Laptop trouble - my drive letters changed?!

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  1. Posts : 14
    Windows 10

    Laptop trouble - my drive letters changed?!

    I finished work yesterday and shut down my laptop normally. It's a HP Omen 15-dc0020nr. I have Windows 10 Professional on it, but I am unsure which version - had to shutdown automatic updates completely since my work demands me to be available immediately, something Windows Update does not allow often with automatic installs that prevent me from accessing the system. If it is possible to access a certain file from DOS to discern exact windows version, please advise.

    Came back home and tried to turn it on, Omen logo came up, and laptop immediately shut down. After a couple of tries, I got the Preparing Automatic Repair message and the computer entered the Automatic Repair where I can go to Advanced options. From there I tried Troubleshoot/Advanced options and went for Startup Repair, which did nothing. I tried entering Safe mode from Startup Settings, to no help - crash again the moment Windows should start booting.
    I tried entering the BIOS and changing boot order, but it is not possible since I choose OS BOOT MANAGER, USB DISKETTE, USB CD/DVD, Network adapter. No hdd or ssd options.
    I tried System Restore, and had a restore point from yesterday where I could attempt it, but after it was done, it did not help again. After that I could no longer attempt it - I see restore points, but selecting any of them gives me warning "You must always restore the drive that contains Windows". This confused me so I went back to Advanced options where I can access Command Prompt.

    Now, I noticed something rather important. My system is on my SSD drive which is now D: for some reason, while my HDD drive is C:.

    Other options available to me are System Image Recovery and Reset this PC. I also used Windows Image Creation Tool to create a bootable USB but running Windows Setup from it and choosing Repair option also did nothing.

    I need to repair the computer urgently so please any help will be more than welcome.
    I also need to backup my files obviously, so please, anyone, let me know is it possible (and how) to safely transfer my User folder to an external HDD or something...through DOS?! I don't have anything else available to me. I feel this will end with me reinstalling windows, but I seriously need to save my files.
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 42,965
    Win 10 Pro (22H2) (2nd PC is 22H2)

    Now, I noticed something rather important. My system is on my SSD drive which is now D: for some reason, while my HDD drive is C:.
    Presumably this is from an offline command prompt - drive letters may well not be the same as when viewed from with Windows.

    First check the disk. If your disk is failing you then know your only option is to recover what you can without writing more to the disk.

    To do that, download and create a live boot disk such as Bob Omb's or Hiren's on another PC.

    Use that to boot your problem PC.
    E.g Hiren's has

    • HDDScan v4.0
    • HDTune v2.55

    or you could additionally download Crystal Diskinfo (portable) as HDTune is an old (free) version.

    Note that creating a bootable disk means using a utility such as Rufus, or a suitable set of commands. These are both shown in the tenforums tutorial on creating a flash drive to install Win 10.

    If your disk turns out to be ok, consider using the Fix Boot utility on Macrium reflect's Boot disk (on Hiren's) and noting its exact report.

    Should you be unable to get your PC booting, you can attempt to recover files to an external disk having booted your PC from a live boot disk.

    It seems you have not used disk imaging as is endlessly recommended here - Macrium Reflect is often preferred - even MS says don't use Backup and Restore (Windows 7) built-in legacy features.

    I'm not sure if you have anything amongst those backups you mention that would let you restore all your O/S partitions as would a disk image of all of them- you will know better than I.

    As to updates: you have Pro, so in the future, set updates to Notify using Group Policy and you will have control of when updates are downloaded, other than at end of service life perhaps.

    Active Hours setttings are also useful. There are other ways of having control of WU without completely disabling it.
    Last edited by dalchina; 24 Apr 2021 at 05:06.
      My Computers

  3. Posts : 14
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    dalchina said:
    Presumably this is from an offline command prompt - drive letters may well not be the same as when viewed from with Windows.
    I went through as you said: I'm in the Hiren which I created through Rufus. Works fine.
    I used the Crystal Disk Info as suggested, but it shows health of both drives as Good, where SSD is shown as Good (99%) whatever that means.

    Still, both Hiren windows explorer and Crystal show reverse drive lettering - hdd is shown as C:, while SSD (where my system is) is shown as D: for some reason.

    As for your suggestions regarding backup and windows update: well taken to heart. Both are my now top priorities as soon as I get my system back.

    In the meantime, I will start manually copying important stuff from my system drive just in case, namely my USER folder.

    Any tips how to proceed now?
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 42,965
    Win 10 Pro (22H2) (2nd PC is 22H2)

    Good, now try Macrium's Fix boot utility as I suggested, and post the result.

    Again, note you're viewing the drives offline, so drive lettering may differ.

    That it did succeed in running System Restore suggests you have an intact registry.
      My Computers

  5. Posts : 14
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    I ran the Macrium, entered the path as c:\windows (it didn't automatically detect it), but it did detect that it should be on my "Disk 2 - INTEL SSDPEKNW512GB 002C. A small popup came up:
    EFI partition found on disk 2 (green checkmark)
    Removing old BCD (green checkmark)
    Creating BCD for C:\Windows (green checkmark)

    a popup came up asking for restart, I confirmed. It turned of Macrium, did not go to restart, did it manually, removed my USB to prevent Hiren boot.

    BSOD comes up, your PC ran into a problem needs to restart.
    Comes back to Recovery, with options: enter recovery environment, check startup settings, go to UEFI firmware settings.
    It's a no.

    Anything else comes to mind?
      My Computer

  6. Posts : 42,965
    Win 10 Pro (22H2) (2nd PC is 22H2)

    Try removing the HDD leaving just the SSD. Then repeat the above.
      My Computers

  7. Posts : 14
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Well this will require getting my hands dirty. Ok, get back to you after I pry this PoS open.
      My Computer

  8. Posts : 42,965
    Win 10 Pro (22H2) (2nd PC is 22H2)

    Before you do, you could examine the partitions- on Hiren's is
    AOMEI Partition Assistant

    Camera for screenshot?
      My Computers

  9. Posts : 14
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    dalchina said:
    Camera for screenshot?
    here you go:

    note: I named my drives HDD and SSD
      My Computer

  10. Posts : 42,965
    Win 10 Pro (22H2) (2nd PC is 22H2)

    That looks fine- UEFI.

    In your BIOS, is it possible it's somehow set to legacy? You said you had no internal disk boot option.

    How To Fix HP No Boot Device, No Bootable Device, Boot Device Not Found, Exiting PXE ROM, No HDD etc - YouTube

    Screenshots (not great!) from a HP laptop:
    Laptop trouble - my drive letters changed?!-1.png
    Laptop trouble - my drive letters changed?!-2.png
      My Computers


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