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Weird update/installation problem

Posted on 2016-10-02
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Last Modified: 2016-11-22
Yesterday, I got the usual Windows message about needing to restart my Dell OptiPlex 3010 computer (running Windows 10 Pro); I accepted it, closed down all apps, and let it restart.  After a while I noticed that it was hung on a black screen with only a circle of white dots revolving on the bottom of the screen.  I left it overnight, but it was the same the next morning.  I turned it off, left it for a minute or so, and turned it back on; it started to reboot, but when the blue window appeared in the middle of the screen, the circle of white dots appeared, with a brief message "Attempting to complete installation" (or some such).  The white dots kept on circling for a few hours, and again I turned the computer off, waited a minute, then turned it back on, this time holding down the F8 key in hopes of getting into Safe Mode.  That didn't happen, but this time when the circle of white dots appeared, under it was a persistent message "Recovering your previous Windows version".  This time the reboot was successful, ending up with Windows the same as before, as far as I could tell.

So what was going on?  Was there a massive SP-type upgrade that amounted to a new Windows version?  Will the same thing happen on my other two computers, also running Windows 10?
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Question by:Helen_Feddema
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 41825642
The most likely thing here is an update that could not be done (driver, antivirus issue or so on).

Is it an endemic Windows 10 issue?  No. Updates are fine on my machines.

Go to Microsoft Downloads, look for wushowhide.cab, download it and run it. Look for troublesome updates with this tool.
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Author Comment

by:Helen_Feddema
ID: 41825643
I will do that tomorrow morning and let you know what happens.

I liked it better when we had some control over updates.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 41825645
The method above is how Microsoft now controls errant updates. Please let us know once you have tried it.
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Author Comment

by:Helen_Feddema
ID: 41826417
I opened the Microsoft Downloads page and searched for wsushowhide.cab, but just got this message:
Sorry, no results found for: wsushowhide.cab
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Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 250 total points
ID: 41826423
I made a typo and changed it. wushowhide.cab.

Here is a download link:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-ca/kb/3073930
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Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 41826471
"Was there a massive SP-type upgrade that amounted to a new Windows version?" - exactly. The standard updates show a different message when they are rolled back due to problems. You can verify your windows major version by using the command
winver
in the search box. It should return Version 1607 if you are on the latest version. If not, it will return either 1511 or 10240. Tell us.
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Author Comment

by:Helen_Feddema
ID: 41826485
I have downloaded the .cab file.  The instructions seem to require knowing which driver is causing the problem -- how do I determine that?
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by:John Hurst
ID: 41826493
When you run the program, there will be a list of applications and drivers that MAY be causing problems. You need to know which driver if more than one.
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Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 41826507
Maybe you did not read it in time, so I will repeat it: this was clearly not an update. It was a failed attempt to upgrade to the next major version of windows 10.
You can verify your windows major version by using the command
winver
in the search box. It should return Version 1607 if you are on the latest version. If not, it will return either 1511 or 10240. Tell us.
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Author Comment

by:Helen_Feddema
ID: 41826508
I am on version 1511 on both desktops.
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Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 41826512
Ok.
You should retry the upgrade this time using the media creation tool: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=691209
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Author Comment

by:Helen_Feddema
ID: 41826518
The list of updates that could be hidden includes some for printers, a bunch of INTEL ones, and a Feature Update for Windows 10, version 1607.  Is that the major upgrade?
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Author Comment

by:Helen_Feddema
ID: 41826524
One of the printer updates is for a printer that I don't have any more (it was replaced more than a year ago).  Could that be the problem one?  There are updates for both of my current printers.
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Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 250 total points
ID: 41826537
I sometimes have HP driver issues and use wushowhide.cab to stop the driver update

Do NOT hide regular Windows updates like 1607.

If you have real issues use the Media Creation Link as McKnife suggested

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

Click on Upgrade to Windows 10 (even if Windows 10 is running), click on the Download button, select Open (Run) but NOT Save. Allow the program to run. Allow drivers to update. Then select Keep Everything.
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Author Comment

by:Helen_Feddema
ID: 41826703
I selected the LaserJet 3200 update to hide (I don't have that printer any more).  This is the result:

Show or Hide Updates message
I will retry the update less that driver, and let you know what happens.
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Author Comment

by:Helen_Feddema
ID: 41826723
So far so good.  One restart, and the computer is now in the "Working on Updates -- Don't turn off your PC.  This will take a while" part of the upgrade.
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Author Comment

by:Helen_Feddema
ID: 41826765
25% complete now, and restarting.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 41826799
Sounds like hiding the printer update is working. Please keep us posted
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Author Comment

by:Helen_Feddema
ID: 41826812
Now at the stage of a black screen with the little white dots circling.  How long do you think this should take?
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Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 41826843
Are you really trying that process for the third time? Most probably to the same result as before. That's why I asked you to use the media creation tool for a change.
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Author Comment

by:Helen_Feddema
ID: 41826852
Just the second time.  I will give it a few hours, and if it doesn't complete, I will try the media creation tool.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 41826872
It does take a while (more than the time between your posts)
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Author Comment

by:Helen_Feddema
ID: 41827081
It has been several hours now -- how long should I wait before concluding that it is hung up?
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 41827094
Once it starts installing updates, it should take not more than 2 hours. So I do not know what has gone wrong. You may need to restart and use the Media Creation Link (I have used this several times).
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Author Comment

by:Helen_Feddema
ID: 41827146
I will leave it overnight, and if it is still hung up tomorrow, I will stop it (turning the computer off is probably the only way to do that), and use the Media Creation link once I get back to Windows.
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Author Comment

by:Helen_Feddema
ID: 41827160
I just checked my 2-in-1 -- it did upgrade to version 1607 (it is running Windows 10 Home).  No problems, except that it knocked out Classic Shell.
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Author Comment

by:Helen_Feddema
ID: 41827162
Just reinstalled Classic Shell -- no problems.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 41827163
So it is all running now. Thanks for the update and it looks like our fixes solved the issue for you.
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Author Comment

by:Helen_Feddema
ID: 41827167
No, that is another computer.  The OptiPlex desktop is still hung up on the circling white dots stage.  I will try the Media Creation link once I get back to Windows -- or maybe first use it to create a DVD on my other desktop first, to save time.  (I have two OptiPlex desktops and the 2-in-1, all Dell.)
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Author Comment

by:Helen_Feddema
ID: 41828181
Back to the previous Windows version, I clicked on the Media Creation link to make the DVD, and found that I was out of DVDs, so I am off to Walmart to get a box.
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Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 41828223
Helen, you are offered to to the upgrade without DVDs, just retry.
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Author Comment

by:Helen_Feddema
ID: 41828236
OK, I will try that first -- but I now have some DVDs in case of need.
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Author Comment

by:Helen_Feddema
ID: 41828355
I ran the update from the Windows 10 Downloads page -- it completed preparing and updating, and then restarted.  It is now in the "Working on Updates 0%" stage.  It got past the circling white dots stage, so hopefully it will complete the update normally.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 41828365
I have an older ThinkPad in the basement. I had it running (took the battery out) non-stop. This morning, I cleared out Downloads in Software Distribution (not self managing just now), shut down and started up. It began updating and is taking a long time. It is still on the blue screen update "do not turn off" and proceeding. It has been 5 hours at this point but it appears to be working.

Please keep us posted.
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Author Comment

by:Helen_Feddema
ID: 41828438
It finished that stage, and is now in another circling white dots stage.
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Author Comment

by:Helen_Feddema
ID: 41828447
I will give it a few hours at least, but it doesn't look good.  They could at least put up a progress bar so you can tell if it is doing anything.
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Author Comment

by:Helen_Feddema
ID: 41828455
John -- is the Thinkpad in the circling white dots stage?  If so, how long has it been there?
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 41828517
The circling white dots are a progress indicator on a blue screen saying several things - mostly do not power off.

It has finished and is at a login screen, so it looks like the update finished. Close to 6 hours all told.
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by:Helen_Feddema
ID: 41828522
Mine are on a black screen, no text.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 41828528
I have only ever seen blue screens with the progress indicator. It could be just the video driver in your machine.
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Author Comment

by:Helen_Feddema
ID: 41828531
There was a blue screen with a message earlier.  I think the circling white dots on a black screen is the last stage before Windows starts up (if the update is working correctly).
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 41828644
The machine I was working on is now 1607 14393.222 most current.

There is post in a discussion group here that I started a while back "Dark clouds for Windows 10"  that discusses this very machine if you can find the post.

https://www.experts-exchange.com/discussions/214481/Dark-clouds-for-Windows-10-Users.html

It may be worth a read for you.
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Author Comment

by:Helen_Feddema
ID: 41828828
The same failure cycle repeated -- after a few more hours of circling white dots, I turned off the computer; when it was turned back on, it attempted to complete the installation, that stalled, and I turned if off again.  After it was turned back on, it went into restoring the previous version of Windows.

Any more suggestions?  Is it worth making a DVD and installing from it, or would that make no difference?

In any case, I think I will give this computer a break and attempt to upgrade to v. 1607 on the other OptiPlex.  Perhaps it won't have a problem.
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Author Comment

by:Helen_Feddema
ID: 41828830
I will check your link.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 41828832
You can use the Media Creation Link, and run Upgrade to Windows 10 even though running Windows 10 and keep everything . I have done this.

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

Click on Upgrade to Windows 10 (even if Windows 10 is running), click on the Download button, select Open (Run) but NOT Save. Allow the program to run. Allow drivers to update. Then select Keep Everything.
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Author Comment

by:Helen_Feddema
ID: 41828834
Interesting discussion.  I hope my computer will be able to upgrade to v. 1607 too.
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by:Helen_Feddema
ID: 41828838
Just noticed -- on my restored Windows desktop I now have a Windows 10 Upgrade Assistant link.  I doubt it will be helpful.
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Author Comment

by:Helen_Feddema
ID: 41828843
John -- this last time I selected the top option, Update Now, which was not successful.  I will try your steps later, after trying to update my other desktop.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 41828850
I have not found that tool to be all that helpful.
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by:McKnife
ID: 41829400
Whatever you do with the tool, install directly or burn a DVD will have the same outcome.
You don't need to waste more hours on it again. Please share the upgrade error log with us. Its path is C:\$Windows.~BT\Sources\Panther\setuperr.log
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Author Comment

by:Helen_Feddema
ID: 41830181
setuperr.logHere it is.  

I ran the update on my other OptiPlex, and it went normally with several resets up to the final stage of circling white dots, where it has been for 30 mins. or so.  If it fails too, I will also upload that error log.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 41830208
I do not know what CMXEPlugin does, but that is the last failure point.
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Author Comment

by:Helen_Feddema
ID: 41830223
I think it has to do with audio.  Recently, when starting Windows I have gotten this error message:  Unable to start SmartAudio.  A while back I posted a question about this, because I had lost my audio after a Windows upgrade.  One of the experts pointed out a setting which, when I checked it, was set at microphone (I don't have one); I changed it to audio and got my sound back, but I still get this error message.

I have not gotten this message on the 2-in-1 computer, which updated without problems.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 41830232
You had not mentioned Audio earlier in this thread and Windows 10 can update Audio as part of it process. Did you try getting the Manufacturer's Audio Driver update and installing it?
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Author Comment

by:Helen_Feddema
ID: 41830235
I found some information on this problem on another forum; I will try it later today.  Not now, because I need to work on this one and the other will have to revert to the previous Windows version.
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Author Comment

by:Helen_Feddema
ID: 41830236
John -- the solution does involve getting the Conexant driver.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 41830240
Conexant is part of Audio so you need one or both depending on how supplied.
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Author Comment

by:Helen_Feddema
ID: 41830249
This solution was on the WindowsTen forum.  Here is the link if you want to check it out:  http://www.tenforums.com/drivers-hardware/15284-windows-10-no-sound-solution-conexant.html
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Author Comment

by:Helen_Feddema
ID: 41830272
Maybe I will try it on the other computer, once it finishes restoring the previous Windows version.
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Accepted Solution

by:
McKnife earned 250 total points
ID: 41830573
Uninstall all audio components (drivers, and software helper applications). Kill remnants if any. Retry the upgrade, then. Sound does not need to work for upgrading to succeed, but it might be the cause for previous failures.
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Author Comment

by:Helen_Feddema
ID: 41830647
I couldn't try the solution on WindowsTen in any case, because I didn't see any drivers labeled Conexant.  I have uninstalled all audio components on one computer, and I will try the upgrade again.
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Author Comment

by:Helen_Feddema
ID: 41830690
I uninstalled all audio items in the Device Manager on my other desktop, and it is now attempting the upgrade again (11% through the second blue screen "Working on Updates" phase).
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Author Comment

by:Helen_Feddema
ID: 41830727
Now on third blue screen "Working on Updates" phase, 35% complete.
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Author Comment

by:Helen_Feddema
ID: 41830778
Now on the circling white dots stage -- that is where it hung before.
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by:McKnife
ID: 41830787
Helen, fingers crossed. But I advised to look for and kill any remnants - did you do that? Just used device manager? That might not be enough. Uninstalled all helper applications at least? These funny bloatware software suites, I mean? The ones that weigh 150 MB while the actual driver files are 1,5 MB in total... ? Those matter.
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Author Comment

by:Helen_Feddema
ID: 41830789
How would I find the remnants?
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Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 41830796
Analyse what these stupid driver software suites try to install and then look if all of it got removed when uninstalling. This requires software that can do before-after-comparisons. Usually I'd recommend MSI packaging software for that like wininstall LE. Was freeware when still in the hands of scalable software.
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Author Comment

by:Helen_Feddema
ID: 41831551
Turned it off, and when turned on again it went into the "Attempting to recover installation mode" -- but this time, instead of hanging on the circling white dots stage, it completed successfully!  So it appears that uninstalling the audio/video components did the trick.  I will try this on my other computer later today -- hopefully it will work there too.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Helen_Feddema
ID: 41831559
Thanks for all the help and links, and for persisting so long until success was achieved.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 41831571
Thank you for the update and I was happy to help
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by:McKnife
ID: 41831586
Great!
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