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Windows Update Infinite Loop.
1) S. Jetchick (2013-April-10)
-----Original Message----- From: Stefan Jetchick Sent: 10 avril 2013 16:01 To: hthimmegowda(add the "at" sign here) lenovo.com Subject: RE: Returns on the order # 4242560308 Good day Mr. Harish Thimme Gowda, I just got your e-mail with the Return Authorization number (#4220331023). Thank you very much for trying to help me. Could you please do me a favor and send this e-mail (and the associated hyperlink) to whoever is responsible for these things at Lenovo? Maybe the description of my difficulties and frustrations can be useful to help Lenovo improve their products and their service. Hopefully what happened to me will never happen again to another customer (or Lenovo will quickly go out of business). Here is what happened to me (I wrote this on April 07, but I could not send it to Lenovo because I never found an e-mail address on their web site): =========================== I tried to explain my situation by telephone, but I don't think I succeeded, so I'm trying in writing. My new Lenovo ThinkPad T430 arrived recently (2013-April-04; Order# 4242560308; Lenovo Part# 2342CTO). Like a good boy scout, I first went on www.update.microsoft.com to get all operating system patches. It downloaded 241 megabytes, and apparently installed them. Then, when I tried to shutdown, it asked "Please do not power off or unplug your machine. Installing update X of 61". After the shutdown completed, when I rebooted, it displayed a message saying it needed to "configure updates", then started announcing that it was something like 7% completed, then 15%, and then "Failure configuring Windows Updates. Reverting Changes. Do not turn off your computer." (You can see the pictures I took with my digital camera of these screens here above.) The plot thickened when this happened everytime I tried to shutdown or reboot! After three or four of these "wash-rinse-spin" cycles, I was getting desperate! So I bit the bullet, created the four recovery DVDs, wiped the hard drive clean and re-imaged the hard drive to put everything back in factory state. I thought maybe I had broken something, because I had dis-installed some junk before going on www.update.microsoft.com (like Norton Antivirus, which I consider to be almost as bad as a virus itself). Even with a hard drive in pristine factory state, it still refused to shut down or reboot without attempting and failing to update Microsoft Windows. (And each of these "wash-rinse-spin" cycles would take almost an hour...) At one o'clock in the morning, I gave up. The next day I called 1-866-96-THINK, to send the confounded thing back and get a refund. I wish I had the equipment to record telephone conversations, because an MP3 file accompanying this article would have been hilarious. Starting with the phone number which gets redirected, as in "you're using an obsolete phone number, use 253-6686 instead". Well, you printed that number on my fresh invoice! Shouldn't you change it at your end? Then after mucking around in the dreaded voice menus, I got to a human being, who was very polite and helpful, but who had ESL Syndrom (English as a Second Language), which meant a lot of repeating. He told me he didn't have a choice, and needed a "case number" from the "technical team", so he transfered me. The chap from the "technical team" had the ESL syndrom too, so communication was also difficult. He was very confused as to why I was talking to him, and asked several times how I got his number, and who sent me, and where I purchased my laptop. I had to identify myself (again), but this time with numbers related to my laptop, whereas the first chap figured out who I was using numbers related to my order. Anyway, I managed to convey with difficulty that I had just spent the better part of a work day trying unsuccessfully to open and shut down my laptop... yes, only that. With much prodding, he finally gave me a case number (A0572ST). So I called back at the other number. More explanations, but at least he took my case number. Then he said that they would examine my situation, and if they decided to allow a return, within two business days, I would get an e-mail with some labels to print out. Then after getting the laptop they would decide whether to allow a refund. All those requests for permissions annoyed me, but I didn't have a choice. The following day, after gentle prodding from my neighbor and my Mom, I tried another approach. I opened "Lenovo Solution Center", and ran its "Software Update" service. Another 280 megabytes or so, and none of them were marked "important". But what did I have to lose? So I let it install all that, including flashing the BIOS! Then, after, I ran Microsoft Windows Update, which downloaded its 61 or so updates, but this time installed them successfully, without going into the dreaded Infinite Update Loop... So here I am. Now my new Lenovo Thinkpad can start up and shut down. Big improvement! I can't help but feel anger at the factory employee somewhere in China who hasn't kept the master hard drive updated, so he continues to image the hard drives for new laptops with an outdated image... Roughly one full day wasted because of him... By the way, I had another problem. When I tried to put an SD memory card into the laptop, it got stuck inside! I would push the SD card, it would partly pop out by about 5mm, but I could not pull it out completely. I could push it in flush, and pop it partly out, but that's all. Pulling fairly hard didn't work. Fortunately, I have at least 10 big toolboxes filled with tools in my house, so I had a machinist's Feeler Gauge Set, so that made a nice solid and very flat tool to stick in and jimmy around until the SD card was released. I tried again, it got stuck again. Feeler gauge again. After 2-3 times, it worked properly. I really love my old IBM ThinkPad T41, and I'm going to use it until it dies. The only reason I tried buying a computer from Lenovo for the first time was because of that old trusty IBM ThinkPad. I was getting ready to buy several Lenovo ThinkPad T430 laptops, but this whole experience makes me hesitate... I'm just glad I bought it for myself, and not my Mom for example (I'm a C++ programmer and a handyman, so I was able to dig myself out of my Lenovo troubles, so far anyway.) Then I tried to send you this article in an e-mail. No e-mail for Lenovo! Nowhere in sight on your web site! Neither: www.lenovo.com/contact/ca/en/, nor even searching Google for "lenovo customer service email". [A few days later Mr. Harish Thimme Gowda contacted me by e-mail, so that problem was thankfully solved.] Sheesh... Stefan Jetchick
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