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Royally bleeped up my laptop doing a Clean Install of Windows. Win10 deleted.


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#1 gamer10012

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 05:28 PM

Okay, I have an ASUS Vivobook E403SA with an eMMc SSD (not too common). Yesterday, I wanted to perform Reset PC on my laptop to make Windows feel fresh and smooth again. This is a process I've done many times before without problem but this time Windows was preventing the process with a message that read "Could not find recovery environment". Since I couldn't achieve my goal using that method I decided to Create a Bootable USB instead. I enabled "Launch CSM" and disbaled "Secure Boot" in BIOS to be able to boot from the USB. Everything seemed to be operating smoothly. Until I got to the "Where do you want Windows to be installed?" section.

I had four drives/partitions listed. One labelled Primary, another Recovery and two others. I deleted the ones NOT marked Primary. I was being shown a warning message which read "Windows cannot be installed on drive 0 partition 3". After browsing Google and YouTube for a while, I decided to proceed with the process "Shift + F10". When CMD launched, I inputted the following command:

Diskpart
List disk (it showed me disk 0 and disk 1)
Sel disk 0
Clean

The process completed successfully and now "drive 0 partition 3" was now Unallocated. However, I still couldn't go through with installing Windows as it still said Windows could not be installed to the disk. I clicked on details for further information which read: "Windows cannot be installed to this disk. This computer's hardware may not support booting to this disk. Ensure the disk's controller is enabled in the computer's BIOS menu."

After seeing that, I exited the Windows Installer and turned off the computer. When I turned it back on, the computer loaded into BIOS. I noticed that the "Windows Boot Loader" option has vanished which meant that I screwed up and deleted Windows entirely from my drive. Remembering the message about "Disk Controller", I searched through the BIOS in hopes of finding it, but there was no option for it, just as there wasn't any for changing SATA to ACHI. I realized that my BIOS had limited options as opposed to other BIOS's on other computers.

I inserted the flash drive back into the computer and proceeded with the Clean Install process again, still showing the error that Windows couldn't be installed to this disk. I went to Google again, in hopes of searching for an answer. This time, when I launched CMD, I tried these commands:

bootrec /FixMbr
bootrec /FixBoot
bootrec /RebuildBcd

Two of these operations were successful. The "bootrec /FixBoot" resulted in the response "Access is Denied". Note: the "Bootrec /scanos" command wasn't used here.

After "rebuildbcd" was completed, I received the following response:

Successfully scanned Windows installations.
Total identified Windows installations: 0
The operation completed successfully.

After seeing that I then typed the command: "bcdedit /export c:\backup" which prompted the following response: "The store export operation has failed. The volume for a file has been externally altered so that the opened file is no longer valid."

At this point, I'd completely given up and got depressed because I ruined my PC. I don't know what else to do. If anyone can help, that'd be much appreciated.

Edited by gamer10012, 22 November 2017 - 06:16 PM.


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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 05:43 PM

First off, what did you use to create the bootable USB flash drive? I would recommend Rufus with the iso file. Launch Rufus and in the dropdown box for partition scheme select GPT. Leave all boxes as checked. In the dropdown box select iso image,click the icon, and browse to the iso of Windows 10. Press Start.

 

Next go back to your UEFI settings and disable CSM and enable SecureBoot. Windows 10 can be installed to a SecureBoot UEFI computer. 

 

Boot your USB of Windows 10. At the screen showing language press Shift + F10 to open a command prompt. Type the following diskpart commands.

 

diskpart

list disk

select disk 0

clean

convert GPT    This is required to boot on a UEFI/SecureBoot computer.

exit

exit

 

Continue with the install. When you get to the window showing your unallocated drive press next. Windows will automatically partition and format the drive.


Edited by JohnC_21, 22 November 2017 - 05:45 PM.


#3 gamer10012

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 07:40 PM

First off, what did you use to create the bootable USB flash drive? I would recommend Rufus with the iso file. Launch Rufus and in the dropdown box for partition scheme select GPT. Leave all boxes as checked. In the dropdown box select iso image,click the icon, and browse to the iso of Windows 10. Press Start.
 
Next go back to your UEFI settings and disable CSM and enable SecureBoot. Windows 10 can be installed to a SecureBoot UEFI computer. 
 
Boot your USB of Windows 10. At the screen showing language press Shift + F10 to open a command prompt. Type the following diskpart commands.
 
diskpart
list disk
select disk 0
clean
convert GPT    This is required to boot on a UEFI/SecureBoot computer.
exit
exit
 
Continue with the install. When you get to the window showing your unallocated drive press next. Windows will automatically partition and format the drive.


Before I do this I have a few questions because I don't want to do any partitioning and further compromise my system. What about the errors I was being shown? Like "the volume for a file has been externally altered so that the opened file is no longer valid."

Also, enabling "Launch CSM" and disabling "Secure Boot" allowed me to boot from my USB in the first place so wouldn't undoing both prevent me from booting from the USB drive?

Edited by gamer10012, 22 November 2017 - 07:41 PM.


#4 JohnC_21

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 08:30 PM

When you initially did the clean command in your first post that deleted all partitions on the disk. If you do the clean command again then there would be no system to be compromised. It will be gone and ready for a clean install. Windows will automatically partition and format your disk. Backup any data if you have not done so already.

 

Regarding the error, I have not come across that particular error and I am not sure why you got it. It sounds like a file became corrupted. Googling that error gave this.

 

Use Rufus to create the USB flash drive per my instructions. Change the UEFI settings to Secure Boot and see if the USB boots. It's possible the USB flash drive was created where it could not boot unless using Legacy CSM. CSM boot is used for a MBR disk. Any UEFI computer requires a GPT disk to boot.



#5 gamer10012

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 09:22 PM

When you initially did the clean command in your first post that deleted all partitions on the disk. If you do the clean command again then there would be no system to be compromised. It will be gone and ready for a clean install. Windows will automatically partition and format your disk. Backup any data if you have not done so already.
 
Regarding the error, I have not come across that particular error and I am not sure why you got it. It sounds like a file became corrupted. Googling that error gave this.
 
Use Rufus to create the USB flash drive per my instructions. Change the UEFI settings to Secure Boot and see if the USB boots. It's possible the USB flash drive was created where it could not boot unless using Legacy CSM. CSM boot is used for a MBR disk. Any UEFI computer requires a GPT disk to boot.


Okay. I can get this done within a hour or so. I'll let you know how it goes. I really hope this will work.

#6 JohnC_21

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 09:42 PM

If you can get the USB to boot with SecureBoot enabled then you should be good to go if the SSD is in good condition.



#7 gamer10012

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Posted 23 November 2017 - 03:24 AM

If you can get the USB to boot with SecureBoot enabled then you should be good to go if the SSD is in good condition.

I followed your instructions and it worked! I successfully reinstalled Windows 10 with no problem. Many thanks! P.S. I had to Google that the flash drive should have been formatted in FAT32 and not NTFS which it was the first time.



#8 JohnC_21

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Posted 23 November 2017 - 01:06 PM

Your Welcome,

If you have a USB external hard drive available I would recommend creating regular disk images using any of the following programs. This would allow you to restore your OS with all programs and updates intact. Each program allows you to create a bootable DVD or USB flash drive. This would allow you to restore the image if the computer no longer booted because of malware, file system corruption, or if the drive failed. 

 

Macrium Reflect Free

Aomei Backupper Standard

Easeus Todo Backup Free

 

Aomei and Easeus also allow file/folder backup, both incremental and differential on a schedule with Easeus being the most intuitive to use.

 

All allow you to mount the image on the external drive as a virtual drive, allowing you to copy any file out of the image. 


Edited by JohnC_21, 23 November 2017 - 01:06 PM.


#9 gamer10012

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Posted 24 November 2017 - 03:26 AM

Your Welcome,

If you have a USB external hard drive available I would recommend creating regular disk images using any of the following programs. This would allow you to restore your OS with all programs and updates intact. Each program allows you to create a bootable DVD or USB flash drive. This would allow you to restore the image if the computer no longer booted because of malware, file system corruption, or if the drive failed. 

 

Macrium Reflect Free

Aomei Backupper Standard

Easeus Todo Backup Free

 

Aomei and Easeus also allow file/folder backup, both incremental and differential on a schedule with Easeus being the most intuitive to use.

 

All allow you to mount the image on the external drive as a virtual drive, allowing you to copy any file out of the image. 

Alright, thanks. Will definitely start doing that  :thumbup2:






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