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Windows 7: How can I get Windows Update to stop rebooting a laptop?

03 Jun 2015   #11
Malamute01

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 
Update

Hi Noel

Just a quick update for you.

Tried a repair install. No go. My install disk was older than the system I was trying to repair.

Tried to download an ISO from Microsoft with SP1 (because I couldn't delete SP1 as the laptop was showing no updates and my install disc was pre-SP1) and the product key came up as blocked because it was OEM software. Contacted MS and I was asked whether I wanted to buy a new key or Option B was to contact HP (the manufacturer of the laptop).

Just to reinstall Windows.

So basically the product key was active while the laptop was working but if I installed a fresh copy of Windows myself it would be immediately invalid!

I then did some further digging around and found that there was a Recovery Partition (D) on the hard drive. Ran that and guess what?

Windows is still active (now with SP1). Lightroom installed immediately and I'm now in the process of copying the user profile back on to the laptop using EasyTransfer. I have to reinstall all the software admittedly . . . but a damn site easier than dealing with MS' ridiculous licensing policies.

So my recommendation to any other HP laptop owners in my situation would be:

1 Transfer any user profiles to an external hard drive using EasyTransfer
2 Make a back-up of the recovery partition for future use
3 Run the HP Recovery Manager
4 Use Easy transfer to copy the settings back to the laptop

As someone who has only ever bought retail versions of Windows (where you just reinstall it if it goes wrong) this has been a pretty steep learning curve for me!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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03 Jun 2015   #12
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Hi Malamute01.

I follow a lot of Noel's post so that is the reason I'm here in your thread.

Microsoft is making it very difficult to do a lot of normal things when it comes to activation. It's a major pain in the ying yang.

I'm glad you and Noel got things working again.

I'm one of the lucky ones. I build all my systems and always have a Microsoft DVD to do need things. Those of you that buy prebuilt, Microsoft has left swinging in the wind. Microsoft came up with this activation problem the same time they started pushing the free upgrade to Windows 10.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jun 2015   #13
Malamute01

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Hi Layback Bear

Thanks for the feedback. Absolutely!

I have always done my own installs from retail versions and therefore assumed the cleanest and easiest way to do a clean install would be via a Windows DVD or download. Pretty much why I ignored the D Recovery Partition on the hard drive.

How could a third-party recovery programme be better than a fresh install of the OS off a DVD or a download?

Turns out it's the ONLY way to do a clean install on an OEM machine! If I had flattened the disc and created a new partition using my Windows DVD I would now be facing a bill for a new Windows 7 activation key!

What really bugged me though was that when I explained to MS the dilemma I was in they just said "you'll have to contact HP for a new key". So they wouldn't transfer my existing (legitimate) licence key to a new one for say two months . . . when they will be giving away Windows 10 for free? Yeah, that makes sense.

No one at MS even mentioned using the Recovery Partition on the OEM machine (which must be a pretty standard approach for OEM systems so that users can recover a corrupted version of Windows without needing a new activation key).

As it happens it does a surprisingly good job of it. Just wish I had known that right at the start rather than wasting time asking Microsoft to help me!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Jun 2015   #14
NoelDP

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 x64 Home Premium (and x86 VirtualBox VM)/Win10
 
 

All OEM suppliers (from the hobby builder to the likes of Dell/HP) are required by the license terms to provide the end-user with the means to get the system back to an ex-factory state.
In the case of the large OEMs , since around 2004, this has meant a Recovery system of some sort - usually at least one separate partition (sometimes 2!) on the hard drive which can be called direct from the BIOS to do a clean install of Windows. Some of the better OEMs also provide a means to do a non-destructive repair install, but this is unusual.
The Product Key on the COA sticker (for Vista and Win7) was enough, in conjunction with a retail disk, to be able to do either a clean or repair install.
In Windows 8, a retail disk will pick up the Product Key from the BIOS (where it is now hidden to prevent casual theft, and reduce counterfeiting) and install happily.
The problem is always getting the required media. MS used to sell keyless copies of Windows XP - but stopped that around 2009 when Win7 came out. They allowed every man and his dog to download Vista and Win7 from Digital River (which must have cost a small fortune once word got out!), until February this year, at which time they pulled the plug and set up a largely non-functional facility which is supposed to work for Retail Keys only. This is a fairly obvious 'push' to get people committed to Windows 10 as early as possible to create the marketing 'buzz' that surrounded the launch of Windows 7.
Cynical view? Possibly, but MS has to work out new ways to make money if they are to survive the onslaught of Android devices (Linux is still largely a niche market except on servers, and Apple with the exception of the phone is still mostly irrelevant)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jun 2015   #15
Malamute01

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Thanks Noel

That's very informative and interesting (and a little frustrating too).

If these are the terms of an OEM build I cannot understand why the person I was talking to at MS didn't ask whether I had a Recovery Partition on the drive? They asked me if Windows had come pre-installed. Nothing else.

They then offered two solutions

1 Buy a new key (for $40)
2 Contact HP

Nothing else! No suggestion about using the Recovery Manager built into (presumably most) HP laptops.

Maybe that's where they are hoping to make the extra money?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jun 2015   #16
NoelDP

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 x64 Home Premium (and x86 VirtualBox VM)/Win10
 
 

One of the prime jobs of any customer-facing company personnel is to sell product It doesn't matter what the industry is, they are all the same.

I'm surprised that you were offered the new Key for only $40 - it is usually a lot more than that, as I understand it, but maybe things have changed now.

I'm not at all surprised that they told you to contact HP (who should have then told you about the Recovery media - but may well have tried to sell you a new computer ) - that's always the case where an OEM Key or system problem is concerned.

What I have a problem with is why they thought a new Key would do anything at all for you!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jun 2015   #17
Malamute01

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Hi Noel

The person I was chatting too was obviously unfamiliar with HP laptops and any kind of recovery option. They were trying to sell me a key (initially, as she later retracted the offer) as the only way of activating a new version of W7 using my retail W7 DVD (not my partner's original install discs) once I had flattened the drive and reformatted it for a fresh install. I guess that's why she initially suggested it?

Fair point about customer-facing staff. Although when you contact the help desk you don't expect it to be staffed by the same people as the sales desk! .

The last time my Mum took her PC into PC World (she is in her eighties ) they tried to sell her a new PC for 400+. I got her to post it to me from Scotland to the south-east of England and I fitted a new MB and posted it back to her for a fraction of that (the postage cost more than the MB)!

Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for all your help on this.

Just downloading the last bits of software (including Lightroom, yay!) on a very happy laptop. And my partner has just got herself a new 1TB external hard drive.

I want one!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jun 2015   #18
NoelDP

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 x64 Home Premium (and x86 VirtualBox VM)/Win10
 
 

Good luck! (Yeah, large disks are nice -this lappy started out with 320GB, went to 500GB, and is now at 750GB, and is almost full again
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jun 2015   #19
NoelDP

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 x64 Home Premium (and x86 VirtualBox VM)/Win10
 
 

Good luck! (Yeah, large disks are nice -this lappy started out with 320GB, went to 500GB, and is now at 750GB, and is almost full again )
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 How can I get Windows Update to stop rebooting a laptop?




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