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Windows 10 Server Freezes on Startup to Desktop - Need Help!

My server is in a pretty unhappy condition at the moment and I need some help to fix it. It will turn on and I can login to Windows and get to the desktop, however, everything seems to freeze up from there.

 

The taskbar and desktop don't load properly and I can't even open the start menu.

 

I usually leave it running all of the time as a Plex server and only access it via Teamviewer and Pulseway as it is not usually connected to a monitor.

 

A short while ago, the server lost internet access whilst I was watching something on Plex. I checked on it using Pulseway and Teamviewer but couldn't get a connection. I verified that the internet was working fine, and forced the server off using the power button. Then, since turning on again, it takes minutes to get to the desktop, but then nothing happens. Everything freezes and I am unable to open anything.

 

Any ideas without doing a full Windows reset?

 

Server / HTPC Details:

CPU - AMD Ryzen 5 1500X

MOBO - ASRock AB350 Gaming-ITX/ac Mini ITX

RAM - Corsair Vengeance LPX 8GB DDR4-2666

GPU - EVGA GeForce GTX780

PSU - SeaSonic G550

OS - Windows 10 Home (OEM)

BOOT DRIVE - ADATA SX6000 M.2 SSD

MEDIA DRIVE - Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM

MEDIA DRIVE - Seagate Ironwolf 10TB NAS HDD

 

"Those who are last are sideways and smiling". - Jeremy Clarkson

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start it in safe mode and see if that does anything.

unplug the media drives

try with a different gpu , I wouldnt really trust that old 780 to be stable and it really doesn't HAVE to be stable anymore

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52 minutes ago, emosun said:

start it in safe mode and see if that does anything.

unplug the media drives

try with a different gpu , I wouldnt really trust that old 780 to be stable and it really doesn't HAVE to be stable anymore

So, I've tried safe mode to no avail. Now, the odd thing is, I've disconnected my media drives and now when booting I just get;

"Reboot and Select proper Boot device or Insert Boot Media in selected Boot device and press a key_"

 

The boot drive is recognized so I'm not sure what's going on here...

 

I have a few spare GPU's that I can try. Unfortunately due to the CPU that I've got, it needs a GPU for video output.

"Those who are last are sideways and smiling". - Jeremy Clarkson

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47 minutes ago, NPSTR107 said:

The boot drive is recognized so I'm not sure what's going on here...

are you 100% sure windows wasn't using the media drives for something other than storage? As in windows was never installed on those drives?

it might want some form of several failed boots to get around maybe the uefi noticing that the hardware configuration changed?

Yeah as for the gpu's I'm taking a guess that maybe the 780 isn;t 100% stable when the driver for it is loaded and it locks up the system on the desktop. So maybe a different gpu even running with no driver will stabilize it.

 

51 minutes ago, NPSTR107 said:

So, I've tried safe mode to no avail.

did it make it into windows and just freeze?

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4 hours ago, NPSTR107 said:

So, I've tried safe mode to no avail. Now, the odd thing is, I've disconnected my media drives and now when booting I just get;

"Reboot and Select proper Boot device or Insert Boot Media in selected Boot device and press a key_"

 

The boot drive is recognized so I'm not sure what's going on here...

 

I have a few spare GPU's that I can try. Unfortunately due to the CPU that I've got, it needs a GPU for video output.

If you are sure that is the windows drive that is the only one connected, the boot information is probably on a different drive (which might be failing).

Try the steps here with only the windows drive connected. 

https://www.itechguides.com/windows-server-2016-repair-boot/

If that gets it starting with only that drive, you can try and repair the install 

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4 hours ago, emosun said:

are you 100% sure windows wasn't using the media drives for something other than storage? As in windows was never installed on those drives?

 

I've thrown my 1st media drive in another PC to see what is on it. It is just storage + WindowsApps & Program Files.

 

image.png.594e9268406623f87d3cd74e46df61c2.png

 

4 hours ago, emosun said:

So maybe a different gpu even running with no driver will stabilize it.

 

I have just transplanted my daily 1080ti into the system, though still the same.

 

4 hours ago, emosun said:

did it make it into windows and just freeze?

 

Pretty much. When turning on the system, I'll get to the login page as per usual. Once I type in the password and hit enter, it'll take a good 10 minutes or so to get to the desktop. Then on the desktop, nothing works. No start menu, no pinned taskbar icons, taskbar unresponsive. Desktop icons are present but inoperable.

I can use a shortcut for task manager, and then after 5-10 minutes it'll pop up. And even in safe mode it's just the same.

 

 

"Those who are last are sideways and smiling". - Jeremy Clarkson

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1 hour ago, m9x3mos said:

If you are sure that is the windows drive that is the only one connected, the boot information is probably on a different drive (which might be failing).

Try the steps here with only the windows drive connected. 

https://www.itechguides.com/windows-server-2016-repair-boot/

If that gets it starting with only that drive, you can try and repair the install 

I'll give this a crack tomorrow.

"Those who are last are sideways and smiling". - Jeremy Clarkson

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5 hours ago, NPSTR107 said:

It is just storage + WindowsApps & Program Files

ok so your computer will obviously need the program files and especially the users folder if you want the OS to actually function.

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14 hours ago, m9x3mos said:

Try the steps here with only the windows drive connected. 

https://www.itechguides.com/windows-server-2016-repair-boot/

If that gets it starting with only that drive, you can try and repair the install 

I've just tried this however hit a roadblock.

 

If I just have the C drive (SSD) connected I get:

Total identified Windows installations: 1

But then can't continue;

 

image.thumb.png.68c93fc31fbd6ddf729cb8a1e80f084b.png

 

And, if I try it with both C & D drives connected and run "bootrec /rebuildbcd" I get:

Total identified Windows installations: 0

"Those who are last are sideways and smiling". - Jeremy Clarkson

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6 hours ago, NPSTR107 said:

Since automatic startup repair was also failing, I tried the steps listed on this website. https://www.thewindowsclub.com/automatic-repair-couldnt-repair-pc

Still no luck as seen below.

 

image.thumb.png.9a2508a35745939a7b201de70ee32527.png

It looks like from this screen shot that c drive got write protected somehow. 

Can you try the steps from this? 

https://www.pcworld.com/article/245174/restore_access_to_a_write_protected_hard_drive.html

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13 hours ago, m9x3mos said:

It looks like from this screen shot that c drive got write protected somehow. 

Can you try the steps from this? 

https://www.pcworld.com/article/245174/restore_access_to_a_write_protected_hard_drive.html

I've cleared any readonly attributes, though, using chkdsk still shows write protected. From an article that I read online, if it shows that it is write protected it is either that the attributes are set as readonly or that the partition file system is corrupted. So I guess mine is looking like the latter 😕.

 

I haven't the faintest idea why any of this would have happened...

 

image.thumb.png.ef9aaf85ffa51b2bed473944bf33639c.png

"Those who are last are sideways and smiling". - Jeremy Clarkson

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  • 2 weeks later...

Still haven't been able to resolve this issue.

 

I threw the main boot M.2 SSD into another PC so I could run CrystalDiskInfo. Below are the results. Not sure why it is so bad?

 

 

image.png.d1551f0dc661fbb6d601742c040990d4.png

"Those who are last are sideways and smiling". - Jeremy Clarkson

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