It has been a long time since I've been dealing with Windows 7 on a regular basis. But today I had a client call who had 2 Windows 7 machines that he had allowed "fake Microsoft support" to touch, and where he called said support himself by not being careful in vetting the results of a web search before dialing.
In any case, on one machine they uninstalled Microsoft Office 2013 and Project 2010, installing some seemingly tweaked version of Office 2016 in place of 2013. You can't even get the Outlook to accept e-mail account information [which was probably a blessing]. That machine is well on its way back to normalcy.
The second machine, though, is more of a mystery to me. It was set up with a single account with admin privileges and no password. The machine would boot all the way in to the desktop and then, after about 5 seconds or so, go to black screen and begin rebooting again. I tried creating a second account just to see if it could have been user profile corruption and, no dice, same behavior. Then I tried a clean boot, also no dice. Since this machine is an old Pentium box I did not want to take way more time than a replacement machine would cost trying to figure out what was at the root of this yet I remain curious, not having encountered this exact situation in the past. I'm just curious if anyone has any ideas as to what might be going on here. At this point I advised the client (after backing up his data) that his likely only chance at normalcy again would be wiping the HDD and reinstalling Win7, but that this is throwing good effort after bad given the age of the hardware.
If there's something obvious that I missed either through abject ignorance or that whatever it is has now moved into the mists of memory I would love to know what's up with "machine number two."