[SOLVED] Just looking for an all-clear with an idea for data recovery following unsuccessful Win10 update

Feb 1, 2020
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Hi all. I'm not fully certain if this is the correct place to post this, but it's in relation to a failed Windows 10 update (to version 2004) so hopefully it belongs here.

There isn't much to say by way of details - I foolishly left my laptop unattended while it was going through the update. The battery died whilst it was working on it and I'm pretty sure the installation of Windows is screwed as a result. Powering it on as of now shows the normal Dell splash screen followed by the message "Undoing changes made to your computer". It doesn't appear to make any progress doing this, but hardware-wise, I'm reckoning it's still okay - I can hear that the HDD is still working away like it should. So I'm pretty sure the only option left to me is to start afresh with a clean install of Win10.

I do, however, have one idea with regard to accessing personal files on the hard drive. Basically, I'm thinking if I open up the laptop, extract the drive and connect it to another PC (either internally via SATA or externally with a 2.5" HDD USB caddy), then maybe I might just be able to access the drive and make copies. To me, it seems like quite a futile effort, but I'm keen to give it the old college try. I was just hoping if anyone here might be able to give me a green light with this, if it'll work or not. It isn't a huge deal if it turns out to be fruitless, as my most recent backup is reasonably up to date, so I'm not at any major loss.

TLDR: If a laptop C: drive is connected to another PC after a failed Win10 update, will its directories and files be visible and accessible?

Thanks in advance.

Laptop specs (in case they are needed):
Dell Inspiron 15 3567
CPU: Intel Core i3-6006U
RAM: 4GB (x1 4GB SODIMM module)
iGPU: Intel HD 520
Discrete GPU: AMD Radeon R5 M430
Storage: x1 2.5" 1TB HDD
 
Last edited:

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
On another PC, download the Windows 10 media creation tool and use it to make a win 10 installer on USB


How to recover data without moving drive
change boot order so USB is first, hdd second
boot from installer
on screen after languages, choose repair this pc, not install.
choose troubleshoot
choose advanced
choose command prompt
type notepad and press enter
in notepad, select file>open
Use file explorer to copy any files you need to save to USB or another hdd

once its recovered, use installer to clean install win 10
boot from installer

follow this guide: https://forums.tomshardware.com/faq/how-to-do-a-clean-installation-of-windows-10.3170366/
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
On another PC, download the Windows 10 media creation tool and use it to make a win 10 installer on USB


How to recover data without moving drive
change boot order so USB is first, hdd second
boot from installer
on screen after languages, choose repair this pc, not install.
choose troubleshoot
choose advanced
choose command prompt
type notepad and press enter
in notepad, select file>open
Use file explorer to copy any files you need to save to USB or another hdd

once its recovered, use installer to clean install win 10
boot from installer

follow this guide: https://forums.tomshardware.com/faq/how-to-do-a-clean-installation-of-windows-10.3170366/
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
Starting with:

"TLDR: If a laptop C: drive is connected to another PC after a failed Win10 update, will its directories and files be visible and accessible? "

My thought is maybe "yes" , maybe "no". Depends on possible drive corruption and where that corruption occurred.

Opening the laptop would be my last resort.

Will the laptop boot into Safe Mode? Try that.

Maybe boot with Linux USB to find and recover (if necessary) the desired files.

Most likely there will be some other suggestions and ideas. Be patient and wait before doing anything.
 
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