DonAlford's Posts

DonAlford's Posts

I run a PC service center and had a recent experience with the BIOS 2.2.1 upgrade. Below is what I experienced while researching the issue and resolving the issue: 1. From reading forums, it appears... See more...
I run a PC service center and had a recent experience with the BIOS 2.2.1 upgrade. Below is what I experienced while researching the issue and resolving the issue: 1. From reading forums, it appears there were multiple releases of the BIOS 2.2.1 with the last update being in the Jan - Feb 2018 time frame, all have the 2.2.1 release number. Having spent several years in Software Quality Assurance, I find using the same version number for multiple software releases is a poor industry practice. 2. From my own analysis and hands-on experience, this issue persist with MBR for Windows 7 process and not the UEFI (GPT). Dell 8900, and maybe other models, offered Windows 7 with some of it's shipments, possibly Windows 8 (I have not heard of any), and Windows 10 for certain. Typically, Windows 7 installs utilize MBR and Windows 8 and 10 use UEFI (GPT), this could explain why some people in these forums have not experienced this particular BIOS 2.2.1 upgrade issue with Windows "hanging" at the Starting Windows screen, the screen with the Windows pulsating color flag. 3.I contacted Dell Support about the BIOS 2.2.1 issue, got past the post-warranty person, and requested to speak to a Level 2 tech. After several minutes of explaining, and re-explaining the issue, there was no fix offered for the MBR issue.  4. Windows 7 Workaround : After much trial-and-error, I did find a way to boot into Windows under MBR: Go into BIOS and set SATA to RAID mode (not AHCI). MBR mode will work with SATA set to the RAID mode. In general, I understand that if you are not installing a RAID drive configuration (more than one drive for redundancy), setting SATA to RAID mode is not recommended because it will create some performance issues. When possible, always use AHCI mode. I did set SATA to RAID. and after a longer Windows boot-up time (1 minute or more using an SSD, where AHCI booted in 20 seconds), Windows 7 functions appeared to work fine. There were some noticeable performance issues during some Windows 7 operations, but I considered them minor. This workaround is great for retrieving software licenses, using a tool like Belarc Advisior, and saving off personal data files, so you can convert to Windows 7 to UEFI, but I don't see this as a long-term solution without extensive testing. 5. Long-term, yet more time-consuming solution; Convert Windows 7 from MBR to GPT (UEFI). This required ten or more of my time, and I know my way around BIOS and Windows 7. NOTE: Using a USB docking station, I first had to retrieve all drive software product licenses and personal data files before re-installation and reusing a drive:     a.) Reformatted the drive to GPT and set up a partition volume using the Windows "Create and format hard disk partitions" tool.     b.) I next set BIOS to UEFI and SATA to AHCI (use F2 when Dell splash screen appears) then reboot.     c.) Inserted a Windows 7 installation disk in the DVD player then reboot (I used an origianl Dell Windows 7 Pro Installation DVD). Force a boot to UEFI, not Legacy, by pressing F12 during the Dell boot-up splash screen then I select the UEFI DVD boot option)    d.) After Windows reinstall process started, and getting past the first couple of screens, I selected the Custom Installation choice. This choice will produce a list of drives. i deleted the Primary partition then clicked Next to continue the installtion process. (NOTE: There might have been a way to not include a formatted Primary partition during the reformatting process, but I did not take the time to research that. This might have eliminated deleting the Primary partition in this step d.). NOTES: 1. I spent over ten hours or more rebuilding the Windows 7 drive from scratch; requiring the recovery of several licenses, reinstalling an configuring applications, saving and restoring data files, and reconfiguring several email accounts in Outlook. 2. I made several attempts on trying to convert the MBR partition to GPT without success. Some of the tools used were the Command line gptgen tool and AOMEI Partition Assistant. Even if successful, I fear some obscure issue would later surface as a result of trying to shoehorn a MBR to GPT conversion, so I later opted out of trying to MBR to GPT convert. 3. You will encounter problems installing Windows 7 as a UEFI unless you have previously installed Windows 7 64-bit SP1. I would be interested to hear if anyone also had success with the above workaround or changing MBR to UEFI.
I have this same laptop and I discovered this issue is related with Windows updates where Windows is caught up in a loop looking for updates. Try one or more of the steps below to change the behavior... See more...
I have this same laptop and I discovered this issue is related with Windows updates where Windows is caught up in a loop looking for updates. Try one or more of the steps below to change the behavior of the Windows update services and this should resolve the issue: 1. Go into Systems Services (Start/type Manage/select Computer Management/select Services and Applications/Select Services). Select Windows Update service, Properties, then set Startup Type to "Automatic (Delayed Start)", select OK, then reboot. Wait up to 3 minutes. If the fan has stopped racing, you solved the issue. 2. If step 1 did not work on its own, keep Step 1 then go to Control Panel/Windows Update/Change Settings to "Check for Updates but let me choose when to download and install them", select OK, then reboot. Wait up to 3 minutes. If the fan has stopped racing, you solved the issue. 3. If step 2 did not work, keep step 1 then go to Control Panel/Windows Update/Change Settings to Never Check For Updates, select OK, then reboot. Wait up to 3 minutes. If the fan has stopped racing, you solved the issue. NOTE: No matter what people tell you, or what Microsoft recommends, it is my opinion that Windows Updates DOES NOT need to be set to automatically install updates. If you are uncomfortable changing the above mentioned settings, send me an email and I will arrange a remote login session with you to change the settings for you. Cheers. Don Alford North Texas PC Rx, LLC. www.NorthTexasPCRx.com McKinney, Texas USA Support@NTPCRx.com