Desktop not available after failed windows 10 update.

Miladdos

Reputable
Sep 20, 2014
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Hello everyone,

Yesterday I downloaded the newest windows updates before shutting down my pc. When I started it back again this morning my nephew accidentally shut it down while it was installing the updates.

When I turned it back on again everything seemed fine until I logged in. Whenever I log in if gives me a error message saying desktop location is not available. Occasionally I also get a ctfmon.exe "unknown hard error" and a almost.exe "unknown hard error".

When I eventually do get signed in I can only see a blacked out desktop with a recycle bin which can't be opened. I have tried multiple "solutions" but none of them have worked for me due to not being able to open anything besides the task manager and command prompt. Every time I try to open explorer or anything else i get a "it's been tried to refer to a token that does not exist.

I have tried everything I know and have found so far including starting it in safe mode. Nothing seems to help.

If anyone could help me I would be grateful. I'm also willing to provide any info which might be helpful. Thank you.
 
May 21, 2018
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I experienced the same problem, and my only recourse was to force my computer into recovery mode by powering it up, then powering it down as soon as the Dell logo and spinning circle appeared, powering down, and repeating this process until the computer booted into recovery mode. At that point I was able to reset my computer, which left me with all my files lost, but a computer that was working again.
 

SugarPsycho

Reputable
Sep 12, 2015
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Can you give us a rough list of what you tried? The best solution I can think of would be to install a windows 10 media creator on a flash drive, boot from the flash drive and try to repair it from there.
 

Miladdos

Reputable
Sep 20, 2014
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4,510
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https://appuals.com/fix-system32configsystemprofiledesktop-refers-to-a-location-that-is-unavailable/

This seems like the most common solution but it does not work for me since i cannot open explorer. Other than this I've tried it in safe mode and completely shutting off my pc etc.
 
May 21, 2018
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I experienced the same problem, and my only recourse was to force my computer into recovery mode by powering it up, then powering it down as soon as the Dell logo and spinning circle appeared, powering down, and repeating this process until the computer booted into recovery mode. At that point I was able to reset my computer, which left me with all my files lost, but a computer that was working again.
 
May 21, 2018
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Addendum to my previous reply: I was unable to use System Restore (it told me there were no restore points), hence the reset. Everything is working fine now.
 

Bobby_44

Commendable
Nov 28, 2016
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I had a complete blank desktop with only recycle bin. I tried win key +R and hit browse. That allowed me to go to c:\users\"Username" and copy "desktop to c:\windows\system32\config\systemprofile. After doing that the desktop icons appeared and then started flashing continuously and no taskbar icons, no start menu, nothing but flashing Icons. What I did next is insert a USB drive and copied all the files I wanted to save to the USB. Next, I am going to insert the new 1809 version disk and just update via the disk by win key + R, browse, d:\setup.exe. I hope this cures all that ails the laptop. In the last week and a half, I have seen 4 computers that have completely rendered customer machines useless. I have found installing via a disk or USB Flash usually works ok. The one I am on now is #4 and the first one that I am able to access the desktop. The other 3 required copying all documents, photos, music and video folders to a USB in Advanced Options. Once that was done, I had to do a new install. There was no saving any of them.
 

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