Computer meltdown due to stupid update
February 3, 2019 8:07 AM   Subscribe

My desktop computer updated and now I can’t get it to start.

This is terrible. So I have an Acer all in one desktop. It’s wonderful and never gives me any problems.

Last night when I went to turn it off, it said “update and then restart”. I said ok. It took a really long time to update. When I finally fell asleep, it was up to 81%.

This morning when I woke up, my computer was frozen at the windows welcome screen (you know, where there’s a picture of Ireland or something and you input your password to login.) except.....it doesn’t give me the window to login. It’s just frozen on the picture or rolling hills or whatever.

I’ve hard booted a dozen times with no luck. The computer will NOT go into safe mode. I can get into the bios utility but don’t know what to do from there. Help!
posted by silverstatue to Computers & Internet (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
From what I can tell, it’s not recognizing the mouse or keyboard right now.
posted by silverstatue at 8:33 AM on February 3


Starting with the obvious here... Would you happen to have a recovery CD that you can boot from?
posted by Too-Ticky at 8:38 AM on February 3


No I do not, unfortunately.
posted by silverstatue at 8:51 AM on February 3


This happened to my husband’s laptop a few months back. After some frantic googling he was able to get into safe mode somehow using either the bios or some key combination held down while rebooting. Once in safe mode there was no start menu available but he was able to follow some instructions to ctrl-alt-del, start a task, copy in a command to (repair something?), and restore from a backup point. I’ll see if he remembers any more details but he is not that tech saavy and it is a goddamn miracle it worked.
posted by impishoptimist at 9:07 AM on February 3


This looks familiar: under black or blank screen, you power the computer on and off in quick succession to get to the startup options. I’m assuming Windows 10? I think he tried the Startup Recovery option too, not just booting into safe mode, but don’t remember if it helped.
posted by impishoptimist at 9:14 AM on February 3 [1 favorite]


Which version of Windows is it running?
posted by pharm at 9:25 AM on February 3


I think we tried some of the instructions from this page, specifically the Check and Repair Windows Files section, but I don’t think it helped—I wouldn’t bother with that. My husband says System Restore did NOT work for him. There is another option in that Troubleshooting menu to Reset this PC before you click Advanced Options with an option to keep your files, that is what did the trick in the end. All his files were still there after the reset.
posted by impishoptimist at 9:28 AM on February 3


You could try starting in safe mode -
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/12376/windows-10-start-your-pc-in-safe-mode

Looks like its gotten a lot harder to do than previous versions - that will give you a bunch of repair/start options.

Sometimes one good start in safe will initialise all the useful bits after a patch such that when you start back in normal mode, it'll come right and resume normal operation.

Fingers x-ed.
posted by phigmov at 9:38 AM on February 3


Thanks everyone but no luck so far. It simply will not go in safe mode no matter what I do. I tried the turn it on and off three times to kick it into diagnostics but it won’t go. It won’t do anything but go to the welcome screen. I can’t click on anything or type anything because it will not recognize my keyboard or mouse.

It’s windows 10.
posted by silverstatue at 12:26 PM on February 3


How long have you waited before rebooting? I had a similar issue intermittently on a previous build of Windows. It was a long enough delay before showing the login screen that I had rebooted a few times assuming it would never show. So I'd try leaving it a while and seeing if it shows eventually, if thats the issue, after whatever is causing the delay (hardware/network?) times out.
posted by Boobus Tuber at 12:56 PM on February 3 [1 favorite]


Are you using a wireless keyboard and mouse? Try plugging in a USB keyboard and hit space bar at the login screen.
posted by rsclark at 2:22 PM on February 3 [1 favorite]


It doesn't sound like it's really turning off. Unplug it, wait 20 seconds. Plug in and power on; you should be able to get into the BIOS.
posted by theora55 at 3:56 PM on February 3


I had the same experience after the last update. Unfortunately I didn't keep notes on what I tried, but the thing I do remember is that the first login after the update took forever. I got to the logon screen, entered password .. then nothing, for a very long time.
After I'd left the PC at that "nothing" overnight, it recovered and has been OK since, except when logging on as a different user (i.e. my spouse's account) which also needed to be left overnight to become active.
So as Boobus Tuber says, leave it a while and you may be lucky too.
posted by anadem at 5:53 PM on February 3


I'm not sure if this is the problem you're experiencing, but if it is, then there is a fix:

https://www.thecomputercellar.com/windows-10-1803-upgrade-issues-the-black-desktop-of-death-and-how-to-fix-it

As long as you have another computer you can use, as well as a blank external hard drive, you can make a bootable disk to restore your computer, largely unscathed.
posted by aquamvidam at 6:43 PM on February 3


I spoke to an IT guy I know and he also suggested plugging in a wired keyboard. So.....I will borrow one from work tomorrow and see what happens. Wish me luck! (But keep the suggestions coming, please!)
posted by silverstatue at 7:18 PM on February 3 [1 favorite]


AskWoody exists because Windows updates make things stop working all too often. It's too late for you to take his advice about what and when to update. The support forum is the first place I go to either look for a solution or ask for help.
posted by Homer42 at 8:11 AM on February 4


ok so I got it working again. In case anyone else has this problem, you have to get into the restore and repair function as a few people mentioned above, and you do that by powering your computer on and off three times. HOWEVER, you have to wait until you see the swirling dots and THEN hard boot it off. Otherwise it wont work! You can reboot it fifty times and never get into the repair section. You have to see the dots! That was my mistake last night.

Once you're in the repair section, the restoring didnt work and the repairing didnt work. The only thing that worked for me is undoing the update. Once I undid the update, everything started working again.

Of course now my computer keeps asking me to update and I'm not about to do that! That might be my next Ask.
posted by silverstatue at 5:28 PM on February 4


It might be a question of not having enough drive space free for the update to apply cleanly.
posted by pharm at 3:28 AM on February 5


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