I'm at a complete loss and no idea where else to look. I've checked every online solution and taken them all to the extreme.
I was playing the game just fine for about a month with no problems. One day, my Windows 7 kicks the game and everything else because, unbeknownst to me, it was installing updates and decided to reset itself. When the comp came back up, the LOTRO client was hung at 77%, checking dat files. I thought the game had become corrupted by the sudden interruption, but an hour or later it fired right up and I was playing again... for one day.
The next morning I try to load the game and bam... stuck at 77% again. That was 4 days ago. Here's what I have done since then to no avail:
Completely uninstalled the game, Happy Cloud, and any evidence of the game that I could locate on my computer. Reinstalled from bare bones. Stuck.
Downloaded and installed a second version of the game on Steam, completely independent from the other one. Stuck there too.
* (Restore previous versions of the dat files). Well, there are no previous versions anymore. This is a whole new installation. Both of them.
* (Update and restart .NET framework). I deleted it. There is currently no .NET framework on my computer. "Checking dat files 77%" didn't even notice.
* (Allow exceptions in your firewall). Antivirus is deleted. Defender disabled. No firewall.
* (Submit a ticket to Turbine). Did that, and a few emails went back and forth as they asked for my DxDiag and MsConfig, etc. After I did a clean boot as per their suggestion and nothing happened, they just stopped answering.
* (Switch the client from English to German and back) Yeah... and nothing.
I've definitely tried a few other things, but these were the most mentioned on the net. A lot of these shouldn't even be considered, since the solutions should be all-encompassing to the variety of people all experiencing this problem. I mean I'm not the only one stuck at exactly 77%. I see a good number of people out there stuck in the same place and we make up a good range in technology (Mac/PC, different internet connections, etc) that the only thing we all have in common is the game.
Also, it's important to note that this game DID work with my current configuration of hardware/connection, and suddenly did not, without me changing anything.
I'm getting extremely frustrated and all I see online are a variety of suggestions that just do not do the trick. As a game subscriber, right now I feel like I should just be throwing 30 cents down a hole every day. If someone can help me find the workaround that no one is posting online (or there was just one more solution on the net somewhere that I overlooked and it happened to be the one that actually works) please let me know. I've found "solutions" or suggestions on Reddit, this forum, Steam forums, Turbine forums, tried every one I could find. I've got nothing left and now I'm posting this.
INTERESTING NOTE: Earlier in this post I mentioned that I have two independent copies of the game (Steam version and Turbine direct download version). I actually did try to load them both at the same time. Whichever is loaded first hangs up at 77%, but the second one to load makes it to the login screen! If you leave both programs running, you'll get kicked if you try to login. If you let the second program get to login and then close the first one, it will let you log in, but once you log in you get ALMOST to the character selection screen and the game kicks you out with "ERROR: Cannot Patch!" It does not matter which one you start with. I have tried every combination of loading up the two and closing one down at key moments. That's the closest I can get to playing.
Maybe that's a clue that will help whomever reads this.