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Windows 7: OS unrecognizable following Windows Update - PC can't boot

03 Apr 2016   #1
Sara82

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 
OS unrecognizable following Windows Update - PC can't boot

Hi all,

As of this morning, my computer was working perfectly fine. And then I made the worst decision ever to allow Windows to actually install some of the updates it kept telling me were available. (I have Windows Update set to notify me about updates, but not to download or install them automatically.) It'd been since July of last year that I'd actually done this, and I'm now seriously regretting the decision to change that, since everything had been working fine. Unfortunately, once the updates downloaded and installed and the system restarted, everything went downhill pretty quickly.

When I clicked to let the system do its restart, it showed where it was installing (finalizing?) the updates. I remember it hitting 30% before it actually restarted, and once the computer loaded back up, it showed that same screen again. I don't recall if it hit 100% or not, but I don't think it did before the computer restarted once more. At this point, it looked like it went to my normal log-in screen, but I think I saw some text that said something about "System Event Manager" before the screen went black. The mouse, however, was still there, only it looked the way the mouse looks before you get your PC all set up the way you want it, like it wasn't reading any of my settings.

I couldn't get the computer to do anything at this point, namely because I couldn't see anything other than the mouse, so I force shut the computer off. When I started it up again, it came up with the error message "Reboot and Select proper Boot device or Insert Boot Media in selected Boot device and press a key". So, I restarted once again and F8'ed into the Bios, where I verified that my PC was reading all of my drives correctly and was set to boot from the Kingston SSD. Manually choosing this drive from the boot menu produces the same error message, however.

So, I put in my Windows 7 disc and let the computer load that, thinking I can use the Repair function to see what's wrong. Except that trying to do that gives me the following error message - "This version of System Recovery Options is not compatible with the version of Windows you are trying to repair. Try using a recovery disc that is compatible with this version of Windows."

Well, at this point, I hit up the Internet for possible solutions, even though I'm not really sure what's gone wrong and what I'm trying to fix. I learn how to use DiskPart from the Windows 7 disc screen, and I'm able to see that even though both of my drives and all of my partitions seem to be there, their assigned letters have gone screwy, and even trying to manually assign them either doesn't work or doesn't stick after the fact. And none of the partitions on the Kingston (which I did not create, so they must have been made when I first installed Windows) seem to be listed as active or as a boot drive.

Some more Googling leads me to hoping I might be able to perform a System Restore from this command prompt I've gotten into, only typing "rstrui.exe" returns the following message - "To use System Restore, you must specify which Windows installation to restore. Restart this computer, select an operating system, and then select System Restore." Now, I don't know if this is because I'm not in the true CMD screen, but rather the one you can Shift+F10 into from the Windows disc.

So, back to the Internet. By this point, I'm just trying to get something to work to let me get into my PC at least a little bit. I can tell that my files are still there because if I click like I'm going to install Windows, and then select to load a driver and choose Browse, I can see them. Yet I still can't get anything to boot up. I find the command "bootrec", so I use "bootrec /scanos", and the system tells me that there are 0 identifiable Windows installations. At least to start. Once I pop back over into DiskPart and get where my OS should be properly labeled as the C drive again, the same command comes back and recognizes that there is a Windows install there. And yet I still can't run a System Restore or get the PC to boot properly.

I'm not sure what else to try at this point. I feel like I'm close to getting somewhere, but I don't have enough knowledge to try to narrow down the cause of this problem, so I'm just making guesses in the dark and getting the occasional hit back. I really don't want to have to reinstall Windows. If anything, if this can't be fixed, I'd at least like to get in and use the System Restore point from right before those evil updates were installed. I've got some files on my C drive that I don't want to lose (and will definitely be moving/backing up elsewhere if I get the chance as soon as this is somewhat fixed), so maybe there's a way to copy the contents of one partition to another via the DiskPart command? It should be noted that I cannot get into the menu to choose to try to boot in Safe Mode, Safe Mode with Command Prompt, etc. - hitting F8 only brings up my Bios menu for me, and I've had no luck with any other keys yet. Even all the forced shut downs I've been doing haven't triggered that menu to pop up, unfortunately.

Sorry for the lengthy post! I'm not sure what steps I've tried or what information I've discovered might be helpful, so I figure it's better to include too much rather than not enough. For anyone who's read all the way through this, thank you for that! I'm really hoping someone will be able to give me some direction on what to do here or try next because I'm at a loss and really missing my big PC already.

Thanks!!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
03 Apr 2016   #2
torchwood

W7 home premium 32bit/W7HP 64bit/w10 tp insider ring
 
 

Hi Sara,
Thoughts for others that might lead to a successfull restore.(not my area)

Your disc is for W7 and probobly failed coz W10 was one of the updates that was installing when you hard reset it. i think that because of the old style mouse comment you made, graphics drivers were loading.

those unknown files will be the W10 temporary installation files.

if you have not updated since last july then included in them were some botched updates susequently rereleased but you will have the bad ones.

If you can get to disk management post a screenshot.

Roy
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Apr 2016   #3
Sara82

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by torchwood View Post
Hi Sara,
Thoughts for others that might lead to a successfull restore.(not my area)

Your disc is for W7 and probobly failed coz W10 was one of the updates that was installing when you hard reset it. i think that because of the old style mouse comment you made, graphics drivers were loading.

those unknown files will be the W10 temporary installation files.

if you have not updated since last july then included in them were some botched updates susequently rereleased but you will have the bad ones.

If you can get to disk management post a screenshot.

Roy
Hi, Roy! Thanks for the input. Does it make any difference that I never signed up for the free upgrade to Windows 10? When I installed these latest updates, I also specifically chose to not download the one tied to the Windows 10 upgrade notification - KB3035583. I would hope Microsoft didn't decide to update me without my say so and without any sort of warning that that is what was going on. =/

Is Disk Management something I can get into via CMD? I might be able to, if that's the case, but even that seems to be pretty limited right now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

04 Apr 2016   #4
torchwood

W7 home premium 32bit/W7HP 64bit/w10 tp insider ring
 
 

Hi Sara,
Yes it can, see this link
How To Open Disk Management From the Command Prompt

AND as an added bonus its got something about system restore as well .

Roy
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Apr 2016   #5
Sara82

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Unfortunately, that command's not working for me - it gives back an error message "'diskmgmt.exe' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file". If it makes a difference, I'm in the command prompt that you can get to by hitting Shift+F10 on the Windows 7 disc "Install Now" screen - I cannot get into the command prompt via the "Repair your computer" option.

I can get Diskpart to run, so here's some of the info from it, in the hopes it might be helpful:

Volume 0 - Letter D - UDF - DVD-ROM - 3075 MB - Healthy
Volume 1 - Letter G - NTFS - Partition - 465 GB - Healthy
Volume 2 - Letter E - NTFS - Partition - 293 GB - Healthy
Volume 3 - Letter F - RAW - Partition - 172 GB - Healthy
Volume 4 - Letter C - NTFS - Partition - 111 GB - Healthy
Volume 5 - No Letter - FAT32 - Partition 100 MB - Healthy - Hidden

Volumes 1, 2, and 3 are my HDD that's secondary. Volume 3 is a bit of space I created by shrinking Volume 2, thinking that, if I needed to, maybe I could reinstall Win7 on that new space instead of overwriting the old. These are listed under Disk 0.

Volumes 4 and 5 are my SSD, with Volume 4 where Win7 is installed. These are listed under Disk 1. Disk 1 is GPT.

Under Disk 1, there are three partitions - Partition 1, System, 100MB, 1024KB offset. Partition 2, Reserved, 128MB, 101MB offset. And Partition 3, Primary, 111GB, 229MB offset. Partition 3 = Volume 4 = where Windows should be.

If I use "detail disk" for disk 1, I get the following info:

Type: SATA
Status: Online
Path: 0
Target: 0
LUN ID: 0
Location Path: PCI ROOT <0> #PCI <1100> #ATA <C00T00L00>
Current Read-only State: No
Read-only: No
Boot Disk: No
Pagefile Disk: No
Hibernation File Disk: No
Crashdump Disk: No
Clustered Disk: No

I don't know if any of that will help, but... hopefully! I can try to provide more info from there, too, if it's needed - I just can't do screenshots since I can't get anywhere with that PC (and trying to take pics with my cell phone wasn't working out well).

I think you might be right on the Windows 10 idea, though... I did some further Googling, and it seems like Microsoft very much would sneaky install Windows 10 on me without stopping to ask my permission. =/ And the black screen (with mouse) that I got sounds very much like the Black Screen of Death error a lot of Win10 people have reported. Just my luck of the draw to get that while in the middle of an OS install I had no idea was happening. If that's the case, then it seems like my system is stuck between Windows 7 and Windows 10, unable to go backwards or forwards. I wonder if there's any way to finish/redo an interrupted Windows 10 install... Not that I want 10, but I could at least install it and then roll back to 7 after.

Also, throwing this out there, but if I were to install Win7 fresh on the extra space I created with Drive F, I wonder if I'd be able to use System Restore at that point to find my previous Restore Points on Partition 3 (C drive) and then use one of those to put my PC fully back to rights.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Apr 2016   #6
torchwood

W7 home premium 32bit/W7HP 64bit/w10 tp insider ring
 
 

Hi Sara,
ive put a call out to Jumaji, he good at this type of problem.

Roy
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Apr 2016   #7
Sara82

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Thanks, Roy! I really appreciate the help so far!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Apr 2016   #8
Sara82

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Alright, so I'm going to mark this one as Solved because it kind of is now. Easy Recovery Essentials to the rescue, thank goodness! Everything's not 100% - I still can't access my previous System Restore points, for instance, because of where my drive letters kept swapping themselves around (the system thinks that my original drive C is different from my current drive C) - but Windows 7 is loading and all of my files are still there (and now backed-up), and that's good enough for me for right now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 OS unrecognizable following Windows Update - PC can't boot




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