Question Strange windows 10 installation, am I safe?

GamerDad

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Jul 22, 2013
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Okay, so last night was a nightmare. Some backstory:

Since October, windows 10 has been unable to update itself. Installation of the update would result in errors. It turns out the reason for those errors is that my installation was in an MBR table and windows 10 suddenly decided it hates this, but the error code never explicitly points that out.

Anyway, last night I found myself having to completely reformat my drive and reinstalling windows 10. Keep in mind, my version is from a free upgrade over windows 8.1. The reformatting is the result of a mundane virus/malware scan that removed only some cookies and hp touch smart drivers that aren’t used anymore.

One reboot after the scan and windows 10 was giving my hard errors, popping up after long login waits with messages telling me I had 1 minute to save my work before a reboot, and the impossibility of using administrator functions (control panel, device manager, etc all caused flashing screens until the reboot).

Safe mode was helpless because all the repair functions said it could not be done, likely because of the mbr/gpt problem but never outright saying so.

So I wound up having to reformat. But the process was NOT straight forward.

I created a USB boot drive with the windows 10 installer on it. Drive was formatted fat32. Went into bios to change the boot order and loaded into the installer.

Got to the drive selection screen where it finally points out that windows 10 cannot be installed on the drive because it is mbr format. So I had to go into command line via safe mode to clean and convert the drive.

Went through the installation of windows 10, got to desktop and rebooted the pc with the USB key removed.

No valid boot drive found.

Reinserted the USB key, bios can’t find the USB key. Tried all USB ports, rebooting each time and nothing.

Plug the USB key in another pc and it is found normally, no problem.

So I do a complete reformatting of the USB key in ntfs, reinstall the installer and plug it back into my pc.

Bios finds it. Set the boot order and load into the installer, but it looks different.

The first time, it popped up a smaller black box area while loading the installer software, makes sense since it isn’t taking into account screen resolution and then loaded into a full screen installer after the windows logo.

This time, it was full screen from the start.

I try repair the install - can’t do it but doesn’t say why. So I try to clean install again. At the disk selection screen it says it can’t install windows 10 because the drive is using GPT table.

WHAT?!!

so I go to command line and convert the drive back to mbr.

I then was able to install windows 10. Now it appears to work just fine and boots into desktop with the USB key removed.

But now I’m wondering if I’m safe to convert the drive back to gpt? Why did it behave this way?

I never changed any settings in bios other than the boot order. UEFI was enabled the entire time.

Is my install safe? How can I ensure future windows updates will install properly?

Also, my windows 8.1 key DID NOT WORK during installation so I had to install without the key.
 

Lutfij

Titan
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Oct 7, 2009
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Did you use Windows Media Creation Tools to create your bootble USB installer? Please keep in mind that if you have other partitions on your drive, all of them will be removed if you migrate from MBR to GPT and vice versa, so I hope you have you data backed up on an external storage device.

You should always recreate the bootable installer when you get news that a new version of Windows 10 is made public since any updates and/or repairs end up being hair tugging matches.
 

GamerDad

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Jul 22, 2013
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Did you use Windows Media Creation Tools to create your bootble USB installer? Please keep in mind that if you have other partitions on your drive, all of them will be removed if you migrate from MBR to GPT and vice versa, so I hope you have you data backed up on an external storage device.

You should always recreate the bootable installer when you get news that a new version of Windows 10 is made public since any updates and/or repairs end up being hair tugging matches.
Yes, everything was done through the official media creation tool.

I’m just wondering why I had to reformat twice, why I had to convert from mbr to gpt to mbr, whether I am safe to convert into gpt, why my serial key didn’t work, and how a can ensure future updates will work.
 

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