Saturday, October 8, 2016

My Windows 10 Anniversary update horror story

After hearing that the update was available I tried to use Windows Update to pull it in. Nope, windows said my system was uptodate. So I poked around on the internet and found a microsoft page where I could download the update from, Download Windows 10 Anniversary Update. I downloaded the tool and ran it. I was taken through the entire update process leading up to the first reboot. The computer rebooted once then proceeded through 30% of that process, then rebooted again, it was at this point, right around 32% completion I was blessed with the blue screen of death. I made the mistake of not capturing the screen. The update then returned my system back to the original version of Windows 10. I then tried poking around on the internet looking for reasons why this was happening. I found a lot of websites telling me to do this and that, but nothing worked. In all, I must have tried to update 6 or 7 times before I finally did a screen capture (with my phone camera) of the failure and realized it was having an issue installing some program I had on my computer (the specific file that was crashing the box was sscrdbus.sys). To be exact it was associated with RamDisk by SuperSpeed. I attempted to uninstall it via Programs and Features from the control panel but Windows would not show the uninstall option. I then installed CCCleaner and used its uninstall feature. The program was uninstalled immediately. I then used the pnputil.exe program to make sure the inf folder for this program was removed. It was not, so I used the pnputil tool to remove it as follows:

c:\> pnputil -d oem6.inf <- this is the oem name for this program on my computer. It might be different on yours.

The tool reported back that the inf folder was removed, I checked it manually and it was gone. YAY! After that I tried the update again and it successfully went through the entire update process. I was hopefully all was good however, upon completion of the update I was left with a completely black screen with a white mouse pointer that I could move around on the screen. Audio was working but the 3 fingered salute returned an error window. So I knew some things were working I just didn't have a clue as to why the screen was not displaying normally. So I power cycled the machine and logged back in. Same issue, black screen. So off to the internet again to find a solution. Guess what, nothing worked and I tried many solutions. On a hunch, I realized I had Window Blinds by Stardock installed on my system and I knew that I was using a Window Blind configuration on my system prior to running the update. I decided to boot the computer into safe mode. Once in safe mode I was able to uninstall Window Blinds and some other Stardock goodies that I thought might cause some issues. I rebooted the system again and logged in and the screen was black for a very long time then, suddenly ... BAM!!! I saw the desktop background and the taskbar starting up. It was a beautiful sight.

So the moral of this story is 2 fold. First, Microsoft does a lousy job of checking your system for potential issues so don't count on them to help you out here and Second, remove any DiskRam programs and Window Customization programs from your computer before you start a major update.

Feel free to comment or ask questions. Hope this helps someone else.