Question Windows 10 not booting, goes to "Preparing Automatic Repair"

omegaglory1

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Hi all, I'm having the above issue. After fitting some new fans (Silent wings) and connecting a new monitor (Dell), I went to start up my desktop only to get the "Preparing automatic repair" screen which shortly leads to the blue screen wth "Your PC did not start correctly."

In the bios, my hard drive is still visible under SATA information. I checked the connectors to the hard drive to make sure it wasn't as simple as that. CPU temperature is fine. My intital thought was that the motherboard couldn't handle the new fans and this somehow caused an electrical fault. The fans are: two PWM 120mm fans connected to CPU header via a splitter (0.37A each), one 3 pin 120mm case fan (0.12A), one 3 pin 140mm case fan (0.5A). However, am I right in saying headers should manage up to 1A without issue?

At one point, the PC did turn off on its own, this was prior to getting those dreaded screens first appearing. I'm not sure if the turning off was an electrical/fan issue or if the PSU simply came loose at one point, but thought I should mention it.

I performed a windows 10 update several days ago, without any issue at the time.

Right now, I'm able to reach Advanced options, however I'm unsure how to proceed. My options include doing a system restore point or booting up from a system image back up. The system restore option is giving me the choice of rolling back to a point 2 days prior to this happening. As for system image backup, I have a recent back up made on an external drive and repair disc.

What is the correct way to proceed? I was really tempted to go for the first option, having a point only 2 days ago seems ideal but held back as I've no idea if this will screw me over! Any help is really appreciated.

Current build:

Asus TUF H370 pro board
i5-8600k cpu
16GB DDR4 RAM
Asus R9-290x graphics card
Neptune 240 cooler
Corsair TX650 psu

The cpu is not overclocked, it was chosen over the regular version because it was actually cheaper.
 

onespeedbiker

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The issue could very well be the splitter you put on the CPU fan socket. Many MBs have a safety issue were the it will not allow the computer to boot if it is not getting the correct signal from the CPU fan socket. Try plugging your new fan into another socket.
 

omegaglory1

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The issue could very well be the splitter you put on the CPU fan socket. Many MBs have a safety issue were the it will not allow the computer to boot if it is not getting the correct signal from the CPU fan socket. Try plugging your new fan into another socket.
Does this mean the cpu socket could be acting up and I haven't overloaded my board with the wrong fans? I'll try your method and fit the old cpu fans back in as well. Is there a way to see this in bios or in a dram led on the board?
 
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onespeedbiker

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Yes. And no, the only way to tell if putting a splitter on the CPU fan socket is the problem is to remove the splitter and have only the CPU fan plugged into the CPU fan socket. Another reason this can affect the booting is the CPU fan is usually thermostatically controlled by the BIOS, which is done by varying the wattage. If you have two fans connected to the socket, the BIOS will not be able to properly control the CPU fan.
 

omegaglory1

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Yes. And no, the only way to tell if putting a splitter on the CPU fan socket is the problem is to remove the splitter and have only the CPU fan plugged into the CPU fan socket. Another reason this can affect the booting is the CPU fan is usually thermostatically controlled by the BIOS, which is done by varying the wattage. If you have two fans connected to the socket, the BIOS will not be able to properly control the CPU fan.
My old fans were also set up with two connected via a splitter, without any issue. Shouldn't the mobo be able to deal with the two fans as if they were one signal since only one of the connectors is 3 pin? The splitter cable was bought over a week ago and has been working fine up to now. I'll definitely try your idea after I get home from work.

Really hope it's as simple as that. The thought of my hard drive being corrupted and having to do use backup is pretty stressful!
 

omegaglory1

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Still at my work but I'm reading about system restore on my lunch break, glad I restrained myself as it sounds like system restore won't help, it'll only fix registry! Very misleading name!
 

omegaglory1

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The use of the splitter is not the issue, the issue is the use of the splitter with the CPU fan socket. You should have at least one other fan socket other than the CPU fan socket.
Is there a reason for avoiding two fans on the cpu socket? My previous build had two Cooler master fans connected in this way acting as radiator fans. My board has two chassis sockets, a pump socket and a cpu socket.
 
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onespeedbiker

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It depends on the motherboard. Some are sensitive to what's plugged into the CPU fan socket and some are not. If you add or modify a second fan attached to the CPU socket and suddenly your PC won't boot, that is certainly the first place to look. If possible, it's better not to double up with the CPU socket so your BIOS can control the CPU fan separately than the other fans. OTOH, if it works, don't fix it :)
 

omegaglory1

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The use of the splitter is not the issue, the issue is the use of the splitter with the CPU fan socket. You should have at least one other fan socket other than the CPU fan socket.
It depends on the motherboard. Some are sensitive to what's plugged into the CPU fan socket and some are not. If you add or modify a second fan attached to the CPU socket and suddenly your PC won't boot, that is certainly the first place to look. If possible, it's better not to double up with the CPU socket so your BIOS can control the CPU fan separately than the other fans. OTOH, if it works, don't fix it :)
I've tried just connecting one fan to the cpu header without a splitter, but without any results. Also, changed back to all the old fans. Removed the RAM modules and clicked them back in. So it seems likely the board doesn't have a problem with this aspect.

I've tried a different sata cable for the hard drive, just in case.

An uninstall updates option is available (quality or feature updates) but I'm not sure what this will do.

I'm beginning to think the hard drive is at fault or something has happened to windows 10. At this stage, I might have to break out the windows installation disc or attempt to restore using my backup. Do I need to beware of anything while I do this?
 
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onespeedbiker

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I'm still thinking about you simply adding/ upgrading some case fans and suddenly your PC won't boot. Assuming everything was running fine before the new fans, it doesn't seem logical that you hdd is now going bad. You also said you plugged in a new monitor. Did you also get a new/different graphics card? Even if not, if you are using a plug in discrete graphics card, you might want to reseat the card, as you might have loosened it changing monitors.
 

omegaglory1

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I'm still thinking about you simply adding/ upgrading some case fans and suddenly your PC won't boot. Assuming everything was running fine before the new fans, it doesn't seem logical that you hdd is now going bad. You also said you plugged in a new monitor. Did you also get a new/different graphics card? Even if not, if you are using a plug in discrete graphics card, you might want to reseat the card, as you might have loosened it changing monitors.
Thanks for the input, perhaps you're right and the graphics card has been loosened. I recall times in the past with a loose hdmi or dvi cable and a constant beeping dram led would come on and this hasn't happened. It's definitely worth a try and will only take a minute. I don't suppose my new monitor could be causing any issues? I've heard of people experiencing problems with booting caused by a monitor feeding power back into the computer via dp cables. However I'm using hdmi and this was not previously a problem.

It's also occurred to me I haven't closely checked bios for the boot order. Window boot manager is still listed in the boot priority/order and the hard drive is still visible in the main bios screen. In addition, I just read the latest windows 10 update is reportedly causing boot issues. From this, could it be deduced if windows needs repairing?
 
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omegaglory1

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So I checked every cable I can think of, tried the windows repair option, connected a different data cable and reinserted the RAM modules. I attempted to enter safe mode but I keep getting bounced back to where I started.

I'm now attempting a clean install of Windows 10, with the aim of recovering from my system image backup.
 

omegaglory1

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I was able to do a clean os install and restore from my system image. It's been a bit of an ordeal, and I'm still not sure what the original problem was. If I were to guess, I'd say windows 10 was simply corrupted (possibly a delayed effect from a recent update). As you pointed out, it seems a bit coincidental the hard drive, even being 10 year s old, would fail. Thanks for the advice, onespeedbiker, I may have walked away from this a little smarter about computers!
 

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