1.    25 Aug 2015 #1
    Join Date : Aug 2015
    Posts : 5
    Windows 10

    How to recover from a "Catastrophic Error"?


    Hello Everyone. I am new to this forum, but I will try to be brief. I downloaded and installed Windows 10, no problems. I also updated with all current updates. I only have a few things installed as I built this computer with Win 8.1 and then got the free Upgrade. I have:

    Steam, with a couple of games only
    Acronis True Image 2015 ... thank God!
    ESET Smart Security 8

    Everything was working like a champ! Not a single problem...everything seemed flawless. Then, for no particular or known reason, when I booted up, Windows told me it needed to check my C: hard disk (2 Teribyte Seagate 7200 RPM, brand new). After it did the disk check, computer rebooted and then I had to reverify my Microsoft Account, Login to Windows and also lost my Steam Account Login and ESET Security setting for family network. After this, Windows acted like I had been hit by a mac truck. The task bar would not work properly and hung up on me. The START menu lost everything on it and hung up. I could not access Control Panel. It almost felt like a virus had gotten me...when I click on the minimal menu icons in Start, I got a "Catasrophic Error" message, SORRY...I did not write it down, foolish me!

    But THANK GOD, I had Acronis True Image 2015 with an imaged backup of the entire hard disks I have (3) and I was able to recover, with just a few game play saved files lost! No big deal, I got Windows 10 back. After this, I am like, OMG! I have just experienced a fatal crash, and I don't even know why...so I have several questions I would like answered. I would like to have an answer to each question if possible...

    1). How do I set up a Log File that reports system crashes and catastrophic events like this that I can access at boot up?

    2). I could not use START properly, the POWER option on the Start Menu was GONE...and the command line was not responding...in this case, I could not reboot in Safe Mode, I could NOT use the function SHIFT + POWER OPTION + RESTART. This was terrifying folks. It was a major catastrophe. I do not know enough about Win 8.1 or Win 10 to know yet how to attempt recovery...as I only had Win 8.1 for a couple of days before upgrading to 10. I have a UEFI BIOS but NOT an SSD drive, I have standard hard disks so the boot sequence is not a flash. How do I get the old DOS Safe Mode with Network Options? How do I REPAIR a borked/corrupted operating system using Windows tools that are not available to me when the operating system is borked which leads to....

    3). How to use System Recovery Tools at the DOS or boot level to Recover Windows?

    4). Because I upgraded, I do not have a system disk with repair tools like I would if I had purchased a DVD of Win 10.
    How do I create a Windows 10 Repair Disk I can boot from and use Repair Tools, to either REINSTALL or REPAIR Windows 10?

    5). How do I launch Safe Mode in Windows 10 from Boot?

    Thanks for any help.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    25 Aug 2015 #2
    Join Date : Apr 2014
    Posts : 3,361
    W10 Pro x64/W7 Ultimate x64 dual boot main - W10 Pro Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64 - remote pc

    Hello jimc52 Welcome to the Ten Forums! and the world of Upgrade to 10 headaches!

    Sorry to hear just one more going through a "World of Hurt" until informed that since you have tended to the upgrade and hopefully see that was activated it's now time for "Clean Install 10"! First you will want to back things up since you will need a clean install to see a normal working copy of 10 go on! Then Acronis will be the solution for any potential future problems. Still use Acronis TI Home 2010 here without any problem on 10!

    Having upgraded two custom builds as well as an HP laptop from all three editions of 7 to 10 I've been having some real fun at times here I could tell you about! Buggy being the operative term is how many upgrades turn out! 1 out of 3 possible success stories at ending up with an upgrade that runs normally! And when I say 1 out of 3 that isn't generally speaking but what was seen here on those two desktop builds and one laptop where the Start button was missing, the Settings screen was blank, and you couldn't even get into what was the All Programs now Apps stuffed way down under the Power options!

    Now for things like the Recovery Drive that will require an 8gb not 4gb usb flash drive. If you downloaded and save the 10 ISO for the edition and flavor(32bit or 64bit) of 10 you have there then you can boot live from the USB Installation Key you saw made up, dvd if you burned one, or go back and run the Media Creation Tool once again to simply download and save the "Windows.iso" to a folder where you can see a dvd or usb install key made up.

    In the meantime you will want to get familiar with a few of the guides found in the tutorial section which will take you one step at a time at how to do things even an Upgrade to Repair the present 10 upgrade which isn't advised since that should be reserved for any repair needed for a subsequent clean intall. Here's a quick list to get familiar with.

    If you didn't already upgrade by way of the MC tool and still want to download the iso file for creating the installatiom media for times like this, Windows 10 ISO Download - Windows 10 Forums[2]=Installation%20and%20Setup

    Since the upgrade turned out to be "Buggy" you will want to see to a clean install sooner or later with sooner being the better! Windows 10 - Clean Install - Windows 10 Forums[2]=Installation%20and%20Setup

    For how to perform and Upgrade to Repair type install you would review the guide for seeing a Repair install of 10 with an inplace upgrade type install. Windows 10 - Clean Install - Windows 10 Forums[2]=Installation%20and%20Setup

    And for Safe Mode you can see an entry added to the boot options for that. Safe Mode - Add to Boot Options in Windows 10 - Windows 10 Forums[2]=Installation%20and%20Setup
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    25 Aug 2015 #3
    Join Date : Aug 2015
    Posts : 5
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    [QUOTE=Night Hawk;361402]Hello jimc52 Welcome to the Ten Forums! and the world of Upgrade to 10 headaches!

    Sorry to hear just one more going through a "World of Hurt" until informed that since you have tended to the upgrade and hopefully see that was activated it's now time for "Clean Install 10"! First you will want to back things up since you will need a clean install to see a normal working copy of 10 go on! Then Acronis will be the solution for any potential future problems. Still use Acronis TI Home 2010 here without any problem on 10!

    Having upgraded two custom builds as well as an HP laptop from all three editions of 7 to 10 I've been having some real fun at times here I could tell you about! Buggy being the operative term is how many upgrades turn out! 1 out of 3 possible success stories at ending up with an upgrade that runs normally! And when I say 1 out of 3 that isn't generally speaking but what was seen here on those two desktop builds and one laptop where the Start button was missing, the Settings screen was blank, and you couldn't even get into what was the All Programs now Apps stuffed way down under the Power options!

    Now for things like the Recovery Drive that will require an 8gb not 4gb usb flash drive. If you downloaded and save the 10 ISO for the edition and flavor(32bit or 64bit) of 10 you have there then you can boot live from the USB Installation Key you saw made up, dvd if you burned one, or go back and run the Media Creation Tool once again to simply download and save the "Windows.iso" to a folder where you can see a dvd or usb install key made up.

    In the meantime you will want to get familiar with a few of the guides found in the tutorial section which will take you one step at a time at how to do things even an Upgrade to Repair the present 10 upgrade which isn't advised since that should be reserved for any repair needed for a subsequent clean intall. Here's a quick list to get familiar with.

    If you didn't already upgrade by way of the MC tool and still want to download the iso file for creating the installatiom media for times like this, Windows 10 ISO Download - Windows 10 Forums[2]=Installation%20and%20Setup

    Since the upgrade turned out to be "Buggy" you will want to see to a clean install sooner or later with sooner being the better! Windows 10 - Clean Install - Windows 10 Forums[2]=Installation%20and%20Setup

    For how to perform and Upgrade to Repair type install you would review the guide for seeing a Repair install of 10 with an inplace upgrade type install. Windows 10 - Clean Install - Windows 10 Forums[2]=Installation%20and%20Setup

    And for Safe Mode you can see an entry added to the boot options for that. Safe Mode - Add to Boot Options in Windows 10 - Windows 10 Forums[2]=Installation%20and%20Setup[/QUOTE
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    25 Aug 2015 #4
    Join Date : Aug 2015
    Posts : 5
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Thank you for the responses, I will have to read up on your references to understand what to ask next, if necessary. No, I did not download an ISO image, but I think I will now. One thing I forgot to ask is, if my Win 10 install is borked, and I do not have a KEY, if I have to wipe clean and do a clean install of Win 10, how am I going to be able to enter a KEY I do not have? How do I retrieve my current key? Like I said, I built a brand new computer, purchased OEM copy of Win 8.1, installed Win 8.1 and then I applied for the free upgrade to 10 from Microsoft. They notified me when their upgrade download was ready. I do not see a License KEY. Where is the KEY and how do I get it? I have read my Win 8.1 Key was invalidated upon the upgrade to 10.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    25 Aug 2015 #5
    Join Date : Apr 2014
    Posts : 3,361
    W10 Pro x64/W7 Ultimate x64 dual boot main - W10 Pro Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64 - remote pc

    If you saw the upgrade activated you won't have anything to worry about! During the first week 10 was out I had several failed attempts until finding out that the additional storage drives had to be unplugged since those are where the boot files and temp install folders ended up being! Once unplugged 10 suddenly went right on but saw a bad upgrade! When first trying the inplace upgrade type repair install things went much much better except 10 simply wouldn't activate on it's own! Obviously the servers were bogged down with all of the heavy traffic and it took a full day for the initial upgrade.

    Finally while the upgrade repair had worked it was simply time to see the clean install tended to and the first thing I checked was to see if I would need to wait. The clean install on the first system was to see immediate activation which was a full week after the intial release of 10. All clean installs that follow not proceed the activation will see this as well at this time.

    Without having seen the upgrade which is free I would have needed to buy 10 outright from the MS store and receive a full install read only type usb flash drive since Windows will no longer be coming on dvds! And there apparently won't be any more upgrade only type media since you can still see an upgrade take place running the full version media. When tested I split up the single drive on a second desktop to see a clean install of 10 there without first upgrading over the 7 installation. Obviously no activation until later performing the upgrade and then going to check in on the clean install only to see it was activated instantly upon nearing the desktop as 10 connects online ahead of arriving there.

    Now here's another interesting thing I put to the test about hardware changes inbetween then and now. When changing brands of memory the dual booted 7 install on the other case saw the "This copy of Windows is not Genuine..." watermark appear on the lower right hand corner of the screen as I expected it would. But for 7 I only had to type in the 7 Pro key and click the activate now button since MS allowed three changes within a six month period with the previous versions before the need of another clean install or call into MS!

    With 10 the Activate Now button reappeared on the initial startup until rebooting into 7 to first take care of the product key there. Upon restarting into 10 guess what? 10 was activate once again! The updated hardware profile was apparently sent to MS and 10 didn't require a call into MS to see it reactivated. You won't have that type of problem with a good working copy of 10 put back on there.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    25 Aug 2015 #6
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 615
    Windows 10 Enterprise x64 (build 10586)

    If the repair options even work, try hard-resetting the computer a few times (holding the power button to force it off instead of shutting down normally via start menu or power button icon), and eventually Windows should think that there's something wrong, scan for startup errors, then show you a screen where you can access recovery tools like System Restore, Startup Settings (includes Safe Mode/Safe Mode with Command Prompt/Safe Mode with Networking), Command Prompt, and more. You can also turn on the computer, and while it is booting press Ctrl+Alt+Del so it will hard reset immediately, then do this a few times in order for the repair screen to appear.
    How to Enter Safe Mode in Windows 8 or 10 - YouTube
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    25 Aug 2015 #7
    Join Date : Apr 2014
    Posts : 3,361
    W10 Pro x64/W7 Ultimate x64 dual boot main - W10 Pro Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64 - remote pc

    You can simply add Safe Mode as a boot option and avoid hard booting which will cause disk errors and a bit of unnecessary wear and tear from hard booting when not even needed. The F8 option is also found in 10 as well as in previous versions! Booting live from the installation media or Recovery Drive usb flash drive brings you right to the option for recovery tools as well with the RD created just for that purpose.

    IF the problem is registry related then it would be deep as seen with flaky upgrades where things never went on fully forcing either an upgrade to repair type install or simply slapping a completely fresh copy of Windows on. But with the DiskCleanup seemingly functioning as it should but not seeing any files. folder actually being removed the ghost folders of all that points to a shaky partition structure.

    In the 9x days if you had nuked the main folders the sub folders would have remained behind but unseen taking up drive space until the drive was wiped! The problem you seem to be having resembles that only too much. The difference there being the main folders are still intact but inaccessible and why they can be labeled phantoms that you see but cannot touch! A corrupted partition table will cause any number of issues. And even if found to be the registry at fault you still end up back at Square #1.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    29 Aug 2015 #8
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 615
    Windows 10 Enterprise x64 (build 10586)

    Quote Originally Posted by Night Hawk View Post
    You can simply add Safe Mode as a boot option and avoid hard booting which will cause disk errors and a bit of unnecessary wear and tear from hard booting when not even needed. The F8 option is also found in 10 as well as in previous versions! Booting live from the installation media or Recovery Drive usb flash drive brings you right to the option for recovery tools as well with the RD created just for that purpose.

    IF the problem is registry related then it would be deep as seen with flaky upgrades where things never went on fully forcing either an upgrade to repair type install or simply slapping a completely fresh copy of Windows on. But with the DiskCleanup seemingly functioning as it should but not seeing any files. folder actually being removed the ghost folders of all that points to a shaky partition structure.

    In the 9x days if you had nuked the main folders the sub folders would have remained behind but unseen taking up drive space until the drive was wiped! The problem you seem to be having resembles that only too much. The difference there being the main folders are still intact but inaccessible and why they can be labeled phantoms that you see but cannot touch! A corrupted partition table will cause any number of issues. And even if found to be the registry at fault you still end up back at Square #1.
    F8 will not work on a UEFI machine.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  9.    29 Aug 2015 #9
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 615
    Windows 10 Enterprise x64 (build 10586)

    Quote Originally Posted by Night Hawk View Post
    You can simply add Safe Mode as a boot option and avoid hard booting which will cause disk errors and a bit of unnecessary wear and tear from hard booting when not even needed. The F8 option is also found in 10 as well as in previous versions! Booting live from the installation media or Recovery Drive usb flash drive brings you right to the option for recovery tools as well with the RD created just for that purpose.

    IF the problem is registry related then it would be deep as seen with flaky upgrades where things never went on fully forcing either an upgrade to repair type install or simply slapping a completely fresh copy of Windows on. But with the DiskCleanup seemingly functioning as it should but not seeing any files. folder actually being removed the ghost folders of all that points to a shaky partition structure.

    In the 9x days if you had nuked the main folders the sub folders would have remained behind but unseen taking up drive space until the drive was wiped! The problem you seem to be having resembles that only too much. The difference there being the main folders are still intact but inaccessible and why they can be labeled phantoms that you see but cannot touch! A corrupted partition table will cause any number of issues. And even if found to be the registry at fault you still end up back at Square #1.
    It would be much easier to hard-reset, but if you want to avoid some hard drive wear you could burn a repair disc I guess.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  10.    30 Aug 2015 #10
    Join Date : Apr 2014
    Posts : 3,361
    W10 Pro x64/W7 Ultimate x64 dual boot main - W10 Pro Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64 - remote pc

    What has been seen in 10 whenever any type of start up problem appears such as losing power or a hard boot the Startup recovery screen comes up afterwards Recovery Drive - Create in Windows 10 - Windows 10 Forums[1]=Backup%20Restorewhere you won't even need the F8 key. As for recovery media the Recovery Drive option is used for an 8gb size usb flash drive.

    The installation media used is also an option especially if you saw a dvd burned when not opting for a usb installation key you can boot from the disk unless auto detected and automatically booted from on a laptop where no boot from usb option is present like the HP model I have to redo 10 on again.

    Had to nuke the OEM primary and other small parts when not being to shrink the OS primary 7 came pre-installed to in order to create a second backup and recovery partition. Later a full system image can be created and stored on an external drive for safe keeping. Done that before and still have a few for other laptops. Recover everything at once if needed.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 


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