[SOLVED] Windows not starting after fresh install

Oct 3, 2020
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Not sure if this is a Windows problem or a hardware problem to be honest.

After putting together a new PC yesterday, I (apparently successfully) installed Windows 10, but Windows won't actually boot - I just get a frozen motherboard screen (there's a spinning wheel which freezes in place after a few seconds). Sometimes I get a screen that says "It looks like Windows hasn't loaded correctly", and I get various troubleshooting options.

I've tried everything I can think of:
  • Reinstalling Windows, including using a different USB stick. I've tried both adding a new installation of Windows and keeping the old one, and deleting all the partitions on the disk and starting again.
  • Installing an old HDD and installing Windows on there.
  • Resetting the PC - I got the message "There was a problem resetting your PC. No changes were made."
  • Removing one stick of RAM at a time.
  • Updating the BIOS.
  • Resetting the CMOS.
  • Unplugging everything I can - audio, front USB, all USB peripherals, RGB, SATA.
  • Starting in Safe Mode.
  • Running sfc /scannow - no integrity violations were found.
  • Disk checker
I can't use System Image Recovery, Start-up Repair or System Restore without inputting a password for "defaultuser0" - but no password seems to exist.

Any other suggestions? If I can't find any other solution I'll probably have to try replacing my motherboard, but I really don't want to take everything apart again, and I really don't want to send the board back if it's something else that's at fault.

I'd think the problem could be the disk or the files, especially since resetting didn't work (I think it was trying to use the recovery partition to reset), except that two drives and multiple installations all had the same problem.

Edit to answer questions:

Specs
Yes I used the Media Creation Tool to create the Windows installer.

CPU: Ryzen 3 3100
Motherboard: MSI B550 PRO-VDH WIFI
Ram: ADATA XPG GAMMIX D10 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3000 CL16 Memory
SSD/HDD: ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive
GPU: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER 6 GB OC
PSU: Aerocool ACP-I600MD 12 cm 600 W Integrator Semi Modular
Case: Cougar MX410 Mesh-G RGB
OS: Windows 10 x64 Education

BIOS version: 7C95v23 (latest - updated during attempted troubleshooting).
 
Last edited:

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
Sorry i stopped replying, i went to sleep. it was 3.30am

I would suggest resetting bios to defaults and use Boot override to install win 10 and see it that gets you past this step. It should do exactly as you say after that restart, run off ssd. But its clearly tripping so perhaps resetting bios to defaults will clear any confusion. A new bios from factory should just install windows. you shouldn't have to change anything.
 

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
Please include your system's specs like so:
CPU:
Motherboard:
Ram:
SSD/HDD:
GPU:
PSU:
Case:
OS:

The HDD should be left out of this troubleshooting thread. Did you create your bootable installer using Windows Media Creation Tools? You might also want to run us by the BIOS version for your motherboard.
 
Oct 3, 2020
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Please include your system's specs like so:
CPU:
Motherboard:
Ram:
SSD/HDD:
GPU:
PSU:
Case:
OS:

The HDD should be left out of this troubleshooting thread. Did you create your bootable installer using Windows Media Creation Tools? You might also want to run us by the BIOS version for your motherboard.
Thanks. I added the answers to the OP so it's clear for anyone else who reads it.
 
Oct 3, 2020
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is the ram on the motherboard compatibility listing?
I can't find an exhaustive list of specific models of RAM that are compatible, but the motherboard supports DDR4 and far higher than 3000 MHz or 16 GB. PCPartPicker doesn't mention any incompatibilities. And the RAM is detected in the BIOS. The only thing I noticed that seemed slightly weird is it detects there are 2 x 8 GB 3000 MHz sticks, but it says it's running at 2666 MHz. But I know sometimes you have to set RAM speeds manually so it didn't seem that odd.
 
Last edited:

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
So ssd was empty when you started?

when you say you think it finished, how far into install process did you get? Make users?
I can't use System Image Recovery, Start-up Repair or System Restore without inputting a password for "defaultuser0" - but no password seems to exist.
makes it look like you didn't get that far.

When you installed win 10, did you make the USB 1st in boot order?
does it get stuck on the 1st restart after it copies all the info to ssd and then restarts so it should be running off the ssd but gets stuck?
Does your bios have a choice in Save & exit screen called Boot override? (I can't tell as your motherboard manual doesn't have enough info - it is pathetic really - https://download.msi.com/archive/mnu_exe/mb/M7C95v1.0-ASIA.pdf )

If it does, try this
turn off PC and put WIn 10 installer in a USB slot.
turn on PC and go into bios
Set SSD as 1st in boot order
Go to save & exit screen and go to Boot override menu
Pick the USB driver from the list.

What boot override does is sets the USB as boot device this startup and the next time PC restarts, it will choose the SSD instead.
 
Oct 3, 2020
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Yes I found that manual pretty unhelpful too.

The SSD was empty when I first started - or it certainly should have been as it was new.

I didn't get as far as setting up users. It did the part where it says "Installing Windows" and goes through Copying Windows files, Getting files ready for installation, Installing features, Installing updates, and Finishing up (see here
Code:
https://youtu.be/HKMJnlKGPWk?t=314
(Edit: link put in code box because it was just embedding the video - if you follow the link it goes to the relevant time stamp). I then get "Windows needs to restart to continue", then it restarts, and that's where it freezes on the "Pro series" screen. I think at that point it should be running off the SSD.

I've rearranged the boot order a few times, but not until I installed it the first time. I think last time I tried installing the SSD was set as first.

I don't see a boot override option (when I click exit I just get the option to save or not) but I can access the normal boot options screen by pressing F11 at startup. That's how I've been telling it to boot from the USB to install Windows - is that effectively the same thing?
 
Oct 3, 2020
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Just to add, after the point where it restarts, I get a screen that shows the Pro Series logo and says "Getting ready" and "Getting devices ready". Then it restarts again, and then it shows the Pro Series screen and freezes.
 
Oct 3, 2020
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Some more news that I hope is relevant: I managed to install Ubuntu on the PC (after a lot of trouble with Nvidia drivers and display issues). So it is possible to run an OS. Hopefully that means it's not a hardware issue...
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
Sorry i stopped replying, i went to sleep. it was 3.30am

I would suggest resetting bios to defaults and use Boot override to install win 10 and see it that gets you past this step. It should do exactly as you say after that restart, run off ssd. But its clearly tripping so perhaps resetting bios to defaults will clear any confusion. A new bios from factory should just install windows. you shouldn't have to change anything.
 
Oct 3, 2020
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No problem, thanks for all your help so far.

I'll try as you suggested. Another thing I noticed that I thought might be the cause is the BIOS keeps setting itself to the year 8120. I noticed the date was wrong much earlier, but I changed it and didn't realise it was resetting itself. I know resetting times can be caused by a bad battery, but the weird thing is it remembers the right day and month, it just insists on changing the year. The time is a bit weird too - it was about 2 hours 5 minutes slow, and now it has changed to exactly one hour slow. Perhaps because it's not taking account of daylight saving time, but I don't know where it's getting the time from. Maybe from Ubuntu? I've been reluctant to change the battery because it's under the graphics card and it has capacitors right next to the card that make it a bit dodgy to put back in, but I think I'll have to give it a try. Unless you can think of another explanation for this?
 
Oct 3, 2020
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Replaced the battery and I still have the same problem so I can only assume something - perhaps Windows - is setting the year. The time has reset too, but again the day and month are right.
 
Oct 3, 2020
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OK - it's finally working. I'm setting up Windows right now.

I replaced the CMOS battery, wiped everything, reset the BIOS (in case replacing the battery didn't do it) and made a new installer from a different computer.

Thank you very much for your help.
 

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