Unable to Safe Mode in order to troubleshoot Windows Update issue

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  1. Posts : 89
    Win 10
       #1

    Problem with Recovery Partition | Unable to Safe Boot


    Edition Windows 10 Pro
    Version 21H1
    Installed on ‎08/‎13/‎2020
    OS build 19043.1889
    Experience Windows Feature Experience Pack 120.2212.4180.0

    My initial problem is that after Windows Updating, reboot, it says it is "Unable to..." and reverses the changes. Then a day or so later, wants to do this all over again.

    I don't yet know how to fix. I tried by deleting all the files in the SoftwareDistribution folder and try again. Doesn't work. So apparently I'm instructed to remove the update via SAFE MODE.

    Problem is, I am unable to boot into Safe Mode.

    Using msconfig, go to Boot tab, I'm unable to check the checkbox, or change anything at all under this tab. Mouse clicks have no affect on any of the selections.

    So I try to use Advanced startup under Recovery. But I am not presented with any Safe Mode choice. The only choice I have is UEFI or Shutdown.

    What happened to Safe Mode?

    Suggestions please on Safe Mode, Windows Update or both.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by riqrat; 20 Apr 2023 at 00:46.
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 43,285
    Win 10 Pro (22H2) (2nd PC is 22H2)
       #2

    Hi, here we need to start with basics - integrity checks.

    As usual:
    1. Check all your disk(s) - Hard Disk Sentinel, Crystal Diskinfo
    - how many disks are there in your PC? (Specs don't say)
    2. If those checks pass, then:
    From an admin command prompt run
    chkdsk c: /scan
    3. If ok similarly run
    SFC /SCANNOW

    Advise if these pass or fail- don't upload big files.

    If they pass:
    Post a screenshot of all partitions on your system disk using e.g. Minitool Partition Wizard (not disk Management)

    From an admin command prompt run
    reagentc /info
    and post a screenshot of the outcome.

    Assuming the failed update is an upgrade (you don't say which one is failing) you can stop the repeat attempt for now using
    How to Specify Target Feature Update Version in Windows 10
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 89
    Win 10
    Thread Starter
       #3

    dalchina said:
    Hi, here we need to start with basics - integrity checks.

    As usual:
    1. Check all your disk(s) - Hard Disk Sentinel, Crystal Diskinfo
    - how many disks are there in your PC? (Specs don't say)
    2. If those checks pass, then:
    From an admin command prompt run
    chkdsk c: /scan
    3. If ok similarly run
    SFC /SCANNOW

    Advise if these pass or fail- don't upload big files.

    If they pass:
    Post a screenshot of all partitions on your system disk using e.g. Minitool Partition Wizard (not disk Management)

    From an admin command prompt run
    reagentc /info
    and post a screenshot of the outcome.

    Assuming the failed update is an upgrade (you don't say which one is failing) you can stop the repeat attempt for now using
    How to Specify Target Feature Update Version in Windows 10
    Thanks for responding.

    Feature update to Windows 10, Version 21H2

    There are 4 SSD drives.
    They all rate as Good using CrystalDiskInfo.

    Drives
    3499.35 Gigabytes Usable Hard Drive Capacity
    2490.74 Gigabytes Hard Drive Free Space

    Samsung SSD 860 QVO 1TB [Hard drive] (1000.20 GB) -- drive 1, s/n S59HNG0N105493T, rev RVQ02B6Q, SMART Status: Healthy
    Samsung SSD 870 QVO 1TB [Hard drive] (1000.20 GB) -- drive 0, s/n S6R8NJ0RB14669T, rev SVQ02B6Q, SMART Status: Healthy
    Samsung SSD 970 EVO 500GB [Hard drive] (1000.20 GB) -- drive 2, s/n 0025_3858_2140_70E8.
    Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus 1TB [Hard drive] (500.11 GB) -- drive 3, s/n 0025_3855_0141_691C.

    Chkdsk ran without issue:

    Windows has scanned the file system and found no problems.
    No further action is required.

    975575647 KB total disk space.
    421256640 KB in 1356845 files.
    799188 KB in 345932 indexes.
    0 KB in bad sectors.
    2383179 KB in use by the system.
    65536 KB occupied by the log file.
    551136640 KB available on disk.

    4096 bytes in each allocation unit.
    243893911 total allocation units on disk.
    137784160 allocation units available on disk.
    Total duration: 1.26 minutes (75988 ms).

    ====================

    C:\>sfc /scannow

    Beginning system scan. This process will take some time.

    Beginning verification phase of system scan.
    Verification 100% complete.

    Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations.


    ================

    C:\>reagentc /info
    Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE) and system reset configuration
    Information:

    Windows RE status: Disabled
    Windows RE location:
    Boot Configuration Data (BCD) identifier: 32d5ed8a-dd9b-11ea-9e50-dd588a9a2a74
    Recovery image location:
    Recovery image index: 0
    Custom image location:
    Custom image index: 0

    REAGENTC.EXE: Operation Successful.

    ===========================

    I hope the above is what you asked. I am now going off to read the info found at the link you provided.

      My Computer


  4. Posts : 4,667
    several
       #4

    you can do it from winre.

    try setting it up

    reagentc /enable

    if that is successful then
    reagentc /boottore

    restart and it should boot into winre
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 89
    Win 10
    Thread Starter
       #5

    SIW2 said:
    you can do it from winre.

    try setting it up

    reagentc /enable

    if that is successful then
    reagentc /boottore

    restart and it should boot into winre

    C:\>reagentc /enable
    REAGENTC.EXE: The Windows RE image was not found.

    I'm looking at my drives in Disk Mgmt and do not see the Recovery partition.

    My C: drive (disk 2 931.51GB) is partitioned as follows:

    1. 100MB FAT32 (System, Basic Data Partition)
    2. MAIN (C:) 930.38gb NTFS (Boot, Crash Dump, Basic Data Partition)
    3. 533MB (*no descriptions, just the size)
    4. 525MB (*no descriptions, just the size)

    Watching a video on YT, I have copied the install.wim pkg to my E: drive root for possible mounting to re-create the recovery partition. However, I'm concerned about where it should go. Other than MAIN (C:), I don't know anything about the other 3 small partitions. Which one should hold RECOVERY? Why do I have a 533MB and 525MB non-descript partitions? This seems a bit whack.

    Some wise advise is needed before I make this worse. ;-0

    UPDATE: Using EaseUS Partition Master Pro I used the 'Explorer' to look inside those two partitions (533mb and 525mb) and noticed they contain the same folders. It appears to once be my Recovery partition. Seems I have two now on this drive. One is newer than the other though.

    533MB partition has:
    Unable to Safe Mode in order to troubleshoot Windows Update issue-533mb.png

    525MB partition has:
    Unable to Safe Mode in order to troubleshoot Windows Update issue-525mb.png

    Should I delete one, both? Create a new one? Does my drive require a MSR partition also (saw that as the default layout for UEFI-based PCs)? If so, how?

    Current Layout:
    Unable to Safe Mode in order to troubleshoot Windows Update issue-cdrive.png
    Last edited by riqrat; 19 Apr 2023 at 21:59.
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 4,667
    several
       #6

    put winre.wim and ReAgent.xml into windows\system32\recovery folder.

    then at admin cmd prompt:
    reagentc /enable

    you dont need a separate recovery partition unless you are using bitlocker.

    msr partition is not required.
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 89
    Win 10
    Thread Starter
       #7

    SIW2 said:
    put winre.wim and ReAgent.xml into windows\system32\recovery folder.

    then run reagentc /enable

    you dont need a separate recovery partition unless you are using bitlocker.
    I am not using bitlocker.

    From where should I get the winre.wim and ReAgent.xml files? From the install .ISO, or from one of those two partitions I mentioned?
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 4,667
    several
       #8

    you could copy them from the iso file, sources folder , install.wim/install.esd any index number ( they all have the same winre )

    just copy the entire install.wim/install.esd windows\system32\recovery folder into C:\windows\system32

    can be done easily with 7-zip https://www.7-zip.org/a/7z2201-x64.exe

    Unable to Safe Mode in order to troubleshoot Windows Update issue-copy-recovery-folder-iso1.jpg

    rt click and select Copy To

    Unable to Safe Mode in order to troubleshoot Windows Update issue-copy-recovery-folder-iso2.jpg

    Unable to Safe Mode in order to troubleshoot Windows Update issue-copy-recovery-folder-iso3.jpg

    say yes if it asks to overwrite
      My Computer


  9. Posts : 43,285
    Win 10 Pro (22H2) (2nd PC is 22H2)
       #9

    It seems you are also missing a small - usually 16Mb- partition.

    I asked you this:
    Post a screenshot of all partitions on your system disk using e.g. Minitool Partition Wizard (not disk Management)
    E.g. like this:
    Unable to Safe Mode in order to troubleshoot Windows Update issue-1.jpg

    - you can see how much info that adds.

    Please also add your other disks so we can check you don't have O/S partitions on other drives.

    For interest only - similar thread on Recovery partition here:
    Recreate the recovery partition. REAGENTC.EXE: Operation failed: 2
    - note that an in-place upgrade repair install regenerates this, although I suppose there would be circumstances where this would not be successful.
      My Computers


  10. Posts : 89
    Win 10
    Thread Starter
       #10

    dalchina said:
    It seems you are also missing a small - usually 16Mb- partition.

    I asked you this:

    Please also add your other disks so we can check you don't have O/S partitions on other drives.
    Unable to Safe Mode in order to troubleshoot Windows Update issue-2023-04-19_23-53-38.png
      My Computer


 

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