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Laptop with upgraded Win10 will not boot

Posted on 2016-09-21
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2016-11-22
Laptop is a Dell M4800 workstation with ssd. It came with Win 7. It never had a problem. I let it upgrade to Win10 months ago. Win 10 has been working fine. The computer was on 24/7 but not touched for about a week. Upon opening the screen was dark. I forced a shutdown. Upon booting it said there were problems and suggested I let it check for errors. I did that. It eventually wanted me to insert the original opsys media. Hummm, what opsys media? It was downloaded. I then ignored that and tried for a regular bootup. During that it went to BSOD for about 1 second then back to  normal and again suggested I let it repair with media.  Where do I go from here?
Question by:Need-a-Clue
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LVL 10

Assisted Solution

Paweł earned 164 total points
ID: 41808203
my advice would be to do a factory restore

hope you backed your files up. if not you could open it up connect the hard drive as a slave to another pc, to copy your files.

sorry for your luck.
LVL 29

Accepted Solution

Dr. Klahn earned 1016 total points
ID: 41808204

  • On a different system,
  • download the ISO image of the Windows 10 DVD
  • Burn the ISO image to a DVD-RW
  • Take the burned DVD to the affected system
  • Boot the afflicted system
  • When it calls for media, insert the DVD
  • See if it can repair itself.
LVL 18

Assisted Solution

by:John Tsioumpris
John Tsioumpris earned 164 total points
ID: 41808246
Before you start the repair please remove the battery and press the button to switch it on (YES without power).
Put back back the battery and check again.
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LVL 47

Assisted Solution

noxcho earned 164 total points
ID: 41808272
Looks like it could not start from hibernation.
As suggested above - remove the battery, then try to turn it on.
LVL 88

Assisted Solution

rindi earned 164 total points
ID: 41808280
First test the RAM of the PC using memtest86+. It is included on the UBCD:

Or also on most Linux Live Media (those will usually have a more modern version of memtest86+ included).

If the RAM is fine, test your SSD using the manufacturer's diagnostic tool. As those are usually Windows based, you'll have to remove it from the laptop and connect it as a 2nd internal disk to a desktop PC that has Windows running. Those tools usually also include a firmware updater for the SSD, sometimes such an update can fix problems with an SSD, so check for firmware updates besides running the diagnostics.

If the RAM is bad, replace it. If the SSD is bad, replace that.

Once you know that your RAM and disk is 100% OK, go ahead and re-install Windows 10 from the downloaded iso as mentioned above. Don't do a factory restore, as then you'd be back on Windows 7, which you after that would have to upgrade to Windows 10 again, and that would just add more work for you. You also don't need to burn a DVD from the iso file. You can also use a bootable USB stick instead. Just use WinSetupFromUSB to create that stick. With this tool you can also add Linux Live Distro's or the UBCD as boot options, so you don't need to waste DVD's or CD's. Make sure you format the USB stick using FAT and not NTFS. You can select the format using the tool below:

When installing Windows 10, make sure you install the same type of Windows 10 as you had previously (Windows 10 Home, if it was home, or Windows 10 Pro, if you were using Pro). During the installation you will likely get asked for the product key. Here you just need to click on "I don't have a key" and the installation will continue. Once the system is installed and running, and it has an internet connection, it will automatically re-activate, as it was previously already registered with the m$ servers.

Also, once Windows 10 is installed, allow it to run all Windows updates. This can take some time as well as some reboots. Windows updates also delivers driver support and updates, so even if at the beginning some devices may not be recognized, they may be available automatically after a while. Only install 3rd party drivers if they don't get automatically installed via windows updates.
LVL 70

Assisted Solution

garycase earned 164 total points
ID: 41809704
There are a couple things that could have gone wrong.

If the system went to hibernation, and is somehow not recovering correctly, then simply forcing a clean boot should resolve this.    I'd boot to a Linux-based live DVD (e.g. Knoppix) and delete "hiberfil.sys" from the root of the hard drive.    Then shut down and remove the Linux disk and see if the system then boots okay.

Note that removing the battery will NOT resolve that issue, since "hiberfil.sys" is stored on the hard drive => removing the battery would fix a sleep-related issue, but not hibernation.

If removing hiberfil.sys doesn't resolve the problem, I'd try repairing the system with current boot media, as suggested above.   However, it's much more convenient to simply create a bootable USB Flash drive than an optical disk these days => the Media Creation Link gives you an option of doing either, so I'd choose the flash drive.

Author Comment

ID: 41809849
Dear Experts, Just a note to tell you that I am not ignoring this important question. As time permits I am working through your suggestions. I will post whenever I complete any suggestion that fixes the problem.
LVL 93

Assisted Solution

nobus earned 164 total points
ID: 41810114
i would not do a factory restore - since you then need another upgrade to win10
best do a fresh install - after testing ram and disk - as suggested
i use the UBCD for this:
Hardware diagnostic CD    UBCD
go to the download page, scroll down to the mirror section, and  click on a mirror to start the download
Download the UBCD and make the cd   <<==on a WORKING PC, and boot the problem PC from it
Here 2 links, one to the general site, and a direct link to the download

since the downloaded file is an ISO file, eg ubcd527.iso - so you need to use an ISO burning tool
if you don't have that software, install cdburnerXP :

If you want also the Ram tested - run memtest86+ at least 1 full pass,  - you should have NO errors!
For disk Diagnostics run the disk diag for your disk brand (eg seagate diag for seagate drive)  from the HDD section -  long or advanced diag !  (runs at least for30 minutes)      

**  you can make a bootable cd - or bootable usb stick
*** note *** for SSD drives  use the tool from the manufacturer, like intel 's toolbox :

for completeness -here's how i handle disk problems :

Author Comment

ID: 41813729
Dear Experts, here is where things stand at this point.  After implementing different combinations of your suggestions I now have a laptop that seems "almost" back to normal. I do not know if the almost is serious or not.  Everything seems normal except during bootup. During bootup I am asked which of three systems I wish to boot from. 1=Windows 10, 2=Windows 7 recovered and 3. Windows 7 recovered on volume three. If let to boot to the default of Windows 10 everything is clear sailing. After choosing reboot from desktop I am again asked which of the three choices I would like. During the choosing procedure I also have a choice to use repair tools or run Windows from another device or Troubleshoot. Troubleshoot consists of resetting my pc or more advanced options. Advanced options consists of 1. System Restore; 2. System image recovery; 3. Startup repair; 4. Command prompt; 5. Startup settings; 6. Go back to previous build. Should I choose one of these options or should I do something not listed?

Please note that I was able to create a Windows 10 installation iso file on a thumbdrive. At one point I did have that drive in the pc since it was asking for it. Soon thereafter I was asked to remove it. I did and was not asked to insert it again.

Experts? What is my best course of action at this point stepping carefully? I do not want to be overly aggressive since this is not a time sensitive problem. I just want to do it right.
LVL 88

Assisted Solution

rindi earned 164 total points
ID: 41813738
If it was a fresh installation you did, those options shouldn't worry you. The repair options are only needed if needed. You can also use the Disk cleanup wizard. This will remove the old OS's or their remnants. The option for Windows 7 should then be removed. If they don't get removed, start msconfig, select the "Boot" tab, highlight The Boot option you don't need (the windows 7 ones), and click on Delete.

Author Comment

ID: 41813765
rindi & all experts - I did the disk cleanup. It did not remove the two unwanted entries. I used msconfig and that did the trick. For now, everything seems to be running "normal". If it is still working properly after a day or so I will close this question. THANKS EXPERTS for your knowledge and expertise!!! MUCH APPRECIATED AND VALUED!
LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 41813966
Glad all's working well.   If anything seems wrong, the next thing to do would be a reinstall of Windows 10 from within the OS.   If you need to do that, boot to Windows 10;  then put in the USB flash drive you created from the Media Creation Tool (do NOT boot from it -- just insert it into a USB slot with '10 aleady running);  then run Setup from that flash drive.    This will do a reinstall of '10 while retaining all of your programs and data.    When asked, check the box to NOT do updates during the installation (it will do them later) ... and then just let it do the install.    This will fix a lot of issues.

Author Comment

ID: 41820913
All seems to be ok at this point. THANKS!!

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