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Recover Windows 7 after likely KB3004394 disaster

Posted on 2014-12-17
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Last Modified: 2014-12-19
Hello, so I have this customer whose W7 32bit PC keeps rebooting during startup, never reaches the desktop.

It's been happening since last week, so I think it may be KB3004394-related.

If I disable the option to reboot on system error, I get a bluescreen with much less text than usual, referring to a C0000005 error in memory allocation.

Here are all the things I've tried:

-test RAM (OK)
-test drive (OK)
-load last known good config (reboots anyway)
-start in Safe Mode (reboots anyway)
-external system restore (doesn't find restore points)
-boot disc with antivirus check (nothing relevant found)

So I'm wondering, do I just give up, backup data and reinstall Windows or is there something else you think I could try?

Thanks.
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Question by:Daniele Brunengo
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17 Comments
 
LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 40504452
Have you tried to taking out one RAM stick, then exchanging the places of these sticks?
Also it would be interesting to have a look on a dump file. Can you located one in C:\Windows and post it here?
You can get access to the C: drive via Paragon Rescue Kit Free or Parted Magic boot CD.
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Author Comment

by:Daniele Brunengo
ID: 40504457
I already looked for dump files with Hirens Boot cd. Strangely there is no minidump folder or memory.dmp file either.

There's only one 2GB memory stick and I tried reseating it but nothing changed.
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 40504491
Is there any chance you can reconfigure system recovery settings so that it creates the dump file. Like in my example.
Startup-and-Recovery.jpg
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LVL 80

Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 40504493
that update only updates the root certificate authorities and is faulty and blocks further updates.

The KB 3004394 update that was dated December 10, 2014 can cause additional problems on computers that are running Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1. This includes the inability to install future updates. This new update is available to remove KB 3004394 from your computer.
The uninstaller is located @ https://support.microsoft.com/kb/3024777
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Author Comment

by:Daniele Brunengo
ID: 40504505
No, there is no way to access Windows so I can't change any settings. I was only able to stop it from rebooting on error by choosing the F8 option.
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Author Comment

by:Daniele Brunengo
ID: 40504506
Actually there have been cases of people being unable to boot after the update, it seems to break some drivers too.
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 40504514
Then maybe you can try to perform Repair Install of Windows.
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Author Comment

by:Daniele Brunengo
ID: 40504639
Being Windows 7, I think the only way to perform a Repair Install is to enter the operating system first, which I can't. Or is there another way?
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LVL 47

Accepted Solution

by:
noxcho earned 500 total points
ID: 40504775
Yes, you are right. Then maybe copy out the user data and reinstall Windows?
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Author Comment

by:Daniele Brunengo
ID: 40505143
That's the only thing left to do I fear. I also tried disabling most items with autoruns (using the option to analyze offline system) but it didn't work...
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:Rob G
ID: 40505344
You can still do a system disk repair of windows 7 without booting into windows 7.
The option is in the installation disk..
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 40506513
did you try all the methods suggested here ?
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/3413-repair-install.html

>>  , I get a bluescreen with much less text than usual, referring to a C0000005 error in memory allocation.   << can you post a picture of that screen ?
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Author Comment

by:Daniele Brunengo
ID: 40506920
@nobus, I can't try any of them because they all need you to log into your current Windows installation.

@Rob G, I think by "system disk repair" you mean repair disk errors with chkdsk, which I tried with more than one Windows PE version, but there are no errors on the disk.

Here is a photo of the screen.
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Author Comment

by:Daniele Brunengo
ID: 40506968
Oh, one more thing I've tried: I made a disk image with Macrium Reflect, converted it to vhd, connected the virtual disk to a Vmware machine, used the "Redeploy to new hardware" option in Macrium's boot disk on the virtual disk, and after all that the virtual machine still gave me the exact same blue screen you can see above.
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 40506999
It is time to try new installation of Windows on this machine.
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 40507199
and still no dmp file? and the system is set to make tehm ?
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Author Comment

by:Daniele Brunengo
ID: 40508763
There were never any dump files, no idea how the system was setup though, since I never had actual access to the OS (it was a first-time-customer machine).

Luckily the PC had just a handful of software installed and about 100Mb of documents, so it was a breeze to reinstall Windows and have a working machine again. Still would have liked to find a way to fix it, but after all I tried and all your suggestions I didn't know what else to look for.

Thanks everybody.
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