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Win 10 won't boot - Have tried my "bag of tricks."


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#1 britechguy

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 03:37 PM

What follows will, in some ways, be eerily similar to what's being described by member Lefty Widdagun in the thread entitled, login screen not presented after installing latest Windows updates.

 

I don't like hijacking the threads of others and I cannot absolutely know that it was a Windows Update that triggered this situation, though from the client's description I believe it was.

 

Without any ministrations from me the machine will boot past the Dell Splash Screen, get to the first Windows 10 Splash Screen, then go on to the second with the "black screen with spinning dots", then those dots disappear and you're stuck.  The machine is still up and running but never goes any further in the boot process.

 

Things I've tried so far:

 

  1. Booting from an external USB drive with Win10 installation media and running:
  • chkdsk  - no errors found on the C: drive
  • Startup Repair - can't repair
  • Rolling back to previous build - can't
  • Restoring from a restore point - none available

      2.  Ran full Dell Diagnostics and everything comes back clean.

 

      3.  Tried reinstalling Windows 10 as though it were an upgrade so that all files will be kept.  It allows me to make that choice then gives me a dialog saying that I need to restart the computer using regular Windows then insert the installation media to continue.  Since regular Windows 10 won't boot this is a catch 22.  The best I was able to do was to get to the first Win10 splash screen having plugged in the installation media moments before it popped up and having it say "Please Wait" at the bottom, but no progress from there.  No indication of activity on the USB drive and things just sat.

 

      4.  Even tried changing boot mode from Legacy to UEFI, which didn't work at all.  Once back to Legacy with safe mode turned off I was able to tweak boot order such that USB was first and then do all of what is listed above.  I did the UEFI/BIOS tweaks first, but since they didn't work I decided not to list this first.  I believe the original boot mode was Legacy with Safe Mode On.  

 

So, what now?  The user has some data on the drive that I could easily copy elsewhere and reinstall Windows 10 from scratch, but I wanted to check here to see if anyone has experienced something like this, done what I've done, yet ultimately found a way to make Windows 10 boot again without a "from scratch" installation.

 


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

     . . . the presumption of innocence, while essential in the legal realm, does not mean the elimination of common sense outside it.  The willing suspension of disbelief has its limits, or should.

    ~ Ruth Marcus,  November 10, 2017, in Washington Post article, Bannon is right: It’s no coincidence The Post broke the Moore story


 

 

 

              

 


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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 03:53 PM

Can you run the DISM command from the command prompt.

 

It may be possible to get into the Advanced Boot Option using the below method.

 

  • Hold the Power Button for 5 seconds or until the computer completely shuts off.
  • Press the Power Button to turn the computer on.
  • As soon as you see the rotating loading circle, press and hold the Power Button until the computer shuts off.
  • Repeat this process 2 or 3 times until you see the Preparing Automatic Repair screen.
  • Let the computer boot to the Automatic Repair screen.
  • Click Advanced Options, and then select Troubleshoot.

Edit: As far as I know Microsoft disabled System Restore on Windows 10 after the anniversary update but that may have changed.

 

https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-update/why-is-system-restore-disabled-after-anniversary/9efdb871-7379-4a01-8317-a03aad600f3a


Edited by JohnC_21, 12 February 2017 - 04:02 PM.


#3 msrmoshe

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 06:38 PM

Ok, I think I need some more info.

 

1) Is this also after a windows update? and if yes, do you know which one?

2) Which version of windows 10 is this? (Home/ Pro/ Enterprise: 32-bit/ 64-bit)

3) Is the os on a GPT or MBR disk?

4) Is the os using UEFI or Legacy Boot?

5) Did you try to boot up in safe mode? and if yes what happened?

6) Have you run sfc? and if yes what happened?

 

If you have any more information that you think might be helpful feel free to include it.



#4 msrmoshe

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 06:56 PM

Also, check the event logs, they might give you a clue to the problem.

On my computer they are located here -> C:\Windows\System32\Winevt\Logs



#5 britechguy

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 06:57 PM

A couple of updates:

 

1. Booting from install media and running SFC /scannow on the C: drive gets through only "Beginning verification of phase of the system scan" which comes back with "Verification 100% complete" then followed with "Windows Resource Protection could not perform the requested operation."

 

2.  I have to presume this is Win10 Pro 64-bit.  It was an updated from Win8 Pro installation.

 

3.  Legacy boot.

 

4.  Have not yet tried safe mode.  Need to look up, again, how to trigger this as I constantly forget since the old "hit F8" technique was taken away and I don't do this often.

 

5. Have no clue as to whether GPT or MBR.  The machine was new in 2013 if that points in one direction or the other.

 

6. The owner describes this as happening after an update was starting before he retired for the night and the machine was in this state the following morning.

 

7.  The owner played (why, heaven only knows) with UEFI but I can't see anything that's off.

 

8.  I'd need to know what to look for in an event log.  This isn't an area of my own expertise.

 

9.  Just about to run DISM to see what it does.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

     . . . the presumption of innocence, while essential in the legal realm, does not mean the elimination of common sense outside it.  The willing suspension of disbelief has its limits, or should.

    ~ Ruth Marcus,  November 10, 2017, in Washington Post article, Bannon is right: It’s no coincidence The Post broke the Moore story


 

 

 

              

 


#6 britechguy

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 07:04 PM

I believe that I'd have to give DISM an /Image argument since the Windows 10 instance on C: is not online.  However, I have no idea what I'd give it since C:\Windows doesn't work.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

     . . . the presumption of innocence, while essential in the legal realm, does not mean the elimination of common sense outside it.  The willing suspension of disbelief has its limits, or should.

    ~ Ruth Marcus,  November 10, 2017, in Washington Post article, Bannon is right: It’s no coincidence The Post broke the Moore story


 

 

 

              

 


#7 msrmoshe

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 07:11 PM

try searching for *.wim



#8 JohnC_21

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 07:18 PM

I think you should be able to access the command prompt using the steps I listed: Shutting down and powering up until you get the advanced repair options.

 

http://www.windowscentral.com/how-use-dism-command-line-utility-repair-windows-10-image

 

There is an offline option using DISM but I don't have experience with the command. You may want to give FreeBooter a PM. He has extensive experience with the command line.



#9 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 07:45 PM

To save you the effort of PM'ing Freebooter you might find his posts in this topic relevant -

 

https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/636883/dism-online-cleanup-image-restorehealth-not-working/

 

They start at the top of Page 2.

 

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I am going to be away until about the 22nd October. Time on-line will be reduced and my internet access may be limited. PMs may not be replied to as quickly as normal !


#10 britechguy

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 08:00 PM

I have started the Advanced stuff via John's method and the results are not any different when I log in using the user's account.

 

CHKDSK is perfect, SFC gives the "Windows Resource Protection could not perform the requested operation" immediately following the Verification phase.

 

My question is, if I get into the command prompt not using the Win10 install media, but via the "triple shutdown-startup method" what Windows instance is considered to be online.  The command prompt is still showing X: which indicates to me that it's not the typical Windows 10 instance from the C: drive that's online, but perhaps I'm mistaken.

 

Having looked at Freebooter's material and while I'm not confused by the command syntax I am confused about what instance of Windows is being worked on versus where you're pulling the Wimfiles from.  He uses the "F" drive for the Wimfiles, and I presume that's if you have a USB drive or other accessible drive with the letter F: to source these from.  I'm guessing that would the X: drive if you're using advanced options, but even that is uncertain because I cannot determine what these utilities consider to be the Online instance.

 

Pulling the hard drive, backing up the user's data, and a fresh install is looking more and more appealing.  However, via the triple-shutdown-startup method I also get a Reset option that includes the "Keep My Files" option, so I may try that, as reinstalling programs is not an issue.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

     . . . the presumption of innocence, while essential in the legal realm, does not mean the elimination of common sense outside it.  The willing suspension of disbelief has its limits, or should.

    ~ Ruth Marcus,  November 10, 2017, in Washington Post article, Bannon is right: It’s no coincidence The Post broke the Moore story


 

 

 

              

 


#11 britechguy

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 08:45 PM

Even a Reset won't work.  

 

Unless someone knows of yet something else I could try I think I've come to the conclusion that a fresh install of Win10, or perhaps a Reset without keeping files, is next.

 

Addendum:  How interesting.  After I hit the "Cancel" button on the screen that told me the Reset was not successful and then chose "Exit to Windows" rather than shutdown from the Advanced options I'm now in a "Getting Windows Ready" screen with the standard circling dots.  I don't know exactly what's shaken loose, but I shall follow the instruction that tells me, "Don't turn off your computer."

 

Curiouser and Curiouser . . .


Edited by britechguy, 12 February 2017 - 08:54 PM.

Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

     . . . the presumption of innocence, while essential in the legal realm, does not mean the elimination of common sense outside it.  The willing suspension of disbelief has its limits, or should.

    ~ Ruth Marcus,  November 10, 2017, in Washington Post article, Bannon is right: It’s no coincidence The Post broke the Moore story


 

 

 

              

 


#12 msrmoshe

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 09:44 PM

anything up yet?



#13 britechguy

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 10:06 PM

No.  I'm still at the "Getting Windows Ready" stage.

 

I actually expect that this will be stuck, but since it costs me nothing to let it run for hours if necessary I'm going to do so.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

     . . . the presumption of innocence, while essential in the legal realm, does not mean the elimination of common sense outside it.  The willing suspension of disbelief has its limits, or should.

    ~ Ruth Marcus,  November 10, 2017, in Washington Post article, Bannon is right: It’s no coincidence The Post broke the Moore story


 

 

 

              

 


#14 dhjohns

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 10:58 PM

If Windows won't clean install in about 20 minutes or so, then there is a hardware problem.  I would not have a clue what it would be.  But Windows installs very quickly these days.



#15 FreeBooter

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 11:32 PM

Hi britechguy

 

The HDD could be failing you should do a full format to confirm if HDD is failing if you like i can guide you to do a full format.


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