Win 10 reinstallation woes

friedpiggy

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Aug 6, 2005
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My wife's uncle has an issue. Win 10 starts up, but on the login screen it is blurry, no users are shown and there is nothing you can do. Can see the power /accessibility/network/ (another one I can't remember now) icons on the lower right and thats it. Now here is the fun part. It seems that around August of this year there was an update that FUBARed a lot of Dell machines with this exact error. Sadly the fix for that didn't work. You cannot get into safe mode or anything.

Being a normal home user he has not backed up in pretty much the entire lifespan of this machine. I need to know how to do an upgrade install on this so that he does not lose apps/files.

Things I have tried
1) roll back updates (feature update was the problem and it wont rollback)
2) startup repair (fails)
3) Reset from recovery environment (fails)
4) download install media and go through setup to where you select upgrade and keep files/apps (says it can't be run when booting from USB)

Is there anything else I can try. I am now on day 4 of working on this intermittently throughout the day and am losing what little hair I have left
 

Rickster

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Jul 31, 2012
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The best thing to do is backup data and do a clean install of build 1809

Also disable updates once in windows.

Edit, have you tried this:

  1. Click "Command Prompt".
  2. Change directory to your boot drive if necessary (for example, type c: and press <ENTER>)
  3. Type "CD %windir%\system32\config\systemprofile\appdata\local\microsoft\windows\caches <ENTER>
  4. Type "DIR <ENTER>" and make sure you are in the right path. You should see one or more .db files -- usually just cversions.3.db. If there are no files in this directory see the addendum below.
  5. Type "DEL *.* <ENTER>"
  6. Reboot and test
 

ponder

Honorary Master
Joined
Jan 22, 2005
Messages
79,468
I need to know how to do an upgrade install on this so that he does not lose apps/files.
You copy everything from that drive over to a spare drive first and verify it. That is the ONLY safe way.
 

friedpiggy

Expert Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2005
Messages
1,048
The best thing to do is backup data and do a clean install of build 1809

Also disable updates once in windows.

Edit, have you tried this:

  1. Click "Command Prompt".
  2. Change directory to your boot drive if necessary (for example, type c: and press <ENTER>)
  3. Type "CD %windir%\system32\config\systemprofile\appdata\local\microsoft\windows\caches <ENTER>
  4. Type "DIR <ENTER>" and make sure you are in the right path. You should see one or more .db files -- usually, just cversions.3.db. If there are no files in this directory see the addendum below.
  5. Type "DEL *.* <ENTER>"
  6. Reboot and test
Tried that and it makes no difference.

It gets to the point where the screen blurs and usually, he login dialogue appears but there ain't no login dialogue or any other things on the screen except for the four icons in lower right
 

supersunbird

Honorary Master
Joined
Oct 1, 2005
Messages
50,987
My wife's uncle has an issue. Win 10 starts up, but on the login screen it is blurry, no users are shown and there is nothing you can do. Can see the power /accessibility/network/ (another one I can't remember now) icons on the lower right and thats it. Now here is the fun part. It seems that around August of this year there was an update that FUBARed a lot of Dell machines with this exact error. Sadly the fix for that didn't work. You cannot get into safe mode or anything.

Being a normal home user he has not backed up in pretty much the entire lifespan of this machine. I need to know how to do an upgrade install on this so that he does not lose apps/files.

Things I have tried
1) roll back updates (feature update was the problem and it wont rollback)
2) startup repair (fails)
3) Reset from recovery environment (fails)
4) download install media and go through setup to where you select upgrade and keep files/apps (says it can't be run when booting from USB)

Is there anything else I can try. I am now on day 4 of working on this intermittently throughout the day and am losing what little hair I have left
What do you mean you cannot go into save mode? You just need to force power off for 3 times during Windows bootup and then it will take you to the repair options (of which one is boot in safemode)

Anyway, if it was my I'd remove the hard drive, and plug it into a desktop SATA port or USB-to-SATA on laptop and copy the information off/back up the data. After that I would either format and reinstall Windows 10.
 

friedpiggy

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Aug 6, 2005
Messages
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What do you mean you cannot go into save mode? You just need to force power off for 3 times during Windows bootup and then it will take you to the repair options (of which one is boot in safemode)
Ok, so what happens is it starts up, you get the acrylic background, but not the username/ profile and password fields. I can boot into safe mode, but it does the exact same thing and sticks there. Safe mode with networking does the same thing. There is no way to get into the system at all. Have made a backup of the files by booting off an ubuntu live USB stick and copying onto an external drive so will reinstall tomorrow. Now happier than ever that I am still on 7 on one machine and 8.1 on another.
 

supersunbird

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Joined
Oct 1, 2005
Messages
50,987
Ok, so what happens is it starts up, you get the acrylic background, but not the username/ profile and password fields. I can boot into safe mode, but it does the exact same thing and sticks there. Safe mode with networking does the same thing. There is no way to get into the system at all. Have made a backup of the files by booting off an ubuntu live USB stick and copying onto an external drive so will reinstall tomorrow. Now happier than ever that I am still on 7 on one machine and 8.1 on another.
I work with and fix Win7 and Win10 laptops daily (8.1s luckily moved to 10), Win10 is actually now better to get back in working order, since I can install Win10 1903 and just have to do a handful of updates.

Download MediaCreationTool1903 on https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/software-download/windows10 and create Win10 install USB stick and reinstall.
 

friedpiggy

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Aug 6, 2005
Messages
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Yep. I have sadly resigned myself to the fact that a reinstall is going to need to be done, was just hoping for that 0.0000001% chance that someone on here had experienced a similar issue and managed to get it working again. Oh well, its the way the cookie crumbles I suppose.
 

Peon

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Sep 28, 2006
Messages
2,796
At the acryllic screen, clicking on the power button. Does that open?
 

friedpiggy

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Aug 6, 2005
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At the acryllic screen, clicking on the power button. Does that open?
yep. could restart into recovery area that way, but safe mode and booting normally did the same thing. could basically get to command prompt and that was about it.

Gave up and did a clean re-install. Thank you to everyone who tried helping.
 

Peon

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Sep 28, 2006
Messages
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yep. could restart into recovery area that way, but safe mode and booting normally did the same thing. could basically get to command prompt and that was about it.

Gave up and did a clean re-install. Thank you to everyone who tried helping.
Eish!

Next time you could try DISM to repair the image.

But glad you got sorted.
 

friedpiggy

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DISM did not work either sadly. I spent 4 days trying to fix it using everything I know and watching a LOT of YT videos and reading far more about Win 10 repair than I ever wanted to know. I think it was one of those rare instances where it just completely borked itself and a clean install was the only option.
 
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