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Windows 8 Automatic Repair Loop

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#1 farmeunit

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 21:42

I've been seen this from time to time in our environment, but have been just re-imaging in most cases since it was relegated to student machines, but I've had 3 teachers machines today.  I can re-image those, but it's not really fixing the issue.  Plus I have to pull their data off, etc..

 

Things I've tried are:

bootrec /fixmbr

bootrec /fixboot

bootrec /rebuildbcd (reports installations: 0)

bootrec /scanos (reports installations: 0)

 

As suggested in some other places, I checked the boot partition.

I've also disabled automatic repair.

 

I'm running CHKDSK /R now, but it's a ways from being finished.

 

Has anyone been consistently able to fix this, and what can I do to prevent it?  We've been using Windows 8 since August and this has mainly been on laptops, but I've had two desktops over the last month and we're adding 450 Windows 8 devices this summer, so I'd like to figure this out.  We had a mobile lab that we put Windows 8 on, and ALL of them developed this issue.  We put Win7 back on them, and no issues.  They were admittedly a little older (Thinkpad T400s), but




#2 Top Qat

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 21:49

Did the issue occur immediately after applying the new image to the machine?

What hardware was the original image created on? Maybe it does not contain the required drivers for the different hardware?



#3 zhangm

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 21:58

Is it possible for you to pull the logs from C:\Windows\system32\config and view them on another machine? Given that you're seeing multiple cases, there is a decent chance of finding some comment series of events leading to the issue.

Edit: Actually the logs might be under C:\Windows\system32\winevt\logs now.

#4 OP farmeunit

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 22:04

Did the issue occur immediately after applying the new image to the machine?

What hardware was the original image created on? Maybe it does not contain the required drivers for the different hardware?

No.  The machines have been fine for about 4 months.  The mobile lab went maybe 2 months before every one of them had that error. The image was create on an HP dc7800, but we used ENGL and ZENworks to push out a universal image.  The drivers are fine.  The software downloads them, and I can change them myself.

 

 

Is it possible for you to pull the logs from C:\Windows\system32\config and view them on another machine? Given that you're seeing multiple cases, there is a decent chance of finding some comment series of events leading to the issue.

Edit: Actually the logs might be under C:\Windows\system32\winevt\logs now.

I can try getting the logs and see.  I just didn't even know where to log, or if I can find them, what I'm looking for.



#5 zhangm

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 22:18

I can try getting the logs and see.  I just didn't even know where to log, or if I can find them, what I'm looking for.


I'd recommend poking around Application, HardwareEvents, and System.evtx to start.

#6 OP farmeunit

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 22:52

I copied those off to a flash drive and there is nothing past 4 days ago.  She messaged me over the weekend about the issue, so that could be correct. 

 

I don't see anything in there that could be the cause. It fixed a couple of errors on CHKDSK, but nothing major



#7 greenwizard88

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 23:29

I had this on my laptop at work, I fixed it by switching laptops!

 

Without being snarky, what happened was the motherboard went on my laptop - first the sound stopped working, then the VGA port, and finally it would crash and repair. The tech came and swapped motherboards. It started the infinite repair loop, and never really recovered. We tested the hardware and it was working completely, as well as running a live CD of some Linux distro. I said screw it, and swapped my E6440 for a MBP. It's not as fast, but I don't want to worry about Dell's (lack of) reliability on a work computer.

 

Some notes:

This was a laptop with an NVidia Optimus GPU. Do your laptops have NVidia GPU's?



#8 OP farmeunit

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 02:05

Haha.  I know the feeling, greenwizard88.  I need to put SSDs in the laptops, anyway, so not too worried.  I just don't want to have to reinstall the one-off software that isn't in the image or can't be pushed out, and pulling off their data.  Kind of worried about future installs, since I had that big problem with the whole mobile lab. 

 

I'm thinking about re-enabling Last Known Good Configuration according to this:

http://winaero.com/b...in-windows-8-1/

 

System Restore doesn't work, and nothing else I've tried does either, so that's my last resort at this point.  I have a company coming in Wednesday to help figure it out, but MS was no help.



#9 +snaphat (Myles Landwehr)

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 04:43

If the company or you come to a conclusion about this, I think we'd all be interested in hearing. I've had similar issues on my desktop with Win8. It'd get stuck in a repair loop if I added non-UEFI OSs to the system (literally, the OS would simply fail to boot if I plugged in any HDD with an OS that had a MBR on it and then launch into a repair loop). I solved that issue by completely disabling UEFI and doing only non-UEFI Windows installs from that point on. My conclusion was that either the UEFI firmware was buggy (this is an Intel board) or that Windows 8 itself was buggy.



#10 OP farmeunit

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 19:53

I'll keep you guys updated.  We're not adding any drives or doing much else that I know of.  I'm getting reports second-hand, so can't say for sure on the cause.  I have a guy coming in tomorrow to help look around and see if I'm missing something. 

 

I plan on turning off Automatic Repair and enabling Last Known Good Configuration.  I think it's a Windows 8 issue and not an application issue.  I very seldom see issues like with Win7, even on the same hardware.  Win8 doesn't seem nearly as resilient with errors.  We're going with tablets for 1:1 so I wanted Win8 on everything we could to help everyone get used to it.  The majority of our machines are Win8 and run fine, so I hope I can find a REAL solution.