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Windows 8 won't boot after updates (classic shell)

Posted on 2014-02-22
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Last Modified: 2014-02-23
I jsut upgraded my windows 7 laptop to windows 8 pro.  Everything was going great.  I keep all my files and programs.  I had no problems with device drivers.  I spent a bunch of time added apps and getting things set up the way I like them.  Then I added classic shell to get a start button.  Worked great.  Then I remember I needed to do my windows updates.

I did about 88 updates and windows rebooted.  I got a black screen and the monitor would flash on and off.  When it was on I could see, and move my cursor but nothing but a black screen.  After some digging I decided classic shell was the problem.  All I needed to do at this point is to boot into safe mode and disable classic shell at startup.  No biggie easy stuff.  Well I had no idea f8 didnt work in windows 8 very well.

So I shift +f8 an dfinally get in.
Well under "advanced options"  I have no "Startup options".  So I can't tell it to go into safemode.

System Restore produces the message "To use System Restore, you must specify which Windows installation.....

Refresh Your PC, it says, "The drive where Windows is installed is locked. Unlock the drive and try again."

Automatic Repair doers not fix the issue.

The only thing I can do is run the command prompt.

Am I just completely screwed or can I do somehting from the command prompt to tell the pc to reboot into safemode, maybe?  or manually remove the shell file and put a fresh one in there?  I don't know but I am running out of options and I don't want to do a clean install.

I even booted to my windows 8 upgrade cd and it would not let me run the upgrade that keeps all files and programs.

very lame its so hard to get into safemode.  If i ever do get back into windows 8 I will  turn on legacy boot with bcdedit but i have to get back in there first.
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Question by:Grolff
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by:John Hurst
ID: 39880009
I am not certain what to advise at this point. I have done ALL updates on my Windows 8 machine including updating to Windows 8.1. No update has caused my machine not to boot.

The only thing I can do is run the command prompt

Can you do a BIOS upgrade for you machine?  If you can, I think I would try that first.

Did you (in the 88 updates) move to Windows 8.1? If so, UEFI is enforced. Is UEFI turned on in the BIOS?

Refresh Your PC   <-- If you can't do this, you may have to reinstall as you said you could not run the Windows 8 upgrade again.
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by:Grolff
ID: 39880108
i think it has somehting to do with classic shell altering the some windows shell file(s).  I have heard of others complaining about it.

http://www.classicshell.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=1953

Refresh Your PC, it says, "The drive where Windows is installed is locked. Unlock the drive and try again."

I did not look at all the 88 updates.  Not sure if one was 8.1 or not.

i have no uefi options in my bios.  ill try updating them from a dos key.  not sure what good it will do.  windows loads, im prettysure the shell is just messed up from classsic shell.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 39880120
I do not use Classic Shell - all the desktop menus are available in Windows 8 without classic shell, so I did it that way.

Go to the Classic Shell FAQ and in there is a command line install / uninstall for Classic Shell. That might work for you.

http://www.classicshell.net/faq/#install_commands
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by:Grolff
ID: 39880125
the only command prompt i can get is the one from advanced options after hitting shift+f8 on startup.  i cant uninstall anything form there.
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by:nobus
ID: 39880272
maybe the fastest way out is a fresh install - after having your data copied
then make a Windows 8 Repair and Recovery Disc    http://www.guidingtech.com/16562/recover-windows-8-fails-to-boot/

you can either make a dvd, or usb bootable one
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by:John Hurst
ID: 39880518
Since you have tried everything you can, then you now need to reinstall Windows. I suggested that in my first post, but I wanted to explore some possibilities.  As noted above, be sure to back up first.

I know Classic Shell is very popular, but I do not use it, I start in the desktop, and I do not use Metro at all.
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by:Grolff
ID: 39880722
I wanted a full start menu.  I think the only way to get that is a third party product.  But after this I think I will learn to live without it.

I went to do a clean install and windows could not see my drives.  This is probably why none of the other stuff will work.  I am going to have to load a driver.  This laptop has a ssd for intel's rapid storage technology.

i still do not want to do a clean install though.  There has got to be a way to fix this.
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John Hurst earned 1000 total points
ID: 39880855
See if you can open MSCONFIG via the command line. It opens on my machine.

Assuming you can do this, MSCONFIG will open and under Startup, it should allow you to start Task Manager and Task Manager will allow you to stop Classic Shell from starting.

See if that works. If no and given all else you told us, starting again with a fresh (clean) install of Windows may be the only solution left.
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by:Grolff
ID: 39881364
clean install it is.  damn u windows.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 39881371
@Grolff - Thank you. I have to say I never used Classic Shell because they would have to be on a non-stop change effort to keep up with Microsoft changes.

I put the start menu on the right side of the Taskbar. Everything is there and new programs add on automatically. I never (EVER) use Metro. I start right to the Desktop.
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