Question Windows randomly stopped booting. Please help

Jan 5, 2023
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I have recently been hit with quite a weird and unwelcome surprise of coming back home and seeing my PC not being able to boot despite working totally fine around 6 hours ago.

After turning on the PC the Windows loading circle is NOT there (doesn't spin/stop after a while it's just not there) and it doesn't boot to it after 30 mins of waiting.

I am able to access BIOS - bios showing the drive with windows on it connected

I can access troubleshooting menu and have already done chkdsk /f on the windows drive (checked with the disk list), All directories are there.

The startup repair tool is unable to fix the issue

I cannot access safe boot

I have not installed anything before the issue started appearing, i have not had a windows update.

Any suggestions on doing something without erasing the drive?

I have a thumbdrive with the windows tool and a second test PC just in case
 

Aeacus

Titan
Ambassador
Any suggestions on doing something without erasing the drive?

I have a thumbdrive with the windows tool and a second test PC just in case

Two options:
  1. Take your OS drive from your current system, hook it to test PC as data drive, DO NOT BOOT OFF IT, copy/paste all personal data over and then format your OS drive. Afterwards, put the empty drive back to your main PC and make a clean Win install.
  2. Take your OS drive out of your PC. Take 2nd, empty drive and hook it to your PC. Install Win on 2nd empty drive. Once you can boot to OS, connect your old OS drive to your PC, as data drive, again DO NOT boot off from it and copy/paste the personal data over.

Option #1 requires enough free space for personal data on 2nd PC, and method to get the data back to main PC, once it has been fixed.
Option #2 requires 2nd empty drive. But is easier when it comes moving over personal data.

These are only options to save your personal data on your current OS drive.

As of what might have gone wrong, two possible options;
  1. OS corruption.
  2. Drive failure, which lead to OS corruption.

Option #1 is better, since only software got damaged. If it is option #2, then you need a new drive and you may not be able to save all your personal data (depending on how far gone the drive is and where the corruption reached).
 

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