Question Broken Desktop

Jul 4, 2021
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I have the exact same symptoms as this post:
https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/all/no-desktop-icons-start-menu-wont-open-taskbar-wont/6f43da79-56ee-4920-aed3-fcf87e63edf9

I've tried virtually everything I've found even remotely related to broken boot issues, DISM can't find the source file on the boot USB for who knows what reason (I've seen some talk about install.esd not working properly, but I have no idea how to move a converted install.wim to the USB as the "file is too big for this type of drive")
Chkdsk running from the OS itself will cause a blue screen (Actually I believe the OS originally got corrupted because of bluescreens caused by faulty memory although notably they never happend during any updates or anything important as far as I'm aware), Chkdsk from the USB works fine, But didn't help, I've tried bootrec /fixboot but the access is denied for some reason, I've tried resetting bootbcd and of course sfc /scannow (can't fix anything from that without a DISM first though)

I don't have any restorepoints or backups or anything, Resetting windows is my last resort as it would take literal months of straight downloading to download all the deleted apps (300kbs dl speed... over 1TB of apps).

One other cause of this could be a broken SDD I was using a WD 750 with heatsink with another motherboard heatsink of top of about half of it, As the motherboard did not come with a m.2 screw, So I was forced to use the motherboard heatsink to hold it down. Perhaps this could of overheated and fried the ssd?

Also could I get another ssd and move my apps manually through notepad.exe from a command prompt? Because then I should be able to move them back to the OS after resetting my windows 10... (If the reset even works that is...)
 
Jul 4, 2021
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I believe the version was 21H1, I'll check tomorrow to be sure, Does that winver command work in safe mode with command prompt or boot usb command prompt? As the symptons of this issue prevent me from doing anything but ctrl alt enter when on the desktop.
Would that repair install work if I used it from safe mode command prompt (notepad.exe) or when booting from the USB? If not then I won't be able to use it.
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
i don't think repair install works from safe mode.

winver should work in safe mode, its just a windows command.

this is the old Source command from cmd

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /source:WIM:X:\Sources\Install.wim:1 /LimitAccess
but it doesn't work as it looks for wim, not esd

there is a source option that uses the esd instead.

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.
  3. Type the following command to repair the image with an "install.esd" file and press Enter:
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:C:\ESD\Windows\sources\install.esd
In the command, change C:\ESD\Windows\sources with the path that corresponds to the location of the ".esd" file (if applicable).
  1. (Optional) Type the following command to limit the use of Windows Update and press Enter:
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:C:\ESD\Windows\sources\install.esd /LimitAccess
  2. (Optional) Type the following variant of the previous command to accomplish the same task and press Enter:
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:esd:C:\ESD\Windows\sources\install.esd:1 /LimitAccess
  3. (Optional) Type the following command to use an install.esd file located in another drive and press Enter:
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:E:\Sources\install.esd
    In the command, replace F:\Sources with the path to the location of the "install.esd" file.
After you complete the steps, DISM will repair the damaged files using the files included in the "install.esd" image.

https://www.windowscentral.com/how-use-dism-command-line-utility-repair-windows-10-image
 
Jul 4, 2021
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Install.esd was the file in the USB, I've already tried every variation of those DISM commands, And yes I've also double checked that I was using the correct drive letters by checking diskpart. Same source not found error everytime, Although it did also mention something about a scratchdir, Am I supposed to make one of those and if so how should I go about that exactly?

Would the repair install work if I used the notepad.exe command from a bootable USB command prompt?
 
Jul 4, 2021
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At this point I've found a half solution of moving my apps to another SSD manually through the boot USB command prompt and then resetting windows and moving the apps back to the OS. A slight hassle, But not too bad. Would definitely prefer just using that repair install.
 

DSzymborski

Titan
Moderator
Just to be clear I'm talking about this method:
https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-update/rescue-files-when-windows-wont-start/862c143f-9239-4e63-8968-635e8ba9efd6
Why would this not work for me? I think I will just move my entire steam folder (and other launchers and whatnot), Are you perhaps saying I would miss files that would make the applications work or something?
Steam apps will work.

But most of your Windows apps will have problems.
 
Jul 4, 2021
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I'm unable to use that method of moving steamapps because of the previously mentioned symptons. Moving through the boot usb should work well enough.

What are you referring to with "forgets windows didn't work"?
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
I edited the reply, all the text below
forgets windows didn't work
was added after I remembered you can't get into windows. that is what that means

Often when i edit a reply the person I am answering answers mid reply. Sorry to cause confusion (I am good at it)

only way to move the games will be copy/paste.

its easy enough to point the Steam library location at folder after windows is reinstalled
 
Jul 4, 2021
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Ah I see, Anyways the only unanswered question I have left is if the repair install works through the boot usb command prompt... Ah I just realized I could test that myself easily enough... I'll test it tomorrow and report back.
 
Jul 4, 2021
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I've checked the winver and it is indeed 21h1 , (Also file explorer crashes if I try to get into the usb drive from safe mode command prompt, So repair install is not doable) I've encountered this error when trying to reset windows:
"We couldn't create a new partition or locate an existing one. For more information, see the Setup log files".
I've seen some things about cleaning and formatting your drive to fix this, But I'm a bit worried that I may miss copying some of my documents/user files (or it just won't allow me to copy paste them), So is there is any other way to fix this error?
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
you can't reuse user files on a new install.

Best best is copy contents of documents, music,pictures, videos.

Everything else will have to be reinstalled. Just save as much data as you can

Provided you save your steam games, everything else can be reinstalled.
 
Jul 4, 2021
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I've already done the reset, I'm not sure which user files your referring to, because I copied over my whole desktop as well, Their was some access denied files in the user folder although I don't think it was anything important. Anyways this situation was resolved with no problems.
 

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