Windows 10: CLOCK WATCHDOG TIMEOUT Error on Windows 10 Installation Solved

  1.    30 Jan 2018 #1

    CLOCK WATCHDOG TIMEOUT Error on Windows 10 Installation


    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.

    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!!!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. Caledon Ken's Avatar
    Posts : 10,553
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1803
       31 Jan 2018 #2

    Hi Sithtiger

    Lets just take one machine. Create a USB key using the Windows Media Creation tool. Disconnect device from Internet and disconnect all unnecessary devices that maybe attached. Ideally only the boot drive in machine will be connected.

    Here is the tutorial on a Clean Install. Note you should disable secure boot and fast boot in BIOS.

    Clean Install Windows 10

    I assume you are booting UEFI. CSM should also be disabled in BIOS. To ensure the disk is properly prepared when you first boot the USB key, on the first screen presented, hold shift down and press F10. Then enter these commands, (not stuff in brackets). Back up data if on boot disk.

    diskpart
    List disk
    select disk 0 (ensure zero is where you want to install your installation of Windows)
    clean
    Convert gpt (if required for UEFI)
    exit
    exit

    Continue with your install. Assuming Windows starts I would disable Windows Updating drivers using Option 4 of this tutorial.

    Enable or Disable Driver Updates in Windows Update in Windows 10

    Then connect to Internet and check for software updates. Hopefully your machine will remain alive. Now a decision point. Do you allow windows to update drivers or do you manually confirm and update drivers. I might make an Image at this point using a tool like Macrium Reflect so you have a point to return too.

    Backup and Restore with Macrium Reflect

    Then you could reverse the changes you made with option 4 above and allow Windows a shot at drivers. If it dies, restore the Image and do them manually.

    Once your basic device is running connect all the pieces you disconnected. I might do them one at a time. Mind the drivers again.

    Hopefully this goes smoothly.


    Ken
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    01 Feb 2018 #3

    Caledon Ken said: View Post
    Hi Sithtiger

    Lets just take one machine. Create a USB key using the Windows Media Creation tool. Disconnect device from Internet and disconnect all unnecessary devices that maybe attached. Ideally only the boot drive in machine will be connected.

    Here is the tutorial on a Clean Install. Note you should disable secure boot and fast boot in BIOS.

    Clean Install Windows 10

    I assume you are booting UEFI. CSM should also be disabled in BIOS. To ensure the disk is properly prepared when you first boot the USB key, on the first screen presented, hold shift down and press F10. Then enter these commands, (not stuff in brackets). Back up data if on boot disk.

    diskpart
    List disk
    select disk 0 (ensure zero is where you want to install your installation of Windows)
    clean
    Convert gpt (if required for UEFI)
    exit
    exit

    Continue with your install. Assuming Windows starts I would disable Windows Updating drivers using Option 4 of this tutorial.

    Enable or Disable Driver Updates in Windows Update in Windows 10

    Then connect to Internet and check for software updates. Hopefully your machine will remain alive. Now a decision point. Do you allow windows to update drivers or do you manually confirm and update drivers. I might make an Image at this point using a tool like Macrium Reflect so you have a point to return too.

    Backup and Restore with Macrium Reflect

    Then you could reverse the changes you made with option 4 above and allow Windows a shot at drivers. If it dies, restore the Image and do them manually.

    Once your basic device is running connect all the pieces you disconnected. I might do them one at a time. Mind the drivers again.

    Hopefully this goes smoothly.


    Ken
    Thanks, Ken. Well, I was able to get Windows 10 installed, but one machine wouldn't work right. It always stuck at the very last part, ya know finishing install and about to greet you. I think that machine did have a CPU problem because I received two different error messages that involved the CPU.

    Now the other problem I had with the other machines. They're both the Acer machines, but with Windows 10 version 1709 OS Build 16299.214. ALL machines that had this build would not install. .Net 3.5 Framework no matter how it was installed. I tried through Program Features, the normal way. I also tried Dism and having it read from the source, no go. I tried a batch file from the MS forums because I kept getting an error. Whatever method, I received this error. "Windows couldn't complete the requested changes.
    The changes couldn't be completed. Please reboot your computer and try again.
    Error code: 0x800F0950"

    What I found was the machines that did have .Net 3.5 Framework had an OS Build that was different than 1709 OS Build 16299.214. Any PC's that had .Net 3.5 Framework had a lower OS build and some had build 1703 or even version 1607! One more thing and I don't recall if the other PC I was working that had the same version 1709 OS Build 16299.214. When I'd go to restart, it would lock up. You know the moving dotted circle, it would just freeze. The common thread regarding installing. .Net 3.5 Framework was the same version and the same build, so I'm actually going to install 1703, but how do I stop Windows updates from installing? I know you can delay it, but isn't there another way? I'm almost 100% certain that this build is causing the problem because all other PC's that have. .Net 3.5 Framework either have it. One didn't and I was able to install it by simply clicking the box, as you should with no errors, but it was a slightly lower build. It was 1709, but the OS build was 16299.201!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4. Caledon Ken's Avatar
    Posts : 10,553
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1803
       01 Feb 2018 #4

    Well temporarily you could set connections as metered to stop the feature update from coming down.

    I would then concentrate on one machine, as outlined above to determine what it is that is causing update to fail.

    In this document it talks to some of the things you can do, several were in my instructions like minimal system.

    Then there are the logs that might point to something.

    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-gb/win...dy_UpgradeTips

    I would try my process above. Lets find out if basic 1709 can install, no updates. You could even try loading 3.5 onto the system right after update.

    Do your devices have any special gear, scanners, writing pads, etc?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5. chideock's Avatar
    Posts : 79
    Windows 10 Pro 1709 16299.192
       01 Feb 2018 #5

    Had the error you mention in upgrading my daughter's Acer Aspire desktop. Everything removed still the error. Then I removed the PCI-E WLAN card it had for wireless internet. No problem after that. Reinserted the card to set up wireless and had to hard boot the desktop before win 10 would recognize the card.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  6.    07 Feb 2018 #6

    Caledon Ken said: View Post
    Well temporarily you could set connections as metered to stop the feature update from coming down.

    I would then concentrate on one machine, as outlined above to determine what it is that is causing update to fail.

    In this document it talks to some of the things you can do, several were in my instructions like minimal system.

    Then there are the logs that might point to something.

    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-gb/win...dy_UpgradeTips

    I would try my process above. Lets find out if basic 1709 can install, no updates. You could even try loading 3.5 onto the system right after update.

    Do your devices have any special gear, scanners, writing pads, etc?
    Yeah, that's what I ended up doing, set a metered connection.

    chideock said: View Post
    Had the error you mention in upgrading my daughter's Acer Aspire desktop. Everything removed still the error. Then I removed the PCI-E WLAN card it had for wireless internet. No problem after that. Reinserted the card to set up wireless and had to hard boot the desktop before win 10 would recognize the card.
    I didn't see this post, but myself and a friend figured it out and it was indeed the WiFi adapter. It was a PCI-E card too. Apparently, when Windows updated, the WiFi cards didn't update their drivers...at least not as of yet. The weird thing was, there was one computer that didn't have a WiFi adapter and it was having the same problems as the others were. What made the difference for one of the computers was instead of connecting the Ethernet cable and then allowing Windows to update as it was installing (which would be the best way normally), I left the Ethernet unplugged and didn't put the key in, installing Windows 1709. Once it installed, I plugged hard line back in and either let it update using Windows Update Assistant. It and all the other rigs were solid after that.

    I'm still not sure about the one though as it was giving the same errors as the others. Watchdog Timeout error. I don't know why a WiFi adapter would cause that error, but it did and it caused the other error without the WiFi adapter. But, hey, they all work now!

    Thanks for the input! Had I not already done that, I would have seen it that would have fixed most of the problems. I just finished the job yesterday. 7 days just to get 4 computers back up. I should have been able to do it all in one day, but unforeseen problems, not to mention proprietary software that had to be reinstalled each time. I was able to get them to buy Acronis Backup, so at least now, I can just restore the computers with one fell swoop.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  7. Posts : 20,755
    windows 10 professional version 1607 build 14393.969 64 bit
       07 Feb 2018 #7

    Run this version of the log collector and post a zip into this thread:
    log collector v2-beta08.zip
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 

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