Windows 10: Will Not Boot, Not Reset, No Key, No Media, File System is Mush - Fix? Solved

  1.    15 Dec 2016 #1

    Will Not Boot, Not Reset, No Key, No Media, File System is Mush - Fix?


    As I help people with Win10 I'm encountering a problem. Let's say you have a Win10 laptop or PC that will not boot, it will not reset, there are no recovery partitions saved. The key is not printed on the unit. Maybe and old Win7 key, but assume the key is not there or anywhere, it can't boot to get the key. There may be a key recovery tool CD to boot to, but it doesn't work. Reset locks up for days. And, there is no install media.

    So how do you get to do a clean reinstall?
    But how do I get install media?
    I have Win10 PE disks, they are handy but could they help?

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. Posts : 51
    Windows 8.1 Pro & Windows 10 Pro
       15 Dec 2016 #2

    if that system had already been upgraded to Windows 10 you will not need the key. The hardware signature is registered at Microsoft and when you reinstall Windows 10, it will activate itself automatically without a key.

    Just download the Windows 10 install media and you should be fine.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    16 Dec 2016 #3

    Reset locks up for day
    If you can't reset the PC. then chances are great the HDD has failed and needs to be replaced. And as stated, if you already upgraded that computer to Windows 10, the product key is already registered.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    16 Dec 2016 #4

    You can get install Media here,
    If Windows 10 was factory installed there should be an OEM embedded key in the BIOS. Use the correct install media and it will be auto detected and the matching version installed automatically.
    If it was upgraded to Windows 10 via the free upgrade offer, it will have a Digital License stored on the activation server. In that case you just skip entering a key, install the same version as is currently installed and it will activate with the Digital License. Install the wrong version and it won't. If you install Pro, and the License is for Home, it won't activate. And vise versa. If you can't determine which version is installed, install Home. If Home doesn't activate then do a change key and enter the Pro generic key. If the Digital License is for Pro it will then activate. If it doesn't, odds are the original OS was Home Single Language. If that's is true you will have to start over with that ISO.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    16 Dec 2016 #5

    spunk said: View Post
    If you can't reset the PC. then chances are great the HDD has failed and needs to be replaced. And as stated, if you already upgraded that computer to Windows 10, the product key is already registered.
    I must respectfully disagree. Built-in Windows reset had proven historically to be unreliable and there are plenty of threads on this forum where a clean install has succeeded just fine after failed reset attempts.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    16 Dec 2016 #6

    This is "huge" for me. I didn't understand how it worked and now I'm beginning to get it. Thank you to all posters.

    So updated from 7 or 8 then I just provide the media and as i understand it now during the install it will be automatically verified and no key is needed. If the PC came with 10 new then I will find the key in the BIOS or I assume if the file system is intact enough I can recover the key with a some of the special tools for that (they are usually on a bootable repair CD).

    Also as I'm understanding it now (and I will try this myself) going to the MS website i can download Win10 install media...even if I'm not connecting from the PC that needs it (since as I said it won't boot) I can get the proper media..I assume an iso file(?)

    I will check this out. Thank you.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    17 Dec 2016 #7

    Windows 10 install media can be downloaded via the Media Creation Tool on any PC that will run the Media Creation Tool. Pretty well any PC running Windows 7, 8 or 10. The Media Creation Tool gives you the option of saving an ISO file, creating install media, or doing the upgrade right then and there on the PC your running it on.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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