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gal-m

Boot loop & Windows for FREE!?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hello everyone,

 

I guess I need a bit of help/advice with Windows, as I am a bit stuck..

 

Specs: 

Intel Core i7-3930k @4.4GHz (cooled by the original Corsair Hydro Series H100 - temperatures are completely fine, pump works fine, even after all these years)

Corsair Vengeance 16GB (4X4) @2133MHz

Asus Rampage IV Forumula

PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX580 8GB (used, recently upgraded from the Asus GTX 680 DirectCU II)

OCZ Fatal1ty 1000W

Crucial MX100 256GB (upgraded from the OCZ Vertex 4, which died) (18431 hours)

Samsung 850 EVO 500GB (X2) (15636 hours)

WD Caviar Black 2TB (26810 hours)

 

Problem: Let me preface this by saying that I am updated to the newest BIOS and that all settings before attempting to update are stock (no CPU OC, no memory OC, no nothing).

Basically my computer gets stuck in an endless boot loop after trying to update to Windows 10, version 1903. I mean the kind of boot loop that makes it IMPOSSIBLE to get into any kind of safe mode or anything else. It just randomly keeps restarting and physically shutting off and turning on by itself (it does this for hours if I let it and continues like this in no particular intervals). Even if I PHYSICALLY UNPLUG the power cord from the machine and let it sit unplugged for some time, it literally physically (like pressing the power on button) turns on and continues with the boot loop, as soon as I flip the switch on my PSU to ON. The only thing that managed to save me (for some reason) was switching BIOS chips (the Asus Rampage IV Formula has two physical BIOS chips and an actual physical button to switch between them - one is updated, which I use daily and the other one I've always kept stock, so oldest possible version).

I have absolutely no idea why switching my BIOS was able to get me into Windows (didn't update, btw), but it did... after that I am able to shut my computer down, switch the BIOS back to the updated one (which I run daily, of course) and the computer works fine.

Basically I gave up trying to update this PC and I turned off any auto updates, any update prompts in the registry, etc., so I'm just running my PC without updating it, which is not ok..

 

If anyone could give me their input, spare some of their time to try and help, or offer me some advice, I would appreciate it greatly and I for that I would like to sincerely thank those people in advance.

 

So I basically gave up with updating my pretty much 9 year old PC (built it myself, 1st and only owner, of course), because I am looking to upgrade in the next year or two.

What I wouldn't like to do at this moment is buy another Widows licence key, but I've been hearing and seeing people running non-activated versions of Windows just fine and from what I understand I just have to download the official Windows installer to an USB stick, install it without being connected to the internet and then just.. not activate it..? Is this true? Can I use Windows normally even if I don't activate it or will there be a problem? I was thinking just of wiping all of my drives to eliminate potential (software related, I guess...?) issues that might have been causing the boot loop in the first place.

 

So, the question: can I use Windows normally without activating it & what would be the best way to go about doing that? Does anyone else have a better solution for me?

 

I would like to thank you all in advance for reading and taking your time to think this through - deeply appreciate any help!

 

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There isn't any issue using free windows, you'll just have a watermark.

 

What I would recommend is unplugging your drives, and making a windows installer USB, then boot into your bios, plug in your drives, and format them (completely wiping your PC), then use the installer USB to do a completely fresh install of windows, and just activate it with your current key.


Gaming Build:

CPU: Ryzen 7 3800x   |  GPU: Asus ROG STRIX 2080 SUPER Advanced (2115Mhz Core | 9251Mhz Memory) |  Motherboard: Asus X570 TUF GAMING-PLUS  |  RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws DDR4 3600MHz 16GB  |  PSU: Corsair RM850x  |  Storage: 1TB ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro, 250GB Samsung 840 Evo, 500GB Samsung 840 Evo  |  Cooler: CM ML240R  |  Case: Lian Li PC-O11

 

Peripherals:

Monitor: LG 34GK950F  |  Sound: Sennheiser HD 598  |  Mic: Blue Yeti  |  Keyboard: Corsair K95 RGB Platinum  |  Mouse: Logitech G502

 

Laptop:

Asus ROG Zephryus G15

Ryzen 7 4800HS, GTX1660Ti, 16GB DDR4 3200Mhz, 512GB nVME, 144hz

 

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 minute ago, Statik said:

What I would recommend is unplugging your drives, and making a windows installer USB, then boot into your bios, plug in your drives, and format them (completely wiping your PC), then use the installer USB to do a completely fresh install of windows, and just activate it with your current key.

Thank you for the reply @Statik - appreciate the help.

 

Yeah, I was thinking about doing pretty much the same thing!

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Posted · Original PosterOP
Just now, tank234 said:

this is the watermark that will show up in the bottom left of your screen

Well, that's awesome! Thanks for the screenshot @tank234!

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You can absolutely use windows 10 forever without activating it, but the downsides are : the annoying "activate windows" message and some settings related to windows theme and other settings in the personalization tab, and you can download windows 10 from Microsoft website for free

 

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You can use it fine without activating. As others have said, you'll have a watermark in the bottom right of the screen.

 

Rationalisation options are restricted when unactivated, so you can't change the background or colour scheme for example. You still get security and feature updates as normal. 

 

In order to install Windows without activating, you'll need to skip the step that asks for you to connect to the internet when installing/setting up. You can actually use the Windows 10 Pro generic key to activate W10 Pro features without activating. 

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8 minutes ago, Statik said:

There isn't any issue using free windows, you'll just have a watermark.

5 minutes ago, tank234 said:

this is the watermark that will show up in the bottom left of your screen image.png.086a5e2597eb341355e1b375982e3e63.png

 

You can use Windows OS without activating it although you will see a watermark reminding you to activate Windows in the bottom right corner of your screen and certain personalization settings will be disabled such as the ability to change your desktop background.


Hope this information post was helpful  ?,

        @Boomwebsearch 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
2 minutes ago, Oshino Shinobu said:

You can use it fine without activating. As others have said, you'll have a watermark in the bottom right of the screen.

 

Rationalisation options are restricted when unactivated, so you can't change the background or colour scheme for example. You still get security and feature updates as normal. 

 

In order to install Windows without activating, you'll need to skip the step that asks for you to connect to the internet when installing/setting up. You can actually use the Windows 10 Pro generic key to activate W10 Pro features without activating. 

Thanks for the info @Oshino Shinobu - appreciate it!

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Windows 10 have always been broken,i curse it every time someone brings me a machine with it to fix.

I am happily not using Windows 10 problem free.


A PC Enthusiast since 2011
AMD Ryzen 5 2600@4GHz | GIGABYTE GTX 1660 GAMING OC @ Core 2040MHz Memory 5000MHz
Cinebench R15: 1382cb | Unigine Superposition 1080p Extreme: 3439
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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 minute ago, Vishera said:

I am happily not using Windows 10 problem free.

Hahaha, I feel you!

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Have you tried forcing win10 into recovery mode via power cycling?

As soon as you see the windows logo turn the system off. You may need to do this up to 4 time but it should auto kick you into the recovery mode

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Yeah, you can use Window 10 for free, it just gets more annoying over time (every x hours a pop-up comes up to activate windows)

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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 minute ago, narrdarr said:

Have you tried forcing win10 into recovery mode via power cycling?

The thing it it doesn't even make it to the windows logo... it just cycles between the megatrends, Asus ROG logo, the boot screen, where it says Asmedia sata controller (not sure what that type of screen is called exactly) and black screen.. I should mention that the order of the "boot screens" and time intervals are not predicable/constantly the same.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
11 minutes ago, Anthony813 said:

every x hours a pop-up comes up to activate windows

Does it e.g. kick you to the desktop, when you're playing games/doing work in applications (full screen)? 

 

Thanks for the help! 

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8 minutes ago, narrdarr said:

Have you tried forcing win10 into recovery mode via power cycling?

As soon as you see the windows logo turn the system off. You may need to do this up to 4 time but it should auto kick you into the recovery mode

I forgot that F8 does not work anymore,You can use the installer to enter recovery mode if i remember correctly.

It's also possible that your motherboard isn't compatible with Windows 10 because at the time it was designed Windows 10 was not a thing.


A PC Enthusiast since 2011
AMD Ryzen 5 2600@4GHz | GIGABYTE GTX 1660 GAMING OC @ Core 2040MHz Memory 5000MHz
Cinebench R15: 1382cb | Unigine Superposition 1080p Extreme: 3439
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4 minutes ago, gal-m said:

The thing it it doesn't even make it to the windows logo... it just cycles between the megatrends, Asus ROG logo, the boot screen, where it says Asmedia sata controller (not sure what that type of screen is called exactly) and black screen.. I should mention that the order of the "boot screens" and time intervals are not predicable/constantly the same.

It the Post screen. 

Have tried clearing cmos.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
2 minutes ago, Vishera said:

It's also possible that your motherboard isn't compatible with Windows 10 because at the time it was designed Windows 10 was not a thing.

I believe it should be compatible + I've been using it with Windows 10 for quite a long time.. it's only when I try to go to 1903 that it does this..

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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 minute ago, narrdarr said:

Have tried clearing cmos.

I have, yes! Believe me, I've tried every button on my motherboard hahaha!

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Just now, gal-m said:

I believe it should be compatible + I've been using it with Windows 10 for quite a long time.. it's only when I try to go to 1903 that it does this..

The update is probably broken,try using the recovery mode from the Windows installation disk/USB


A PC Enthusiast since 2011
AMD Ryzen 5 2600@4GHz | GIGABYTE GTX 1660 GAMING OC @ Core 2040MHz Memory 5000MHz
Cinebench R15: 1382cb | Unigine Superposition 1080p Extreme: 3439
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Posted · Original PosterOP
Just now, Vishera said:

The update is probably broken,try using the recovery mode from the Windows installation disk/USB

Yeah, I was thinking the issue lies within the same place. 

I'll give it a shot, but I am reaaalllly considering just wiping everything and doing a fresh install..

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2 hours ago, gal-m said:

Does it e.g. kick you to the desktop, when you're playing games/doing work in applications (full screen)? 

 

Thanks for the help! 

Here, check this out: 

That's where I got the info from.

I believe it will not allow you to do anything else until you dismiss the pop-up, not sure if it actually kicks you to the desktop.

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Hey guys. I saw a car today - was open (I check that) and keys was inside. Is that means it's free car and I can get it and drive without buying it?

 

Windows is not free. You can literally read that on many Microsoft pages. Only people who can't read may think that is free. Download for free doesn't mean using for free.

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