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Windows 10 won't boot. System Refresh doesn't work.


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#1 Thelps

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 08:28 AM

Hi all,

 

Trying to avoid a reformat and reinstall of Windows 10. Attempting to get System Refresh functional or be able to boot into the operating system.

 

Symptoms:

 

Windows won't boot. Just shows either a black screen or PC reboots constantly without getting to the OS log-in screen.

 

I've tried the following:

 

-Booting from the install media (USB drive) and selecting Reset this PC (Keep my Files/Remove my Files). This produces an error.

 

-Booting from install media and selecting Command Prompt then typing 

cd %windir%\system32\config

ren system system.001

ren software software.001

The second command (ren software software.001) states the files are in use and cannot be manipulated.

- Booting from install media and running 'Start Up Repair' (attempts to repair startup, completes the process but Windows still won't boot successfully).

-Booting into Safe Mode via pressing F8 after enabling LEGACYBOOT from the install media's command prompt.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I have a file called 'install.wim' on the install media (d:/x64/sources/install.wim) can this be used to restore the operating system files so I don't lose my programs or saved data? Search engine research is inconclusive about this.

Any ideas what I can do to restore the 'Reset This PC' tool's functionality so I can reset Windows without losing my files?

Any other ideas?

It's a last resort to repartition the drive with DISKPART and do a complete reinstall since I'll lose a lot of data.

Thanks for your help.



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#2 dhjohns

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 09:51 AM

Boot from install media.  At first screen press bleep F10.  This will bring up a command prompt.  Find the disk or partition with your Windows install on it.  Change directories by typing c: then hit enter.  then type dir and press enter.  If you have multiple partitions or disk, you may need to go through the alphabet a bit until you find your Windows directory.  Once  you find it, and for example I will assume it is C: type in bcdboot c:\windows and press enter.  Exit everything, and reboot.  I hope this helps you.



#3 Thelps

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 10:31 AM

Did as you suggested dhjohns. Windows now shows the loading screen during boot-up but doesn't make it to the login screen (just shows a black screen, the monitor stays on, doesn't go into standby).

 

Does this indicate anything you could give further advice on?

 

Otherwise - any other leads/ideas for the original post from dhjohns or others?



#4 dhjohns

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 10:38 AM

Perhaps you should just reinstall.



#5 JohnC_21

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 10:47 AM

You do not need to loose your data before a reinstall. You can copy your data to an external drive with a live linux disk and also rename your software hive if you wish as it will not be in use when in linux. 

 

Post back if you want instruction on downloading a linux iso and procedures for copying to a USB external disk. This will only copy your files. You will need to reinstall your programs. 

 

Are you trying to copy the registry backup hives in the Regback folder to config? This can be done in linux also.



#6 dhjohns

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 11:00 AM

Or just install to same partition.  All your files will be in Windows.old folder.  No need to use Linux.



#7 Thelps

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 11:47 AM

How do I install to the same partition?

 

Run windows installer from the install media and specify the main partition where windows was previously installed?

 

What about the small system partition windows creates during installation? Do I specify that as the install partition?



#8 dhjohns

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 11:49 AM

How do I install to the same partition?

 

Run windows installer from the install media and specify the main partition where windows was previously installed?

 

What about the small system partition windows creates during installation? Do I specify that as the install partition?

Run windows installer from the install media and specify the main partition where windows was previously installed.  Don't worry about small system partition.



#9 Thelps

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 11:56 AM

Do I use the 'Upgrade" or 'Custom' install option? The upgrade option is obviously for upgrades but the custom option implies all files and settings will be lost...


Edited by Thelps, 10 July 2016 - 11:56 AM.


#10 dhjohns

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 12:13 PM

Do I use the 'Upgrade" or 'Custom' install option? The upgrade option is obviously for upgrades but the custom option implies all files and settings will be lost...

You use custom install then choose to install to same partition as old windows installation.  It will tell you that everything will be saved in windows.old folder.  You will need to reinstall your programs, but all your files, and programs (to reference what you had in case you forget) will be in windows.old.  I have done this before.  I would not recommend it unless I had actually done it this way with success.


Edited by dhjohns, 10 July 2016 - 12:15 PM.


#11 Thelps

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 12:19 PM

Alright, I'm following your advice dhjohns.

 

There's nothing critical on my hard drive but there are a lot of things I'd like to have carry over into the new installation if possible, since it'll save me a few hours of work downloading and copying stuff around.

 

I'll report back with the results.



#12 Thelps

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 12:51 PM

To begin with, Windows is detecting the old installation but doesn't give me time to interact with it. Given it won't load that's not a problem but I'll need to wipe it from the drives eventually.



#13 dhjohns

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 01:04 PM

To begin with, Windows is detecting the old installation but doesn't give me time to interact with it. Given it won't load that's not a problem but I'll need to wipe it from the drives eventually.

Right.  Once your new install is complete, then you can access it.



#14 Thelps

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 02:06 PM

The Windows.old folder doesn't appear to contain my previous applications, unfortunately.

 

From what I can tell, it's just the core operating system files, almost identical to a clean install of Windows.

 

Unless I'm looking in the wrong place it seems I'll have to reinstall all my old programs as well as a lot of lost data.

 

I'll be sure to back up my files more effectively this time, but from what I can see I've lost a lot of stuff.



#15 usasma

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 03:56 PM

You can't save/backup applications - they scatter things around the operating system and each installation is customized by the developer (so Microsoft doesn't know what it does)..

But, in the Reset (with the Keep My Files option) you'll lose those applications anyway.

 

The lost data is a concern.  What sort of data was lost - there's a lot of stuff that's not obvious (like email stuff in the AppData folder along with other browsers bookmarks in there also).


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