Windows 10: Cant do a fresh install - system corrupted

  1.    19 Oct 2017 #1

    Cant do a fresh install - system corrupted

    Hi All,

    I really messed up my laptop and am hoping someone has some helpful tips. First some history of how I got here.

    This laptop has been dreadfully slow ever since i upgraded to the Windows 10 update last year. Boot up could take 10 minutes and clicking on anything would take 1 to 3 minutes to do a step. We had pretty much stopped using this laptop but recently had a desire to see if I can get this working better. I tried some basic performance tuning steps but they had no impact on performance. So - yesterday I opted to do a refresh of the machine and kicked that off.

    The refresh went very well. At the end I noticed the hard drive was still using almost 600 gig out of 1TB. Poking around I found a few things to delete that were no big deal but the largest I found was a folder called "windows.old" that had 100 gig of stuff in it. This appeared to be where the refresh stuck old files in case I needed them I guess. To test out if I could delete this folder I renamed the folder to "windows.deleteme" and then I rebooted. System started up fine with no problem. So, I proceeded to delete this large folder.

    During the delete I got several messages about lacking permissions to delete this folder. I spent a while trying to change the permissions on this folder and my permissions and was able to delete most of the stuff in there, except about 5 gig. But everything left in there just wouldnt delete no matter what I did. I searched around the web based on the error I got and found this page:
    Permission error - Failed to enumerate objects in the container. - Microsoft Community

    I followed the steps on that page and it all appeared to go well. Then I rebooted with the intent to delete the folder after it started up. Now, when I reboot it loads into windows just fine - but nothing works. The start button, task bar, app icons, nothing responds. App icons no longer have text. If I use a short cut to open some things a window will open, but nothing will be in it with no menus or apps. Multiple reboots just brings the same results.

    I was not able to travel to the systems option to to a refresh of the system at all. I tried booting into Safe Mode in various ways but nothing allowed me to do anything functional. I created a Windows Media DVD and tried to do a refresh this way but on the total fresh install path it would not proceed because I dont have an install key (laptop came with the OS and I dont have disks). There was a repair option on the boot from DVD too but that failed too.

    The only thing I can think of would be to try and kick off the refresh from within Windows, but I cant figure out how to make anything respond to get to it. Right now I appear to have a brick. All paths and solutions that I find say "click on start menu...." which is a fail for me right away.

    Hopefully I was able to explain well enough my predicament and someone will be able to help me. I suspect this may not be fixable without buying a new windows copy, which I'm not going to do on an older system.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    19 Oct 2017 #2

    For interest only: the proper way to do it.
    Delete Windows.old Folder in Windows 10 Installation Upgrade Tutorials

    Note - it should have been deleted automatically after 10 days (30 days with old Windows builds).

    What is your current Windows build?
    Windows key + R. winver

    Now you seem to be unaware you can
    a. freely download Win 10 isos
    b. freely reinstall Windows as many times as you want (activation should be automatic - and hardware change is allowed to varying degrees depending on your original license (OEM vs Retail) ).

    Given where you are now would recommend:
    a. check your disk is ok (run a disk test program)
    b. if ok, reinstall Win 10.

    But you will need to make sure you back up any data you haven't already backed up.

    Now there is a risk with older PCs of driver incompatibility.

    First please download
    Crystal Diskinfo (portable) (free), run that and post a screenshot like this:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1.jpg 
Views:	5 
Size:	168.8 KB 
ID:	158997

    If ok
    Download Windows 10 ISO File Installation Upgrade Tutorials
    Create Bootable USB Flash Drive to Install Windows 10 Installation Upgrade Tutorials
    Clean Install Windows 10 Installation Upgrade Tutorials

    (You're free to browse and search the extensive tutorial section:
    Windows 10 Tutorial Index Tutorials )
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    19 Oct 2017 #3

    Thanks dalchina. Yes, I was not aware of the ability to freely download Windows. But not sure how that applies when I was asked for a install code and it threw an error after I didnt have it.

    In any case - I am unsure how to proceed with your recommended steps. As mentioned earlier, when I start windows nothing at all runs. The task bar, start menu, search option, apps - nothing responds. So from there I am not able to run a cmd window to run the disk check.

    I am able to open the app File Explorer - but there are no menu's, no files, nothing showing. There are some folder icons there with no identifying text and opening those folders just shows more of the same blankness. I can also open the Task Manager with ctrl-alt-del, but again, just a window with menu or listings.

    I tried rebooting into Safe Mode with a command prompt - all that showed up was a blank black screen - not command prompt and no response to typing.

    Plugging in a thumb drive with the Crystal DiskInfo app does not give me a prompt to open the file or anything that would allow me to browse to the folder and open that program.

    Sorry. I'm not usually this lame on a pc. I've worked with them for 30 years and brought many back from the dead, reinstalled many OSs and done a lot of stuff my friends have thought magical. I have never bricked any device before but I fear that I may have my first brick here. I'm just at a loss on proceeding with this one.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    23 Oct 2017 #4

    Nothing else to try? Should I just trash the laptop?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    23 Oct 2017 #5

    Thank you for clarifying how unusable your laptop presently is. On that basis the only option appears to be a clean install.

    First, to check your disk:
    Please download and create Kyhi's bootable Win 10 disk from the top of the Software and Apps section.

    Boot your PC from that (not your internal disk); there's a picture of the desktop where you downloaded it.

    Run HD Tune, available when you boot from that disk, to check all drives. (Health, Error Scan).
    Post the result.

    (Or you could run Crystal DiskInfo as you have that on a thumb drive).

    Let's start there.

    Note: if you can boot thus you can then recover any data not already backed up (if not corrupt) from your disk to an external disk e.g.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    23 Oct 2017 #6

    Thanks - I'll try that tonight when I get home (about 12 hours from now)
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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