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Bigger Mess & Mystery: Unsuccessful Rollback on 2 Devices


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#1 JillPC

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Posted 16 November 2015 - 07:51 PM

Installed Windows 10 free upgrade on my Dell XPS 8300 two weeks ago (over Windows 7). Installed Win10 on HP Envy laptop a couple days later. Five days ago, high winds created electricity brown-outs and Dell won't reboot. After three intense days of reading forums and trying EVERY conceivable Advanced Repair option (am able to boot off Media Creation Tool on both CD-ROM and external drive); stumbling through DOS to copy user files so I could choose the Reset repair option (which deletes all files), I decided to rollback laptop in the hopes of pulling Windows 7 drivers. And...the laptop can't rollback either!!

In the midst of copying user files, I discovered I had created image of desktop! But when I attempted to wipe and restore desktop with system image, I couldn't because image was from desktop's Win 7 life.

I've tried every diagnostic utility via Dell and DOS (chkdsk /f, chkdsk /r, etc.), have gotten every conceivable error message (locked drive, missing partition, reboot and choose OS, and dozens of others I can't remember, etc.), and tried every repair choice available on both devices. 

Also, I added an additional partition -- I install programs in C: and user files are saved to my added D: partition. There seem to be multiple copies of system files.

HP will charge $30-50 for Win 7 recovery discs for laptop but with my luck, I'll probably get same error as trying to re-image Dell.

Advice? Something with the partitions? Merge them? Is there a way to determine which boot file or windows.old file will get me back? Pay for Win 10 and reformat both hard drives? Pray I can freely download previously purchased MS Office for both and Quicken for desktop?

Any specific advice would be appreciated.



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#2 britechguy

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Posted 16 November 2015 - 08:09 PM

If you already installed Win10 you have a legally licensed copy and should be able to do a straight, clean reinstall using the correct media (32 vs 64 bit, home vs pro in the correct combination) on both of your machines using media you create via the Media Creation Tool.  If you already have media created before a few days ago I'd download the Media Creation Tool and create fresh copies since the fall update is now a part of that.  Also, it gives you another "if push comes to shove" option in that you can use a Windows 7 or Windows 8 product key to do a clean install of Windows 10.

 

Unless your version of MS-Office was purchased through the Microsoft Store and downloaded the first time around you won't get far without the original installation media.  If you did, though, the purchase remains noted in your Microsoft Account and you can download it again for installation.  I've had to do this for a client before and it went without a hitch.  I have no idea how Quicken handles anything.

 

If you really want to go back to Windows 7, and I presume you made a System Image backup before upgrading.  Have anyone with the same Windows as you had (32 or 64 bit, it won't matter whether it's home or pro) go into Backup and Recovery and create a System Repair Disc for you.  You can boot from a System Repair Disc and reimage the machine with the system image you made.

 

For myself, I'd definitely try a full and clean install of Windows 10 using fresh media from the Media Creation Tool, keeping absolutely nothing, and reloading your data files (which I presume you have backed up).  If you do not have backups of your data, now is the time to have someone hook up your machines' hard drives using a cable that allows them to be treated as an external drive and copy off the data you need before doing the fresh Win10 installation.

 

I hope something above proves to be of help to you.


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#3 ChiefTech

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Posted 16 November 2015 - 09:34 PM

As the last guy stated. If you have a windows 7 install disc you could always reinstall windows over the current install. This won't keep your settings in place or programs installed and configured but it will move your files to a windows.old folder on the C:/ drive. You should still backup your data before doing so regardless. So move all your important stuff to an external storage.

#4 JillPC

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 11:58 AM

ChiefTech: If I have a Win 7 disc for either device, it's not in the usual place. I'll add disc hunt to my todo list. At one point, I saw a windows.old file but I can't remember where. Data was backed-up (best I could) via DOS commands.

 

Britechguy: Per advice, I used a third device to download the Media Creation Tool (64) with updates from last few days. (Hope that won't add issues.) See below though because I'm not getting a clean install with any of the MCTs (pre or post latest updates) I've downloaded.

 

I'm tempted to try and deal with possible partition issues but don't think hours more learning and condensing/expanding and moving will solve what seems to be a software file issue. You'll see below there are copies of Win 10 on various drives/volumes. 

 

If I choose the last option and reformat the hard drives on desktop and laptop, will the latest MCT, boot-up both?

 

And is there an MS Office file I can search for and move to external media that I can use to re-install in case a download of paid-for product keys doesn't work? Everything from both machines are still resident though heaven knows how many and on what volumes. 

There are several *office*.bin files on the X drive, as well as other bin files which, if I read correctly, are binary files from discs that can be converted to ISO files.

 

Below is a blow-by-blow of the latest MCT install process in case you it gives you any additional clues. 

 

When I go to Install (on the laptop), I have the options of (1) Upgrade (keep files, settings, and apps) or (2) Custom. When I choose (1), a Compatibility report comes up asking me to remove the installation media and restart so Windows starts normally. But that gets "Please install an operating system on your hard disc" message. And option to run diagnostics, which I've done.

 

When I choose Repair Computer and choose Continue: Exit and continue to Windows 10 (on volume 3), I get Windows Setup box, click Next, back to Install now, then back to choose Upgrade or Custom. 

 

When I choose Repair Computer and Use a device, I get USB Drive (UEFI) or Internal CD/DVD ROM (UEFI). I choose USB and go back to Windows Setup box, click Next, and back to Install now.

 

When I choose Repair Computer and Use another operating system, I get "Windows 10 On volume 3" and "Windows 10 On volume 8". No Windows 7 option. Both options take me to Windows Setup.

 

Repair Computer, Reset, Keep my files takes me back to the Windows 10 on volume 3 or volume 8 options. Choosing volume 3 gets me "Reset this PC: We cannot reset your PC and keep your personal files. You can try Advanced Options for other ways...or you can back up your personal files and completely reset your PC."

 

Repair Computer, Reset, Remove Everything takes me to the volume 3 or 8 choice. Volume 3 choice: Your PC has more than one drive. Do you want to remove all files from all drives?, then "Only the drive where Windows is installed" or "All drives". First option brings up "Do you want to fully clean your drive?" then options "Just remove my files (Use this if you're keeping PC)" and "Fully clean...if recycling". First choice prompts you to plug-in power and "Resetting will remove: All personal files and user accounts, and apps and programs that didn't come with this PC, and changes made to settings. I click reset and...

 

The reset starts but at about 3%, "There was a problem resetting your PC" and cancel.

 

Repair Computer, Advanced Options, System Restore, Win 10 on vol. 3 or 8, results in "No restore points have been created..." for both volumes.

 

System Image Recovery, vol 3 or 8, plugged in external drive with desktop (not laptop) Win 7 image saved, no other disks excluded, next, warning that all discs will be formatted and replaced, gets restore failed, Windows cannot, the image was created on a computer using BIOS and this computer is using EFI. Close.

 

Troubleshoot, Advanced, Startup Repair, vol 3 or 8, vol 3, diagnosing, couldn't repair, log file c:\Windows\System32\Logfiles\Srt\SrtTrail.txt created. The laptop is 64 though so that makes sense. Vol 8 same result though log file is saved on drive E.

 

Troubleshoot, Advanced, UEFI Firmware Settings, Restart to change UEFI firmware settings, click Restart, gets Startup Menu F1 System Information, F2 System Diagnostics, F9 Boot Device Options, F10 BIOS Setup, F11 System Recovery, ENTER Continue Startup. F11 gets me to Device Setup, exited, which brings up Windows Setup.

 

Troubleshoot, Advanced, Go back to the previous build, gets Windows 10 on volume 4 and Windows 10 volume 9. Vol 4 "we ran into a problem...try resetting your current build". Volume 9, same.

 



#5 ChiefTech

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 07:33 PM

Before proceding it is important to note that windows may or may not find the drivers for your lan or internal wifi(mostly laptops) during installtion. At which point you'll want to have a usb wifi adapter on hand or a usb drive and a computer connected to the Internet(so you can locate the drivers if need be). If you don't have experience in finding system drivers be sure you take caution before reinstalling windows. It is often smart to get the drivers for your wifi or ethernet and have them avalible via external media like a USB flash drive or CD before you start the process.

1. Backup all important files to an external device.
2. During install select option 2 for "Custom."
3. Select the primary partition and then click on "Next."
4. It will display a warning message:
The partition you selected might contain files from a previous Windows Installation. If it does, these files and folders will be moved to a folder named Windows.old. You will be able to access the information in Windows.old, but you will not be able to use your previous version of Windows.
5. Click on "OK."
6. Let Windows install. Once it has finished the pc will reboot and windows will detect and reinstall hardware devices.
7. Once windows has installed navigate to the C:/ drive or drive that windows is installed on.
8. Locate the windows.old folder.
9. The bulk of your files should be located in: Windows.old\Users\%YourAccountName%

Edited by ChiefTech, 17 November 2015 - 07:37 PM.


#6 JillPC

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Posted 22 November 2015 - 04:16 PM

Wanted to follow-up. Stumbled on a post (different website) suggesting volume/partitions be "cleaned". Worked like a charm on the laptop; not so much so on the desktop. Tried on the latter but now only have Drive 0 Partition 1 that won't boot off Win 10 ISO file used to get laptop up and going.






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