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Reinstalling Windows, keeping data (boot loop)

Go to solution Solved by Master Disaster,

1) Yes, thats the recommended way of doing it.

2) I cannot answer that since I don't know what kind of backup you have.

3) No, its 100% unnecessary. As long as all the drives except the one you're installing to are physically disconnected until Windows is installed there's no need to do anything else to them.

 

28 minutes ago, TheGrandMaster said:

Just connect the drive that is in a loop to your other pc and take out your files and then reinstall windows to be completely safe or you can just plug in a bootable drive and try and fix it from there. For 2. yes you can fresh install from your other pc. For 3. Yes back it up and the sata connector is universal it doesnt matter what size of the drive is, it doesnt have to fit in the bay for it to work it can just hang there since you're just backing up. 

Why? Thats more work that unplugging 3 sata cables and doing the reinstall in situ. Also the connectors might be the same but the housing might be made to only fit a 2.5" drive.

Hello,

 

I did something stupid. I followed a guide to fix a disk drive error, modified the registry, and now my Windows 10 PC is in a boot loop. I get a blue screen with the error inaccessible boot device. I did make a backup of the registry, but I wasn't able to successfully restore it from the advanced options command line. I've decided it's probably best if I reinstall Windows at this point, but I wanted to check a few things so that I keep my photos and documents. Oh, and I was especially stupid because I don't have a backup of all the data. (I'm doing that the minute I get things working again, that's for sure.)

 

I'm running 4 drives in my computer. None of them are in RAID. My most important data isn't on the Windows SSD, so I'm planning on physically disconnecting all the drives except that Windows SSD. I do have some data on the SSD though. I also have a SATA-USB connector, so I'm planning on making a backup of the whole SSD on my laptop.


Three questions:

  1. If I disconnect the three other drives, re-install Windows on the SSD, then reconnect the other drives, they will show up correctly in Windows and I can access the data on them, right?
  2. If something goes wrong with the Windows re-install, I'd be able to do a completely fresh install on the SSD, then restore the data from a backup, right?
  3. Would it be highly recommended to also back up the data on the other three drives before attempting the reinstall? My SATA-USB connector only fits 2.5" drives though, so that would delay my process by quite a bit, and you can imagine I'm anxious to get things back to normal.

Can anyone see issues with this plan that I haven't seen, or know of a better solution? Once again, this was 100% my fault, and I've already learned several lessons about backing up data and editing the registry.

 

 

Thank you all in advance!!

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Just connect the drive that is in a loop to your other pc and take out your files and then reinstall windows to be completely safe or you can just plug in a bootable drive and try and fix it from there. For 2. yes you can fresh install from your other pc. For 3. Yes back it up and the sata connector is universal it doesnt matter what size of the drive is, it doesnt have to fit in the bay for it to work it can just hang there since you're just backing up. 

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Unplug all but your boot drive. Boot from a live Linux USB, mount your boot drive, copy files off of it to the cloud, USB drive, another hard drive, etc. Then wipe your boot drive completely and reinstall. Once that's done you should be able to just plug your other drives back in and mount them in Windows.

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1) Yes, thats the recommended way of doing it.

2) I cannot answer that since I don't know what kind of backup you have.

3) No, its 100% unnecessary. As long as all the drives except the one you're installing to are physically disconnected until Windows is installed there's no need to do anything else to them.

 

28 minutes ago, TheGrandMaster said:

Just connect the drive that is in a loop to your other pc and take out your files and then reinstall windows to be completely safe or you can just plug in a bootable drive and try and fix it from there. For 2. yes you can fresh install from your other pc. For 3. Yes back it up and the sata connector is universal it doesnt matter what size of the drive is, it doesnt have to fit in the bay for it to work it can just hang there since you're just backing up. 

Why? Thats more work that unplugging 3 sata cables and doing the reinstall in situ. Also the connectors might be the same but the housing might be made to only fit a 2.5" drive.

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Thanks everyone! I really appreciate the help!

 

@Master Disaster

Sounds good. I'm planning on just copying all the files on the drive to my laptop storage, so I don't see why I couldn't copy them back after reinstalling Windows. Thanks for the detailed answer!

I enjoy tech, gaming, and promoting the metric system.

I enjoy (Manjaro) Linux on my laptop, though my desktop runs Windows 10.
PC:

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Motherboard: Asus Z170 A
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1 minute ago, OJTheAviator said:

Thanks everyone! I really appreciate the help!

 

@Master Disaster

Sounds good. I'm planning on just copying all the files on the drive to my laptop storage, so I don't see why I couldn't copy them back after reinstalling Windows. Thanks for the detailed answer!

If its a simple copy paste then you're good.

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On 8/1/2020 at 12:22 PM, Master Disaster said:

1) Yes, thats the recommended way of doing it.

2) I cannot answer that since I don't know what kind of backup you have.

3) No, its 100% unnecessary. As long as all the drives except the one you're installing to are physically disconnected until Windows is installed there's no need to do anything else to them.

 

Why? Thats more work that unplugging 3 sata cables and doing the reinstall in situ. Also the connectors might be the same but the housing might be made to only fit a 2.5" drive.

2. I dont know what you're talking about i said bootable drive lol it doesnt matter what you put it on its a bootable drive

3. He was asking if it was highly recommended

For your question: Its unplugging a sata cable once and then plugging it in a different pc. It's just like downloading a document on a computer then putting it on a usb and plugging it into a printer, its not really that hard haha. Also the connectors are always the same SATA is universal but as you go down the generations it is merely slower. You would be able to put any drive size in the computer temporarily regardless if the second pc would only fit a 2.5 drive, this is because you can put it on the side of the pc as it is temporary not for long term use. You do not have to re-screw the drive to the bay every time you take it out, its like plugging a usb into a port. 

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6 hours ago, TheGrandMaster said:

2. I dont know what you're talking about i said bootable drive lol it doesnt matter what you put it on its a bootable drive

3. He was asking if it was highly recommended

For your question: Its unplugging a sata cable once and then plugging it in a different pc. It's just like downloading a document on a computer then putting it on a usb and plugging it into a printer, its not really that hard haha. Also the connectors are always the same SATA is universal but as you go down the generations it is merely slower. You would be able to put any drive size in the computer temporarily regardless if the second pc would only fit a 2.5 drive, this is because you can put it on the side of the pc as it is temporary not for long term use. You do not have to re-screw the drive to the bay every time you take it out, its like plugging a usb into a port. 

Well, having got everything going again, I'm glad I didn't make a backup of the other three drives then and there. I've got several terabytes of data across the three drives, and since I don't have multiple terabytes of storage on my laptop or currently available in the cloud, I'd have to use spare hard drives. That would take 2-3 days if I were to transfer data 24 hours straight, not accounting for switching drives. It would take longer in practice. Also, while the SATA connector is standard, my adapter is in the form of an external drive enclosure, so the rest of it physically cannot fit a 3.5" drive. I could've hacked off the rest of the enclosure, but I was very happy to be able to keep it as is. All that to say, while I would have backed the data up then if there was a good chance it would be lost, it was a relief to hear that wasn't likely.

Of course, I know data backups are very very handy, but it was nice to get it up and running so I can now do cloud backups from this machine when I get the chance. Plus, my one experience doesn't make a study. It's an anecdote. So, if anyone in the future reads this, I can't say whether you'll have the same luck and circumstance as myself.

Thanks again for the help and advice everyone!

I enjoy tech, gaming, and promoting the metric system.

I enjoy (Manjaro) Linux on my laptop, though my desktop runs Windows 10.
PC:

Spoiler

CPU: Intel i7 6700
GPU: Nvidia GTX 1070
Motherboard: Asus Z170 A
RAM: Corsair Vengence 8GB

 

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I don't understand why you complicate things like that. Use bootable Ubuntu and copy files from your C to any other drive you have. You don't need to use laptop or remove any of your drivers for that.

 

Second - if you modified registry and you know that is the reason of your bootloop, then you can find bootable registry editor and just revert changes you made. Or, if you have laptop, you can load hive from your pc to registry editor, made changes, unload hive and that's it (but it's probably more complicated than bootable registry editor).

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8 hours ago, homeap5 said:

I don't understand why you complicate things like that. Use bootable Ubuntu and copy files from your C to any other drive you have. You don't need to use laptop or remove any of your drivers for that.

 

Second - if you modified registry and you know that is the reason of your bootloop, then you can find bootable registry editor and just revert changes you made. Or, if you have laptop, you can load hive from your pc to registry editor, made changes, unload hive and that's it (but it's probably more complicated than bootable registry editor).

Good point about copying stuff from C to another drive. Would have saved some time. I did use the bootable registry editor, and attempted to use a backup I had made of the registry, but I got an error and wasn't able to fix it that way.

I enjoy tech, gaming, and promoting the metric system.

I enjoy (Manjaro) Linux on my laptop, though my desktop runs Windows 10.
PC:

Spoiler

CPU: Intel i7 6700
GPU: Nvidia GTX 1070
Motherboard: Asus Z170 A
RAM: Corsair Vengence 8GB

 

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