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Dan, Network Administrator
Category: Computer
Satisfied Customers: 2366
Experience:  25 Years working with computer troubleshooting and networking. Comp TIA A-Plus Certified.
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I'm having a problem with my HP Compaq PC. Windows started

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Hi, I'm having a problem with my HP Compaq PC. Windows started to "Upgrade" my PC from Win 8.1, to Win 10 on Friday.
After about an hour, a message came up saying that the Upgrade was "Taking longer than usual".
I left my PC to itself, and eventually the upgrade completed.
Now I cannot get past the Start Screen (Where I Put in my Password).
The PC "Tries" to open my Desktop, but before my Shortcuts/Icons come on, it switches off, and on about 7/8 times.
The screen then "Freezes" for about 15/20 seconds, and it does it all over again.
If I leave it running, after 20-30 minutes, my shortcuts come on to my desktop, but when I try to open one, or the Start button, everything goes off and on again.
I can only switch my PC off using Control>Alt>Delete, and then my mouse works on the Shut Down/Restart Button.
It's really got me "Flummoxed!!"
Any help would be Gratefully Appreciated.
My telephone No. is 01254 607775.
Kind Regards,
John Donlon.:)
Hello and thank you for your question, I look forward to assisting you today. Can you tell me a little about your PC please? What type of processor, how much RAM, etc.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Good Morning Dan,

Thanks for getting back so quickly.

Unfortunately, it was Way Past my Bedtime.:)

In answer to your question: -

HP Compaq CQ2990ea.

Intel Core i3. 2.8GHz.

4GB Ram. 2TB HDD.

I bought the PC on 28/4/15, but didn't set it up until 3/6/15, when I moved into a new house.

It came with Win 8 already installed, and then Upgraded to Win 8.1.

It has been running fine, until last Friday.

I have Two PC's The HP Compaq, and an ASUS Desktop, which I bought in 07/2013 and upgraded to 1TB HDD, and 8GB Ram.

(This is the PC I'm using).

The Upgrade to Win 10, came through on Thursday evening. It installed in the ASUS no problem.

I delayed the upgrade until Friday 9am, for the HP Compaq, as it was getting late.

I hope this helps.

Best Regards,


Thank you John. I mainly wanted to make sure your computer was new enough to handle the update. You are not the only one with this particular problem so don't feel alone! The best way to resolve it so far, is to download the Windows 10 upgrade and burn it to a DVD. Once you do that, you will boot from the DVD and install it from there. If you would like to proceed, let me know and I will follow up with further instructions.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Dan,

Thanks for the Info.

I'll try that. I just didn't want to lose all my files etc.

I take it the Win 10 Upgrade is the same one that Microsoft have installed on my Asus, and tried to install on my HP Compaq?

How do I get to the BIOS to Change the Boot Order?

Or will it just load the DVD?

I'll try to load the DVD!!

Will be back in touch, one way or t'other.

Kind Regards,


If you already have the DVD, just place it in the drive and reboot the computer. It should pick it up. Make sure you have your Windows activation key as it will ask for that. Let me know how it goes.
Dan and 3 other Computer Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Dan,

I don't have the DVD. I'm in the process of Downloading Win 10 ISO File-(Currently at 21%!!!)- to transfer onto a Blank DVD.

The Win 10 that's installed came as a Free Upgrade, which I reserved from Microsoft in June.

A White "Windows Icon" appeared on my Task Bar one day. I clicked on it and Voila...Windows 10 Free Upgrade

I do not have the "Activation Key", unless it's using the Win 8 Activation Key of the installed Win 8 version the PC came with!?!

I'll try it anyway. If it requests a Key, I'll just put the Win 8 Key in.

It's taking ages to d/l, now at 23%!!

I'll get back in touch Tomorrow at this rate. lol!!

Best Regards,



You are correct John in that the key it is asking for is your Windows 8 key. I know this is a big file, but once you have it you won't need to worry about it if you ever need it in the future.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Dan,

I've just checked my HP Compaq for the Activation Key, and I'm struggling to find it.:(

On the underside, I've found a "BID=" number, and a "FeatureByte="

number, which is 13 groups of x4 letters and numbers.

Looking on the Microsoft site, it mentions that the Activation Key could be "Embedded in the Motherboard"????

Win 10 has just finished downloading, so I'll put it onto a DVD, and trust to luck.

Thanks for your help........So Far!!:)

Kind Regards,



If you haven't started wait!
Go to this LINK and install the free version of this program. It will scan your system and find your key.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Dan,

I've d/l the Jelly Bean, onto my Asus PC.

Well what do you know!?!

I've got Windows 10 Pro!! It's also given me the product key for this PC.

It's getting late here now, (Nearly Supper and Bedtime!!)

Will I be able to Upload Win 10 on my HP, and Activate it after it's done, using The Jelly Bean to find my Product Key?

Or will this Product Key work on both PC's, as they're linked via Network, and "TeamViewer?"

My head's Fried!!

Thank you for all your help.

Maybe next time, I'll be reporting All OK This End!!

Best Regards,



Jellybean is just used to scan your computer and will report back your original Windows key for you to use for the upgrade. That is just in case you are unable to read the key on the attached sticker, or it is missing all together. Each PC you upgrade will require the key used for the version of Windows it came installed with.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Good Morning Dan,

I'm afraid I've no good news this morning.

I cannot get the HP Compaq to Boot from the DVD Drive.:(

I started the PC normally, opened the Welcome Screen, input my Password, and it went to my desktop, and tried loading my shortcuts.

I put the DVD in the drive, and the PC recognized that the DVD was in there,(Disc symbol to side of Cursor).

I then restarted my PC, but it just went to my Welcome Screen again.

I've tried 4/5 times restarting the PC, but I cannot get it to Reboot from the DVD Drive.

It always goes to the Welcome Screen, I put in my Password, and the whole thing starts again.

I'm pulling what's left of my hair out!!!!

I've tried to contact HP Customer Support, (Who's about as much use as a Back pocket on a Vest!!) and get put on to "The HP Forum", (See Previous!!:).

Gonna take the Dog for a walk, Listen to some Music on iTunes, with my Beats, and have a really good think!!

Speak soon.

Kind Regards,



The most likely reason is due to the boot order setup in the BIOS. You can change that by pressing the F10 key about once per second as the computer is starting up. Once you gain access to the BIOS, look for a tab that reads Boot. Go to that and change the first device to the DVD drive then save the change and exit out. That should allow you to boot from the DVD.
One other thing. How did you copy the Windows download to the DVD? This file is what is called an ISO file and needs to be burned with a special kind of software. Go to this LINK and download the second choice and install it on your computer. Use it to burn the Windows download to the DVD.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Dan,

Sorry I've been so long getting back to you. It's been one of those days!!

HP Customer Support contacted me, and tried to Restore my PC to Factory Settings.

After FIVE Attempts, she gave up, said my PC was beyond Help, and put me on to the Sales Dept., who Sold me the CD Set to Revert my PC to Factory Settings!!

Refer to earlier message about Pockets and Vests!!

I (THAT'S ME!!) actually got into the Boot Menu, and tried to run the Win 10 Media, but it kept kicking me off, saying I couldn't use the DVD Drive to Boot my System, with the DVD in. I had to Restart My PC, and then Boot the DVD Drive from File Explorer!!

Back to Square 1!!

I'm now back on my "Old Faithful Asus" while my HP Compaq Restores itself to the Factory Settings, and Download 1,375 MB of Windows Updates!

Some Information for you Dan, just In case you ever come up against a HP Compaq Desktop PC in the future.

1. To get to Start Menu/Boot Menu, Repeatedly press ESC, while The PC is Booting.

2. Once Start Menu on Screen, use the "F" Keys to Navigate to Menu Required. You don't have to Highlight the Menu, just Push "F11"for Instance, and the PC takes you there.

Hey Ho! So Simple when you know what you're doing!:)

BTW, I already have Power ISO Pro, on my Asus, so I used that.

Thank you for your time, and Patience

All The Best from Accrington, LANCASHIRE!!

Kind Regards,

John Donlon.:)


I'm with ya Jon. One would think the manufacturers could make it simple, but not so. There are about half a dozen ways to access the BIOS depending on the motherboard manufacturer. The Compaq's were always the oddball using the F10 key. You might want to go back to the Microsoft download site and grab the Windows 10 you haven't already downloaded. It may just be as simple as not loading the correct upgrade for your installed version. Let me know if you would decide to continue and I will be there to assist.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Dan,

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

I've just spent the last day and half, Re-Installing ALL My Apps onto the Newly Refreshed HP Compaq.

It's reverted to the Factory Settings, and Windows 8.

I can't wait for it to Upgrade to Win 8.1.

I'd forgotten how BAD Win 8 was!!

One good thing though, My LaCie 4TB Hard Drive, has "Miraculously Reappeared" on my PC!!

The drive went "Missing" when I Upgraded to Windows 10.

The guy at Seagate told me it was Compatible with Win 10. Obviously Not!!

I thought I'd lost my Blu-Ray Collection, so I just thought I'd try it on the HP, and "Plug + Play" worked.

So I've fetched all my LaCie Drives and Connected them to the HP Compaq PC.

My Asus PC, is Running very well, with no problems so far.

Still learning, but I must say, I'm Impressed with Windows 10 Pro.

It seems to know what you want, and "PoP" There it is on screen in seconds.

I think I'll leave my HP Compaq with the Win 8, and upgrade to Win 8.1 when it comes up.

I Downloaded both Windows 10, Home and Pro, and I've transferred them onto DVD, and kept a note of both product keys, as they say in Lancashire..."Just In Case!!"

It's been nice talking...ish to you. I've put you into my "Favourites" Box, so I 'll be in touch, if and when, I've got another Problem that the Company Reps. cannot help me with.

Kind Regards,

John Donlon.:)


Sounds good John. I'm glad to hear you have recovered from this calamity! As far as Windows 8 or 8.1 goes, I think I would almost rather dump it and go to Windows 7. A much better operating system in my opinion!! I look forward to hearing from you in the future. Have a great day!