Endlessly rebooting ? Windows 10 updates gone rogue

Last week I had the less than endearing experience of a scheduled reboot of my main workstation to install some apps when I came across the issue of the desktop that would not allow apps to start. I suspected a Windows 10 update from the start but what to do with a machine that appears to be booting but not functioning correctly.

Some background.

The machine shut down as normal – and restarted. A lot of disk activity was observed and continued for a sustained amount of time with the ever present “restarting wheel”. The machine was left to its own resources for around 30 minutes before I started to be suspicious of its behaviour. At this point I happened to press Ctrl Alt Del and was greeted with the Lock screen menu. Selecting cancel brought me to the logon screen.

After logging on – there was a palpable delay until the system stabilised and displayed the desktop. Thats when it really started to get strange. most of the icons for applications could be clicked but no applications would start. Well most of them would not start – I found a few “random” applications would start but for example could not get into control panel or network and sharing centre.

I shut the machine down by pressing the power button on the front of the work station when it seemed to stall when I tried to shut down from the start button menu. After rebooting the same problem was there. Icons could be clicked but apps were not starting.

Deciding then to power the machine off by physically pulling the power out – not by using the power button as I suspected that the machine was booting into some sort of hibernation image. On rebooting from cold the system went through the same large amount of disk activity and then stabilised. I was finally able to run applications and the system settled back to normal.

On discussing this strange phenomenon with a colleague I found that he had experienced the same situation – with completely different hardware but with the commonality of Windows 10 !!

So if you experience this – don’t panic – allow the system to stabilise and try the cold boot option !!