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Everything posted by E-66

  1. I've never been much of an update person. I went from Win 7's original release to SP1, and after that I've just pretty much left it alone. I don't know if my PC has all sorts of security issues or not. Everything I do online is done through Sandboxie. My system works fine, and I've never found any malware on it when I use the free checker tools. Regardless of that, for whatever reason it's finally occurred to me that maybe I should get my system more currently updated. I've read A LOT about updating Win 7, how it stopped for the most part in January 2020, etc. To make a long story short, this is what I've done, and I'd like some opinions on whether I should do more, or do anything differently. [Note: I installed these updates on a fresh Win 7 SP1 x64 system, but the goal is to integrate them into the ISO and reinstall] Installed, I believe in this order, based on what I read was needed in order to get the big updates to install: KB4474419: SHA-2 update KB4490628: Servicing Stack update from 3/2019. [the Microsoft Update Catalog site didn't show it as being replaced by a newer version, so I assumed it was needed even when later versions of SS updates were released?] KB4536952: Servicing Stack update from 1/2020 [didn't know if this was needed] KB3125574: Convenience Rollup from 5/2016 KB4534310: 1/14/2020 monthly rollup KB4534314: 1/14/2020 security update Done. Everything installed without issue. No glitches, no flickering monitor, nothing. I had read that beginning in April 2019, PciClearStaleCache.exe needed to be "present" in order for monthly rollups to install. Wasn't exactly sure what that meant, but I also read that it only needed to be included in the same folder as whatever monthly rollup was being installed and it would install. So that's what I did. After I installed the 2016 Convenience Rollup, I put PciClearStaleCache.exe and the Jan. 2020 monthly rollup in the same folder, and it installed. So my update path was Win 7 SP1 ISO > Convenience Rollup > Jan. 2020 rollup. I've never liked the idea of letting Windows install updates automatically, so I've always had them turned off. I let it scan my system after the updating I did and it showed 21 important, 33 optional. The majority of them were older ones, before 2016. When I looked at the KB numbers on the Microsoft Catalog Update site, all of them showed as being replaced by the big 2016 Convenience Rollup I installed, so I'm not sure why it shows these updates to begin with? Other than a security update to .Net Framework, none of the more recent ones seem "important." I don't use Internet Explorer or Edge, and I'm not concerned with time zone or currency updates for countries half a world away. Sorry for the long post, but any thoughts on what I've done, how I've done it, or if I should do more? Thanks.
  2. I used Offline Registry Viewer and verified that AutoReboot was set to 1. I then used OfflineReg and changed the value to 0. Put the HDD back in the laptop... and no change, which you said might be a possibility, and would indicate that the issue was likely related to boot files/code. So, what's next? (and thanks for the continued help) Edit: I started the laptop with a Windows 7 DVD and let it do a repair install.... and it worked. Took about 10 minutes and I was just about to give up and cancel it because I thought it was stuck, but it finished and told me to restart the PC, and once I did it booted to a message that Windows wasn't shut down properly. I don't know if that's from the last time she used the laptop over a year ago, or from me unplugging it when it's been stuck in the reboot loop. Either way, I started it Safe Mode, got to the Desktop, and then rebooted and started it normally and everything seems to be ok..... other than the godawful number of things that it has running automatically at startup that I'm now going through. So, thanks for the help, but I think I'm good.
  3. jaclaz, I want to make sure I understand the goal of what you're suggesting I do..... Are you asking me to boot from a PE3.0 (not 3.1?) USB while the laptop's HDD is hooked up to my PC (Win7 x64), and then set the specific registry key to turn AutoReboot off.... so that when I put the HDD back in the laptop I might see an error message instead of an infinite reboot loop? I think that's what you're saying (maybe I should have described myself as a semi-advanced home user earlier). Do I have to put WinPE on a USB drive all by itself, or can I add it to a current bootable USB drive? I was just looking at my Easy2Boot USB drive and there's a folder for WinPE, but it's empty (as I assumed it would be), but I assume it's there so WinPE can be added as one of the many things you can use Easy2Boot for?
  4. Sorry, I should have included more info. Yeah, it's definitely an older laptop. 2G RAM. Celeron M. I've never used it so I don't know how responsive it is when using it. The sticker on the bottom says it came with Win XP, but I'm pretty sure it has Win 7 32-bit on it now, just by looking at the dates of files and folders, and it has Win 7's boot files, not XP's NTLDR. I started it w/o the HDD attached and it didn't loop reboot. This is the message it showed: ====================== Intel UNDI, PXE-2.1 (build 082) Realtek RTL9139(X)/8130/810X PCI Ethernet Controller Series v2.16 (041244) PXE-E61: Media test failure, check cable PXE-M0F: Exiting PXE ROM Operating System not found ======================= VERY basic BIOS; there's hardly anything to adjust. No SATA options, nor anything to choose to disable automatic restart on system failure. I've used Easy2Boot on a USB stick to install my own OS. I'm not familiar with WinPE 3.0 or Linux live CD.... what are you suggesting I do with either of them with regard to her PC?
  5. I'm looking for help getting my neighbor's Lenovo 8922 laptop fixed. She's 82 and isn't much of a computer user other than e-mail. I don't know exactly what happened, but she said the computer "screeched" at her when she was using it and then she couldn't do anything, so I assume it locked up and she probably just unplugged it. I turned it on and once it gets to the logo screen it just goes into an infinite loop of rebooting. I got into the BIOS and reset it to default values and turned off the logo screen, so I do see that it POSTs, but it never gets to where I can ask Windows to start in Safe Mode or anything else. I pulled the HDD and put it in my PC and have no trouble viewing the partitions and data on it, so the HDD itself is readable. I ran an antivirus scan on it but it didn't find anything. I'm showing my ignorance here, but I didn't know if the antivirus scan could identify potential issues in the boot portion of her HDD when it's hooked up as an extra HDD in my PC? Anyway, what's my next step? I consider myself an "advanced home user" and have built multiple PCs, but I'm certainly not at the level of some of the experts on here who either work in the industry or are deeply involved in the field, so I need some help. Thanks.
  6. I have some other priorities at the moment, so that PC is going to be sitting for now.
  7. I don't remember the specifics of the EVGA PSU, but it's a quality unit. It's 650 watts, which is far more than any PSU I've ever had. From what you've written, you sound like a power user to me. I have a SSD and a basic video card, and I don't game. My PC is a glorified jukebox with a built-in web browser. I've exhausted my ability to troubleshoot. For $35 I'll let a tech at a local shop tell me what's going on.
  8. It powers on, shuts down, and restarts itself. I let it go through 2 of these cycles while touching the CPU heatsink as close to the CPU as I could, and the only temperature change I could feel was the warmth of my fingers touching it for so long. None of the components are "new" anymore, as the build is well over a year old, but I bought all the parts at the same time. I moved the EVGA PSU to my working system and it powers it fine. I moved the SSD over to my working system and used... I forgot the exact name of the program, but it gives you extended info about your HDD, and it reported that the SSD has been powered on for just over 120 hours, so you can see how little use all of the components have.
  9. If I let it power cycle for the 25-30 secs that it has been and the CPU heats up as much as you say it could, then shouldn't I be able to feel that in the heatsink? I've never checked that before but I'll fire it up again and see what happens. I hadn't made any changes to the stock BIOS settings when the PC was working previously, and just left them at stock and auto. That being said, I did spend a fair amount of time in the BIOS just looking around, and I don't remember ever seeing CPU temps of 40 or higher. I just rebooted the PC I'm using now and checked the CPU temp. 37, and its heatsink & fan are much smaller. I do have the BIOS set to control the fan speed as needed, and it rarely spins fast enough for me to even hear it, and I have the side of the case off. That's a different PC, of course. I'll see if I can feel the heatsink getting hot on the non-booting system and report back. Edit: I let it go through two of the 25-30 sec power cycles, and I couldn't feel the temperature of the CPU heatsink change at all. Then I felt the CPU heatsink of my working PC and it *might* have felt slightly warmer. The only thing that actually had a warm feeling to it was the chipset heatsink. It wasn't hot though, and I could have easily kept my fingers in contact with it all day.
  10. Yes, I did re-seat the CPU - no change. There's no instant overheat, either. I haven't ruled out any issues with the case switches, however. I've emailed back & forth with ASRock's tech support and it's been suggested that the power on, no post issue is the result of the CPU & FSB not syncing up. Regarding buying new hardware, I'm willing to buy a new mobo to see if that's the issue, but buying an expensive CPU just to test a theory is out of the question. Although, it occurred to me as I was typing the last sentence, I could try to find a older, used socket AM4 CPU cheap.
  11. I found an old case speaker and hooked it up to my working system and heard the familiar single beep when it booted. Went to the problem system and took the board out of the case as you suggested, connected the speaker, turned it on with just the CPU, and not a single beep, just the power cycling as already described. It's like the board passes electricity but nothing else. At this point I guess I either take it somewhere local and have them test the CPU and/or board, or just order a new board, unless there are any other suggestions?
  12. Ok, thanks. I'll look into it further and report back when I know something.
  13. Apologies, I didn't get a notification that there had been a reply. Yes, the PSU from the system that won't boot works fine in the system that does. Using it right now, in fact. That rules out the PSU, but does that also automatically indicate that the culprit is the mobo in the system that won't boot? I've tried everything you said above, and I believe I did those things before I even posted. Nothing ever shows up on the screen, and it always power cycles at the same 25-30 interval.
  14. I tried what you said. It turns on and looks fine (case fan & CPU fan spin), but it just power cycles every 25-30 sec. What's next? What is the reason it would barely power on at all when I connected the PSU from my working system to it as I mentioned above? That PSU has the same 24 & 8 pin connectors, but it'll barely turn on and then shut off and not come back on.
  15. Sorry, I posted right before I went to bed. Thought I included all the info, but obviously not. Mobo - ASRock AB350M (horrible reviews now, but not when I bought it): https://preview.tinyurl.com/ybcnxwbv First gen Ryzen CPU: https://preview.tinyurl.com/yacapzmn RAM: https://preview.tinyurl.com/ybd9ya93 This PC worked flawlessly for the short time I used it. All I did was unplug it from the wall and set the project aside for a while. Is there really any reason I need to re-seat the CPU? The EVGA PSU came with one of those dummy plugs to snap on the end of the power cable for the mobo. The fan spins. However, I had read that that wasn't a good enough indicator that the PSU was functioning properly, so that's why I thought I needed to do further testing with a multi-meter. Another bit of info I forgot to mention was that I took the PSU from my current working system and hooked it up to the non-working one. When I press the power button things light up only briefly. The fan on the CPU spins a few times and then stops and all the lights go out, and it doesn't power cycle. The PSU is a Corsair CX500M: https://preview.tinyurl.com/y8z246sm
  16. Cliff Notes version of my issue. Started a new build last year. No issues, but wasn't decided on which OS to install so I set it aside (unplugged) and went on with my life. Plugged it in recently and it won't POST, just power cycles. Everything lights up, the CPU fan spins, but nothing on the screen at all. It's *not* the monitor (I'm not that stupid). No speaker so no beeps to tell you about. The video card and SSD both work when I moved them to another build. Don't have a compatible system to test the RAM or CPU in. Cleared the CMOS and also tried a new battery. I thought it must be the mobo, but in Googling about the issue I read that the power supply could partially power up the system but not be putting out the full 12v at the rails. I have a multi-meter but haven't touched it in years. Please tell me how to set the dial and what to touch the probes to so I can diagnose this further. The PS is an EVGA SuperNOVA 650. https://preview.tinyurl.com/y9gb2we4 Thanks.
  17. I'd say that's a pretty good description of the situation. Jaclaz, if I had easy access to you and your knowledge (if you were my next door neighbor, for instance), I would have been more careful in my "experimenting".... but as you can see by the post times, you replied over 18 hours after my initial post. I had been reading about performance improvements with 4k alignment, read through a few "this is how you do it" articles, had some time on my hands, so I went for it. "Maybe I should ask Jaclaz about this first" wasn't an option. I'm a very curious and inquisitive person, and sometimes I lack the patience I should have in particular situations. I figured the worst it could do was screw up the OS. My data was safe, so I didn't care if things got ugly. Everything is fixed now, no worries. I'll definitely look through the links you posted though. And thanks for the DMDE link. I hadn't heard of that program.
  18. 4k alignment, or whatever it's called that SSD users are supposed to use. I read that it can also be used on regular HDDs. Why'd I do it? I wanted to see if I could notice a performance difference.
  19. I can't help it, I like to tinker with stuff, and sometimes I get myself in trouble... like now. I have a PC dual booting XP & 7, installed on a SATA HDD (using a small FAT primary partition, and the OSes on logicals). I've read about aligning partitions and thought it was only for SSDs, but apparently not? Anyway, while booted into Win 7 I used MiniTool Partition Wizard and aligned the partitions on the HDD. All but the Win 7 partition, as it couldn't be aligned while it was in use. It asked me if I wanted to restart and have it aligned then, so I said yes. Upon rebooting it said it couldn't find the boot manager. Did some Googling, and ended up using my Win 7 installation USB stick so I could access the "repair your computer" stuff. Tried Bootrec /rebuildBCD, /fixboot, and maybe anther one as well. There were no issues in executing the commands, but when booting I still kept getting the same message about not being able to find boot manager. The Win 7 install was fairly new and I didn't have any data I was worried about losing, so I decided to reinstall 7, and this was the first time I noticed that there might be an issue. Prior to reinstalling, the partitions looked "normal" in both MiniTool Partition Wizard, EaseUS Partition Master, and Windows' own Disk Management (I had moved the HDD to another PC so I could look at it), but once the reinstall began and I got to the screen where you choose which partition you want to install to I saw 8 instances of unallocated space (all with listed sizes of either 0 or 1 MB). One between each partition, and also one before the first and one after the last. I wasn't sure exactly what was going on, but I suspected it was tiny amounts of space that was created when the partitions were aligned. I just thought it was odd that the programs mentioned above didn't show it and that I was seeing it for the first time during the install. Anyway, the install seemed to go fine, but upon the first reboot I still got the message about no being able to find the boot manager. What's going on, and what do I need to do to fix things? What other info do you need from me? Edit: Oh, and since I didn't research things as thoroughly as I should have to begin with, is it true that XP doesn't like aligned partitions? So I need to "un-align" them? Or start over from scratch and repartition the HDD and forget aligning the partitions?
  20. There seems to be some kind of a glitch here (that's what I call it when there's something that seems obviously wrong but I don't have the know-how to figure it out). As mentioned earlier, despite my My Documents being over 7.5 GB, my user profile size showed as slightly less than half of that at 3.7 GB. I took everything from My Documents and moved it to a temporary folder outside of my profile folder, but still on the same partition. As a result, my user profile size shrank to 194 MB. Just now I did this all again, and also moved the Application Data and Local Settings folders out side of my profile folder, and my profile size was down to 5 MB. I assumed that would be the case. Moved everything back and profile size was back to 3.7 GB. To address your question (here comes the glitch), I copied a 3 GB ISO file into the root of my profile folder, increasing its "right-click > properties" size to almost 11 GB.... but when checking the profile size, it was now DOWN to 2.86 GB. Huh? I moved the ISO file to different places within my profile folder, and depending on where I put it, my profile size would vary between the 'new' 2.86 GB and the original 3.7 GB, but I couldn't get it to grow any larger than that. So even though moving my profile folder's Application Data and Local Settings folders in & out of the main profile folder made its size grow and shrink, ADDING a 3 GB file to either of these folder wouldn't make it grow any larger. I wasn't motivated to copy any other large files into my profile folder so my 'experiment' stopped there.
  21. 35 minutes... ouch! With my obviously smaller XP system image Norton Ghost takes less than a minute. I hate the idea of having to walk away for over half an hour while a system image is being restored, but at least it's not something that has to be done often. I've used XXCopy for years for non-OS backup. I've considered looking into XXClone for OS backup, but have concerns about the future of the program because the developer died recently. http://www.xxcopy.com/index.htm http://www.xxclone.com/
  22. Programs with installers typically install to the Program Files folder, but there's a lot of portable/self-contained software out there now. If you download such a program, it goes to wherever you have your browser set to download stuff..... which is presumably NOT to your Program Files folder. While it probably doesn't matter where you download it to for initially inspecting/testing the program to see if you want to keep it, from an organizational point of view it probably doesn't make sense to leave it there forever. So what do you do with portable programs you decide to keep? Do you move them to your Program Files folder (or perhaps create a 'Portable Apps' folder within the Program Files folder and keep them all together) and manually make shortcuts to them? If not, what do you do?
  23. @alacran Everything you suggested above is how my system was set up from the beginning (using the same reasoning), except that the OS isn't on C:, but D:, a logical partition. My C: is a tiny FAT32 partition with nothing but the boot files. My OS image is small and can be recovered in no time. I did a lot of research before installing XP permanently, and am very happy with the results. With that in mind, and I know this is the XP forum, I sure would like to know how to achieve the same thing (small image size) in Windows 7. I'll probably have to start a new topic for it in the 7 forum. With 7's giant WinSxS folder (and 7 just being a bigger install than XP in general), it seems impossible to make a small OS image that can be restored quickly. Back to XP. All that being said, for the subject of this topic, I don't think it matters if your system is set up 'ideally' or if it's all just dumped on one partition. If your My Documents folder has a bunch of stuff in it your user profile size is going to be huge. Move that stuff out, the profile size is smaller, but now that stuff is elsewhere. No big deal either way, as space isn't an issue for me... I just didn't understand why the user profile size was so large until I kind of became more educated about it over the last week.
  24. I've continued to mess around with this. As stated, my user profile was 3.58 GB in size. I did a little HDD reorganizing, and it grew to 3.78 GB. NTUSER.dat was 3,072 KB. As mentioned above, My Documents was over 7.5 GB. I took everything in it and moved it to a temporary folder outside of my user name folder, but still on the same partition. As a result, my user profile size shrank to 194 MB. I also used a shellbag cleaner, and NT Registry Optimizer, and afterwards NTUSER.dat shrank by exactly half, to 1,536 KB. I then took everything from the temporary folder and put it back in My Documents, and my profile size was right back up at 3.78 GB. So.... unless someone can offer insight to the contrary, I'd say that the "user profile" size is pretty pointless. It just means you have a bunch of stuff in your profile folder Great, that's what I thought it was for! If I move that stuff outside of my profile folder, whether it's 100 MB or several GB, the profile size drastically shrinks.... but that just means that that stuff is now located somewhere else. I have my lossless music collection on a separate HDD. If I had it stored in my profile's My Music folder, I guess my profile size would be almost a TB in size.

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