Question Installed Win10, random errors

Feb 13, 2021
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I put together a PC out of parts I had, then installed Win10 on the SSD. Also Microsoft Office and Chrome. A few days later, during a Windows update, it bricked: the screen showed the blue 4-square flag, and there was a little circle spinning around. Forever.

I re-installed Win10, and everything looked good. But a few days later, random--and I do mean random--things started to happen. First, most of the Start menu disappeared; all that was left were things like cmd.exe and a handful of similar utilities, which showed up only if you did a right click on the Start icon. And some of them worked, but some seemed not to do anything--no app ever appeared. Fortunately File Explorer was one thing that worked, and in wandering around the file system, I noticed that e.g. the Default User's Start Menu was set to Deny All. I removed the Deny All settings I found, but never did get the normal start menu back for either of the two users' accounts.

As I say, some of the menu items worked, some didn't; the Settings item did nothing, but the Control Panel seemed to work normally. Chrome ran from the desktop icon. I ran two different virus scans (full, including scan at boot time in case of root problems), nothing found.

I decided to run chkdsk /F. Since I was running it on the same disk that Windows was installed on, this required a reboot. Chkdsk reported errors, and said it fixed them, but then it got into an infinite loop of running, rebooting, finding errors etc. from which it never recovered. So that was the end of that installation.

I was able to plug this SSD into another computer (with some trepidation, in case this was a virus issue), and ran both chkdsk and another virus scan from the other computer on this SSD. Both say there are no problems.

At this point, the computer is unusable. I guess I could install Win10 a third time, but I first want to understand what went wrong. I have three hypotheses:
  1. Virus. But as I say, three different virus scans found nothing. None of the other computers in the house have had errors like this, and I don't believe this computer went to any suspicious websites.
  2. Hard drive (SSD) error. But the wide range of things that went wrong makes me think this is unlikely: I would expect a few spots in the drive to be bad, and to affect maybe one application (or data), but I would not expect this seemingly random set of errors of different kinds.
  3. RAM error. I haven't seen this happen for decades, but I suppose undetected errors in the RAM could lead to random errors. But the "Deny All" setting on several Start Menu folders seems suspicious.
Do any of these make sense? Are there other things I should be looking for?
 

Johnwmel

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Jan 21, 2021
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"I guess I could install Win10 a third time, but I first want to understand what went wrong"
Was any other drive connected during the install?
What happens when you go into Safe mode?

How To Force Windows To Restart in Safe Mode ...and how to stop a "Safe Mode Loop"
https://www.lifewire.com/how-to-force-windows-to-restart-in-safe-mode-2625163
Start your PC in safe mode in Windows 10
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-au/windows-10/start-your-pc-in-safe-mode
7 ways to boot into Safe Mode in Windows 10
http://www.digitalcitizen.life/4-ways-boot-safe-mode-windows-10
How to Fix a Computer That Won't Start in Safe Mode
https://www.lifewire.com/fix-a-computer-that-always-stops-at-startup-settings-or-abo-2624445
 
Feb 13, 2021
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HP 615-132 chassis with HP power supply, original mother board, DVD drive
Ubit PCI-E WiFi Card
2x 2Gb Hynix RAM (original with this computer)
Vertex 460A SSD
Generic monitor
Logitech Wireless keyboard
Logitech USB mouse
Logitech speakers
Cosoos USB webcam (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B087TKKR8B)

Where sis the OS install come from?
I used a brand new 16Gb thumb drive to download installer from Microsoft, and booted the PC from this for installation.
 
Feb 13, 2021
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Upload the chkdsk log please.
None of the methods for finding the log file of previous runs of chkdsk seemed to work, so I ran chkdsk again; I'm copying the output below.

----------------chkdsk output-------------
Log Name: Application
Source: Chkdsk
Date: 2/13/2021 5:30:28 PM
Event ID: 26213
Task Category: None
Level: Information
Keywords: Classic
User: N/A
Computer: DESKTOP-752MBO2
Description:
Chkdsk was executed in read-only mode. A volume snapshot was not used. Extra errors and warnings may be reported as the volume may have changed during the chkdsk run.

Checking file system on C:
The type of the file system is NTFS.
This service cannot be started in Safe Mode

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 ...
286720 file records processed.

File verification completed.
Phase duration (File record verification): 3.42 seconds.
5691 large file records processed.

Phase duration (Orphan file record recovery): 0.00 milliseconds.
0 bad file records processed.

Phase duration (Bad file record checking): 0.32 milliseconds.

Stage 2: Examining file name linkage ...
2258 reparse records processed.

410908 index entries processed.

Index verification completed.
Phase duration (Index verification): 10.55 seconds.
0 unindexed files scanned.

Phase duration (Orphan reconnection): 262.80 milliseconds.
0 unindexed files recovered to lost and found.

Phase duration (Orphan recovery to lost and found): 0.49 milliseconds.
2258 reparse records processed.

Phase duration (Reparse point and Object ID verification): 8.22 milliseconds.

Stage 3: Examining security descriptors ...
Security descriptor verification completed.
Phase duration (Security descriptor verification): 189.06 milliseconds.
62095 data files processed.

Phase duration (Data attribute verification): 0.31 milliseconds.
CHKDSK is verifying Usn Journal...
29345384 USN bytes processed.

Usn Journal verification completed.
Phase duration (USN journal verification): 188.10 milliseconds.

Windows has scanned the file system and found no problems.
No further action is required.

233797995 KB total disk space.
40302048 KB in 193155 files.
131368 KB in 62096 indexes.
0 KB in bad sectors.
393911 KB in use by the system.
65536 KB occupied by the log file.
192970668 KB available on disk.

4096 bytes in each allocation unit.
58449498 total allocation units on disk.
48242667 allocation units available on disk.
Total duration: 14.63 seconds (14635 ms).

Event Xml:
<Event xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/win/2004/08/events/event">
<System>
<Provider Name="Chkdsk" />
<EventID Qualifiers="0">26213</EventID>
<Version>0</Version>
<Level>4</Level>
<Task>0</Task>
<Opcode>0</Opcode>
<Keywords>0x80000000000000</Keywords>
<TimeCreated SystemTime="2021-02-13T22:30:28.7314576Z" />
<EventRecordID>695766</EventRecordID>
<Correlation />
<Execution ProcessID="0" ThreadID="0" />
<Channel>Application</Channel>
<Computer>DESKTOP-752MBO2</Computer>
<Security />
</System>
<EventData>
<Data>

Checking file system on C:
The type of the file system is NTFS.
This service cannot be started in Safe Mode

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 ...
286720 file records processed.

File verification completed.
Phase duration (File record verification): 3.42 seconds.
5691 large file records processed.

Phase duration (Orphan file record recovery): 0.00 milliseconds.
0 bad file records processed.

Phase duration (Bad file record checking): 0.32 milliseconds.

Stage 2: Examining file name linkage ...
2258 reparse records processed.

410908 index entries processed.

Index verification completed.
Phase duration (Index verification): 10.55 seconds.
0 unindexed files scanned.

Phase duration (Orphan reconnection): 262.80 milliseconds.
0 unindexed files recovered to lost and found.

Phase duration (Orphan recovery to lost and found): 0.49 milliseconds.
2258 reparse records processed.

Phase duration (Reparse point and Object ID verification): 8.22 milliseconds.

Stage 3: Examining security descriptors ...
Security descriptor verification completed.
Phase duration (Security descriptor verification): 189.06 milliseconds.
62095 data files processed.

Phase duration (Data attribute verification): 0.31 milliseconds.
CHKDSK is verifying Usn Journal...
29345384 USN bytes processed.

Usn Journal verification completed.
Phase duration (USN journal verification): 188.10 milliseconds.

Windows has scanned the file system and found no problems.
No further action is required.

233797995 KB total disk space.
40302048 KB in 193155 files.
131368 KB in 62096 indexes.
0 KB in bad sectors.
393911 KB in use by the system.
65536 KB occupied by the log file.
192970668 KB available on disk.

4096 bytes in each allocation unit.
58449498 total allocation units on disk.
48242667 allocation units available on disk.
Total duration: 14.63 seconds (14635 ms).
</Data>
<Binary>006004001CE50300FD3C0700000000006B010000670700000000000000000000</Binary>
</EventData>
</Event>
 
Feb 13, 2021
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I would suspect a faulty drive this is installed to.
That's my best guess, but I don't understand how that would have led to the "Deny All" in the security sxn of several Start Menu folders' properties. Not sure how that information is stored, I suppose it could be a single bit; but seems odd that it would have shown up on several different Start Menus (Default User, Default, and All Users)--unless those are all a single directory?
 
Feb 13, 2021
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Was any other drive connected during the install?
No, aside from the thumb drive. It was of course connected to the network during the initial install by an RJ35 cable. After installation, I removed that cable and installed a wifi card.

What happens when you go into Safe mode?
I had to use some of the methods you described to break out of the endless "repair failed" loop. It's now in Safe Mode, and I can log in. However, the Start Menu is still not working, in the sense that when I do Ctrl-Esc, or the Windows key, or left-click on the Start flag, nothing happens. I have to right-click on the Start flag in order to get anything at all, and then it's a limited subset of cmds: Task Manager, PowerShell, File Explorer, Run, and a few others; it also shows Apps and Features, Power Options, Settings and a couple others, but these do nothing when clicked.
 

Johnwmel

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Jan 21, 2021
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Please download Farbar Recovery Scan Tool and save it onto your Desktop. If your default download location is not your Desktop, drag it out of it's location onto the Desktop.
If we have to run Farbar more than once, refer this SS.
View: http://i.imgur.com/yUxNw0j.gif

Note: You need to run the version compatible with your system. If you are not sure which version applies to your system download both of them and try to run them. Only one of them will run on your system, that will be the right version.
Double-click to run it. When the tool opens click Yes to disclaimer.
Press Scan button.
It will make a log (FRST.txt) on the Desktop.
The first time the tool is run, it makes also another log (Addition.txt) on the Desktop.
The logs are large, upload them using this. No time delays/Captcha-I'm not a Robot/account/registration needed. Give us the links please.
 
Feb 13, 2021
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"Read Only" is the default condition of folders in a Win 10 install.

Obviously you can write to them, but it is actually not "you"...but rather a deeper system account that actually does this.
Understood, but while these Start Menu folders had read-only attrs set appropriately, they also had "Deny all" for read, write etc. etc. That is, if I right-clicked on the Start Menu folder, chose Properties, clicked on the Security tab, and then on the Advanced button, the first line in the Permissions pane was "Deny all". I don't see "Deny all" in my other Win10 computer.
 
Feb 13, 2021
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I'm still suspecting a faulty drive, irrespective of the Deny All thing.
Is there a better tool than chkdsk for testing the drive? Someone earlier in this thread is recommending Farbar Recovery Scan Tool. I guess it looks legit, so I'll try that next.
 

Johnwmel

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Jan 21, 2021
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Extract from your Addition log, any of these you don't use?

==================== Faulty Device Manager Devices ============

Name: Microsoft Hyper-V Virtualization Infrastructure Driver
Description: Microsoft Hyper-V Virtualization Infrastructure Driver
Class Guid: {4d36e97d-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318}
Manufacturer: Microsoft
Service: Vid
Problem: : This device is not working properly because Windows cannot load the drivers required for this device. (Code 31)
Resolution: Update the driver

Name: Microsoft PS/2 Mouse
Description: Microsoft PS/2 Mouse
Class Guid: {4d36e96f-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318}
Manufacturer: Microsoft
Service: i8042prt
Problem: : This device is not present, is not working properly, or does not have all its drivers installed. (Code 24)
Resolution: The device is installed incorrectly. The problem could be a hardware failure, or a new driver might be needed.
Devices stay in this state if they have been prepared for removal.
After you remove the device, this error disappears.Remove the device, and this error should be resolved.

Name: PCI Serial Port
Description: PCI Serial Port
Class Guid:
Manufacturer:
Service:
Problem: : The drivers for this device are not installed. (Code 28)
Resolution: To install the drivers for this device, click "Update Driver", which starts the Hardware Update wizard.

Name: PCI Simple Communications Controller
Description: PCI Simple Communications Controller
Class Guid:
Manufacturer:
Service:
Problem: : The drivers for this device are not installed. (Code 28)
Resolution: To install the drivers for this device, click "Update Driver", which starts the Hardware Update wizard.

Name: Standard PS/2 Keyboard
Description: Standard PS/2 Keyboard
Class Guid: {4d36e96b-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318}
Manufacturer: (Standard keyboards)
Service: i8042prt
Problem: : This device is not present, is not working properly, or does not have all its drivers installed. (Code 24)
Resolution: The device is installed incorrectly. The problem could be a hardware failure, or a new driver might be needed.
Devices stay in this state if they have been prepared for removal.
After you remove the device, this error disappears.Remove the device, and this error should be resolved.
 
Feb 13, 2021
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Extract from your Addition log, any of these you don't use?
Microsoft Hyper-V Virtualization Infrastructure Driver
Afaik, I don't use this; this machine does not have any virtual machines installed (I assume that's what this is referring to)

Microsoft PS/2 Mouse
I don't use this (I use a USB mouse)

PCI Serial Port
I don't believe I use this, I don't even know where a serial port would be on a modern computer. However, I did have a wifi card plugged in to a PCI-Express X1 slot, with a 9-pin connector coming off it and plugging in to the motherboard. I'm assuming this was not a serial port, but if it was...

PCI Simple Communications Controller
Same answer as for the PCI Serial Port: would the wifi card have used this?

Standard PS/2 Keyboard
I don't use this (I use a USB keyboard)
 
Feb 13, 2021
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Something funky's going on. SnailDriver wanted an internet connection when it started up. I had been using Safe Mode without networking, so I rebooted into Safe Mode with networking. After logging in, I almost got into an endless cycle of "Windows process has stopped working. Exit or cancel?", each time bringing up Edge and asking if I wanted to make it the default browser. Finally broke out of that loop somehow and ran Snail.

SS is at

I'm shutting down for the night--thanks for your help so far!
 
Feb 13, 2021
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Update: I finally got back to this. I installed the drivers using Snail Update, but of course that didn't fix the problem; I still had no Start menu, and apps were missing (like Settings, but the Control Panel was still there). I finally decided it was less painful to buy a new SSD (they're cheap,) than to try to re-install on the old SSD + add the missing drivers and hope that fixed the problem.

So I just now installed Win10 on the new SSD, updated, etc., waiting to see if anything goes wrong. Thanks for the suggestions.
 

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