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Windows did not start successfully after Windows automatic updates

By widdies
Oct 17, 2009
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Just last night my computer took ages to shut down because it was installing 11 automatic updates, the kind that just happen, you don't have to consent.
    This morning my computer went through startup until "Booting from C:/windows"
    Then I get this message:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    We apologize for the inconvenience, but Windows did not start successfully. A recent hardware or software change might have caused this.

    If your computer stopped responding, restarted unexpectedly, or was automatically shut down to protect your files and folders, choose Last Known Good Configuration to revert to the most recent settings that worked.

    If a previous startup attempt was interrupted due to a power failure or because the Power or Reset button was pressed, or if you aren't sure what caused the problem, choose Start Windows
    Normally.

    Safe Mode
    Safe Mode with Networking
    Safe Mode with Command Prompt

    Last Known Good Configuration (your most recent settings that worked)
    Start Windows Normally

    Use the up and down arrow keys to move the highlight to your choice.

    Seconds until Windows starts: 30
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    None of the options work, when I select one, or wait for my 30 seconds to run out, it goes back to the start of the setup process like a restart but it doesn't turn off. It proceeds in this loop until I turn it off at the switch

    I cannot access my computer's accounts, documents or programs, and I would prefer not to reinstall as I was only logging on to print coursework

    My computer had previously shut down with no known difficulty

    In other similar problems, Norton updates were mentioned. I do not have Norton. It was a windows update, the ones that usually install in threes when you shut down except this time it installed 11
    The only new hardware was an Epson SX215 printer about a week and a half ago, which works normally, USB 2 drivers for the printer at around the same time, but the USB 2 itself was never inserted and Microsoft home office 2007

    I do not have a startup disc for my OS (which I think is 2000 or most likely XP) as the computer was second hand, it was a gift from the original owner

    There was no Spyware and the internet wasn't in use the night before

    Also, ever since I got the problem PC, I have also got a message in the startup which says "Invalid Boot.ini file Booting from C:/windows" and my computer constantly gives me "Windows Genuine Advantage" messages telling me I have a fake copy of windows (even though I know for a fact it is a genuine copy from windows themselves)

    I do have another computer, but it has had a recent reinstall if that helps

    I would appreciate if the solutions were described simply. I'm only 15! (but fairly good with computers anyway so none of the "you're too young to fix it" comments. You tell me the solution and I will decide for myself if it is too complex)
  2. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,554

    You need to get your hands on a special CD, Ultimate Boot CD and launch it. It has a utility similar to System Restore and allows you to restore to an earlier restore point.

    Ask around and see if someone you know has it.

    What's happened is one or more MS updates did not install properly and your Windows system is messed up. This is a ley reason for System Restore so that if something like this happens, you go back to the restore point Windows takes before installing any updates.

    -- Andy
  3. widdies

    widdies TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Would system restore mess up my documents/programs?
    Also, is it possible to download one of those cds off the internet and burn it to a blank disk?



    Thanks! If this works you will have saved my life!
  4. widdies

    widdies TS Rookie Topic Starter

    ummm, right, I can't get a hold of any of those cds, would it work to simply burn the windows file from the working hard drive onto a disk, then press F8 during the startup to select boot from cd?
  5. superty12

    superty12 TS Enthusiast Posts: 432

  6. widdies

    widdies TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thanks, so I just burn it to a cd, put it in and i can boot?
  7. widdies

    widdies TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I tried a direct cd write, it says some files may not work now... any hints?
  8. AustinSchnitzel

    AustinSchnitzel TS Rookie Posts: 38

    Sorry to give you a runaround, but I've managed to find an alternate solution, as I ran into this very problem just today!

    This guy was running Vista, and had a much easier time as he could still boot using safe mode. Even so, this confirmed my suspicion that the recent batch of Windows Automatic Updates was the culprit. I managed to make a CD out of UBCD, but then I discovered that UBCD and UNCD4win are actually very different projects. Before I started looking into whether or not UBCD4win could be converted to a boot disc like UBCD can, I found a third program that had precisely what I was looking for: ERD Commander!

    Short for Emergency Restore Disk and part of the Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset, this provides functionality very similar to Safe Mode without requiring the use of your hard drive. Tutorials can be found here and here. If you'd rather use a blank USB drive over a blank CD, this is worth a shot.

    Once you've downloaded the ZIP file, you need to extract the NRG file (similar to an ISO) and burn it onto a blank CD. Mounting an image onto a CD is different from just moving or copying files from your hard drive. I recommend DVD Decrypter, mainly because I used it and it worked. After that, pop the CD in your disk drive and reboot the computer. You may need to enter the Boot Menu (pressing F1 at the initial startup screen) and set the Boot Order so that the CD ROM is tried before the hard drive.

    Once ERD starts loading (it took me a while, probably because my CD drive is ancient and failing me) you should eventually see a large dialogue box asking you to choose a hard drive. There should be two options, your hard drive and (none). Pick the first, obviously. From there, find Hotfix Uninstall in System Tools. Delete the ENTIRE batch of the latest Windows XP security "fixes" (for me they were labeled October 19). Once that is complete, choose Log Off and restart.

    You should be able to boot as normal (choose Last Known Good Configuration otherwise) and clean out the registry or System Restore as you see fit. Sorry I couldn't get this to you sooner, but I've had to squeeze reviving my computer in between classes. I'm so glad mine is fixed now, and I hope this solution works for you as well!
  9. widdies

    widdies TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Wow, Thanks! this should work, I'll post again if otherwise, so just the NRG?
    Great, I was going to use the ultimate boot after school today (I am posting this during IT, shh! don't tell!!)
    Really thanks, you are all brill for your advice and concern!
  10. widdies

    widdies TS Rookie Topic Starter

    wait wait, do I burn or mount the NRG? Hat part wasnt clear
  11. AustinSchnitzel

    AustinSchnitzel TS Rookie Posts: 38

    Well "burn" is the first thing that comes to mind when creating a CD, but in this case, mounting is the proper term. Whatever you want to call it, as long as you use DVD Decrypter (which uses the operative command "Write") to do it, it should work. Start by clicking Mode -> ISO -> Write. Then click the tiny folder icon across from the words "Please select a file". By now, you should see lots of data regarding the (preferably blank) CD in the drive. If the format is incorrect, the program will think the disc has a capacity of zero. (Not zero available, just zero total. I'd explain further but it feels like a mathematical paradox.) If there are no errors, just click File -> Write.
     
  12. widdies

    widdies TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you sooooo much Austinschnitzel! my problem is solved!
  13. yazan

    yazan TS Rookie

    hi all, i have read everything here, and i had the same problem, i was able to back up my data and all kind of stuff using one program called poer data recovory, that's after i ran my broken harddrive on my other working pc, so after i copied all the stuff i needed, i went back to my old pc , put back the harddrive , then ran recovery using the the cd i had from gatway. after i finished installing everything and deleting all my data,when windows tried to boot up, guess what, i got the sameeeeeee error back, i am diying here, i tried everything, i ran the cd recovory thing more than 3 times, and still getting the same thing, i get the the windows where there: We apologize for the inconvenience, but Windows did not start successfully. A recent hardware or software change might have caused this.

    If your computer stopped responding, restarted unexpectedly, or was automatically shut down to protect your files and folders, choose Last Known Good Configuration to revert to the most recent settings that worked.

    If a previous startup attempt was interrupted due to a power failure or because the Power or Reset button was pressed, or if you aren't sure what caused the problem, choose Start Windows
    Normally.

    Safe Mode
    Safe Mode with Networking
    Safe Mode with Command Prompt

    Last Known Good Configuration (your most recent settings that worked)
    Start Windows Normally
    ....
    then when i pick anything, i hear the pc like shutting down sound, (it doesn't shut it down) then it restart again,,,,
    any help will be appreciated it plzzzzzzzzzzzz
    i will be waiting for a comment post or something :)
    thank for reading all this , thanks again
  14. dhanushka83

    dhanushka83 TS Rookie Posts: 20

    @superty12

    Are u used this Software? Is that good?
  15. dhanushka83

    dhanushka83 TS Rookie Posts: 20

    Start Machine with last know good configuration , if it's doesn't work use repair
  16. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

  17. widdies

    widdies TS Rookie Topic Starter

    To Yazan

    Hi Yazan, sorry for the long wait,
    I had the same problem too
    I ran the cd, fixed the computer, only for my problem to bite my butt again a few days later!
    Austinschnitzel was right. It IS the windows updates!
    So I just switched off automatic updates in my control panel and havent had a problem since!
  18. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    Windows Updates is not at fault
    The above quote from Windows means that your Windows is not genuine, and you don't even have the Windows (required) disc (or restore image)
    When you use non-genuine Windows, anything could happen, including the automatic download of spyware/rootkits etc


    Here is the only not "complex" solution:
    Windows XP SP3 genuine: (including the key and disc) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116511
    Then put in the new Windows Setup disc (when you get it) and format and then install Windows clean. Here's a guide on that http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic123957.html (look under heading: Re-Installing Windows Clean)

    Asking for support on non-genuine Windows is not allowed at TechSpot
    For the following reasons:
    • Its illegal (well against MS policy)
    • Non genuine Windows can have any strange issue, and even stranger fixes
    • Support should always say "get genuine" as the best (non complex) fix
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