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White Screen computer frozen. Authorities have been notified


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#1 pricepd67

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Posted 09 August 2015 - 11:47 AM

Here's fun one!  I received a HP EliteBook 840 G1 from a client with the System partition completely wiped out.  It has an SSD drive.  I contacted HP for Recovery discs and reinstalled the operating system.  After 214 Windows updates on reboot, the computer loads to the windows desktop and immediately goes to a white screen that says "The computer has been frozen to further use by the owner.  The authorities have been notified."  I contacted HP they say they are seeing this problem and believe it to be a 3rd party program.  How can that be with a fresh load of Windows and only Windows updates installed???  I then thought the SSD somehow as infected and installed a standard 500GB hard drive.  Reloaded Windows and 214 updates and after reboot, same exact thing.  I did a system restore back to before the updates and was able to get into windows with Safe Mode Command Prompt.  Scanned the hard drive with ADW Cleaner, Rogue Killer, TDSS Killer, Junkware Remvoal tool, and Combofix.  None of which found anything of significance.  I rebooted and back came the white screen.  I tried to reboot into Safe Mode Command Prompt again and it goes to the Safe Mode black screen but the command prompt never comes up.  

 

And here is where I'm stuck.  Looking for more troubleshooting ideas.  I was thinking about flashing the BIOS thinking it may be infected, but other than that, I'm at a complete loss.  

 

One other thing of note, I contacted the client and they did indicate that they saw the same screen before the partition was wiped out.

 

Any help or input would be appreciated.

 

Preston

 



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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 09 August 2015 - 12:07 PM

I am not sure this is the problem but the specs for the computer says it uses a TPM chip. See if there a setting in BIOS that lets you disable it. 



#3 hamluis

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Posted 09 August 2015 - 12:07 PM

I see nothing for such error message...but it sounds to me as if there's a hardware problem and the system needs to be repaired by the manufacturer.

 

Louis



#4 pricepd67

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Posted 09 August 2015 - 04:34 PM

I am not sure this is the problem but the specs for the computer says it uses a TPM chip. See if there a setting in BIOS that lets you disable it. 

The HP BIOS is confusing and I can't find helpful documentation.  I was able to find the TPM Security, but the Options are:  Change, View, Hide.  It was set to View.  I changed it to Change.  Was looking for an Enable/Disable option, but none exists.  The laptop booted fine after the change, I will proceed with the updates and see how it goes.



#5 JohnC_21

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Posted 09 August 2015 - 04:44 PM

If you still get that error wipe the drive and put a linux distro on it. If you still get the error then you are looking for something deep in hardware.

 

Edit: When you do the updates, only do Security Updates, no optional ones.


Edited by JohnC_21, 09 August 2015 - 04:49 PM.


#6 pricepd67

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Posted 09 August 2015 - 08:14 PM

If you still get that error wipe the drive and put a linux distro on it. If you still get the error then you are looking for something deep in hardware.

 

Edit: When you do the updates, only do Security Updates, no optional ones.

After only critical updates, it did the exact same thing.  I will try putting linux on it and see, but its very strange it only happens after updates.  



#7 pricepd67

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Posted 09 August 2015 - 08:16 PM

I see nothing for such error message...but it sounds to me as if there's a hardware problem and the system needs to be repaired by the manufacturer.

 

Louis

Funny that the manufacturer doesn't know that.  They were clueless. And they "are seeing this alot".  I may end up shipping it back to them.  They are currently sending a new SSD drive, but I'm positive this isn't a drive problem. 



#8 pricepd67

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Posted 09 August 2015 - 08:18 PM

I find it strange that something in the hardware could produce such a cryptic and malwareish notice.



#9 pricepd67

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Posted 09 August 2015 - 08:19 PM

 

If you still get that error wipe the drive and put a linux distro on it. If you still get the error then you are looking for something deep in hardware.

 

Edit: When you do the updates, only do Security Updates, no optional ones.

After only critical updates, it did the exact same thing.  I will try putting linux on it and see, but its very strange it only happens after updates.  

 

...and I don't really have the time or inclination to troubleshoot 214 updates.



#10 JohnC_21

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Posted 09 August 2015 - 08:33 PM

If it is indeed an update is causing the problem it may be best to install the updates in groups of ten making a note of what was installed. Doing it like this you could narrow it down to one of ten after the white screen. 



#11 pricepd67

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Posted 09 August 2015 - 08:38 PM

If it is indeed an update is causing the problem it may be best to install the updates in groups of ten making a note of what was installed. Doing it like this you could narrow it down to one of ten after the white screen. 

It most certainly is an update, but it could be the hardware that is messed up and not compatible.  There is a BIOS update for the laptop that just came out July 29th, so I'm gonna install the BIOS update and then install the updates in batches as you suggest.  I thought of this, but do I really want to do 20 rounds of updates?  lol  What a pain.



#12 JohnC_21

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Posted 09 August 2015 - 08:53 PM

Yea, that is a pain. Maybe increase the grouping to 20. That would cut it down to a possible 10 rounds. Then after the white screen cut those 20 in half to 10 and so on.



#13 pricepd67

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Posted 09 August 2015 - 09:06 PM

Yea, that is a pain. Maybe increase the grouping to 20. That would cut it down to a possible 10 rounds. Then after the white screen cut those 20 in half to 10 and so on.

Well, just goes to show "certainly"  should never be used in IT.  The white screen just came up while it was searching for updates on an un-updated system.  So since its being erratic now, it's time to send it back to HP and let them figure it out. (It is under warranty, thankfully)

 

Thanks, for all your input.

 

Preston



#14 pricepd67

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 01:49 PM

Turns out HP sent a guy to look at this laptop and he believes the laptop (which was purchased used through a 3rd party) was turned into computrace as stolen. Computrace is who is locking the computer up. Now I still don't know if the laptop truly was stolen and resold or if the computrace on the motherboard is malfunctioning. Next step is to contact computrace.

#15 hamluis

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 01:54 PM

Thanks for letting us know :).

 

Louis






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