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SP3 Update failure + unexpected system restart = PC restarts during Windows boot

Tags:
  • XP repair installation compatibility
  • restart during boot
  • Windows
  • System Restart
  • Windows XP
  • XP SP3 install crash
Last response: in Windows XP
April 7, 2014 8:26:37 AM

Hello everyone,

I was helping my aunt remotely via phone and TeamViewer, because her internet provider called her that spams are being sent out from her PC.

She has a Toshiba laptop with Windows XP Home Edition SP2. No anti-virus was installed and Windows Firewall was disabled. But her system seemed to work okay, during a brief check, I didn't find any suspicious processes running. I thought that maybe her Wireless network was hacked and that's how the spam was being sent out (her password was very weak).

I wanted to install an anti-virus, but it turned out, that most of them need XP SP3. I started installing SP3 and after a long time, I got the error message that ntldr cannot be copied. The file was there in the install directory of SP3, but I couldn't do anything to copy it, so I just skipped it. The installation continued, but later another error message appeared, that rdpwd.sys is being used and I should close all other programs. We terminated TeamViewer, my aunt killed some running processes (incl. an RDP-related one), but we couldn't continue installation. Unfortunately, after that, we killed another process, which triggered a Windows restart within 1 minute. We quickly canceled the SP3 installation. The computer rebooted and we were show the "Windows did not shut down properly, what do you want to do" boot menu. No matter what option we chose (normal, last working config, safe mode, etc.), the Windows logo would show up and the laptop would restart. I guess the SP3 installation didn't have enough time to roll back the changes before the restart.

I thought an XP repair installation would help. My aunt found only an XP Professional CD (she has Home on the laptop), which did not offer the repair installation option. We tried the repair using recovery console, incl. copying ntldr and ntdetect.com, etc. But nothing helped.
We did all this via the phone (my aunt has even difficulties with using her web-based email account), so you can image how complicated the situation became.

My question is: what is the best solution to fix her PC in your opinion? I think it would be a Windows repair installation (she has some files on the HDD that she doesn't want to lose), but if I remember correctly, she has an OEM XP Home SP2 installation and I'm not sure what kind of XP install disc would allow her to do a repair. There is no recovery partition on the laptop. I would mail her the required CD (I'm almost 10000km away).
Do you have any other ideas?

Thank you very much for your time and for the help!

More about : sp3 update failure unexpected system restart restarts windows boot

April 9, 2014 6:12:16 AM

Have you tried doing a restore point? Just roll back to when the pc was working ok. If that doesn't work, she may need someone to grab her HD files and scrub the HD for a fresh reinstall.

You can also try to Google your issue. ntldr issues generally are bootloading issues. If she knew her way around command prompts, she could fix it there.

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April 10, 2014 6:57:06 AM

Thank you for the reply!

The SP3 installation did a restore point in the beginning, but the problem is that we can't restore it, because Windows doesn't even boot. We get the advanced startup options and no matter what we select (normal, safe mode, safe mode with command prompt, last good config, etc.), Windows starts booting, but within half a second the laptop restarts. If I understood my aunt correctly, there is an error message shown for 1/100 second before the reboot, but she can't press the Pause button on time to be able to read it.
I'm not sure at all if it's an ntldr issue or something else.

I'll get an XP Home install CD and mail it to her.
One related question: if the laptop came with an OEM XP Home Edition (no SP), but meanwhile it was updated to SP2, what install CD do I need to be able to do a repair install? XP Home SP2, right?

Thanks!
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April 11, 2014 2:15:20 PM

em-v said:
Thank you for the reply!

The SP3 installation did a restore point in the beginning, but the problem is that we can't restore it, because Windows doesn't even boot. We get the advanced startup options and no matter what we select (normal, safe mode, safe mode with command prompt, last good config, etc.), Windows starts booting, but within half a second the laptop restarts. If I understood my aunt correctly, there is an error message shown for 1/100 second before the reboot, but she can't press the Pause button on time to be able to read it.
I'm not sure at all if it's an ntldr issue or something else.

I'll get an XP Home install CD and mail it to her.
One related question: if the laptop came with an OEM XP Home Edition (no SP), but meanwhile it was updated to SP2, what install CD do I need to be able to do a repair install? XP Home SP2, right?

Thanks!


At this point you would need XP w/SP2 because Microsoft stopped support for it though I have seen downloads to XP after the date.

The more you explain it, the more it sounds like a mobo issue. I tried working on a friend's laptop. HE owned a Toshiba as well. We couldn't figure it out for nothing, only to find the mobo's went bad in that model. He had to get a new one. I tried everything from reloading XP to messing with the BIOS settings...you name it.

So it could be the motherboard. I would Google that model and see if anyone else has mentioned the same issue.

Yeah, I would try reloading XP with SP2, but FIRST have her files saved to another HD.
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April 12, 2014 9:03:56 PM

Thank you!

I couldn't get hold of an SP2 install disc, but in the meantime I found out that SP level doesn't matter for repair installs. What matters are the edition (Pro vs. Home), the language, and the license type of the existing product key (OEM vs. Retail vs. Volume). So I'll send her a matching SP3 CD, and also a Linux CD, so that she can back her data up.

At this stage a mobo failure would surprise me, but of course it's not impossible. The whole issue was triggered by my aunt's internet provider calling that her PC sends out spam. Then there were the SP3 install problems and the sudden restart, which probably left the system in an inconsistent state. Since then we couldn't do anything, because she didn't have the suitable CDs.
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April 13, 2014 7:24:50 PM

I hope everything works out for her. Sounds like you did your research. Cheers mate! and keep me posted. =]
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