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Any USB seems to send Windows 8.1 laptop into Automatic Repair since update


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#1 alisp

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Posted 30 January 2018 - 02:15 PM

I mentioned a while ago my Asus T200TA, running Windows 8.1, bought I think 2 1/2 years ago.  It's always had a bit of a love-hate relationship with my mobile broadband dongle, which is what I have to use most of the time to get on the internet - every now and then the dongle seems to send the laptop into the dreaded Automatic Repair mode.  I'd learned how to deal with that by never letting the computer Restart (as opposed to shutting down and starting again) without removing the dongle software again :(

 

However, last week I got a BSOD (didn't recognise it as that at first, because it wasn't so obviously different from everything else as in previous Windows versions), and although I tried various System Restores and Refreshes, in the end I had to give up and do a factory reset.  I then spent several hours downloading and installing the couple of hundred updates that had been issued since the laptop was manufactured. 

However, since that time, the machine has seemed a lot more sensitive not only to the dongle, but also to other things I might attach via the USB ports, such as my external hard drive (unless, of course, it's the software it's reacting to).  I installed the backup software for my external HD (WD Acronis True Image, and also another one, the name of which escapes me at the moment, but is also a WD version of something), tried to make some new backups, and now the laptop seems to be reacting badly to that one as well, because twice since I've installed it (even without the broadband dongle) it's gone into Automatic Repair mode the next time I've started it up.  This is only my "travel" work laptop, so normally it's not a huge problem, but I've been using it a lot over the past few weeks, and losing an awful lot of time having to restore/refresh it the whole time.

 

If anyone has any good ideas about what might be happening here, or any other suggestions to make which don't involve throwing the laptop in the bin/out the window etc., I'd be grateful.


Edited by britechguy, 31 January 2018 - 11:15 AM.
Moved to Win8/8.1 from Internal Hardware


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#2 alisp

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 01:58 PM

Having had problems for the last few days with my Asus T200TA (Windows 8.1) going into Automatic Repair mode following a factory reset, I decided to make a recovery drive as per the instructions here: https://www.pcworld.com/article/2880652/restore-a-windows-8-or-windows-7-image-backup-to-an-unbootable-pc.html

 

So, I did the backup onto my WD My Passport external drive using the WD version of Acronis True Image, then clicked Recovery and produced a recovery USB stick using a SanDisk USB 3.0 32GB (excessive, maybe, but it was on special offer :) ).  Next time the computer went into Auto Repair, I tried using the recovery USB, but to no avail.  Either I used the "use a device" option (I'm doing this from memory, so not necessarily quoting accurately), in which case "Acronis loader" and "SanDisk" options showed up, and I got the prompt to select a keyboard layout, but then it looped back to the beginning and I couldn't get beyond selecting the keyboard, or I went into Advanced and selected System Image Recovery.  If I did the latter, though, the computer wouldn't allow me to select anything other than the My Passport drive - even if I followed the instructions for a USB stick (I think that involved clicking on "Refresh"), nothing happened.  There was no way of searching for it.  The whole point of making a recovery USB drive was so I didn't have to carry an external drive around with me - I was on a train journey at the time!

 

I shrugged and decided to do a System Restore to the point I'd carefully set before leaving home, but when I tried that the only options that came up were 2 System Image Restore Points of "Backup" type (and they didn't work).  (I'm not sure that they hadn't actually been set on the external drive.)

 

Does anyone have any idea what I'm doing wrong, please?  I've tried the stick in both the 3.0 and the 2.0 ports without success.


Edited by hamluis, 02 February 2018 - 03:26 PM.
Merged topics - Hamluis.


#3 alisp

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 03:07 PM

Incidentally, I've read the article on customising Refresh points here: https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/616728/create-a-custom-refresh-point-for-windows-8-and-windows-81/

It sounds very interesting, but if the point may take up 5 GB then it's not for this computer, as it only has a C: drive capacity of less than 20 GB once you take off the recovery drive.



#4 Eyesee

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 08:24 PM

This has a 20 gig drive for Windows 8.1 or am I misunderstanding.


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#5 alisp

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 05:16 AM

I thought that was what I said? :)  It's currently at 18+ GB - I certainly don't have 5 gig of it spare for a potential refresh point!  (Precisely why it's so full when my installed programs allegedly take up less than 1 GB, I don't know, but there you are ...)


Edited by alisp, 05 February 2018 - 05:18 AM.


#6 dc3

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 10:54 AM

Rather than do a factory restore you should try doing a Refresh. 

 

A Refresh basically will reinstall the operating system, this will not affect your personal files if you use the option to save them.  The downside is that this will uninstall all of your third party programs you installed.  Windows 8.1 will place a list of removed apps on your desktop after refreshing your PC, I would suggest that you copy this list for a reference when you go to reinstall these programs.

Press the Windows key OS4o0pO.png  and the I key to open Settings.

In Settings click/tap on Recovery, click/tap on Refresh your PC without affecting your files, then Get Started.

You will see a page titled Refresh you PC, click/tap on Next.  On the next page click/tap on Refresh.

The computer may turn off and back on during this process, you don't need to do anything.  The scan will display a percentage of its completion.

 

 

Please do the following.

 

Please download and install Speccy to provide us with information about your computer.  Clicking on this link will automatically initiate the download.

When Speccy opens you will see a screen similar to the one below.

 LUDoziL.png

Click on File which is outlined in red in the screen above, and then click on Publish Snapshot.

 speccy2.png

The following screen will appear, click on Yes.

 speccy3.png

The following screen will appear, click on Copy to Clipboard.

In your next post right click inside the Reply to Topic box, then click on Paste.  This will load a link to the Speccy log.


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#7 alisp

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 10:58 AM

Thanks, dc3, I'll take it to somewhere where I can get online without the dongle, and get back to you with that.  I did try Refreshes and System Restores several times, but they failed each time, which was why I had to fall back on doing a Reset :(

 

I installed the backup software for my external HD (WD Acronis True Image, and also another one, the name of which escapes me at the moment, but is also a WD version of something),

 

 

WD Smartware, I think.

Edited by alisp, 05 February 2018 - 11:00 AM.


#8 dc3

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 11:06 AM

Please download and run the Speccy Snapshot, I left instructions for this in my last post.  This contains a great deal of information regarding your hardware and software and can point to specific problems.


Edited by dc3, 05 February 2018 - 11:07 AM.

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#9 alisp

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 01:46 PM

Now I've finally managed to get hold of some WiFi, here, I hope, is the Speccy:

 

This is really weird: I don't seem to be able to copy/cut and paste it in here.  I can C&P it into WordPad, but not into here.  Just nothing.  I really don't know what to do about this!


Edited by alisp, 06 February 2018 - 01:47 PM.


#10 alisp

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 01:50 PM

Okay, am now trying to upload the URL as an attachment.  Will see if that works ...   Dc3, I wonder if you'll have any more success in posting it than I have?

Attached Files


Edited by alisp, 06 February 2018 - 01:53 PM.


#11 dc3

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 01:52 PM

After you have clicked on Copy to clipboard you need to right click in your reply box and select paste.  You do not copy and paste anything.


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#12 dc3

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 01:55 PM

Please trust the instructions.  Follow them one at a time, there are images for each step.


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#13 alisp

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 02:02 PM

http://speccy.piriform.com/results/z1740LgBK46aLQpSyZBtHAE

 

Actually had to go and do this on my Chromebook, because right-clicking still wasn't working on my T200TA.  Totally bemused.



#14 alisp

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 02:00 PM

Er, anybody there?


Edited by alisp, 16 February 2018 - 02:02 PM.


#15 dc3

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 02:29 PM

Those helping other members here at Bleeping Computer have lives outside of these forums.  Occasionally life outside of these forums takes precedent.

 

Your SSD is listed as having the capacity of 29.1GB, but the Speccy indicates that only 18.9GB are being recognized.  13GB of this is being used by the operating system, this leaves 5.85GB of free space. That drive is too small for the operating system, especially with accumulative updates reaching 376.5MB in size, and this is for the 32-bit version.  I would seriously consider purchasing a larger SSD for this application.  You have already found that you can't do run certain applications because the lack of free space on this drive.


Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 





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