Can't boot past windows loading screen, works perfectly in safe mode

Nov 2, 2018
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My pc has been working perfectly fine and this morning has decided to wake up on the wrong side of the bed. It will sit on the windows loading screen (white dots, blue windows logo) and not progress from that point at all, even after leaving it for an hour. After trying to restart it a few times, it goes into the windows 'start up fix' where it tries to find a solution to the start up problem. This will fail every single time and bring me to the blue screen with the advanced options, reset pc, shut down etc.

If I go through the options I can boot into safe mode no problem (currently in safe mode with networking typing this), but as soon as I try boot normally, it sits on that screen and the white dots keep spinning. I have tried many things to combat my situation such as:

Updating my GPU
Turning off XMP
Turning off fast boot
Running powershell admin - sfc /scannow
Using device manager to update all my drivers

I've looked through so many solved solutions on here but none of them are working for me, all things point to a driver problem in my head but I am certainly no expert here. Streamlabs was the last thing I updated and that was 12 days ago (until my gpu today), and I have used my pc every single day since then and had no problems at all. My MSI live update program shows nothing needing to be updated and device manager shows nothing needing to be updated either. The only thing I could possibly think of that could have screwed up my computer is using the power button on my case to shut down instead of clicking the start button and clicking shut down in the menu.

Any help would be so appreciated, because I don't want to have to hard reset my computer and lose all my stuff. I do not have a system restore point on my computer that I can go back to and also dont have a cd drive or USB with windows on as I installed it 6 years ago and just updated it as I went on.

PC info:

i5 8400
asus gtx 1060 6gb
msi z370 pro carbon
4x4 ddr4 corsair vengeance lpx 3000mhz
evga supernova 750w 80+ gold






 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
What Windows version are you running? If it's Windows 10, what build version are you on?

Did it install updates yesterday from windows update, because there was a major cumulative release and I was experiencing some issues as well but not at the level of yours. Mine were able to be resolved, but I don't have a six year old installation, which is likely at least part of your troubles.
 
Nov 2, 2018
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Yea I'm on Windows 10 - Version 1803 (OS build 17134.471). Nothing was getting installed last night when i switched off my computer, 95% certain I have those updates turned off. One thing I have noticed is when I open up my settings and go to Windows Update, nothing comes up. Just shows white under the 'Windows Update' title. I just tried updating my windows and it got to 99% and then told me there was an error and it couldn't be installed (code 0xc0020036). This whole thing is driving me mad because nothing happened since I shut down my computer last night and turned it on today but it's just broken. Could Windows have updated without me knowing and then not installed the update, thinking I have a broken key (when its just old), and then cancelled the install - breaking my computer?
 
Dec 19, 2018
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As far as I know you cannot fully disable updates in Windows 10, even when you disable Update services, system would re-enable them back after certain period of time.

It sounds like you have an bad blocks/sectors on your Hard Drive. If you can still boot to Safe Mode I would suggest to run check disk through command prompt (chkdsk /f). See if it will report any problems. The /f after chkdsk command means that it will try to repair any bad sectors/blocks or any other problems with the Hard Drive. If it will detect something, there is chance that you would be able to boot in to a system again.
 
Nov 2, 2018
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Just did a chkdsk and its come up saying:

The type of the file system is NTFS.
The volume is in use by another process. Chkdsk
might report errors when no corruption is present.

WARNING! /F parameter not specified.
Running CHKDSK in read-only mode.

Stage 1: Examining basic file system structure ...
470016 file records processed.
File verification completed.
17941 large file records processed.
0 bad file records processed.

Stage 2: Examining file name linkage ...
19070 reparse records processed.
578756 index entries processed.
Index verification completed.
0 unindexed files scanned.
0 unindexed files recovered to lost and found.
19070 reparse records processed.

Stage 3: Examining security descriptors ...
Security descriptor verification completed.
54371 data files processed.
CHKDSK is verifying Usn Journal...
2930056 USN bytes processed.
Usn Journal verification completed.
The master file table's (MFT) BITMAP attribute is incorrect.
The Volume Bitmap is incorrect.
Windows has checked the file system and found problems.
Please run chkdsk /scan to find the problems and queue them for repair.

116613186 KB total disk space.
91551404 KB in 397285 files.
245764 KB in 54372 indexes.
4 KB in bad sectors.
553358 KB in use by the system.
65536 KB occupied by the log file.
24262656 KB available on disk.

4096 bytes in each allocation unit.
29153296 total allocation units on disk.
6065664 allocation units available on disk.


So 4 KB is bad sectors, is this what you mean?

This too?
'The master file table's (MFT) BITMAP attribute is incorrect.
The Volume Bitmap is incorrect.
Windows has checked the file system and found problems.'

I'll restart (it says to when i put the /f) and report back.

I've also just found an error from F:\\windows\system32\logfiles\srt\srttrail.txt

Root cause found:
---------------------------
Boot critical file f:\boot\resources\custom\bootres.dll is corrupt.

Repair action: File repair
Result: Failed. Error code = 0x2
Time taken = 1563 ms

No idea whats going on, does this help?
 
Dec 19, 2018
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Yes, it is quite common that some of the sectors can get damaged and even small amount of KB in bad sectors can prevent you from booting to your system. In this case it looks like that the bootres.dll is saved on that bad sector. Now you have two options:

1. We can try to remap the bad sector, however I would not recommend it as there is possibility that your HDD is failing (for this you will need second machine and blank CD as we will need to burn some utilities to the CD)

2. Get new HDD and we can try to clone your failing HDD to new one and hopefully it would boot.

Pick one of the options and then I can provide you next steps.
 
Nov 2, 2018
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I currently have my OS on a SSD, a HDD with all my stuff on it and another HDD with nothing on it, but in my PC currently. What do you recommend in that situation?
 
Dec 19, 2018
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Oh I see. SSDs are tricky. From my experience it is always good to replace them soon as they start causing troubles.
If the SSD is manufactured by Intel or Samsung, you can download the utility and have them checked but I'm not sure if those utilities would work in safe mode or even if they would be much helpful at all - you might will have to connect that SSD to second machine (You need to use SATA as it wont work through USB).

You can bring it to our shop if you live in UK - Surrey or Bracknell area :D
 
Nov 2, 2018
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Sadly very far from UK, also neither intel or samsung. :(
Is there still a way to move windows to a hard drive?
 
Dec 19, 2018
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If you have empty drive you clone your SSD with use of Acronis True Image. This is paid tool that I'm using and I'm not sure if they have free trail version (I'm pretty sure you can figure it out somehow, if you know what I mean ;) ). You will need to burn that tool as bootable CD, then run it with both SSD and HDD connected and from the menu select Tools and then Clone.

There is still possibility that this still wont help, but then we have at least something that we can work with.
 
Nov 2, 2018
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Just downloaded the 30-day trial and got this message when trying to install.
'The Windows Installer Service could not be accessed. This can occur if the Windows Installer is not correctly installed.'

Looks like its back to the drawing board....












 
Dec 19, 2018
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Did you tried to run that trial through Safe Mode? Some utilities In safe mode does not work. You might will need to use different machine to do this.
 
Nov 2, 2018
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Yeah doesnt work through safe mode and cant get into normal mode.

UNTIL, I left my pc for 20 mins and came back and it had booted into normal mode somehow?? It's great, but thinking that it was fixed, I went into my windows update and clicked on the install update button..... and now we are back on the loading screen. I'm just going to leave it again for an hour and hopefully it decides to work? I'm not sure what to do here...
 
Dec 19, 2018
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Okay so it looks like windows update trying to install something on the part (sector) of SSD that is damaged and that's preventing you from booting in normal mode. If you will manage to get to windows again disable update services so you will have some time to burn Acronis True Image to CD and do that clone to HDD while you can.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Windows ONLY installs automatic updates, automatically, that are supposedly 100% vetted. If they are still in the regional phase of distributing an update automatically OR if the update is still somewhat in a beta capacity, you need to click on Check For Updates manually in order for the system to seek them out and install them.

While we encourage you to wait until the update is offered to your device, if you’re an advanced user on an actively serviced version of Windows 10 and would like to install the Windows 10 April 2018 update now, you can do so by manually checking for updates.

The first thing I'd do is download Seatools for DOS or WD lifeguard tools and run the short DST (Drive self test) and the Long generic test. This will tell us if the problem is ACTUALLY related to a physical problem with the drive or if it's simply a corrupted installation or boot sector.

You will likely need to create the bootable media for the drive test utility on another computer so that you can test this system.

http://knowledge.seagate.com/articles/en_US/FAQ/201271en


IF the drive is physically ok, then I'd suggest you do this:

Windows 10 Clean install tutorial


If there are ANY problems with the drive, then I'd highly recommend you immediately replace it and still do that. There is zero point in trying to use a drive with bad sectors or other problems. It will only get worse and will be likely to result in a complete loss of data if you haven't already.

Once you have the new drive you MIGHT be able to connect the other drive and move some of your old files like movies, documents, pictures, music or games off onto another drive, but I wouldn't bet money on it AND any of that data could already be corrupted IF the drive is bad OR the drive is corrupted.

I would 100% not bother trying to clone a drive or partition that is faulty due to failing sectors or corruption, because putting a bad partition on a good drive is still going to result in a bad partition.

You can begin the process of creating your installation media, when and if you get to that point, using the LATEST Windows 10 build version 1809, here, along with the tutorial I linked to above that I created specifically for instances like this one.

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10
 
Nov 2, 2018
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UPDATE!

My pc was working perfectly yesterday, I ordered a new SSD and am getting ready for a clean windows install. This morning I wake up, no good, pc broken once again. I disable antivirus from loading up (in the advance options after boot repair fails), and it works perfectly straight away. Could this be ruining my boot or is it just an accident this happened when I disabled it?







 
Nov 2, 2018
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Windows defender, which is why i never thought it was the problem
 

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