Complex Setup Upgrade Guide


  1. Posts : 3
    Linux / Windows
       #1

    Complex Setup Upgrade Guide


    Hello,

    TL;DR version at the bottom

    I've been trying to update my Vaio Netbook from Windows 7 to 10, unfortunately with no luck up until now. I will explain in a few steps and hopefully someone else will find this useful as well:

    First of all my setup. A bit complex, as I have a quad boot of the following partitions on my Setup

    Primary #1 Windows 7 Recovery
    Primary #2 Windows 7 (original OS that came with the laptop)
    Primary #3 Windows 8 (installed after windows 7)
    Extended #4 Several Logical Partitions with two Linux installations

    So, currently I have the following bootloaders: GRUB (linux bootloader), Windows 7 Bootloader, Windows 8 Bootloader.

    I decided a few days ago that I no longer wanted 7 & 8, and that I would nuke the Windows 8 and upgrade my Windows 7 to 10 all the way. I went ahead and simply formated the Windows 8 partition (played around and reallocated space / extended other partitions), refreshed my GRUB bootloader's entries and noticed that Windows 8 Bootloader was still there. I tried to boot into it, and it simply started loading a Windows 8 Recovery so I just rebooted the system - thinking that the Windows 8 bootloader was just left over and was useless.

    I then downloaded the Windows 10 media creation tool, tried to update the system but it rebooted with an error. Can't recall what the error was, but I wasn't too mad since I knew my installation was a bit complex. I then went on trying to install Windows 10 about 7 more times, failing each time after the initial reboot with the following error:

    Code:
    The installation failed in the SAFE_OS phase with an error during BOOT operation
    with an error code of:
    Code:
    0xc1900101 0x20017
    Every single time, no matter whether I chose to keep nothing, everything, tried updating Windows 7 first (which ended up breaking my Windows Update, and then breaking my Network Drivers), tried removing several devices as suggested in a lot of posts with the same error code in Windows7/8/10 forums, all resulting in the same error.

    I then remembered that I still have two Bootloaders for Windows, and I figured that the installer probably fails because each time the machine reboots I choose to launch the Windows 7 bootloader, which is probably used as a hack by the devs to tell that something went wrong. So, this time after running the windows upgrade and the machine automatically reboots, I choose the Windows 8 bootloader and all of a sudden the Windows 10 installation continues on my Windows 7 OS.

    And here I am, after 2 days of reading relatively unrelated threads, thinking whether it was my fault or not. Surely, my setup was complex, but this simply means that if someone (for whatever reason) needs to have Windows 7 and Windows 8, and then chooses to upgrade Windows 7 to 10, things are gonna get messed up.

    I understand that I am probably the only person to ever fall into this bug, but this also suggests that Windows Bootloaders might be a bit hard-coded, and don't keep in mind that other OS's might rely on the same setup - which shouldn't be the case when a Windows Upgrade is as strongly pushed as Windows 10 was. I am sure there are great reasons as to why Windows Bootloaders prefer to ignore everything the machine has to say about itself and do their own thing, but then we have bugs like this one.

    I'm not really sure if developers read these forums, but if they do I'd like to hear a technical explanation of my bug.

    TL;DR: Had Win7 & Win8 (installed after), tried to upgrade Win7 to Win10 and fell to the same ambiguous error over and over until I continued the installation through Win8 bootloader as a shot in the dark. Suggests possible bug in Windows bootloaders.

    My only suggestion to other people who reach this thread by googling for the errors I posted is:

    If you've ever installed multiple Windows instances on the same hard drive, the Bootloaders are probably kept and are causing you this issue.
      My Computer

  2. spapakons's Avatar
    Posts : 2,891
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 202H (Nov 2020 build 19042.867)
       #2

    The issue is because probably the disk is in GUID mode (GPT), not MBR and the Windows boot loader is stored in another partition, not that of Windows 8 that you deleted. Having multiple Windows installations messed the Windows boot loader, but it can be fixed if you modify the appropriate files with bcdedit. I cannot help much, I don't know which they are and how to find them. Anyone else?
      My Computer


  3. Posts : 3
    Linux / Windows
    Thread Starter
       #3

    spapakons said:
    The issue is because probably the disk is in GUID mode (GPT), not MBR and the Windows boot loader is stored in another partition, not that of Windows 8 that you deleted. Having multiple Windows installations messed the Windows boot loader, but it can be fixed if you modify the appropriate files with bcdedit. I cannot help much, I don't know which they are and how to find them. Anyone else?
    If I understand things correctly, the bootloader does not get erased when you format the partition it's in, you need to nuke the partition table?

    I managed to get the installation working, this is more of a heads up to other users, and a bit of a heads up to the developers.
      My Computer

  4. spapakons's Avatar
    Posts : 2,891
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 202H (Nov 2020 build 19042.867)
       #4

    If everything else would fail, I would backup the Windows 10 installation and Linux installations to another disk (Clonezilla maybe?). Then I would wipe the whole disk and create only two partitions. One for Windows and one for Linux. Then I would clone back Windows and Linux to their respective partitions and make one of them (either Windows or Linux) bootable. I would repair startup (for Windows) or install grub (for Linux) so I can boot to one of the operating systems. Then add another boot entry to boot the other. Yes it is a lot of work, but at least you save the trouble of installing Windows and/or Linux again and I would certainly prefer that.
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 3
    Linux / Windows
    Thread Starter
       #5

    spapakons said:
    If everything else would fail, I would backup the Windows 10 installation and Linux installations to another disk (Clonezilla maybe?). Then I would wipe the whole disk and create only two partitions. One for Windows and one for Linux. Then I would clone back Windows and Linux to their respective partitions and make one of them (either Windows or Linux) bootable. I would repair startup (for Windows) or install grub (for Linux) so I can boot to one of the operating systems. Then add another boot entry to boot the other. Yes it is a lot of work, but at least you save the trouble of installing Windows and/or Linux again and I would certainly prefer that.
    This is where I disagree. You shouldn't have to do that. Obviously it's an option, same way you could just wipe everything and clean install it. But the whole point of this post was to point out that this is pretty hard to do with Windows, due to the way its bootloader ignores everything (even windows bootloaders?) and does it's own thing.

    And to another point that was made in OP, if I have a simple dualboot of Windows 7 & 8, I shouldn't have to worry about which Windows bootloader is gonna be recognised by the Windows 10 Installer (don't even know if there is a decent way to find out), and make sure I choose that one to boot upon upgrading otherwise everything fails and I receive an error message which could make a bit of sense, but all microsoft answers pointed away from the issue.

    I know this sounds like a bit of a rant, but it's not :)
      My Computer


 

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