Question System Configuration Window services tab - where is folder/file(s) containing these settings located?

grahamk

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Help! I've done something very, very silly. To fix this I need to know the names and location of the folder(s)/file(s) that contain the settings in the Windows 10 System Configuration window Services tab.

How this happened and why I think I need the names and location of the folder(s)/file(s) containing the settings in the services tab of the System Configuration window are explained below.

I've accidentally disabled ALL the Windows services listed in the Services tab of the System Configuration window. I mistakenly unchecked "hide all Windows services" and then disabled everything.

I was trying to update Windows 10 without losing apps/data. The update failed. Googling for solutions suggested disconnecting everything except the keyboard and mouse, and turning off all programs and services.
The result is that my PC (Dell T7910 workstation) is in a Windows 10 loop without keyboard and mouse connectivity.

When I boot, my PC bypasses Dell Bios and goes straight into the Windows 10 login screen. I'm pretty sure this is because Windows is still trying to complete the Windows 10 update (while keeping apps/data). I suspect the update has failed. I also suspect that when Windows 10 restarts as part of a Windows 10 installation or update it only restarts Windows. It DOES NOT restart the PC and hence does not go through BIOS.

Since I have turned off all Windows services (which includes keyboard and mouse) I have no keyboard and mouse connectivity. Hence, I cannot login or otherwise enter Windows to enable Windows services. I can't use my PC period!

Also, since boot/restart is still stuck in Windows update mode, Dell BIOS is bypassed and I cannot edit BIOS to boot to a USB drive or an DVD drive. Therefore, I cannot boot from a rescue/repair/emergency disk. No key or combination of keys I press (F2, F12, F8) stops the boot/restart from going directly to the Windows login screen. I've tried disconnecting the power supply three times at least, but it fails to clear the Windows loop.

I've chatted with Microsoft Assure support for over an hour, but they have no solution.

I don't want to physically change the settings on the motherboard to stop boot up defaulting to Windows (I understand there is some way of doing this - it seems to involve removing a battery??).

Instead, I'm thinking of replacing the corrupted/disabled Windows services settings folder/files with backup copies of the non-corrupt/non-disabled ones. The only problem is that despite searching the internet, I cannot find the names of these folder(s)/file(s) and where they are located.

THIS IS WHAT I DESPERATELY NEED TO KNOW. My great thanks for anyone who can tell me.

My actual plan to restore the disabled Windows services is as follows. Just before I disabled all Windows services and ran the Windows update, I backed up my Windows system with both EaseUs and Aomei backup. The backups were stored on my E drive. II plan to:

a) remove my current, now corrupt C Drive and re-install it as my F Drive
b) replace the corrupt C Drive with a blank drive and install Windows 10 on this new drive. I can now get onto my PC
c) I will install EaseUS and Aomei backup programs on this new C Drive
d) next, I can use these programs to explore the system backups I made with them before disabling Windows Services. I will be looking for the folders/files that store Windows Services settings.
e) Once I have found them, I can copy these folders/files
f) I will now go to the corrupted C drive (which is now the F drive). After having backed up the corrupted Windows services folders/files on this drive, I will replace these corrupt folders//files with the non-corrupted ones from the system backups on the E drive
g) Then I will remove the newly installed C Drive, and replace it with the old C/new H drive and everything should be fine. WHAT COULD GO WRONG!!!

At the very least I should be able to boot and get into Windows (the keyboard and mouse should now be working). I can then use EaseUs or Aomei to restore the System backup I made before disabling all Windows services.

Any thoughts on the above solution would be greatly appreciated, as would any other alternative solutions.


My thanks in advance

FINALLY: WHERE THE HELL ARE THOSE WINDOW SERVICES SETTINGS STORED!!!!

Any and all suggestion, solutions and comments will be greatly appreciated
 

grahamk

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Thanks for the advice, but a) I can't get onto my PC (services disabled, hence no keyboard/mouse connectivity) b) I did make a backup, two in fact, before I made the fatal error and ran the update.

My post was about how I might best use these backups to reverse the error (full system restore or replace messed up System Configuration Services files with good backed up ones. Any thoughts on this?

Be helpful if you could tell me where the System Configuration Services folder/files are located. Thanks.

Thanks again for your comment and suggestions.
 

USAFRet

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Thanks for the advice, but a) I can't get onto my PC (services disabled, hence no keyboard/mouse connectivity) b) I did make a backup, two in fact, before I made the fatal error and ran the update.

My post was about how I might best use these backups to reverse the error (full system restore or replace messed up System Configuration Services files with good backed up ones. Any thoughts on this?

Be helpful if you could tell me where the System Configuration Services folder/files are located. Thanks.

Thanks again for your comment and suggestions.
1. Good for making these backups

2. What did you use to make these backups?
 

USAFRet

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grahamk

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Thanks again for the advice, but there are still problems a) Windows services are disabled INCLUDING KEYBOARD/MOUSE) b) PC is in a Windows update loop that bypasses Dell Bios.

Result: cannot get into BIOS or input anything into PC and HENCE CANNOT ACTIVATE repair/emergency disk/USB.

Accordingly, I asked about two solutions. Begin by removing the inaccessible C drive, install Windows 10 on new blank C drive, re-install inaccessible C drive as F drive. Now the PC is accessible to backups on E drive to EITHER
  1. copy out of them System Configuration Windows Services tab settings file; next use these to replace the damaged/altered ones on the former C drive (now the F drive OR
  2. restore the system backup on the E drive to the former C drive that is now the F drive.
My post was to ask how and if I could do either of these:

a) I can't find out the names and locations of the folder(s)/file(s) that store the settings of the Services tab in the System Configuration window (DO YOU KNOW WHAT THE NAMES ARE AND WHERE THEY ARE LOCATED?)
b) if I can restore the system backup on the E drive to a drive other than the current C drive (in the case the system that I want to restore will be the F drive).

Sorry if this wasn't clear from my post.

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THESE TWO APPROACHES?

Critical points: I can't get into Bios and I have no keyboard/mouse connectivity.

So far as I can tell, I have to create a new C drive and then try and then repair the inaccessible C drive using my system backups. Any suggestions how I can do this other than what I suggest above?
 

USAFRet

Titan
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My suggestion was to completely disregard the existing C drive and what is wrong with the OS on it.

Boot from a Rescue CD or USB, and recover the entirety of the backup you made earlier to the hard drive.
You'll be wiping out everything on the current drive you think of as C, and putting whatever was on it when you made the backup.

Windows services being disabled has nothing to do with using the mouse/keyboard in the BIOS.
And there is no one central "folder" where all the settings are held. A lot of it lives in the Registry.


You can't "fix" that existing OS on what you think of as the C. Instead, you replace it.
 

karenjoly

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I think your solution # 1 is a non starter, for the reason given concerning the registry source for windows operating settings.However solution 2 imay be a clear winner. Yet I fail to see the obsession with restoring the non operating C drive , soon to be F. I don't know how substantial the back up was, just files or the whole disk, but if the whole drive, once you can operate the new C, boot to E, just clone the E to C and have done with it. F is redundant in this scenario.
 

grahamk

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Thanks for all your help. I very much appreciate it

However, I've managed to get my C drive back!

I did it by happenstance. I was taking out my hard drives with the intent of creating a new C drive. When I booted up without the corrupted C drive I was able to go into Dell Bios. I then re-installed the corrupted C drive and RollbackRx (a backup/recovery software which makes daily images of the C drive) appeared. I was able to reset the C drive to just before I started trying to update Windows.

Unfortunately, my H drive is no longer recognized by PC. It might have failed because it is unrecognized no matter what drive slot I put it in. Yes, I have a backup, but it is not that recent. Annoying, because I have software that should tell me when the health of a drive has deteriorated. Looks like I'll have to spend $500 to have a company recover the data on the drive.

Yes, do a daily backup! Except it has about 1tb of data on it.

Whatever.

Thanks again for all your advice and suggestions. I very much appreciate them.

Any suggestions why my hard drive is no longer being recognized (even by disk management)?
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Backups? 1TB of data? Drive space is cheap. Your data isn't.
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Looks like I'll have to spend $500 to have a company recover the data on the drive.
My backup procedure and the NAS box involved more than paid for itself in one recent instance.
A couple of days before christmas, on of my SSD's died suddenly. Just...gone. 960GB SanDisk, 605GB data on it.
Nothing I did would bring it back to life.

Why did it die? Don't know, and mostly don't care.
Put in a new drive, click click with Macrium.
The entire 605GB data, recovered exactly as it was at 4AM that morning when it ran its last backup.
 

grahamk

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A sudden thought: since I was moving drives around to different drives slots in my PC, might I need to make some changes to Bios to specify that the unrecognized drives are 2.5 SATA drives?

If I put SSD or 3.5 SATA drives in the drive slots where these 2.5 Dell SATA drives used to be, would the Bios drive settings change? If so, would the new settings not recognize the 2.5 Dell SATA drives when I restored them to these drives?

Just wondering. As always your thoughts and suggestions are welcomed.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
A sudden thought: since I was moving drives around to different drives slots in my PC, might I need to make some changes to Bios to specify that the unrecognized drives are 2.5 SATA drives?

If I put SSD or 3.5 SATA drives in the drive slots where these 2.5 Dell SATA drives used to be, would the Bios drive settings change? If so, would the new settings not recognize the 2.5 Dell SATA drives when I restored them to these drives?

Just wondering. As always your thoughts and suggestions are welcomed.
The only one that might make a difference is the drive with the OS on it. Even that, probably not.
Any other secondary drives don't matter.
 

grahamk

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Backup plan:

RollbackRx 15 daily images of the C drive
intermittent C and H (data) backups!!!
Plan:
Use Aomei Backupper and EaseUS to make beginning of month backup of C and H drive to 6TB E drive with daily incremental backup.
Copy first of month backups to two (2) 8TB external hard drives
Make middle of month C and H drive backups to E drive with daily incremental backups to end of month.
At end of month copy middle of month backup to the two 8TB external drives
Next month: rinse and repeat
After two months/end of quarter (as disk space permits) delete first/second month backups to recover space for more backups.

Result you always have two copies of C and H drive on external media for each month

Question: since I have two copies of C and H drives on external disk, is it worth keeping monthly C and H drive backups on PC E drive? Probably not, right?

How many months of backup to keep on external drives? Last six months? Last six months plus every preceding end of quarter/mid-year/end of year?

Worst case scenario: E drive crashes and up to 14 days of data/work is lost>
Is it worth copying first of month/middle of month and daily increments to a) another drive in the PC b) an external drive? Will PC blow up - I have reliable surge protectors.

Yes, hard drives have gotten cheaper, but probably less reliable - see the failure rates even for the five starred ones on Amazon! Yes you can get more reliable drives than the (if I remember correctly) 8 TB for $120, but they seem to cost about $400 (WD Black?) Given the high risk of failure of the cheap drives in the $100 - $150 range, to be safe, I feel it necessary to buy two external hard for every external backup copy drives in case one fails. Otherwise why bother?

I also think it necessary to use two backup programs in case one of them messes up. Hence, both Aomei and Easeus.

Also, even a 6 TB drive fills very quickly when you're doing daily incremental backups of two drives. This is especially true when you use two backup programs for safety rather than one. If you're aiming for safety, then go whole hog, right? I think I could fill my 6 TB drive with daily incremental backups of my C and H drives in about two months.

Yes, I could save some space by a) removing some of the data files that I rarely access. But this means extra drives, more disk management and changes of file duplication/confusion. Plus, I'm going to start amassing very large data files (census, social surveys, scholarly articles/books). So I'm going to be overwhelmed by data.

Looks like I'm going to have a big headache when every drive backup requiers at least two external 8TB drives! I don't want to use the cloud because of privacy/safety concerns.

Reminds of way back in the late 70s when I was doing a doctorate using an IBM 370. The computer lab was very short of disk space and processing time. Their solution. Keep all your variables on mag tapes and load variables into data analysis packages as you needed them. Ugh! What a pain.You wanted all your data loaded at once, so you could analyse it in one run.

Nothing changes. Could be I'll have dozens of hard drives. One for the census, one for the longitudinal health survey, one for BLS statistics and have to connect them as needed. Technology progresses, we can do more, but it still consumes all your time.

I ramble. Sorry.

Finally, what do you recommend for backup software. Aoemi is good I think. EaseUs works and was free. I dislike Acronis. Exiland got good reviews on GiveAwayOfTheDay a few days ago. So good I might even buy it ($50 though).Macrium is very good, but the full/professional version is expensive.

Do you know a good one that does incremental daily backups of only the files that have changed since the previous backup?

Thanks for staying with me and continuing the conversation.

Very interested to hear your thoughts on backups. You seems smart, well-informed and sensible.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
I use Macrium exclusively.
Paid version on my main system ($70), and free on all the others.

Backup size?
My main system has 3.5TB of SSD's. Another 2-3TB distributed among the other systems.
Full and incremental (14 days) currently consumes about 3.7TB for all the systems combined.
Macrium images take only the data size, not the entire drive.


"Plus, I'm going to start amassing very large data files (census, social surveys, scholarly articles/books). "
This cries out for a NAS box to hold that.
 

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