Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Windows 10 made a brick out of my laptop

  1. Mar 29, 2016 #1

    fluidistic

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I bought a laptop about 1.5 years ago with the goal of finishing my studies with it. I didn't mind if it break 1 day after getting my degree, but it just failed about 2 to 3 weeks short.
    Since I had it, I used to triple boot 2 linux distributions and Windows. I got the upgrade to Windows 10 a few months ago, all went well. Recently I was forced to use a Windows program and yesterday I was rebooting several times from linux to windows and vice versa. Until in one of those reboots, Windows couldn't boot anymore, showing a "unmountable ...." error message that I googled, and apparently there was no cure (many people had the same message and the Microsoft suggestion of using a boot repairer didn't seem to have worked for a single person). So I went into linux to see if I could mount the Windows partition and I couldn't, it would tell me something about "unable to mount..". I rebooted and went into the BIOS to check out if everything was normal and to my surprise it seems that Secure boot was enabled, which is something I had disabled months ago for linux to work properly. So I disabled it again and rebooted. And rebooting lead to a black screen. This is where my laptop is currently.
    Can't enter the BIOS, can't start a live CD nor live linux thru usb despite usb being the 1st option to boot from, in the BIOS. Can't do anything. Just a black screen. I tried to check if this was the screen that was broken, by plugging a HDMI cable into a TV and my laptop, but "no signal", and this used to work.
    I went to the CS department of my university and headed to the hardware support part. The guy tried to enter the BIOS, etc. He couldn't do anything. He checked out if it was easy to disamble the laptop and it looks very hard (in fact it's not meant to be opened, even the battery is not removable).
    I suspect everything broke because of a background automatic windows update that messed up my BIOS or firmware or something. I am currently using a slower laptop that also has some troubles with Windows messing up the booting process by reinstalling the bootloader to bypass grub and therefore linux.

    I must say that I truly believe that Windows is a cheap-toy OS not serious enough to be trusted for serious matters. I can't count on it. I'm going to have my first child in a few months and I'm not going to teach him/her Windows. I believe that this OS is for old people who don't want to learn how a computer works (which is just fine but far from the majority of people). I don't know about BSD and IOS, etc. but I feel like Windows should disappear from being sold by default in most places, and should be replaced by other more serious and solid OS'es where in order to break it, you must do it yourself. Unlike Windows where who has the superuser powers is Microsoft and anyone using administrator or super user options (which was not my case). A normal user should not be able to break the OS, and this is what I was when using Windows.

    First thing I do when I get my degree and come back home: Remove Windows from the slow laptop I'm currently using.
    Very saddened of what it's done.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 29, 2016 #2

    Borg

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Sorry to hear that. I am so glad that I fought against my computer's attempts to upgrade itself. I like Windows 7 the way that it is. No need to turn my computer into an auto-updating tablet.
     
  4. Mar 29, 2016 #3
    My daughter upgraded? to Windows 10 , it worked for two months then she couldn't access her files. Tried to change back to Windows 7 but had exceeded some time limit for an easy exchange. Eventually got Windows 7 back and warned me to avoid 10.
     
  5. Mar 29, 2016 #4

    ProfuselyQuarky

    User Avatar
    Gold Member
    2016 Award

    So many complaints for Windows 10! Aside from all the BSODs (now four times) I got, which I mentioned in another Windows 10 thread, everything is okay. I'm sorry you have so much trouble with your PC. Windows is losing its cred.
    We've got one PC that's too old handle any major updates, but one day it started to update to Windows 10 by itself. We reverted back to Windows 7 for that old computer, but how does that happen??
     
  6. Mar 29, 2016 #5

    ProfuselyQuarky

    User Avatar
    Gold Member
    2016 Award

    Seriously? I wouldn't go as far to say "cheap-toy". I've been told its still better than Macintosh and, well, anything is better than a Chromebook.
     
  7. Mar 29, 2016 #6

    Borg

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    It is getting the upgrade from Windows Update. Windows Update used to be for software patches but not any more. Now it also decides which OS you should have. If you have WU set to automatically download and install, it downloads and installs Windows 10 automatically.

    I have Windows Update set only to notify me of updates and, ever since they started this nonsense, I have had to carefully examine every "critical' patch because Windows 10 is listed as that in their downloads. Lately, about half of the so-called critical updates have been tools that constantly try to install it or 'updates' to prep your system for installing it. I literally deleted 20+ 'critical' updates last week because they were all related to installing Windows 10.

    I'm not surprised that it breaks computers that have multiple OS configurations.
     
  8. Mar 29, 2016 #7

    ProfuselyQuarky

    User Avatar
    Gold Member
    2016 Award

    Yes, we did get those updates for months, but I guess it just decided to "take over" in the last moment.
     
  9. Mar 29, 2016 #8

    Borg

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I think that I have read that once Windows 10 is firmly entrenched on your computer, Windows Update is set to automatically install no matter what - you no longer have any choice about what it installs after that. They can keep that BS as far as I'm concerned.
     
  10. Mar 29, 2016 #9

    davenn

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    agreed ... I wont be updating this PC to Win10 ... nothing wrong with Win7

    yes, always the safe way to go .... I do likewise, and have done so for a long while

    indeed !!

    and therein lies the trap :smile:

    Trying to install it onto a computer that already has some other OS ( even earlier win version(s)) on it really is a recipe for likely disaster
    (no, it isn't going to crash every single PC ... it increases the likelihood)

    The safest way to do Win10 is to buy a new PC/laptop with it already installed as the one and only OS
    I upgraded my laptop a couple of months ago, needed something much faster for doing my photo
    editing in Lightroom and Photoshop
    Got a Dell i7 quad-core,1TB drive and 8gig RAM and of course Win10
    Have managed to get it looking as much like Win7 as possible and so far happy with its operations :smile:


    cheers
    Dave
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2016
  11. Mar 29, 2016 #10

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    While Windows 10 has its issues, the issues described by the OP sound like hardware issues, not software issues. If the computer gives only a black screen and not even a POST or bios splash, that's faulty hardware -- there really isn't an easy way for an OS to do that. Correlation does not necessarily equal causation.
     
  12. Mar 29, 2016 #11

    phinds

    User Avatar
    Gold Member
    2016 Award

    +1 on that !
     
  13. Mar 29, 2016 #12

    phinds

    User Avatar
    Gold Member
    2016 Award

    I disagree completely. It depends on the audience. My wife hates computers but loves her Chromebook. It does exactly what she wants, which is very limited, and does it quite well and it is REALLY inexpensive.
     
  14. Mar 29, 2016 #13

    1oldman2

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Check the thread "Discussion about win10" posts #111 and #116, the GWX control panel is great.
     
  15. Mar 29, 2016 #14

    fluidistic

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    The CS guys couldn't access to the BIOS nor do anything so they told me to sent it to the hardware guys.
    I'm getting it seen by a guy who works on electronics and is used to repair computers. He told me he will open it, remove the battery, hard disk and stuff like that and check whether all works fine. He believes the hardware is ok (we can hear the disk working, the cpu heats slightly, etc.) and that it's probably a misconfigured BIOS or something like that.
    The problem is that this guy is very busy and I may get a reply next week or even later...
    I don't think the hardware is faulty. I was in the BIOS, desastivated Secure Boot and rebooted. It would have been very strange that the hardware broke right in between!
     
  16. Mar 29, 2016 #15

    1oldman2

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    It even gets worse than that, I have had "updates" automatically reconfigure my custom default "apps" twice so far. Talk about an insidious OS, and then there is the matter of "telemetry" etc. :frown:
     
  17. Mar 30, 2016 #16
    If it were real BIOS, I'd be very confident in saying that any OS does not have anything to do with changing its settings or preventing it from working. (Even "can not", though not completely true technically... but certainly "can not in a generic, crossplatform and safe way", and thus "does not")

    With the newfangled EFI business which the presence of "Secure Boot" sort of implies, things are a bit more effy though.

    PS: On that line of thought, if you are absolutely sure that BIOS settings have reset themselves, I'd say the most likely reason is a dying CMOS battery. That could also have caused your system clock to reset, leading to various failures such as certificate validations and a ton other random quirks. Wouldn't expect it should ever prevent a boot, but who knows with today's tech.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2016
  18. Mar 30, 2016 #17

    ProfuselyQuarky

    User Avatar
    Gold Member
    2016 Award

    Okay, so it depends on the audience. However, the reason why I dislike Chromebook is because, as you said, it's *extremely* limited. To be of any use, you mostly require Internet access, which is just annoying. When working offline, many of the apps cannot be used. Speaking of applications, that's limited, too. Google says that they have an array of online apps that can be used with Chromebooks, but, depending on what you do, it isn't a satisfactory list. All the programs that I use often are offline. My digital art software/programs, programs for creating 2D and 3D fractals, desktop graphing calculators (which are great for plotting lab data) all can't be used on a Chromebook. To add to that, the Microsoft Office applications are far more superior than Google Docs, Google Slides, and Google Spreadsheet. They're similar, but the latter ones offer less flexibility and options. I have more to say about this, but I'll stop for now as this isn't a Chromebook/Chrome OS thread.

    (Isn't a Chromebook a computer??) I agree, they're much more inexpensive than a "normal" computer (and they come is awesome colors, but I digress . . .) but I'd rather spend more money and maximize the use of any computer of my own.

    @phinds Don’t you use your computer for more than just Internet searching and basic word processing?
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2016
  19. Mar 30, 2016 #18

    phinds

    User Avatar
    Gold Member
    2016 Award

    Other than game playing (which I don't), I'm a power user. I have an i7-based system w/ 16Gigs of ram, an SSD boot drive, a pair of 2TB hybrid drives, a Blu-ray burner, and more, plus numerous large applications AND I have dozens of applications that I wrote myself including one to manage my 170,000-file main web site. If I were limited to something as trivial as a chromebook, I'd shoot myself.
     
  20. Mar 30, 2016 #19

    ProfuselyQuarky

    User Avatar
    Gold Member
    2016 Award

    See? You understand. So why did you say that you “completely disagree”? Oh, yes, I’ve got Visual Basic, as well (yet another thing that can’t be used on a Chromebook).
    Clearly, you have issues :-p
     
  21. Mar 30, 2016 #20

    QuantumQuest

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    The story of "root no verify" and the like messages of a damaged bootloader, dates back to the first editions of Windows. I had a PC about 12 years before or more, that was used exclusively on experimenting with multiboot configurations. At first, I tried to create a just two OS configuration with Windows XP and Red Hat and I let grub manage booting for both - there was such prompt in a configuration screen. That was a huge mistake, because simply Windows are not friendly to other bootloaders - especially Linux ones back then. So, I ended up with a hanged PC. I did the trick using a commercial boot manager as a "master", which had the responsibility of loading the specific boot loader of each OS and then pass the commands to it in order to boot the desired OS. This way and adding more OSs in the process, I managed to have a multi OS PC. But even with that, there were at times corrupted files of Windows, preventing Windows from booting and this, for various versions of Windows. Unfortunately, the same story goes on even with Windows 10 now, and it is really a risk for anyone's data, to have multi-configuration machine, as long as he/she uses Windows.

    I can't really say that, but surely enough, Windows are not an OS for experimentation, regarding its inner code and workings. Linux is far better in this regard and there other open source distributions, that are friendly enough to experimentation. This is just a manifestation of the difference between proprietary and open source software. But Windows are good enough, for not only the average user; they are good - at least from 7 edition and beyond for development too, especially from the point that Microsoft moved many IDE's, libraries and tools to open source. That said, I use Linux (mainly Debian and Ubuntu) for development too.

    Although I understand your anger about Windows very well and it's very frustrating to end up with a dead laptop, you did not break the OS, it is just that Windows are not friendly to multiboot configurations with other OSs and this can manifest itself in various ways. It maybe from a simple update, that did the wrong thing to BIOS, to something else. To my opinion, it's better to have a single OS machine (e.g Windows) and have a virtual machine like VirtualBox or some other, to host some other OSs.

    Regarding Windows 10, because the OS is effectively in a phase of live testing by the users worldwide, it will take time to correct the various flaws and issues that pop up in the process, in order to be stable and robust. I think that it is fairly problematic at this stage.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted