CLOCK WATCHDOG TIMEOUT Error on Windows 10 Installation

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by Sithtiger, Jan 30, 2018.

  1. Sithtiger

    Sithtiger [H]Lite

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    Ok, I'm trying to fix 3 or 4 computers that are networked at a small business. Their problems started about 2 weeks ago. All the computers that had this problem was using Windows 10 x64 Home or Pro and ALL the computers that are having problems are running Windows 10 v 1607 to 1703. I believe the PC's that work are all 1709.

    So the problem has to do with Windows updates. They would update, but then (best case scenario) it would always fail or will update, but when the computer reboots, it gets stuck in a boot loop. I've tried clearing the Windows Update Cache download folder. You know stopping the process, deleting the files within the folder and then restarting it, which works, but then when I reboot and the same thing happens. It usually sticks at 80% or so and I've also tried Windows Update Assistant, same thing happens. It gets stuck in a loop. I have to use a Windows Recovery Disc, just to get back to the point where Windows is working.

    I've tried downloading a standalone patch to 1709 Fall Creator's Update. It says the computer isn't eligible for that. No matter how what PC I put it on, it wouldn't work. I picked the right one too. 64-bit. Maybe I needed a smaller incremental patch first? Maybe 1703? Anyway, then I tried to do a reinstall of Windows 10 without formatting. The same thing happened. Then I did a full format and install and even that didn't work on one computer. It also happened on another, but I did get it to finally work (I think) on one. I get the Clock Watchdog Timeout error and another that I should have documented. Something about Machine Max or Max Machine....not sure, but I remembered it long enough to look it up and both have to do with the CPU. Clock Watchdog Error especially has to do with CPU Cores not playing well together, but how is that possible for 3, maybe 4 to do that all at once. Sorry, but 3 CPU's don't spontaneously start dying. Sure it's possible but highly improbable!

    The one I got to work so far was when I was installing it, I removed the ethernet cable temporarily while I installed it. After it updated to 1709, it was pretty much OK. I had a couple freezes, but those only happened after a small update, but after I did a forced cold reboot, it was OK.

    I even tried Safe Mode, when one of the computers (before I reformatted and reinstalled Windows 10) was still working, but couldn't update it even with Safe Mode Networking enabled. And what about the Stand Alone update. It has to have something to do with the version number I think, but if that's true, it should have said, needs version 1703 or above to work or something. What I don't get is multiple computers not installing with a fresh install...formatted even. When it happens after a format and install, it always happens at the very last bit, just before it would say Hello, or close to it.

    To me anyway, it seems like a software error, because multiple cascade failures across a few computers just happen to occur at once and around the time MS released the new Spectre and Meltdown patches.

    I can't remember the exact model of the computer. It's an older Acer using an Intel dual-core i3-2120 (Sandy Bridge) 3.3GHz CPU. I think it had 4 or 6GB of RAM in it. Originally, the disk was constantly pegged out at 99 or 100% and despite that, it was actually pretty responsive. While I'm not certain, I think it's this computer. Acer Aspire X3990-006 - Core i3 2120 3.3 GHz - 6 GB - 1 TB. I'm pretty sure that's it, but I make certain when I'm there tomorrow.

    Anyway, does ANYBODY have any ideas of what to do? I've installed using Windows Media Creator, Rufus and I also burned a disc. They were all 1709 versions of Windows though. Thanks in advance!!!
     
  2. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett El Chingón Staff Member

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    This is not an informed opinion, but I have only seen that error message when overclocking. CPUs getting hot?
     
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  3. Sithtiger

    Sithtiger [H]Lite

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    Yeah, good call. I looked at the temp in the BIOS and I've only checked the temp on 3 of the 4 computers, so far the highest temp (idle) was 61 C with the other temps around 50 C, so even though the temp is a little elevated on one of them, that doesn't explain the other one. I was thinking the same thing initially, but those temps are not outside the thermal limits I believe. If they were in the 80's, I'd say yeah, it's heat related. That's what's so weird. You'd think they'd be scorching hot, but they're not and I've not had one of them crash while in Windows 10 itself. It only crashes when trying to finish the download or rebooting right after an update. I just don't get it!
     
  4. Spartacus

    Spartacus [H]ard|Gawd

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    IT guy here....

    I have an office I support where we did Windows 7 to Windows 10 upgrades on all of their systems last summer.

    All of the desktops upgraded fine, but about 9 of 12 laptops all failed with that same BSOD error I believe.
    I did a clean install on them and then they were fine.

    That was with 1607 at the time I think.

    I did have an old Gateway i5 system that would BSOD upgrading Windows 10 to 1703 and then 1709.
    Multiple attempts at clean installs, nothing worked. Windows 10 release 1607 ran fine though. MS changed
    something with how they enumerate hardware and install drivers at some point I think.

    Finally pulled out the PCI wireless card and then 1709 installed no problem.

    So try pulling any hardware that's not needed and then try a clean install.

    .
     
  5. Sithtiger

    Sithtiger [H]Lite

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    That might work on one, but I doubt it because the other one is hardwired in, so I don't think it will work here. That is a good idea though. I can try doing that to the wireless one. The other one I'm going to put 1703 back on.
     
  6. Spartacus

    Spartacus [H]ard|Gawd

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    The wireless card wasn't being used in the old Gateway system.
    It just came with the computer.

    Windows still loads drivers even if you aren't using the hardware.

    .
     
  7. Sithtiger

    Sithtiger [H]Lite

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    Spartacus, so guess what, you were right! Unfortunately I forgot to check my email and look. Had I done that, it would have saved me allot of time....like 5 days. I'm pissed for two reasons. First, after the first day, I should have taken a computer home and removed the PCI-E WiFi adapter. That's pretty much diagnosing hardware 101, but I hadn't worked a problem like this in years. I've built computers maybe once or twice a year, but I was rusty and then I get this job and went from fixing a computer here and there to a business setting and I'm freaking out. You can be sure, I won't EVER forget something like this again. It's like I took a refresher course in just about everything I've ever learned. Anyway, I had a friend who I actually taught....he has a business and asked for his assistance and he found that. Again, had I looked I would have seen your response.

    However, there was another problem besides that. Your solution fixed 3 out of the 4 computers. The 5th one, I'm still not sure what it was, but what I got the same error that the others gave me. What I did differently was I installed Windows using 1709, didn't connect to the network and didn't enter the key until after Windows was installed. Something on the network was messing things up. While the WiFi internal adapters did cause a problem when Windows updated, they also were not using an antivirus except for the highly respected Windows Defender. So, I put Avast on there. It installed fine, but when I ran a scan, it would always freeze when it got to the 80's or 90's. I disable the network and it scans right through. So I told them that I recommend Bitdefender for their business, not the free one, but they need to buy it. I said, if you want free, I can't install it, but I can recommend some and if they want to use the free ones, they'll have to install it themselves since that's technically illegal since they are a business. If it's for personal use, then yeah, I'll put a free one on there. The person in charge of maintaining their computers was fairly computer literate, but she wasn't certified in anything. I also recommended that they buy Acronis Backup and they did. Before that, they were just copying the Documents folders, stuff like that. This way, it's much better with Acronis. They have this proprietary business billing and auditing software that has to be installed remotely, so this will be a huge help to them and me, assuming they hire me again for future jobs, which I believe they will as they seemed very pleased with my work. I have dual certifications in Novell, but very old versions and no one uses that anymore. I'm not MCSA or MCSE certified, but I can figure it out. I was just rusty.

    Anyway, I'd like to thank you again Spartacus, now that I'm back "in the game" again I'm more aware. I'd like to get an MCSE certification. I know I could do it, I just need to get. Speaking of which....would you have any good technical books you'd recommend to read? I just got Windows Inside Out 2nd Edition. I also got Windows 10 The Missing Manual. I know the last book is more of a beginner to moderate and even Windows Inside Out isn't the most technical manual. The truth is, I never read anything on Windows 10, I just learned by going through it and messing around with it. So any suggestions are welcome. Thanks again Spartacus and also Kyle_Bennett for your input!!
     
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  8. Spartacus

    Spartacus [H]ard|Gawd

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    Glad you got it figured out and thanks for following up with us.

    Strange one you had on the 4th machine where it wasn't the wifi card.

    Windows 10 can do some funky stuff like that though. Instead of giving you a
    helpful message on driver problems, it goes belly up with a BSOD. MS needs to do
    a better job on error handling.

    Lol.... I used to be a Novell admin almost 20 years ago too.

    I think the last MS cert I got was on 2000 Server, I'm not really interested in getting
    any other MS certs. Overpriced and they don't really prove anything anyway.
    I suppose I would if my employer wanted me to, but I work for myself so.... :)

    I've installed many servers since then and as you said, you learn by doing it.
    I got pretty good at supporting Exchange too. No books or certs, just experience.

    I've also given up trying to get "book learned" a long time ago. There's no way I can
    remember every last trivial detail about technology. It changes too fast anyway.

    What I don't know I look up and then I know it. For the stuff I do all the time, at least
    that info sticks in my head for a while. :)

    One thing I will recommend is to build your own knowledge base. I have a folder on
    my home office server called "Articles & Fixes" with subfolders, "Windows 7",
    "Windows 10", "Exchange", "Outlook", "Server 2012", etc. which contain all of my
    notes on the things I've spent time researching. I have a copy on a flash drive I keep
    with me on field calls. It helps a lot.

    Good luck!

    .