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Windows 7: Win7 auto logoff and shutdown after completed clean install

22 Mar 2015   #21
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Just a note.

The system in my specs has Windows 7/64 Pro that was loaded using a LG Bluray and UEIF bios and a Microsoft supplied DVD without any problems.

Using that combination and and proper method should not of been a problem.
Something somewhere was missed in the install procedure.

Another note:

I do watch a lot of threads greg helps in and don't post but I thought it was necessary here.

If the hardware is working properly and the procedures are followed exactly Windows 7 will install using UEIF bios without a problem.

I'm back to watching.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Mar 2015   #22
slewis78

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

Thanks for the note on bluray. Yeah it all should have worked from the get go, its been weird.

Only the SDD was attached during the troubleshooting (and the dvd, ports 0 and 1). But the other drives showed up in the mail and I wanted to get the data drives copied while on travel this week.

Wish I could say I dropped a bucket of metal screws on the mobo, or read that pouring vodka on the bus was the new way do liquid cooling (it worked in Electric Dreams, right?). But Nope, nothing out of the ordinary here.


I have a message off to Gigabyte to see if they have any ideas, and a 256gb m.2 drive on order to try when I get back this weekend.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Mar 2015   #23
slewis78

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

To follow up, here is how I've "solved" this problem:

To review, the components are:

- Intel G3440 54w TDP
- Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD3H
- 16GB Corsair DDR3
- Antec EDGE 550W
- Transcend SATA3 M.2 256GB SSD (boot)
- cheap $20 LG DVD SATA drive
- SuperMicro AOC-SAS2LP-MV8 8x SATA controller
- 4x HGST Deskstar NAS 4TB (with room for 4 more)


I originally started with just a single Corsair 128GB SSD as a boot drive, while waiting for all the data drives to arrive. Using my original Win7 Pro 64-bit OEM disk from several years ago, the OS would install but then automatically shutdown immediately after the first initial login. Not just power off, but after ~20 seconds after the login (consistently), Win7 would cover the desktop and show "Logging Out" followed by "Shutting down" (similar maybe to someone pressing the Power Button while the system is logged in but idle). The video of this odd post-install behavior is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Wxh-gz_BTo


To try to make a long story short... I never resolved whatever signal that was inducing Win7 to invoke its shutdown (temperatures looked fine, other OSes ran fine, RAM was tested, swapped PSUs, etc).

So what I did is this: Installed Windows 8.1. Installed VMware, created a virtual machine, used my Win7Pro OEM disc as the OS of that virtual machine. Performed all Microsoft updates as of 3/28/2015, and used this article to try to get the base-install image as small as possible:
How to Reduce the Size of Your WinSXS Folder on Windows 7 or 8
I wanted to get it under 32GB for a USB drive, and ended up getting it down to about 21GB.

Then I used this article as a guide on how to export the installed OS image (in the VM) as a backup VHD, and also to transfer the MBR-based image over to a UEFI based boot-drive (basically by manually constructing the EFI partitions and manipulating the Windows Boot Manager):
How to convert Windows 7 on MBR/BIOS to GPT/UEFI | MPS Partners

The main issues in the above guide are:
1) "EFI" should be used instead of "ESP"
2) the xcopy command should include "/s" also (not just /e)
3) The GUID in step 7 of the last part should include the surrounding {} and remove any dashes
4) In addition to the given commands, you may also need "bcdboot c:\windows /s c:" (or similar) as like a step 16
5) EDIT ADDED: also the "activate" command is not necessary since these are not MBR partitions.

So basically: preparing the partitions and copying over the install-image, then set the BIOS to UEFI-only, and Win7 is now booting stable for me. No shutdowns or BSOD or any problems so far in 24 hours (and with all the 4TB drives installed as well).

I can't say for sure what did the trick -- using a DVD boot drive instead of Bluray, or using the M.2 SSD instead of regular 2.5" SSD, or man-handling the non-UEFI boot media over onto an UEFI configured partition (via a Virtual Hard Drive backup).... But it seems good to go for a couple years at least now.


This is a secondary backup to my main file server, to keep an external mirror. The data is mostly astrophotography RAWs and other imagery from over 15 years. It's more sentimental than actually valuable data, but dealing with ZFS/XFS partitions and NAS boxes got annoying (they are fine for pure backup peace of mind -- but I have periodic blurays for that; I have situations where I'd like to be able to pull a drive or take an entire PC box and work-on-the-go on image post processing in an RV, even if it's just USB3 speed; being able to grab from either of two sync'd boxes is just handy). The NAS's also tended to burn out drives fast (like 1 every 6 months), have loud fans, and not expand very well (one might be limited to 2x2TB drives, another limited to 4x3TB, etc.). But if the work is under 1TB, I can flow that over to the laptop for shorter trips (I never had much luck with eSATA, but USB3 spoils me).

Thanks and Cheers!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 Mar 2015   #24
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

You sure did you homework and a lot of work. Thanks for explaining your methods.

You Nas burning out drives might be a heat problem.
Just take a look at these new fans for industrial use by Noctua.

Pricy but cheaper than buying a bunch of hard drives.

Amazon.com: Noctua NF-A14 industrialPPC-3000 PWM Fan (140x140x25mm 4-pin PWM, 3000rpm max., IP52): Computers & Accessories

A little video.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Mar 2015   #25
slewis78

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

My wife is a very sensitive sleeper, so she's very "aware" of any noises and lights. I very much appreciate well built fans! The Corsair standard 120mm's seem suitably fine, noise-wise. I tried liquid cooling for a couple years, but got turned off by mysterious evaporation from the pump tank (hence maintenance). Large (>100mm) low-speed fans are quiet enough (I had to use a Zalman on my CPU fan to throttle it down, since it wasn't natively 4-pin unfortunately; the cores are still under 30degC with this larger heatsink and fan). The mechanical hard drives are about the noisiest component I have to deal with anymore. And I generally end up having to disable any lights on the cases, even little LED power lights (or just tape over them).


I edited my earlier post, but wanted to emphasize what I missed (since it's mentioned in some of the sevenforums guides also): The "active" command in diskpart is not necessary for the UEFI partitions that are on GPT (because "active' only applies to the older MBR style, so the command fails -- which is ok, just ignore that error and part of the steps {or better, just skip "active" command altogether in this scenario}). It gets confusing because those UEFI partitions technically do still have a MBR for backwards compatibility only, but they aren't "real" MBRs in the sense that they don't need to be active and that doesn't influence their "bootability".


And yes, I'll stuff a NAS into a closest that gets very warm in summers, so I imagine it is due to extra heat and lack of good airflow in those small enclosures. Taking the cover off could actually help a little bit (in that scenario), except then you get dust and the "whirrrrrrrrr" of those hard drives spooling up when a backup gets started. I'm dreaming of the day we have 8TB SSD's for under $200. Although, on the other hand, I'm not sure what the current state on SSD longevity is insofar as repeated read/writes over the long run. And by the time SSD get that cheap, we'll probably have 100MP cameras and need petabyte archives (so data storage needs still won't be affordable)... It never ends
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Mar 2015   #26
slewis78

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

A few other notes, since some people had asked me about it...


- Win 8.1 was installed on the Corsair 128GB (i.e. "some other drive") only as a temporary way to produce the VHD. Win7, Linux, or even XP could have been used; anything that could run either VirtualBox, VMware, HyperV or similar (and host a 64-bit Win7 VM; 32-bit OS might work if not going the UEFI route later). And use of a VM was optional, just done as a convenience to avoid building up or occupying a whole other machine to make the VHD. However you choose to do it, either in a VM (on the same or different PC) or from another physical machine with a Win7 install, main point was creating a Win7 VHD. Basically wanted to emphasize that Win8.1 was not required for this, it was just "the other OS" I had up and ready at the moment.

- The Win7 VHD isn't required to be small footprint, again that's just convenience. Making it under 25GB means the whole VHD can be burned to a Bluray (for archive) or a few DVDs or USB-drive (the VHD creation and backup is all built-in capability of Win7 from the Control Panel -- at least Pro editions, I can't vouch for Home or other editions). It doesn't have to be a fresh baseline Win7 install either, but the less extra drivers and "stuff" on the image the better. Some Win7 installation may get "polluted" with chipset drivers and such that eventually would make the image incompatible with other combinations of H/W in the future (particularly such as if you switch between Intel and AMD builds). For this reason I think an image created in a humble 2-4GB RAM allocated VM might be preferred, as a baseline minimalist image (with nothing but service packs and updates applied).

- During the initial "make the VHD" stage, I was booting with "UEFI and Legacy" enabled in the BIOS. I didn't need to apply the image to UEFI-required partitions (particularly since I'm not booting to >2TB partitions), that was just an extra adventure for the fun of it (although maybe it was necessary to keep my Win7 install stable, unfortunately I don't have time now to go back). While applying the image (and doing the diskpart steps), I could use either the Win8.1 installer or Win7 installer (since in this second stage of "apply the VHD", I'm not actually installing the OS, and just need the Shift-F10 console window to execute the partition construction, attach/assign a drive letter to the VHD, and perform xcopy). In my case, Win7 wasn't installing right on that H/W, and I didn't want to consume my Win8.1 license on that asset indefinitely -- a fully updated Win7 turned out to run fine on my target H/W, hence all this VHD hoopla.

- Use of "VHD" wasn't essential, there are other tools to image partitions. But, again, creating and later applying VHDs is a native capability of Windows, so IMO it's more convenient than third-party solutions (except that the VHD is an annoyingly long GUID filename; if there are multiple VHDs created then the "largest" filesize is probably the GUID you want {the VHD isn't compressed, so the size corresponds to the size of your original boot image; ~20GB in my case}).

- I could have installed Win8.1 on the M.2 and done many of the same steps all using a single HDD -- but then the diskpart surgey and BCD adjustments get a little more complicated (as it becomes a Win8/Win7 dual boot scenario; I'm hoping to re-use the 128GB SSD w/ Win8 install in another PC, so didn't want to risk messing that up). In any case, when all done, I switched the BIOS over to "UEFI-only" and removed the Corsair 128GB drive (booting only from the M.2; and yes, making it the Option #1 boot device, or Primary). Shared out the mechanical drives that I want to perform the daily backups too, stuff the box into a closest with an ethernet port, and done -- have my Win7 "back up file server" mirror despite my weird shutdown-after-installed problem (with overkill of a motherboard and RAM, but oh well, spare parts for if some other PC goes down in the future).



Yes if I just wanted just a backup, I could use FreeNAS or similar -- but as a mirror of "Windows-style-NTFS-partitions", if my main backup box dies, burns, stolen, destroyed, etc, I have an instant same-day replacement without a multi-day restoration process (which I've had to drag thru before, FTPing tons of data from ZFS back over to NTFS partitions {it took over 3 days!}); and also as direct 1:1 mirrors (same partition formats), I can grab from either box and work-on-the-go using preferred Windows-based tools (I travel a lot, but "the cloud" doesn't work for me since these are large data files {for instance, a single 300MB final image might be produced from 30GB of data} and not just 100KB PowerPoints and cooking recipes). My main file server used to be internally backed up using RAID mirror, but that's a bad strategy (i.e. relying on RAID as a backup is a bad idea, as most know by now). Instead, I internally now keep 1:1 drives and partitions on that file server and do nightly mirrors with SyncBackPro. Now just being extra paranoid, that same concept is done nightly across ethernet to a separate and more physically protected box "just in case". RAID is ok for "the big boys" 24/7 data warehouses, or gamers/developers who want the RAID0 performance benefit (I do!); but otherwise I've given up on RAID1/5/etc for home usage (I've had to live thru rebuilding RAID indexes also, that's not much fun either).

Probably my biggest risk now is if the main file server somehow has all its file deleted by a valid login left unlocked (or I have kids, so.. just to be mean or careless, I imagine them dragging stuff to the recycle bin {yay for user accounts with no write access!}) -- the mirror of that will get rippled over to the backups that night (and mirror means mirrors, so deletes get applied). I don't bother anymore with compressed incremental backup going to a date-stamped file (drives fill up and nobody does the maintenance of removing the very old backups; and again, multi-day restorations are a real drag). But this is what the periodic blurays are for, to stamp a backup every few months or so.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Win7 auto logoff and shutdown after completed clean install




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