My computer got hit by a truck. Sorta.
June 13, 2014 11:50 AM Subscribe
Yesterday my PC repeatedly failed to update Windows. My attempts to get things back on track went catastrophically wrong. I have a backup system and am now putting my system back together. What *should* I have done?
posted by jon1270 to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
Early yesterday morning while I was sipping my first cup of coffee and gradually awakening my computer restarted itself to complete an automatic update process I hadn't even realized was underway. Instead of completing normally the process hung up at the 'Preparing to configure windows, do not turn off' stage. I used my phone to Google the problem and read what I'd suspected, i.e. that I didn't really have a choice but to force a restart. So, I did that. The computer automatically restored itself. The Windows Update history indicated that about 5 important security updates had failed. That seemed bad, so I ran Windows Update again, and again it hung up at the same point. After 15 minutes of staring at the 'Preparing to configure' message I forced it to restart again, and this time it didn't fully restore to its pre-update state. Various features behaved oddly; it became impossible to run Windows Update, impossible to initiate system restoration manually from the control panel, and the Start Menu became unresponsive. I rebooted the computer several times, hoping that would somehow make it functional again, and kept having the same problems. Then after letting it sit for several minutes some of the missing functionality returned, and I found it was possible to run Windows Update again. I thought, maybe it would be a good idea to just install the 5 failed updates one at a time, in case just one of them was causing the whole problem. I selected the smallest update, began the installation process... and it hung again at exactly the same place. This time, however, forcing a restart didn't help at all, because it would simply resume attempting to configure the update and get stuck all over again.
At this point I'd been struggling with the thing for over 3 hours. In desperation I resorted to the One Key Recovery button, misunderstood a particular menu choice, and accidentally wiped my computer clean back into the Stone Age.
Like I wrote up at the top, I have a backup system and didn't really lose much aside from time. But the sudden and profound collapse of my little digital environment has me rather rattled. I don't want this to happen again. What would a more tech-savvy person than myself have done differently?