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Craig Anderton

Follow-Up to My Windows 10 Comments - I Spoke Too Soon!

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2 minutes ago, abacab said:

This is puzzling because booting from a recovery disc is handled entirely by the machine's BIOS, prior to the Windows boot loader being involved. The Windows 10 update couldn't affect the BIOS.

I totally agree.  

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1 minute ago, John said:

The key might be in an email from MS. 

If you do as I do and have more than one computer accessing email it might be on the other one. 

I am so sorry you are having this problem.  I have been through this sort of thing  more than once. Its not fun. 

Unfortunately I bought it while at Gibson, and Gibson email is no longer available to me. At this point I do not mind buying a new copy, the loss in productivity is a major issue.

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1 minute ago, Craig Anderton said:

Possible the recovery disc is defective. Or maybe the motherboard died coincidentally with the update, but the BIOS sees the DVD drive and acknowledges it as the first boot choice.

I wouldn't count on a dvd or CD. I would build a new install on a USB stick.  

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15 minutes ago, Craig Anderton said:

Would it be possible in this case to buy a new copy of Windows, do an in-place repair install, and keep the existing programs and files? At least this would tide me over until I can get the main machine working.

My understanding  of Win10's "refresh your PC"  is that it only retains your user documents, and not the applications, which would then need to be re-installed. I really liked the old Win XP "in place repair", which saved my bacon on a few occasions!

https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/16397-repair-install-windows-10-place-upgrade.html

"In Windows 10, this feature no longer preserves user-acquired Windows apps."

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Just now, John said:

I wouldn't count on a dvd or CD. I would build a new install on a USB stick.  

Could the problem be that Windows is able to start booting from the C drive, so it ignores the recovery disk, and then can't get any further? But I would think if the optical drive is the boot priority, Windows would pick up on that. I dunno...

I'm creating the recovery USB stick now. I'll let you know if it works or not. I'm copying over the system files so it should be able to re-install Windows...although the whole problem started with the update and installing Windows.

This isn't the first time this happened. I went through the same cycle before - successful update to 1809, then Windows wanted to do one more update, and hosed the computer. I was only able to fix it by going to a system restore point and get back. But this time, I can't access system restore. Hopefully the recovery disk will be able to.

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It is set up in BIOS as to what disk is the boot disk. Priority isn't reliable. You will need to make your DVD drive the boot disk in the BIOS for it to work as a boot disk. At least try it see that works. 

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According to the BIOS, it is. That's why I suspect the media. I just enabled boot from removable media and from USB, so I'm just waiting at this point for my only currently working Windows computer (an ancient ADK laptop from when Windows 7 was new, but is up to date) to create a restore USB drive.

I'm currently writing on a MacBook Pro...

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8 minutes ago, Craig Anderton said:

According to the BIOS, it is. That's why I suspect the media. I just enabled boot from removable media and from USB, so I'm just waiting at this point for my only currently working Windows computer (an ancient ADK laptop from when Windows 7 was new, but is up to date) to create a restore USB drive.

I'm currently writing on a MacBook Pro...

That's the problem using a Mac in the same room as your Windows machines. When I use my Macbook I go into another room. 😁

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Posted (edited)

If you can mount the ISO in Windows or access the install media via USB (Doesn't work when booting from a Win 10 DVD) you get the option of reinstalling and keeping you data and apps ect, it's different to refreshing, I've never done it, but that's what it says it does. If you mount the ISO, then click the setup.exe inside, you'll get to the place where it asks what to do, it definitely says it will keep your apps, I just never followed through.

With regards to the not booting from a disk, I just had this, depending of course on your Bios, in my case there are 2 places that seemed to have an effect on boot device, one was the Boot priority, which WAS set to boot from cd/dvd first, the other seemed to be  'Boot Override' on the Save and Exit page, now when for what ever reason, last night it wouldn't boot from DVD even though under boot priorities that is what was selected, I stumbled on to the Boot override thing and there rwas an entry that had 'Windows something in it at the top, anyway, if you clicked on the DVD in the list it would immediately boot from that, which of course got me to boot from the DVD, it's all a bit blurry now, as I was up until 4.30 AM trying to figure out why certain things were happening, I'm still at it, I have decided to bite the bullet and reinstall everything from scratch, and use that to trim the fat a bit, not so many plugins, and nothing not needed, it will take a LONG time, days, a week maybe, there's a lot of stuff to install and set up, but at the end it should all be worth it. I'm going with v 1709 of Windows 10 and staying there for a while. Never had an issue with Windows 10 up until now since it was released, but something has come unstuck, strange errors similar to and including the one you mention, just strangeness really.

I had fairly recent backups of all drives, but a fresh install might be the best, plus as I said an excuse to trim the fat, if it runs as good and as fast and stable as the last install has for all this time, I'll be happy with that. Mine previous install was an inplace upgrade to by the way.

 

oh, and that Windows whatever entry in the Boot Override section is no longer there, and still booting fine from DVD, fun stuff . . . not :)

Edited by Anal Sphincter
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You and are are thinking along the same lines...time to start over. Windows 10 has been getting progressively shakier, I think I need new hardware, and a fresh OS install...the hit on my productivity and to my clients will be major, but not as major as the hours and hours (and hours) I've wasted over the past couple months trying to make Windows happy on an older machine.

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Posted (edited)

Craig, are you sure it's actually trying to boot off the recovery disc?  If it's a DVD burner, try changing to a different sata port.

I had a similar problem where the BIOS showed the desired boot order, but nothing I did could make it boot off the first drive... Turned out the CMOS battery was flaking out.  I changed it, reset BIOS to default settings, set desired boot settings, saved and restart -- and it worked fine after that (The previous steps are worth trying also even if the CMOS battery is good.  Restoring to default can 't hurt - and can sometimes fix a corrupted bios).

Another quick thing to try:  Unplug the AC power, then hold in power button to drain any static electricity from the board.

Good luck!

Edited by JonD

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Update: I verified that the disk itself is fine - so at least the contents like the desktop and such are safe, and I backed up all that stuff a few days ago anyway. My system drive is a removable drive, and I had an ancient failing OS hard disk sitting around (it boots, then starts repairing itself until it hits about 20% or so), and it booted and started its disk repair. So the computer can boot from the C drive, just not the disk with the Windows "update."

I doubt it's a hardware problem. Hardware doesn't work magically until Microsoft applies the second in a pair of updates, then fails immediately thereafter, then after a system restore works fine for several days, until Microsoft wants to try the two updates again. Same thing: The first one worked, after a shut down/reboot. The second one hosed the computer.

And now, here's the warning from this sad tale: If you reach the troubleshooting screen, use system restore. System restore worked the first time, but the second time I made the mistake of trying to uninstall the feature update instead, and that's what did the final bricking from which there is apparently no recovery. When I try to boot from recovery media, Windows says something to the effect that "an update was in progress and not completed. Remove the media and hit Enter" after which nothing happens and the computer goes into a deep coma. It will not let me use the recovery media.

Unless there's some way to fix Windows on an external drive from a system that's running Windows properly, my first call on Monday is going to be to PC Audio Labs, to see if they can figure this out.

 

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Yah! I wasn't worried. I knew you would fix it.  Thanks for letting us know. Have a good night and see you in the morning. 

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Posted (edited)

Well thanks, but it's not fixed. I still can't access the current C drive or any of the programs I use currently, because it won't boot, can't be repaired, and recovery media claims Windows wants to update so the recovery media can't do anything.

Maybe if I'd done system restore, like I had the first time there was an update that fried the system, I would have been okay. But then, the procedure would have been:

Restore > use computer until Windows forces the same update that screwed it up > restore > use computer until Windows forces the same update that screwed it up > restore > use computer... 

You get the idea. I feel like I'm an extra in the movie Live Die Repeat aka Edge of Tomorrow.

Edited by Craig Anderton

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Does your image software allow creation of the USB boot media (from another machine)? It may even allow that USB to be a different OS than the image, but not sure. My computer doesn't have a ROM drive, and the one time it got flaky, Macrium Reflect created the USB then booted from it without needing to touch the BIOS. I am not sure if you have tried the USB boot option yet, but that saved my situation a while back.

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OK. Then all you need to do is replace the HD and start over.  This happened to me a few years ago. It gave me the option of getting a bigger and faster HD. 

I had to do the same on a laptop and replaced the HD with a nice SSD. In the end it was an upgrade. 😉

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Craig, I'm not an engineer but just saying...
If I get like your situation, I get in command prompt with booting by USB stick which is made to install Windows 10 and then I try to run some commands before trying recovery, I think. (Maybe diskpart, bootrec, reagentc, etc. It depends on the case.)

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Craig - I'm really sorry to hear about your issues here. I got into a similar position when my Studio PC refused to upgrade from Win7 to W10, and the rollback didn't work.

I tried just about everything, and in the end re-installed from scratch and did the Win7 to Win10 upgrade on a clean install.

This kind of situation is the reason why I use Clonezilla (which is linux based, and boots from CD), and also why I have to rolling complete disk images on another hard disk. I'll do a disk image once a month, or before/after I've updated or installed any new software. All of my projects and documents are backed up to the cloud at the end of each session.

Having a linux based imaging system means it's completely unaware of Windows and it's update status - it just makes an image of the disk and restores it.

Having rolling copies of my disk image on another disk means I my oldest backup is usually no more than a month old, and my projects will re-sync from the cloud as soon as it boots up.

Any backup system that requires Windows to be running is to my mind, flawed, as lets face it - it's far more likely nowadays that a Windows Upgrade screws up your system (which now happens twice a year) than your data being lost to a HD/SSD failure (maybe once in 5 years).

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, Craig Anderton said:

Unfortunately I bought it while at Gibson, and Gibson email is no longer available to me. At this point I do not mind buying a new copy, the loss in productivity is a major issue.

@Craig Anderton, if you have a Microsoft account then your Windows 10 product key/activation  might be associated with that. They added this  during the initial Windows 10 release period where you could upgrade free.

Edited by Simeon Amburgey
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