Windows 10 box won't boot up. How repair the system ?

I've got a W10 box which won't boot up.
I've run sfc /scannow from the command line.
I've tried to restore the system (I put in restore points last week). When using the W10 panel with 6 options of which the first is system restore and when I try rstrui.exe from the command prompt I get a message telling me I have to choose the operating system beforehand... There's only one...
I'm in a bit of a fix because the operating system choice menu never comes up on startup and I don't know if I can choose the operating system from the command line.
The box doesn't always recognise the hard disk - I think there's a problem with it but I can't get the box to recognise two hard disks in oprder to copy all the files
Anyone got any ideas? I'm stuck !
Any help gratefully accepted
Keith
keithbraithwaiteAsked:
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
At the same screen where you ran SFC , run DISM.exe /online /Cleanup-image /restorehealth . When done , restart and see if it starts
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nobusCommented:
if it does not boot, how did you run SFC?  plse clarify
and also clarify what you are doing here :  " but I can't get the box to recognise two hard disks in oprder to copy all the files"
you may post screenshots - use the snipping tool
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keithbraithwaiteAuthor Commented:
Thank you both for getting back to me.
1. How do I run SFC:
To open the command line I use the advanced options panel. (attached file. An image I found on the net for the English version. My version is in French)
At startup I sometimes get the message that Windows is trying to or has failed to repair the system. I'm then invited to choose the language for the keyboard (this might be because I'm in France using  Windows 10 in French.)
Having chosen the keyboard language I get straight to the Advanced options/shutdown choice.

2.  "I can't get the box to recognise two hard disks"
I obviously have a hardware problem here because the BIOS doesn't always pull in the Hard Drive. Even less when I put a second one in. However, late last night by dint of trying different hard drives with the main one, it did pull in both and I was able to Xcopy all documents on to the second drive. Ouf!
I should perhaps explain that I'm trying to repair a friend's computer which stopped dead when trying to repair Malwarebytes real time protection and, with advice from Malwarebytes, running a Windows Firewall repair program.

3. DISM. I should also have said that I'd tried to run the DISM restorehealth command but I got the reply "Windows 10 FE doesn't support DISM...
 
I realize that I may have to admit defeat but it will be easier to bear now that most of the important files have been copied.

For many years I just had to hook a faulty Windows hard drive onto another box:    Windows would analyse and repair the drive automatically and it would work properly again when back in place on the original computer. In this case it didn't work.

I seem to remember that there are quite a few repair tools available with the command line prompt. Things like ICLS (just quoting from memory - I'm very old...)  Anything else I can try ?  Any way to activate DISM ?  Create repair CD/DVD ? (I installed Windows 10 on this computer from an on line installation site. Maybe I should ask them too...)

All the best
Keith
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McKnifeCommented:
Boot setup, choose repair my computer, select system restore and see whether restore points are available.
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nobusCommented:
if you use the advanced panel - it does boot up - but not to Windows; i'suppose it's into the repair
anyhow - post the PC model - i suppose it's a desktop ?

what do you mean with >>   the BIOS doesn't always pull in the Hard Drive  << ?  maybe you meant SHOW ?

also, you posted "attached file"  --> there's nothing attached
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
DISM does not work which means significant issues most likely. Windows 10 supports DISM very well.

For many years I just had to hook a faulty Windows hard drive onto another box:    Windows would analyse and repair the drive automatically

That is for hard drive issues, not for Operating System issues. Windows 7, 8 and 10 operating issues need to be fixed (somehow) on the computer that owns the drive.

Do you think there is a hard drive error?  Get the manufacturer's hard drive test application ISO, make a CD and test the drive that way.

(I installed Windows 10 on this computer from an on line installation site. Maybe I should ask them too...)

Not Microsoft?  I agree you should ask them.
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keithbraithwaiteAuthor Commented:
I'm not going to argue with you. That will get us nowhere.
I confirm however that I get an error message which says in plain English "Windows 10 Family Edition does not support DISM
I confirm also that when I say "repair the drive automatically" I meant, and still mean,that damaged files in the operating system were repaired.
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keithbraithwaiteAuthor Commented:
Hello Mcknife.
I'd love to be able to do just that - find backup points. I put in one on the very day that the computer froze (before the freeze...)
The problem is that whan I try to restore I get the message that I have first to choose the operating system. There's only one and I never see the operating system choice menu which one always used to get on multiple boot machines. I've read lots of forums on putting up this menu on Windows 10 but I haven't managed to do it yet.
I get exactly the same message when I try to run restore from the command prompt  (rstrui.exe)
I would need to select the operating system from the command prompt but I don't know how to do that.
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keithbraithwaiteAuthor Commented:
Hello again John
In fact the precise answer I get when tryiung your DISM command is :  Error 50. DISM does not undertake maintenance of Windows PE with the option /online  (I'm translating from the French)
I'll try to dig out the DISM log and post it here. It may give more precise information.
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keithbraithwaiteAuthor Commented:
here's the dism.log file

2018-04-02 16:03:37, Info                  DISM   PID=1760 TID=1764 Scratch directory set to 'X:\windows\TEMP\'. - CDISMManager::put_ScratchDir
2018-04-02 16:03:37, Info                  DISM   PID=1760 TID=1764 DismCore.dll version: 10.0.16299.15 - CDISMManager::FinalConstruct
2018-04-02 16:03:37, Info                  DISM   Initialized Panther logging at X:\windows\Logs\DISM\dism.log
2018-04-02 16:03:37, Info                  DISM   PID=1760 TID=1764 Successfully loaded the ImageSession at "X:\windows\system32\Dism" - CDISMManager::LoadLocalImageSession
2018-04-02 16:03:37, Info                  DISM   Initialized Panther logging at X:\windows\Logs\DISM\dism.log
2018-04-02 16:03:37, Info                  DISM   DISM Provider Store: PID=1760 TID=1764 Found and Initialized the DISM Logger. - CDISMProviderStore::Internal_InitializeLogger
2018-04-02 16:03:37, Info                  DISM   DISM Provider Store: PID=1760 TID=1764 Failed to get and initialize the PE Provider.  Continuing by assuming that it is not a WinPE image. - CDISMProviderStore::Final_OnConnect
2018-04-02 16:03:37, Info                  DISM   DISM Provider Store: PID=1760 TID=1764 Finished initializing the Provider Map. - CDISMProviderStore::Final_OnConnect
2018-04-02 16:03:37, Info                  DISM   Initialized Panther logging at X:\windows\Logs\DISM\dism.log
2018-04-02 16:03:37, Info                  DISM   DISM Manager: PID=1760 TID=1764 Successfully created the local image session and provider store. - CDISMManager::CreateLocalImageSession
2018-04-02 16:03:37, Info                  DISM   DISM.EXE:
2018-04-02 16:03:37, Info                  DISM   DISM.EXE: <----- Starting Dism.exe session ----->
2018-04-02 16:03:37, Info                  DISM   DISM.EXE:
2018-04-02 16:03:37, Info                  DISM   DISM.EXE: Host machine information: OS Version=10.0.16299, Running architecture=amd64, Number of processors=2
2018-04-02 16:03:37, Info                  DISM   DISM.EXE: Dism.exe version: 10.0.16299.15
2018-04-02 16:03:37, Info                  DISM   DISM.EXE: Executing command line: DISM.exe  /Online /Cleanup-image /restorehealth
2018-04-02 16:03:37, Info                  DISM   DISM Provider Store: PID=1760 TID=1764 Connecting to the provider located at X:\windows\system32\Dism\FolderProvider.dll. - CDISMProviderStore::Internal_LoadProvider
2018-04-02 16:03:37, Info                  DISM   DISM.EXE: Image session has been closed. Reboot required=no.
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McKnifeCommented:
Ok, so you are using the setup disk and no restore points can be applied since the restore wizard does not even see an OS to restore to. That's bad and a situation that I have not experienced as of yet. The message to select the OS to restore should be taken and googled, maybe there is a way to modify something so that the restore wizard recognizes what to put where.

However, if your disk is dying, and you have no full image backup, you should rather try to recover the data and install clean to a new system.
Restoring the data is of course problematic with a dying disk so all you can do is reinstall to your 2nd disk, connect the problem disk again and again and try to copy as much as you can.
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nobusCommented:
Keith, what about my post?
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keithbraithwaiteAuthor Commented:
Sorry I didn't reply directly nobus.
It is a desktop but I build my own, and this is one I built for my friends some years back on an ASUS H-81 GAMER MB
Yes - it's just booting into Repair. I presume that this is on the separate partition ?
Sorry about my figurative language... By "pull in" I do mean that the BIOS shows the hard drive sometimes and not others. I hooked up other hard drives inorder to Xcopy the folders and files and what makes me think that the original hard drive is on the blink - dying as Mc Knife says - was the fact that the hard drive was sometimes recognised and shown but not always. Since I managed to show two hard drives it has stabilised and I do now see all the drives and I even ran FRST.exe from a USB drive.
I'm busy copying a mass of documents and images in order to save everything I can.
A pity the attached file didn't get through - it was just an image with the 6 repair options in English (they're in French on this computer.) I'll try again.
advanced-panel-English.png
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keithbraithwaiteAuthor Commented:
Hello again McKnife (used to play and sing that song over and over again and in every concert...)
I'm busy doing exactly what you suggest. Now that things have stabilised and the two hard drives are recognised every time, I'm copying all that I can on to the second drive. Then I'll install W10 on a new hard drive.
However, I haven't given up hope of repairing the existing Windows setup. I'm a bit stubborn...
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nobusCommented:
well- i Always do the same Keith - not give up easily; and i also use Asus Boards
the only things that can help here imo - is bios updates ; Always supposing all drives and connections  are fine,
i must say - up to now when the repair does not work - or DISM with it's various commands, its time for a fresh install
i found no other solutions yet, though one may be to make a new install on the same hardawre - on another drive, and then copy the windows folder over in it's enirity - but this is not much different from a freh install, so i never tried it
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keithbraithwaiteAuthor Commented:
Nice to know there are other stubborn people around...
I've prefered Xcopying everything while I can still "see" this hard drive. When I hooked it up to another W10 box Windows couldn't "see" it.
Of course, when I do a new install on a new hard drive I'll try a Windows transfer of all the files...
For the moment I'm still hoping for a command prompt workaround for using rstrui.exe or DISM commands
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keithbraithwaiteAuthor Commented:
Wow ! McKnife - you all really got stuck in there! What persistance !
I'm going to go through all that when I get a bit more time (I too am retired - 78 years old - but giving music lessons, training up a junior band and playing in three different bands myself, I live a very full life.
This offline use of DISM intrigues me so I too will try to get to the bottom of it even if I install Windows 10 on a new hard drive to get my friends operational again quickly.
Many thanks !
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nobusCommented:
ha - i see McKnife remembers me...and i remember him!
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McKnifeCommented:
:-) although it didn't work out, nobus :-)
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keithbraithwaiteAuthor Commented:
I saw you both in there. It was hard going and, as you say, it didn't really work out. Did any of you take that up with Microsoft.

At my end, the SCANNOW is now clean after several (long) CHKDSK /R runs. These only function in the main partition of course. The BOOT partiution is protected. I did wonder if something could be wrong in there or if I could open the permissions to let CHKDSK run. (it's the X:\ disk. I presume this is usually the case.

The other thing I'd like to do is persuade Windows 10 to put up the choice of operating system at startup. Even write a phantom system into boot.ini or something mad like that.  The error message which says that restore can only work having chosen the system is very tantalizing knowing that I'm unable to choose...
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McKnifeCommented:
If the drive is defective, all theory is worth nothing. Reinstall, save yourself time, next time keep an image backup ready.
DISM offline, though worth trying, will only exchange system files and not help with boot entries.
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keithbraithwaiteAuthor Commented:
I agree, and that's what I'm doing. However this isn't the first time Windows 10 has behaved like this and I think there are going to be quuite a lot of people in the same situation (often after an update !)
The performance of the disk now is sufficiently regular to make me think that it is not defective and that it really is a question of corrupted system files.
Once I've installed a new copy of W10 on a new hard drive I'l continue to research the problem on this drive.
Many thanks for all your help and your interest.
Keith
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McKnifeCommented:
"However this isn't the first time Windows 10 has behaved like this..." and it won't be the last. Sure. That's why Microsoft has, beginning with windows xp, included ways to do disaster recovery. The image backup that win7/8/10 have is reliable and easy - still very few use it since windows does not promote it very much. Take a look.
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keithbraithwaiteAuthor Commented:
I've always been lazy about that...
Do you have a link ?  
Can one make a backup image from a "good" version of W10 (I have two just in front of me) and then use it to repair another (you can guess which...)
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nobusCommented:
what disk model is this?
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McKnifeCommented:
No link needed. In your start menu, type "backup". It will lead into the backup/restore section, where you will find "image backup (windows 7)".
No, you can't use that to repair your machine, it will just be useful the next time you experience such a disaster.
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keithbraithwaiteAuthor Commented:
OK Thanks. shows how lazy I am not even to bother looking...
I've discovered that on my friends' machine I can't use bcdedit - registry file corrupted...
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nobusCommented:
can you answer my Q too  Keith?  iasked "what disk model is this? "
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keithbraithwaiteAuthor Commented:
Sorry about that. Must have been a glitch in the display. I logged off four hours ago (lessons to give) and there I'm just back for a brief period between afternoon and evening courses.
Do you mean what make and capaciy of the disk? It's a 500 Gb Seagate Barracuda. New, two years ago.  I use them a lot.
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nobusCommented:
then you can use the seagate tool for testing it : https://www.seagate.com/as/en/support/downloads/seatools/
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keithbraithwaiteAuthor Commented:
Just a word to close down this discussion and thank you all for your interest.
As you can guess I've installed W10 on a new hard drive and saved all the important personal files, documents and images from the one that froze.  I've put that one on hold till after the spate of springtime concerts we have to give in the next couple of months. I'm certainly going to persist in researching the offline use of DISM. I'm sure that long term that's going to be useful with these cases which defeat the Windows restore processes.
Thanks also for the salutary reminder about image backups.
I've marked as helpful several of your very pertinent comments.
Thanks once again.
Keith
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McKnifeCommented:
If you don't need further help, please close this question.
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keithbraithwaiteAuthor Commented:
How do I do that if there isn't actually a solution ?
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McKnifeCommented:
Many questions here remain unsolved. Some authors feel that their situation improved and select helpful comments as answers.
Other authors feel they did not make much progress so they just say "thanks, everyone" and make a final comment/summary and select that as solution. Then there are authors who don't think the discussion led to anything and choose to delete this question.
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keithbraithwaiteAuthor Commented:
I don't want to just delete the question - there was a lot of thoughtful advice in there.
It's a long time since I was on EE even though I've been a member since 2004 and used it a lot even before that. Things have changed.
I think it was possible to share  the spoils in the old days - give marks to two answers (as I was trying to do in saying that four of the replies were specifically helpful if not conclusive.
Is it still possible to give two people some recognition ?
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McKnifeCommented:
Yes. You can select multiple answers and manually adjust the point distribution as you like. You select a "best answer" and assisted answers and at a later step in the closure wizard, you may edit the points.
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keithbraithwaiteAuthor Commented:
Thinking more carefully about it all I think your link to that DISM discussion together with the Image backup advice weighs hevier in the balance.
I'l "best answer" that
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keithbraithwaiteAuthor Commented:
I didn't really get a solution to the problem though I was given a lot of good ideas - at least one of which I intend to study further.
I've marked the link to offline use of DISM as the best solution
Once again my thanks
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McKnifeCommented:
Good luck and do use image backups. That is the really important thing to learn. Windows' internal image backup serves you well.
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