Computer keeps restarting after update

#1
This is actually a problem my friend is having on his laptop, not myself, but I am going to need to walk him through how to fix it because he's not very familiar with computers.

The problem is that last night he shut down his computer, and as it often happens, Vista installed recently downloaded updates upon shutdown. When he turned it on today, it gets to step 3 of 3: Configuring updates, waits a few minutes, and restarts. It continues to cycle like this nonstop.

I already had him try booting into safe mode with no luck. He says after hitting Enter to go into safe mode it says "Please Wait..." for about 3 minutes and then restarts again. Recently after trying both normal and safe start ups he says it has been going to a bluescreen sometimes.

I think he needs to boot from a Vista DVD, but he doesn't have one (He's 8 hours away at college, so I can't give him mine). I found THIS on your site; would it be appropriate?

And if that is what he needs to fix it, could anybody please give me a step-by-step on exactly how to use it? I've been fortunate enough to never have needed to boot Vista from a disc on any of my computers, so I really have no idea how. I think it has something to do with boot order in the BIOS... but I'm clueless on exactly how to do that as well.

Thanks for any help :smile:
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
Hi Mike welcome to NST.
The instructions to go with the download are here
Getting into the BIOS varies from OEM to OEM, but it should say somewhere on the first splash screen "hit del to enter BIOS" (or some Function key or "tab" etc etc.)
Once you're in there, again it varies from box to box, but they're all fairly simple to follow.
Look for a screen with boot options and make sure that CD/DVD comes before HDD in the boot order and save the update (if you have to make one) Then put the CD in the tray before hitting the on button again, and "hit any key" when prompted.
 
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Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
Come back and post again if you have problems. Our geographical spread means there's someone here who can walk you through things, more or less any time of the day or night.
 
#5
Heh, I'm sure you'll see more of me than I'd like. Seems like everything has been giving the two of us problems lately. A folder was recently deleted from his computer as well, we went through alot of effort to try and get it back, to no avail.

Anyway, I was talking to someone else who gave me the impression that I'd need a burning program which is capable of burning .iso files - I know I need to burn the file, but I didn't realize not all burning programs were capable. I figured it was just like burning a data file, a word document or something.

Is that correct? He's gonna have to use his roommate's laptop to do this since his is out of commission, didn't think we'd need to install any new programs to do it.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#6
They should all be capable of burning an ISO, but we've had a number of people here who had problems with some burning apps, so we recommend Imgburn which is free and we know it works. (Vista's built in CD burner doesn't support ISO images.)
 
#7
Assuming all goes well and we are able to boot, you suggest a system restore to before the update? Or is there a more direct fix, as I'd assume that means he won't be able to update again without having the same issue.
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#8
If you can boot than what would the problem be? If there's something else I'm missing than yes give system restore a try. You need to avoid any updates that cause those issues. Disable auto-update for a few minutes once you get back in. When you've identified which one is the culprit, go ahead and hide it. This will cause it to not install or show up as an available update. You can than safely re-enable auto-updates.
 
#9
Unfortunately I'm back. His computer is basically borked, we've tried everything I could think of over the past almost two weeks. Nothing we do can get us to the login screen - it always gets stuck at the update screen and restarting, or giving a BSOD and restarting.

We've talked extensively with HP, other forums, getting ideas and ways to fix it. Nothing works :x

So, we've decided wiping everything and doing a complete reinstall of the OS is the only thing left to do. A wiped computer is better than a borked computer with unaccessible data.

So I'm gonna mail him a full Vista Install CD - I have never had to reinstall an OS before (luck I guess, nothing of mine has gone nuts like this). Even with all the unbootable issues he is having, if we boot from the Vista CD will we simply be able to install over what's there? I really am not sure exactly how to do it, so any help would be great.

We just want to get rid of everything and start over with a fresh computer. Don't care about anything else at this point, just getting the computer going.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#10
Start off by downloading yourself a bootable Linux distro, and use it to rescue all your user data to external storage.
Then just do a clean install of Vista, letting it format the disk first, and making sure that he uses the serial number on his PC not the one on your DVD.
It would probably be a good idea at the format stage to opt for the "full" not the "quick".
That will take longer than the rest of the install process, but bearing in mind the problems you've been having, it would be prudent to ensure that any possible bad sectors on the HDD are permanently removed from use.
 
#11
Thanks for all your help man.

I was hoping it was that simple. I'll ask him if he even wants to bother with the Linux thing, he's pretty fed up with all this and probably won't even care if he loses his data. His entire college folder for all of his work was deleted accidentally beforehand anyway.

He's been having a rough time with this thing lately >.<