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Fixing unbootable Windows 10

Posted on 2016-07-15
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Last Modified: 2016-07-22
I have a not-extremely-computer-savvy friend who upgraded to Windows 10 a couple of months ago, and things were going fine.  She said that last week she started having what sounds almost like a BSOD, but it occurs on boot.

PHASE1_INITIALIZATION_FAILED Blue Screen Errors (0x00000032)

It won't boot to windows, but it seems it's making it past the BIOS. I don't know whether it's a virus, but she says she hasn't installed anything recently.

From this site: (http://www.solvusoft.com/en/errors/blue-screen-errors/microsoft-corporation/windows-operating-system/bug-check-0x32-phase1-initialization-failed/) I saw several steps, but I'm confused how to do these with Win 10.

1) I don't have Windows 10 so I can't create a rescue disk, and have never dealt with this
2) She downloaded Win 10 (like most) so she doesn't have a disk
3) She has an HP Pavillion 23 that is 3 yrs old and no longer under warranty

She lives a fair distance from me, so hopping over there isn't easy.  Still I'm going over with my laptop (win 8) so I'll have internet access.

From the searches I've done, most of the recommendations seem rather old. <DELETED> Boot CD doesn't seem to have been updated for 5 years, so no Win 10.  I've never used UBCD, but apparently it requires a windows disk.

How should I go about fixing this Win10 install ... without trashing her system!
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Question by:ugeb
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by:rindi
rindi earned 125 total points
ID: 41713382
You can download the Windows 10 iso directly from the m$ site, and then create a DVD or bootable USB stick from it using WinSetupFromUSB:

https://www.microsoft.com/software-download/windows10ISO?wa=wsignin1.0

http://www.winsetupfromusb.com/

You can then boot from that and try repairs from there, or perform a fresh installation. An In place upgrade should also work that way, although I haven't needed to do that yet.
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by:McKnife
ID: 41713520
Inplace upgrades cannot be applied from a boot DVD, but only to a running system, that changed ten years ago with vista already.

Do a checkdisk offline
Do dism restorehealth offline.
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Author Comment

by:ugeb
ID: 41713603
There's some conflict there and there are some steps missing.
@rindi,
It seems I need to use the media creation tool to download a copy and create a disk.  I don't have a big enough blank USB.
Why would I need an in-place upgrade? She already has Win10 installed and it needs repair (or virus killing).

@McKnife,
Do you have a good link on how to do the DISM restorehealth? I'm not happy with the links I found.

Am I using the boot disk to boot to a command prompt, or is it already an option during boot?
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by:rindi
ID: 41713622
McKnife already said the inplace upgrade no longer works. It used to be able to fix an OS without loosing the installed programs and data.

But the iso can still be used to reinstall the OS. You can always reinstall necessary software and restore data from the backups after that.
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by:ugeb
ID: 41713635
Okay, I wouldn't have called that an in-place upgrade, but a repair install.   I figured I could still do the repair install, but I still need to get to the command prompt to do chkdisk and DISM. Not sure if I need the disk for that.
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by:Merete
ID: 41713692
The problem with windows 10 is that it uses UEFI where most of have a Legacy Bios so accessing the safemode normally is now disabled and the only way  in is to use the Media Creation Tool.
To access safemode and other features of windows 10 download the media creation tool then set the bios to boot off USB
https://www.microsoft.com/en-au/software-download/windows10
You will need a USB stick with a minimum of 7 gigs buy one around 8 gigs
How to download the media creation tool
http://www.thewindowsclub.com/windows-10-media-creation-tool-create-installation-media-upgrade

Put that stick in the USB drive when downloading choose the USB in the steps choose for another PC and that systems OS system 32 or x64
Here is the steps to use the media creation choose do a reinstall KEEP ALL FILES
Boot Windows 10 In Safe Mode When PC Is Not Booting
http://www.intowindows.com/boot-windows-10-in-safe-mode-when-pc-is-not-booting/
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by:nobus
ID: 41713838
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by:ugeb
ID: 41714733
This media creation tool is complete crap. I was following the instructions here:

http://www.thewindowsclub.com/windows-10-media-creation-tool-create-installation-media-upgrade

After I chose "Create installation media for another PC", instead of asking to put in on USB or ISO, it was asking about language, version and 64 or 32 bit.  There was also a checkbox to optimize options for this PC, which I unchecked.  I pressed 'next' and it complained it needed 8GB of space and closed. That's it.  There was never any place to even choose a drive or anything, so I don't even know what it was complaining about!!
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by:ugeb
ID: 41714793
@younghv, I have no idea what you're talking about since I've never used it, but I just want to get media creation tool working.
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by:rindi
ID: 41714823
you probably selected both versions, 32 and 64 bit. That results in about 8GB.. Only select either 32 bit or 64 bit. Then it will be about 4GB (normal DVD size). Aslo select iso and not USB. The iso you can then either burn to a DVD or use WinSetupFromUSB to create a bootable USB stick.
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by:ugeb
ID: 41714867
@rindi,

I selected 64 bit.  However, I was never presented with the screen to select USB vs ISO.  That was the issue.  My USB drive has 16GB free (the entire drive), but there was no way to tell it what drive, it never asked me!
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by:Merete
ID: 41714917
ugeb  is this a windows 10 home or windows 10 prof.
are you creating this for the user or is she downloading it as per your instructions.
Sounds as if she missed the step at the start
I have made many of these and never had any problems
What type of USB drive is it? Is it listed in the This PC?
I didn't take any screenshots so used the saved bookmarks as the first time I created it I did so on a different PC as I also had a non bootable PC.
It downloads first like a small .exe  then you run that, then  you should see what do you want to do now  that's where you get the choices to create a media installation media for another PC.. then the actual media creation tool downloads
Did you download it first  check in your downloads
If it helps
How to install Windows 10 with the Media Creation Tool (VIDEO)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBvN1v6rvqk
How to Create a Windows 10 USB Bootable Flash Drive | Easy ( video)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOUjiIsC5T4
and another
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzuCgm7dIEc as you can see it very simple.

Create installation media for Windows
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/15088/windows-create-installation-media
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10
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by:ugeb
ID: 41714953
I'm creating this for her, from my Win 7 system.  Knowing her, I'm guessing she has Win 10 home, though I haven't seen it yet. The media creation tool is 18 MB:
media downloadThis is the exact sequence of screens I get, after the EULA:
Win10_mediaCreation_1.jpgWin10_mediaCreation_2.jpgWin10_mediaCreation_3.jpg
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by:ugeb
ID: 41714957
The USB drive is a brand new, never used 16GB SanDisk, and yes, it shows up fine.  There's just nothing I can do with it yet because I never get to that point.
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Merete earned 250 total points
ID: 41714959
The creation tool is 18 megs << no that is just the media creation installer.exe  so at the 2nd image it says you need 8 gig of disc space? that is the wrong screen, apparently there must be some files on the USB drive try deleting all files on the USB first.
either your not saving the installer first to downloads or the USB drive is not being seen in the PC or there is insufficient space.
I can download the installer to the usb drive as well let it run after the creation tool has downloaded and then it deletes this .exe after.
Please check in This PC that the USB drive is listed first. Then check how much space is onit?
Format it by right clicking it if it is new maybe it needs to do this first?
May I ask what is this USB flash drive brand name model?
I have read that some brands of USB flash drives have problems, I  have used  verbatim Kinston and Toshiba
plug in the USB drive first before downloading the media creation.exe then try again. If the USB is recognised in This PC it should follow on after you have selected the system and then select flash drive
USB flash driveThis 4.69 gigs in size and how the properties look
4.69 gigs recovery file on USB
4.69 gigs recovery file on USB
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by:BillDL
ID: 41715009
>>> "The USB drive is a brand new, never used 16GB SanDisk" <<<
I know this might be a bit obvious, but has it been partitioned and then formatted as NTFS or FAT32?  They usually come unpartitioned and have to be prepared before first use:
http://kb.sandisk.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/16368/~/how-to-partition-a-memory-card-or-a-usb-drive
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by:McKnife
McKnife earned 125 total points
ID: 41715713
After you will have sorted out the creation of a bootable usb drive:
checkdisk ->see the tutorial linked by nobus at https://www.experts-exchange.com/questions/28957752/Fixing-unbootable-Windows-10.html?anchor=a41715009#a41713838
dism: I cannot find my notes on the syntax and will have to recreate them. I can only give you the syntax/method for using sfc.exe offline. Here's a tutorial: http://www.winhelponline.com/blog/run-sfc-offline-windows-7-vista/ it is the same for win10. The code line you need to scroll to (search for it) is:
sfc /scannow /offbootdir=d:\  /offwindir=d:\windows
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by:rindi
ID: 41715721
Just select to download the iso, not the USB part.
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by:ugeb
ID: 41715989
There is no option ever offered to download USB or ISO, neither in the media creation tool nor on the MS website.  On the MS website you can choose to install on the system you're currently running, or you can download the media creation tool.

I downloaded the media creation tool. As indicated above, the creation tool is 18MB.  

Why would it make a difference what directory I download it to or whether the USB drive is plugged in when I simply download a file?   I downloaded the creation tool to a directory on my system where I put downloaded files.  It's plugged in before I executed the downloaded file -- MediaCreationTool.exe.

My SanDisk (Cruzer Glide) 16GB USB drive was initially formatted to FAT32 (never unpartitioned) and I reformatted to NTFS.  The Media Creation Tool acted just like I posted earlier.
The drive is empty.  It is drive K: on the image below.
It shows up in my file system.

All of my hard drives as well as the USB drive have more than 8GB available.  
Win10_mediaCreation_5.jpgEven though I'm trying to create a bootable USB drive, the tool does not ask me whether to create DVD, ISO or USB.  It complains about not having 8GB and gives up.  It makes no sense to me why it asks others if they want to create a USB or ISO, but for me it asks the language and architecture.
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by:Merete
ID: 41716037
Once you insert the language etc do you then see the option to install to flash?
Does it show in Disk Management (Right click on Computer >> Manage >> Disk Management) - if it appears in Disk Management, just assign a drive letter such as a letter that is not used. Z: or I:
The  SanDisk (Cruzer Glide )has problems consider buy a Verbatim or different brand
You have a lot of USB DVD drives? why so many could be part of the problem assigning a drive letter, unplug all USB drives while system is off then power up and connect only the The  SanDisk (Cruzer Glide)
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by:ugeb
ID: 41716083
I'm not sure what you mean by "insert the language", but if you mean the screen that asks for the language, I just press next.  The screens you see is what I get. I've not left ANY screens out.

The DVD drives are just virtual drives.  The SanDisk is already assigned to letter K.  Why would I need to assign it another letter?  Why do you think the SanDisk has issues?
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by:Merete
ID: 41716132
Do some research and you'll find a lot of folks have problems similar to you and these ScanDisk
for example> Windows 10 Media Creation Tool We can't find a USB flash drive
Assigning a new drive letter may help.
Here's another
8GB USB flash SanDisk flash drive not eligible as installer boot media?
I have never used these and have never had a problem with USB thumb drives I have used, most pretty cheap.
I was running windows 7 x64 professional when I upgraded. Windows 10 professional, Windows home seems to have limitation over the professional versions> I also waited till I got the your windows is ready.
Microsoft recommends that you wait for them to notify you once they've confirmed that your PC is ready. This way the devices are drivers will be fully updated to support windows 10.
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/products/windows?os=windows-10  

The Fat 32 on these drives seems to support a small amount of the actual USB drive some users tried formatting it NTFS to get the full drive capacity but these flash drives work better with Fat32 so it's a puzzle what to suggest.
A 4 gig flash drive come pretty cheap
Verbatim on Amazon
5pcs 4GB Swivel Design USB 2.0 Flash Drive Memory Stick 8 pounds.
I'm in Australia so our currency may differ
You could use a DVD instead of the USB and create an ISO in the first choices.
windows 10 system requirements explains a few things with what is updated and what may take a little longer
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-10-specifications
create a USB, DVD or ISO?
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10
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by:nobus
ID: 41716309
Try downloading it on one of your drives - you can still copy it to your usb stick
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by:ugeb
ID: 41725172
Thank you all for the help.  I didn't quite get things working the way I wanted, but the issue is solved and I appreciate all the help.
Thanks again.
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