Windows 10: Win 10 install from ISO file hangs at time zone setting

  1.    22 Feb 2016 #1

    Win 10 install from ISO file hangs at time zone setting

    OK, this is a puzzle. I first tried installing Win 10 on a Sony Vaio laptop that's a couple of years old just to see how it went. Laptop is a Sony Vaio Laptop, Core 2 Duo Processor, 4GB memory, the WIN 10 install program says it is fine for Win 10. OS on the Sony was Win 7 Pro when I started. The laptop has been dead solid reliable but hasn't had much use lately as I upgraded to a Lenovo Yoga 900 with Win 10, so the Sony was surplus and I decided to see now installing Win 10 worked on an older computer.

    So far, no success. The first install fail happened when the regular Win 10 update processwithout deleting files, and I got the well known 32% hang at the configuration stage. That repeated 3 times.

    I then downloaded the ISO Win 10 install files on a USB drive and tried to install from that. That seemed to be working great - blew right by the 32% problem - and near what looks like the latter stage of installation it stalled and died when inputting the Time Zone, then froze hard. Restarted, repeated the process, same thing happened. Windows said looks like a problem, let's reset the computer - i.e., wipe it, don't keep any files or programs except those that came with the computer. Fine with me, the computer was already backed up and most programs deleted before the install anyway. So, after a reset the Win 10 install program began again, and then proceeded to hang at the exact same place, settings and when offered the option to specify the time zone. Tried not clicking on the time zone to reset it but that didn't work, it still stalled and was dead in the water.

    Any thoughts on what to do next? Thanks in advance for any suggestions.


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  2. Fafhrd's Avatar
    Posts : 1,928
    Windows 10 x86 14383 Insider Pro and Core 10240
       24 Feb 2016 #2

    No good solution but a similar problem on a Celeron M 1.50 GHz 2GB RAM Acer Travelmate 2423 laptop.

    Had to jump through hoops. These are most of the things I tried, and I still got a partly crippled system, but at least it activated. It is crippled due to the Windows basic display driver, which uses a GB of system memory, and no other available driver. Funnily, the Windows basic display driver of Windows 8.1 on allocates only 256 Mb of system RAM.

    Had to completely update Windows 7 by clearing the datastore in software distribution, so that no updates were missing - because update of 10 installation wakes up WUAUSERV service on Windows 7, and starts trying to download failed updates - stopping the setup. Disable WUAUSERV service on Windows 7.

    Had to remove laptop battery run on mains adapter,
    - this is because older, flatter laptop batteries create power configuration problems which cause "something went wrong" error in Sysprep create new account process late in setup

    also-Make sure your system runs cool as possible, so that no overheating can take place - clean your fans, have additional cooling available.

    disconnect Network, disable wi-fi,
    -to prevent Windows 10 updates, or other network input.

    set locale to US - and Time zone and time to US West coast also US Keyboard,
    -to stop "Something Happened" errors which never occurred at the Windows 10 development labs due to different time zone, date or time differences, and any date numerical or currency format differences

    no USB drives, DVD, CD external HD or SSDs etc inserted, clean Boot with MSConfig
    -No additional drivers or memory leaks, Antivirus, firewall, anything else running, includes printers, Bluetooth, whatever you can think of.

    install from setup.exe on \sources\ folder from setup ISO copied to partition on hard drive,
    ran as Administrator.
    Elect to keep nothing from Windows 7
    Keep user name, password etc., short
    Be patient.

    Good luck and post your experiences.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3.    24 Feb 2016 #3

    Thanks very much for your comment. I got Win 10 to load late last night (4:00 am EST in the US) after a 2 hour chat with MS support. Here's the report on how it was fixed.

    With the MS customer service rep on chat on my desktop computer (which I built a few years ago - works perfectly and has never locked, not once, very stable), I first went through the history and sequence of what I had done trying to upgrade my older Sony laptop to Win 10. The rep of course had lots of foundation questions they had to have answered (including verifying the ID code on my copy of Win 7 Pro that I was using as the basis for the upgrade), then following their instructions I again loaded Win 10 ISO file from my USB drive (which in the BIOS I had set to load sequence: USB, DVD, then C Drive.) The attempt failed to load at exactly the same place where it froze before I got on the line with the MS rep. Frozen at the page that has country, language, and time zone. The time zone portion of the page only loaded incompletely, hard freeze at that point. So I was not even able to specify any time zone - the freeze was at exactly that point.

    The MS rep wanted to see if it happened with a new version of Win 10 (theory was maybe the file on my USB was corrupt), so I went to my desktop and downloaded a fresh ISO file on a new USB drive. Tried to load, same problem, same exact freeze. At this point we're about 1.5 hours into the "chat". I told the rep that this was just an old laptop that I was trying to load Win 10 on for my own educational purposes, and also possibly to run it as a home email server, and that I did not care if ANYTHING on the hard drive was preserved so why don't we try wiping the drive clean once again. (After my initial attempts to upgrade install failed, I started over and had wiped it previously but left the partitions intact.) He agreed but wanted me to use the wipe and format functions embedded in the Win 10 load file rather than the boot disk DVD I would typically use which is loaded with Iolo Drive Scrubber. I said fine. We wiped the C and D partitions on the laptop, then formatted the C and D partitions. Tried to load Win 10 at that point but the ISO file would not proceed past the wipe/format portion of the program.

    As mentioned, the hard drive had two partitions, C as primary, D with Sony image for restoration. We next wiped all drives, same result. Then we deleted both the C and D Drives and created a new unnamed drive with unallocated space, then designated that as the new C Drive, set as Primary. Still wouldn't load. At that point I suggested we take a look at the Sony BIOS. He agreed, We saw that the BIOS had the boot order as USB, DVD and (drumroll) external source, instead of C, the primary drive.

    Not positive but I think what happened is that when we deleted the C and D partitions and put the hard drive in an unallocated state with no drive letter established, the SONY BIOS reacted by deleting the option to boot from the unallocated space and substituted "external" source as the third boot option. So, I changed the BIOS to boot from the new C drive (the new C combined the space of D, which we shrunk, and the old C, which we had expanded) and - wonder of wonders - Win 10 loaded quickly and easily.

    Lesson learned for me: a fresh install of Win 10 is preferable to an upgrade, and pay attention to the BIOS when the Win 10 install program proceeds to format drive partitions and combine them. Not sure if this will help with your Acer laptop of not. But if I have to do this again, here's the sequence I would follow:

    1. Forget doing a "simple" upgrade. Too many problems, and judging from comments in this forum and others there are lots of problems encountered when doing a simple upgrade instead of a clean install.
    2. Download the ISO file from Microsoft on a USB drive.
    3. Wipe your hard drive clean and eliminate all partitions - using Drive Scrubber or similar program.
    4. Start to run the ISO file, and do a clean install with it, where you AGAIN wipe the existing hard drive and any partitions it says are still there. Make sure you designate the new C drive as "primary".
    5. If any partitions are still noted by the clean install functions of the ISO file, shrink the D partition and expand the C partition so there is only one partition on the drive. Again, designate the new C as primary if not so designated already.
    6. Check your BIOS (F2 when booting) and make sure that the boot sequence is set to USB, DVD, then C drive primary.
    7. Cross your fingers as hopefully that will work to get a fresh install of Win 10 to load.
    8. Forgot to mention, but obviously BEFORE doing any of this of course back up all of the files you want to preserve on your ACER on an external drive, then reload them after WIN 10 has loaded successfully.

    Hope this is helpful. RE your comments, I had previously tried disconnecting from the net, and also previously disconnected all external devices except for the USB drive I was using to try to load WIN 10. But at the very end when I finally succeeded in loading Win 10 I was connected to the internet the entire time.

    Kind regards,

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  4. Fafhrd's Avatar
    Posts : 1,928
    Windows 10 x86 14383 Insider Pro and Core 10240
       25 Feb 2016 #4

    Thanks for that, Hap.

    My Acer laptop is a dinosaur, and of no real consequence. Its BIOS is rudimentary and seems to change Boot source every time the Hardware changes, so I always check it prior to installations. I keep Plop Boot Manager on it (The EasyBCD version) in case I need to boot from USB or DVD or a particular partition (it still has the manufacturer's hidden recovery partition too).
    Its own USBs and DVD are too old and flaky to risk an install, so I download the ISO, mount it and copy the sources folder to a small (10 GB) partition on the hard disk that has XP installed as a fallback. The other partition had Windows 7 installed, and backed up to start the Windows 10 setup from, since XP is prohibited from running the Windows 10 setup. I find that there is a problem with Windows 10 setup excluding older hardware, and it does this by a sneaky trick. On graphics drivers, it devotes large amounts of system RAM to shared graphics memory for the adapter, so laptops that have little or no dedicated graphics memory use a lot of system resources, even during setup, when a bare minimum of graphics are needed.

    My main, everyday, Win 10 machine is a Compaq Presario laptop, but my best one is the (also Dinosaur) in my specs. This has had a chain of upgrades since build 10074, and never a mishap, and despite its lowly specs, is the fastest, due to the graphics card.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  5.    26 Feb 2016 #5

    Question: if you can "mount" the Win10 ISO file, which in US English I guess you mean copy to a partition on your hard drive, then that has to be loaded from a USB Or DVD drive, correct? If that's correct, then why not just load directly from the USB or DVD? If the USB and DVD work well enough to copy the ISO file to your hard drive, seems to me that they would be working well enough to use them to load. Just a thought.

    I take your point on video memory and, even though the older Sony VAIO I am working with (6 years old) has only 4GB total memory and ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570 graphics, I didn't see any drop in performance after loading Win 10. In fact, it seems much speedier.

    As for speed, the Sony became surplus as my laptop when I picked up a Lenovo Yoga 900 a few weeks ago. The Lenovo is a very light 2-in-1 hybrid with 6th Gen Intel processor, an Intel Core I76500U 2.5G, with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB solid state drive. This thing is fast! Display is not quite 4K, but close at 3,200 x 1,800 pixel touch screen. Came with Win 10 so no load issues.
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  6. Fafhrd's Avatar
    Posts : 1,928
    Windows 10 x86 14383 Insider Pro and Core 10240
       26 Feb 2016 #6

    If Windows 10 setup does not find suitable compatible legacy drivers for the chipset - including USB, PCI, or storage support - the setup may fail when it tries to use unsupported drivers. If you do not involve USB or the DVD drive during setup, then there is just the hard drive to deal with.

    An ISO image can be natively mounted as a virtual CD- or DVD-ROM in Windows Explorer - either by double clicking or from the right click menu - this facility has been present since Windows 8, and there are small utilities to enable this feature in Windows 7, and indeed XP - once the virtual drive is present, its contents can be copied to a folder on the hard drive, and the virtual drive can be ejected (i.e. the virtual optical device driver is stopped and unloaded from memory). It avoids using blank DVDs - which can fail, just at the time you need them most, it is MUCH faster to copy or run a virtual DVD than a real one, or even a copy on a USB Flash memory - when you may find spurious warnings that the removable drive has errors and may need to be checked, even if a short time later, it seems to be working without problems.

    I don't get the setup ISO from removable media - it is downloaded direct from Microsoft to my downloads folder, or perhaps as an ESD upgrade to the $WINDOWS.~BT folder, and I archive these to an ESDtoISO folder on another hard drive - which I may transfer across my home wireless or ethernet network, upload to my Google Drive or OneDrive, or other cloud storage, or if I have a less than fully working machine, removable storage is my last resort.

    So my choice is to avoid removable media for setup altogether.

    My Compaq Presario CQ57 (HP) laptop is a 4GB, AMD integrated E-300 APU with Radeon HD 6310 graphics (already deemed Legacy, with a final beta driver from AMD), built for Windows 7 Home, with £15 upgrade to Windows 8 Pro, upgraded to 8.1, and subsequently running Windows 10 10586 Pro, with no problems, but strangely less fast than my 2GB Pentium 4 desktop, which I put down to its Nvidia GeForce GT9500 graphics with 512MB dedicated graphics memory onboard.

    I don't see myself ever getting new hardware again, but I'll probably pick up some preloved kit from time to time, in much the same way as our automobile acquisition has been in the past. I'll probably avoid laptops. :)
      My ComputersSystem Spec


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