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Help pls with steps on BSOD on Win8 'open box' laptop


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#1 bogden95

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Posted 11 June 2015 - 07:01 PM

There are awesome tools here (thank you) but I'm hoping to get a bit of advance on best way to proceed in this instance. Some time ago I bought an open box Samsung laptop from BB that was 'geek certified'. It had Win 8 (not 8.1) and from the getgo it was clear it was not properly configured. Because it was a gift, I had to clean it before presenting it, and due to BB handling, I just purchased another one at my destination (from a different source) and left this one back home. Periodically I try to work on it but have not made success. NOTE: Jump to end for question but I'm putting the other info in case it is relevant to next steps.

 

Out of the box I found personal files and IMHO a mishmash of several different OEM Windows files. I got past the looping "auto repair" issue, and the "IE connects but no other browsers connect to Internet" issue, but repeatedly got a variety of BSOD. There was also an issue with MS resetting the wireless driver with updates, so worked around that. My theory was that the mixed Windows files were problematic; however, some of the errors sounded like hardware (although I did not get any hw errors located).

 

In April I spoke with Samsung who told me to update bios and download their sw update program. They also ordered a win8 recovery disk so I could have clean Windows files. The disk recently arrived, and I tried all the different recovery options (files & apps, files only, reset everything, etc.) Option 1 and 2 failed at 30 and 37%. Option 3 never came back with "success" but did not throw any errors. I started using the laptop most basically, experiencing most of the same issues (no internet connection, etc.) as in previous attempt. Bluescreenviewer shows the same crashes and relative files as in April, just different versions of some of the files.

 

Samsung advised to erase the hard disk. I asked for clarification a) just erase files; B) format only c: partition; c) format and repartition so the hidden partition is cleaned. They advised "b"., and NOT to do anything with the recovery partition.

QUESTIONS:  

1. Before I start digging in with all the available tools, which I really appreciate your sharing, I'm wondering if - I already know the original files are not consistently the same version, and no way to verify what is the correct list, wouldn't the "mishmash" also be in the recovery partition, thus making a c: only format immaterial?

2. Would it be prudent to replace memory (it's only 4gb now so was planning on increasing anyway) before doing anything else, in case there is a 'hard to locate' memory issue?

3. Should I run thru some of the tools here first, or just hit the format avenue now? And if format, what tool or command is recommended to get the partition ready for a reinstall?

4. Should I scrub the drive and just go with Win10? 

 

Thank you. I know I'm not providing specific files now, but hope that this can be just a direction-pointing assistance request. I can't see paying BB $200 for them to do a reinstall that they nuked in the first place, nor does it make sense (to me) to clutter up the forum with logs if I should format first anyway. I'm happy to run appropriate tests and provide more data, but want to get the proper groundwork done first. 


Edited by bogden95, 11 June 2015 - 07:11 PM.


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#2 jcgriff2

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Posted 11 June 2015 - 10:11 PM

Hi -

 

The very first thing that should be done when buying a system previously owned by another is to reinstall Windows.  As you found out, you never know what the prior owner left behind. 

 

As I was reading your post, my thoughts immediately went to wiping (low-level format) the hard drive  & reinstalling Windows.

 

IMO, there is no better way to help figure out if your system is suffering from software issues (drivers) or hardware failure.  Assuming the Samsung media (recovery discs)  are good and that your DVD drive is good, Windows should install onto a blank hard drive without any problems if the rest of the hardware is good.

 

Waiting for Windows 10 RTM and then installing it onto a hardware-failure plagued system obviously will never work and is a waste of time.

 

I suggest you get Windows 8.1.1 up and running smoothly before even thinking about upgrading to Windows 10.

 

- Wipe HDD using KillDisk - http://www.sysnative.com/forums/hardware-tutorials/449-format-hdd-low-level-format-killdisk.html

- Install Windows 8 using the Samsung Recovery disc(s) -- I assume they are W8 discs - or is it W8.1?

- upgrade to Windows 8.1 (free!) - http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/upgrade-to-windows-8

- allow ALL Windows Updates to install (~150-175+), including Windows 8.1 Update 1   

- check Action Center (click on Flag - lower-right screen) and install missing 3rd party (Samsung) drivers -- you can also check Device Manager for conformation.  Look for red/yellow flags

 

If Device Manager indicates missing device drivers, a quick trip  to Samsung Support site should take care of them - http://www.samsung.com/us/support/downloads

 

Since you have the Samsung Windows OEM Recovery media, keeping the current HDD Recovery partition is pointless.  Wipe the entire HDD, not just the c: partition.  The Recovery partition will be recreated during Windows installation onto the blank HDD.

 

If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask.  That's what we're here for!

 

Regards. . .

 

jcgriff2


Edited by jcgriff2, 11 June 2015 - 10:13 PM.

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#3 bogden95

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Posted 12 June 2015 - 01:49 PM

Thank you soooo much! This is exactly what I was thinking I should do but wasn't confident of all the steps. I got in the endless loop of trying to reinstall Win from a bad recovery partition so keep (IMHO) reinstalling the same mess. The cheap comes out expensive for sure - the first time buying open box - of course was told they had scrubbed and done a clean install but obviously not the case!

 

So here is my first plan based on your suggestions with a little tweak.

1. Killdisk - thanks for this - I wasn't sure best way to completely clean that mess.

2. Boot from flash drive containing a clean Win 8.1 (from MS site via Win 8.1 computer d/l). I also  have a Win8.1 ISO DVD burned just in case flash drive is a hiccup.

3. Select the custom option and Delete all Partitions - which I think Killdisk has already done but just in case.

4. Reinstall necessary drivers.

5. Update Win 8.1

if this works then I may have a bloatware free Win8.1 and then any new problems can maybe be better isolated. If the install hiccups, then run Killdisk again, install from the Samsung 8.0 recovery DVD, update Win 8.0, upgrade to Win 8.1, update Win 8.1...

 

I couldn't stay out of BSOD to even backup files, (would be nice to keep the old minidumps) but honestly I almost  have them memorized - 99% on one file, 1% on 3 other files, with a variety of different "triggers" listed with each BSOD. So if they continue after all this, I'll be able to see the pattern even without the old files and I will follow the data collection instructions in this BSOD forum.

 

Thank you again for the specifics!



#4 bogden95

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Posted 13 June 2015 - 12:17 PM

Status:

Got another BSOD this AM. I'm not 100% confident that I have latest drivers even though Action Center shows no warnings. Samsung site pushes this model toward Win7 not Win 8 so am checking vendor sites for each component just to rule that out. Then will go thru posting the files in your excellent document. I went thru the motions to ensure I did them correctly but want to rule out driver issues first. I do have one question regarding the process.

 

Question:

One step is run perfmon /report as administrator. Another user posted a problem with this command (I had the same issue) and you responded that it wasn't that important to collect. I figured out how to capture the info in 8.1 but wasn't sure how the new commands correlate to what was captured with perfmon /report.

I typed "perfmon" as administrator, 

Installation notes

: Very lengthy for Killdisk but after the drive cleanup, most went smoothly. Interesting that there were 10 partitions! Because I was already knee deep in it, I didn't investigate what was in each one - 1) normal c: partition with app 49gb of 640gb hard drive; 2) about 20-30gb recovery partition; 3+) various sizes all under 1gb - some in kb and some in mb. If nothing else glad to know that there is nothing untoward lurking from Best Buy (supposedly this laptop was not sold - just open box, but I do wonder given the weirdness!)

 

So I killdisk all partitions, skipped the Samsung 8.0 recovery disk and went right to a clean Windows 8.1 from MS, checked Action Center. Only two flags, one USB 2.0 and the other "unknown" I've not isolated, but graphics, wireless/lan, etc. were ok. By skipping the Samsung disk I hoped (and appeared to be successful) to avoid crap/bloatware being installed.

 

I set Win to not auto update drivers, or windows, and to allow me to choose drivers from mfg rather than Win. I went to Samsung website to make sure I had latest, and most of the doc there is for Win 7 (further confirming my suspicion that this laptop was Win 7 and Best Buy upgraded to Win 8 before the sale and probably where the mixed file mess started).

 

I installed Chrome, Firefox, only set up one acct. Didn't check mail or anything that would download a bunch of files; did play some games for a while to try to push graphics. The box was cooler than before - it could get quite hot before.

Even though I set Windows Update NOT to auto update (because there were 107 updates needed and I wanted to restore point throughout the updates), it decided to do them anyway last night. First thing this morning got a BSOD - created a restore point but unfortunately there are many updates between the two restore points. I do have a restore point right BEFORE the updates just in case one of the updates is deemed problematic. Kicked myself for falling asleep before shutting system down)



#5 bogden95

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Posted 19 June 2015 - 02:28 PM

Hi JC - didn't want you to think I didn't appreciate all the info you provided. I'm still working on this - the last set of Win updates created add'l issues. I removed the Win update that basically puts in a Win10 advertisement (sorry I don't have KB # in front of me but can get it if needed) - it was optional anyway. The BSOD expanded to freezing screens requiring a hard power off, bumped from an app to desktop with no visible errors, and more and exciting BSOD's. No blaring contributing conditions like time of day, length of time, etc. I am going to go thru the troubleshooting steps, get all the appropriate logs/files, and see if anything pops. Thank you again for the help.



#6 jcgriff2

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Posted 24 June 2015 - 02:43 PM

Is there anyway to return the system?

 

If not, contact the system manufacturer's support people.

 

IMO, there is some unknown hardware failure responsible here -- especially the freezing.


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