Complete Windows 10 Recovery Failure. Can't get system to restore with any method.


Nov 28, 2015
Here are my specs

Asus Z170 pro gaming motherboard. (UEFI BIOS version 3805)
16GB ram (4GBx4)
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo
Asus pg279q, connected to video card with HDMI (for testing)
256gb SSD (With Windows 10 on it)
1TB SSD (empty)
1TB HDD (empty)
Windows 10

In mid August I performed a clean installation of Windows 10 so I could sell it. I did this from Start>Settings>Update & security > Recovery>Reset this PC. I chose the "remove everything" option. It worked, I opened some apps on the desktop and turned my PC off/on a few times to make sure it booted up properly everything looks like it's working. I put the PC in a corner and posted a For Sale ad on craigslist.

Yesterday I try to show it to someone, it can't even get to the login screen. It freezes on the windows logo every time. The spinning dots animation freezes as well. *Sometimes* the monitor doesn't even register input from the HDMI cord.

After I do this a few times, WIndows automatic repair pops up but this freezes as well. I try multiple times, try the HDMI in the motherboard and video card and get the same issue. I go into the BIOS and reset everything to default settings. I double check the boot order, the correct SSD is on top. I manually select the correct drive to boot from. I try to boot from all my drives in case I accidently reinstalled W10 on the wrong drive. I turn off fast boot. Same problem, frozen windows 10 logo or frozen, "preparing automatic repair" message.

So I get a USB and turn it into a recovery drive using a W10 PC at my Mom's office. (Where I have the PC stored - not at home.) I do this with Control Panel>Recovery>Create a Recovery Drive. I made sure, "Back up system files to the recovery drive" was selected.

I plugged the USB stick into my PC. I enter BIOS and I see 2 new options. (This is not verbatim) "PNY 3.0 USB drive" and "PNY USB partition 1." I try to boot from both of them. One of them freezes on the ASUS logo and I'm not even able to get back into BIOS without restarting my PC again. The other freezes on the windows logo.

BUT - one time I successfully got into Recovery mode. I don't know what I did differently but I tried every single option in the troubleshooting menu and they all resulted in errors. Refresh your PC, "there has been an error." System image Recovery, I have no image to recovery from. Go back to the previous build, "there has been an error." Startup Repair, "Windows can not fix your problem."

As a side note I ran into various Blue Screen errors on startup, sometimes after trying the same startup method multiple times in a row I would get a blue screen, sometimes it would just freeze. "Kernel security check failure," "kernel nugget not found??" "Stop code IRQL not less or equal." These are the ones I remember or took pictures of before the PC restarted itself.

Now I can't even get back into the troubleshooting menu, even with the same USB drive and trying all the same steps I did before. I must have restarted my PC over 150 times at this point. I'm totally stuck as well as beyond frustrated. It was all working fine and I was going to sell it and now I'm spending days trying to get the desktop to load. I'm close to just sending it to a repair shop and possibly spending hundreds.

Where do I start? What's step one? How else can I try to recover Windows? Is this a communication error with an old version of windows interacting with new drivers? Like I reset windows 10 to default settings while not connected to the internet, so It's a Windows version from 2015 interacting with a 1080ti/7700k and a BIOS version that didn't exist at the time?
no no.. you need to use that usb to make a windows 10 installer, and CLEAN install it from booting to usb. if that fails then it's hardware failure. maybe something happened to it sitting in the corner, got kicked? who knows