Yesterday I downloaded the latest windows updates for my Windows 7 Ultimate desktop and when I went to restart it couldn't find windows. A DOS based windows repair utility came up and that said it couldn't repair it either. I couldn't even boot into Windows Safe Mode. Dead as a dodo.
Fortunately I maintain two identical drives in caddies which are cloned from my C: drive at regular intervals in rotation, so I was able to swap in the latest clone and get back up and running in minutes. But for anyone without this recovery method it could mean a long and arduous rebuild.
I strongly suspect that the monthly security roll-up KB4088875 was responsible. I have found several references to it causing havoc to corporate networks using Windows Server but strangely no specific references to it affecting stand alone Windows 7 PCs. Perhaps lots of people have had their computers killed off and now no longer have any means of reporting it LOL.
If I were a cynic I might think that MS are doing their best to kill off Windows 7 as soon as possible. Interestingly, when I checked Windows Update again this morning, KB4088875 was no longer in the available list so I think MS must have pulled it.
Yehhh - There was NO MENTION of this update being for W7 in the security catalog (links in the thread below) - it's a W10 jobbie only by the looks of thing. If you had done it using the Sleepy method here: https://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Tech-Chatter/Has-anyone-tried-the-new-Windows-10-vers-1709-yet/... it may have stopped the install. I found another update which wasn't required for W10 and that is what happened. Meanwhile on my sister's laptop, it registers the package with WU on W10 machines (takes time) and it shows up in the list as installed correctly, however WU tried to update itself with the same update, eventually accepting that it was already installed. Nightmare.
What took 20 minutes on my AMD machine took 2 hours 20 minutes on me sister's laptop, (formerly a W7 machine).
Windows Update Killed my PC could be a Buggles song, or something else entirely.
I've been a Linux user for the last 5 years at home but I do still endure Windows in my day job. I understand that some people have their reasons for sticking with Windows at home i.e. Photoshop, Games, AutoCAD etc but if the only reason for sticking with Windows is familiarity then imo the benefits of binning it and moving to Linux or Mac far outweigh all of the disadvantages of sticking with it. I cringe whenever my wife or daughter ask me to look at their creaking Windows laptops for some reason..yep not managed to convince them to bin it off yet.
I will second that Linux advice, had various varieties over the last 15 years, ever since my daughter regularly has her windows falling out with teddy bears waving good by at us etc. Been on Linux Mint for quite a few years now, brilliant.
I understand as mentioned, why some might have a need to suffer, but GIMP and Qcad solve my requirements. Even paid money for a full version of Qcad, as it is so good. Never liked paying silly money for software. Puppy on a stick has solved more that one problem. Had a bit of trouble doing dual boot with MS "secure boot" but not a problem, why did I want windies falling out anyway.
I had Mint on my old PC (which packed up) and was slowly getting used to it. Everything just seemed to work. For basic computing I thought it was fairly good. I have LibreOffice (supports for Works WPS documents which was great as there was no need to faff about typing out all my stuff) and GIMP for Windows which is quick and easy to use. For non Winders faff I would recommend it.
I'm running Linux Lite v 3.8 on my 13 year old Dell Latitude D610 laptop - that's the machine I'm using to reply to your post. There are some good choices for Linux distributions that run well on older (dare I say ancient) hardware. You're more advanced than me on the network and backup topics so I'm guessing you've been running Win 7 so you can use proprietary software (e.g. Microsoft Excel or Word). Linux could be a very good route for you provided you don't need proprietary software. LibreOffice works well importing Word and Excel files and can save to the various formats as well. But you can say goodbye to frustrating security updates; fundamentally, Linux is a stable and secure operating system. By design, Linux requires a super user to install software /carry out updates. And I'm finding Linux Lite to be faster than the older Windows distributions which were on this machine.
David Smith, Blueyonder pioneer (2001), OS X Mojave, WIndows 10, Linux Lite 3.8 and iOS. Home network distribution via 802.11ac wireless and HomePlug Av2