Built computer for a friend last week; Windows updates this week ruined boot-up


Oct 22, 2009
Last week I built a PC for a friend with a lot of help from people at [H]ardforum. Here is the build:

When I gave him the PC a week ago, it was working great. Windows cold boot-up was ~30 seconds, and shutdown was ~3 seconds. All the programs worked fine and as far as I could tell there was no problem with the system. That is, until he installed Microsoft's updates earlier this week. The update appears to have really done a number on his PC. It wouldn't load the OS, and he attempted to fix the problem but was unsuccessful.

I asked him to write out what happened to I could post it here (he uses Gmail). This is what he wrote:

A couple of days ago he informed me that following Windows updates of Office 2007 Service Pack 2, his machine wasn't able to boot past the Windows startup screen. He first tried repairing it, then restoring it to the point before the update - that's actually how he was able to identify the update causing the problem. Then, after identifying the update, he could no longer restore the PC. From that point he tried reinstalling Windows 7 from the DVD. However, the install was only partially successful, in that the PC rarely reaches the desktop and usually gets stuck at startup. When he tried to boot to safe mode, he found that it gets stuck at the Classpnp.sys file. Now he is not able to get into safemode, nor is he able to get onto the desktop. He is wondering if it's worth it to install Ubuntu instead, and if there are any hardware conflicts. He is also wondering whether the fact that his main drive is an SSD drive is affecting anything, and whether it can be formatted.

Thanks for your help.


[H]F Junkie
Sep 18, 2005
Reset the CMOS, that may sort out the PNP issue. Maybe not though.

I've had similar problems with one of my machines (my sig rig) but not another (my HTPC) so I don't know what the important factors are. The issues with my sig rig sorted themselves out eventually after a month or two ignoring the updates and not letting them install. I can't recall which ones proved the issue for me, but I also had to do quite a few system restores over that period.

Best of luck.


[H]F Junkie
Jan 16, 2005
So did he actually reinstall windows or did he do a repair install? (I'm asking because you say he doesn't know if he can format the ssd, which a reinstall would do).

If it was an actual reinstall and it didn't reinstall successfully I would bet it is a hardware problem. I don't see how a msoffice update could hose windows, but it's possible, although I would think it might be a ram problem instead if the reinstall didn't work either.

I would run a memtest and start over with a clean install if the memtest passes.