

      Which if you or I did that we'd be charged criminally under the computer fraud and abuse act or something similar.

      But they have an EULA which says they're allowed to.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Exactly this. I never install an update the day it comes out because of these issues. It's better to wait it out a bit, let the bugs to the patch that was supposed to fix other bugs, get patched. Now people don't have that option and well... expect some very angry customers and business owners to reach out to you in disgust. GREAT way to build trust with your user base! WOOHOO!

    • Give it time, give it a few thousands of users going berserk over them not being able to use their computers sensibly and MS will change that.

      Why do you think I haven't installed Win10 yet? It takes time for a corporation to find out that their latest way to screw over the users gets them angry and they backpedal. Give it time. Then you'll most likely get a very usable system once the bad and the ugly that they wanted to screw us over with had to be removed.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      "The wise thing for Microsoft would be to establish four basic categories of update: Security, Important, Optional, and Driver. "

      Why the hell would that make a difference? Microsoft marks things as Important based on whether they WANT you to have it, not so much on whether it's actually important that you have it. You know, like their update for adding nagware to upgrade to Windows 10.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Win8 did exactly this, broke all systems that had GRUB installed.

    • Makes me think what they should have done is to use the current system where updates cannot be turned off but any user can specify updates to decline. Then perhaps allow them to delay all updates for 1-7 days so they have time to figure out if an update should be declined. This could help avoid machines that haven't been updated for years.
  • BIOS Update (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Had this happen when installing. Probably the same issue - Turned out I had to update the BIOS so that the Intel CPU was trusted. Now everything is smoove.

    • You sure you're not talking about TPM being updated with the BIOS update package?? I've never heard of a trusted CPU updates, and usually the OS takes over the microcode after it boots.

  • by Errorcod3 ( 2862889 ) on Wednesday August 12, 2015 @10:40AM (#50300941)
    I had just installed an update for windows 7 on Sunday that did not work and my computer kept restarting, finally had to do a recovery to get the machine back working again.
    I have had an unusual amount of issues with windows updates this year.
    • There have been any number of problems on Windows 7 in the last couple of months. In particular, KB3035583 (the update that pushes out the "upgrade to Windows 10" button and background-installer) has been causing a lot of issues for some users. In some cases, it's leading to Windows Update and the associated services going crazy in terms of CPU load and HDD access for 30+ minutes after booting. In other cases, it's even being linked to corrupted system files.

      That's the most serious one I'm aware of at the moment, but there have been a good number of other horrors since the start of 2015, inflicting anything from infinite-reboot-loops to corrupted video playback on users unlucky enough to have the wrong hardware/software combinations.

      MS's update testing seems to have gone to hell lately. In many respects, I am quite tempted by the free update to Win 10 Pro I'm eligible for, but the mandatory updates thing (even if Pro lets you defer them for a while) is putting me off. The fact that they stagger how long you can put off the upgrade based on whether you are Enterprise, Pro, Home or "amnesty" (the less favoured you are, the shorter the time you can delay updates) seems a pretty clear indication that MS now sees its customers as beta testers.

      • Interesting, that is the same KB # of the one which was applied to Windows 8.1 to do the same thing. I figured they'd be different.

        Basically from reading the description before I uninstalled it, it was replacing much of the update system to include metrics, and all sorts of stuff which was basically only there to push people to Windows 10 and measure how we'll they're doing.

        Essentially Microsoft has swapped out huge parts of the core OS expressly for their own benefit.

        I'm on a machine which is only a few m

      • MS's update testing seems to have gone to hell lately. In many respects, I am quite tempted by the free update to Win 10 Pro I'm eligible for, but the mandatory updates thing (even if Pro lets you defer them for a while) is putting me off.

        You can use gpedit.msc to restore the option to verify before installing updates. And you can hide individual updates indefinitely with a tool they brought out to hide the nvidia driver update.

        • You can use gpedit.msc to restore the option to verify before installing updates.

          Do the Home versions of Windows10 come with GPEdit.msc? I know that - starting with Windows Vista - the Group Policy Editor (GPEdit.msc) was a feature reserved for the "enterprise" editions only (Pro, Ultimate) and was not included in the Home or Starter editions of the OS. Nominally this was acceptable because Home users have no use for domain-level tools such as a group policy, but unfortunately many Windows features can onl

      • by antdude ( 79039 )

        Did MS let go a bunch of QA people like last year? :(

    • by Dins ( 2538550 )

      Yes - I experienced a very similar issue. I chose to upgrade my laptop (which I don't use much) first as a sort of test bed to see how I was going to like it before unleashing it on my desktop/gaming machine. The install hung, then said it needed to revert to Win7 which it did. So I tried again, and it sort of hung in the same spot. Then it kept rebooting and hanging at various percentages of completion. Then it got to 40% (in the big percent cirlce) and hung there. I went to bed, got up in the mornin

  • What reboot loop? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Macthorpe ( 960048 ) on Wednesday August 12, 2015 @10:40AM (#50300947) Journal

    This happened yesterday and was fixed within 24 hours. Good work, Slashdot.

    • Its not a reboot loop if it recovers. It recovers. It reboots a lot, but it isn't a loop.

      From what I've experienced, Win10 has issues with people who have migrated from a standard HD to an SSD using a migration tool. Since this has been fairly common over the last couple years, I suspect that this is the bulk of the "reboot loop" you're seeing. The problem IMHO are the people who have seen the reboot, haven't researched the causes, and are left scratching their heads.

      The trick for MS is to quickly identify

    • []

      The problem was reported Aug 5, and it's gotten worse as on even date, with another patch creating more problems succeeding it.

      Where did you get your 'fixed in 24 hours' story from, bro?

  • It fixes itself? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BenJeremy ( 181303 ) on Wednesday August 12, 2015 @10:40AM (#50300951)

    Ideally not a true fix, but a workaround, at least.

    At least it doesn't render the users' computers inoperable.

    I got the update just fine... but the Start Menu Item limitation (512 menu items max) is still not fixed with this update.

    Also, the Store and "Movies & TV" windows keep popping up randomly (I believe when I watch something with media player). Very annoying.

    One more thing... why the heck is the titlebar/menu coloring a hot mess? All white? There is a theme out there called "colors" that kinda-sorta fixes the issue, but it won't stick the accent color I assigned. At least it makes the desktop less visually messy. It seems that every iteration of Windows has given users fewer and fewer options to change colors and details of the user interface... while making the supplied themes progressively worse. I should be able to make Windows 10 look like XP, if I want to (I don't want to, really).

    For the most part, Windows 10 is fine... but annoying leftovers from Windows 8 and this interminable menu limitation is driving me nuts.

    • The first thing I do on sitting down in front of a clean Windows install is to make it look as much like Win2k as possible.

      Always was my favourite version in terms of UI, though I fully accept that I might just be odd and/or broken.

      • by aaron4801 ( 3007881 ) on Wednesday August 12, 2015 @11:41AM (#50301485)
        I do the same thing. People at work ask me all the time where I got a copy of Win2K. This is a business machine, I don't need a neon-colored taskbar, a bunch of slow/pointless animations or unnecessarily massive UI elements (window borders, scrollbars, etc). The last 10-15 years have seen a huge jump in display technologies, but MS seems to be tailoring every new version of Windows to smaller screens with worse resolutions. I've got dual 32" displays; I don't need the same UI as somebody using their fat fingers on a 10" tablet.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I agree with you completely. I hung on to 2000 for as long as I could. I have grudgingly updated to XP and Win7 as necessary. Nothing specifically wrong with XP or 7 to make me resistant to upgrading to them... But there was nothing wrong with 2000 that made me interested in upgrading away from it. The UI was clean, familiar, and non-obtrusive. Every single version of Windows since it has struck me as a step backwards in terms of usability.

        Really the thing that needs to happen is that Microsoft needs to

  • Well, after all this is closed source software with strong financial backing and lots of paying customers, so things like this are usually quickly addressed.
  • So far my sacrificial W10 computer haas woked very well. But this reboot loop is just the thing I've been waiting for and wondering about.

    Looks like the same old Microsoft, except now they are bitching up people's computers without the owner having options other than BOHICA.

    It's a pity, because so far I really like the OS and it's operations except for the privacy issues.

    Oh, I see my sacrificial computer has an update, so let's see.......

    .......Well, it rebooted just fine.

    In my circle, there ar

  • Reboot into Mac OSX \s ("had to do it", said the scorpion, riding the turtle across the creek.)

  • But to be fair, I have experienced update loops in Windows 7 in the past, too :(

  • by Anonymous Coward

    SOME Linux users can't their wifi to work.
    SOME Linux users can't print after upgrading..

    Yawn.. there are a million threads just on from people facing problems with Linux.

  • by Prototerm ( 762512 ) on Wednesday August 12, 2015 @11:12AM (#50301229)

    I disable the Windows Update service until about a week or so after the release of a major update. Then, as long as I haven't seen any reports of people complaining about their machines breaking, I turn the service back on, get the update, and turn it back off again. It's a PITA, but it's better than the alternative.

    Oh, I also changed the default setting in Windows 10 to create a restore point automatically prior to applying an update. Windows 10 has that turned off for some reason.

  • One of the most irksome aspects of Windows has always been the failed Windows Update. At first it's one update out of a hundred. As your Windows installation ages, it will happen with steadily increasing frequency until every bootup greets you with a half hour of "Please with while Windows is being configured," which is immediately followed by another half hour of painstaking unraveling of the same set of failed updates that failed on the previous boot.

    This is generally when I get called in to replace the c

    • If Microsoft would finally release the -long overdue- SP3 for Windows 7, we wouldn't have half the problems with Windows Updates. In the meantime, performing a Disk Cleanup to prune the old Windows Updates from the WinSxS folder does help. If you've never done it before, it can take a while the first time around.

    • Typo: "Please wait while Windows is being configured"

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Also affects cumulative hotfix KB-3081436 as well.

    Appears to be caused by invalid/orphaned SIDs in registry that need to be pruned.

    More info here:

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Last time I tried to do an Ubuntu upgrade the system needed to be recovered in single user mode. Shit happens, move on.

  • I got woken up by the windows reboot chime this morning. When I logged in this morning, my 2560x1600 screen was in double vision.. Found the change resolution page and that failed to restore it.. was getting a little worried.. luckily a reboot fixed it.

    I would have been ticked if it hadn't come up.. But that goes with any big upgrade. But generally I'm happy with W10. All my apps seem to work (including low-level networking apps like Wireshark.)

  • iSCSI support become terminated after one of the last builds and it was never re-enabled.
  • It appears that Microsoft has done not one thing that improves the quality of the patches dumped upon Windows users.

    Microsoft seems to be super concerned about making things easier for itself, and does not seem to be even slightly concerned about making things easier for its customers.

  • I had difficulty installing Win10 on two dual boot machines. Both machines would throw up error messages of one kind or anther. Finally on whim, I removed dual boot capability by disconnecting the GRUB2 drive from one machine making the Win 7 drive the boot drive. I was then able to upgrade to Win 10. The other computer had both Debian and Win 7 installed on the same drive. I needed to use a live boot CD to remove GRUB followed by a boot repair procedure to allow the Win 7 partition to boot. This allowed me

  • And that is why you wait for Service Pack 1. And never install updates immediately. And never set up auto-update (which of course rules out Win10 Home edition).

  • I experienced the same Reboot Loop problem a month or two ago (as apparently did many others). I had to find and run a (luckily free) program that cleaned up the system and rolled my Win10 Pro Insider Preview back to Build 10074. I've been stuck there ever since, simply postponing (and then closing the window on) any updates.

    Not even a full Win10 install solved it: the install would accept neither the "old" Win10 Preview code nor the previous Win7 installation code. No solutions yet.

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.