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  1. #1
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    Windows 10 recovery disk, bizarre undocumented behavior

    I'm trying to resurrect a Windows 10 system using a recovery disk that I created using the Windows Media Creation Tool. The results have been bizarre, and so far, unhelpful. The system's behavior has been radically different at every step from what Microsoft's instructions led me to expect. I hope someone can help me make sense of what's happening.

    The computer was originally a Windows 7 Professional system which I upgraded using Microsoft's free upgrade option. It is now in a state where it starts to boot but hangs before it finishes.

    The first time I tried this, I powered up the system and inserted the recovery disk before the system had a chance to boot. I intended it to boot from the DVD, and it apparently did, but nothing appeared on the monitor.

    I had to move the monitor over from my regular computer before I began (along with the keyboard and mouse), so I assumed I had somehow misconnected it, or it had gotten confused and switched itself to the wrong type of interface. When I exhausted those possibilities, I suspected that static had blown up the video card when I moved the cables.

    On a wild theory, I removed the DVD, powered the machine down and back up again, and let it try to boot normally. The display worked perfectly.

    I then inserted the DVD, intending to power down and back up. Before I could do that, though, the system displayed the Windows 10 logo, indicating that it had gotten past the point where it crashed on its own. I realized that it must be using the recovery DVD in some unexpected way, and let it continue.

    It finished booting (very slowly) and let me log in with my usual credentials. Now it's displaying a normal Windows 10 desktop with a File Explorer window, a "New Tab - Chromium" browser window, and something called "ByteFrence Anti-Malware Free (Pro Trial Expired)," which must have been loaded from the DVD, since it's not part of my own setup.

    But there's no visible way to do the recovery. No character-based menu like I expected from my experience with Window 7 and earlier systems. No GUI menu like Microsoft's instructions show and describe. Nothing I can see in the Start Menu, which looks like an ordinary Windows 10 start menu.

    I guess I can use the system, but I don't look forward to booting from the recovery disk every time I use it, and it isn't offering me any other options.

    Booting directly from the DVD does not seem to be an option. I tried that several times before stumbling on the procedure I found for using the DVD without losing the display. I have no reason to hope that if I try booting directly from the DVD one more time, it will work.

    What's happening here, and what am I supposed to do next?

  2. #2
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    Problems booting from the DVD might be caused by fast startup being enabled. To check, right click start > control panel > power options > choose what the power buttons do > change settings that are currently unavailable and uncheck turn on fast startup. Save changes.

  3. #3
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    Hi Have you thought about trying a repair install repair. Here' a great tutorial on how to do a repair install and only lose windows up dates.
    http://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/16397-repair-install-windows-10-place-upgrade.html

    yYou could also do a repair install of Windows 10 by performing an in-place upgrade without losing anything other than all installed
    Windows Updates.

    This tutorial will show you how to do a repair install of Windows 10 by performing an in-place upgrade without losing anything.

    You must be signed in as an administrator to be able to do a repair install of Windows 10.

  4. #4
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    Thank you for the advice. I tried running the repair install, but it refused to complete, saying that "Setup has failed to validate the product key."

    I'm not sure what the logic of this is. The upgrade procedure had no problem with product key when I first installed it. Apparently it's OK to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10, but not to repair the Windows 10 system once it's installed.

    Microsoft's advice for this situation is to re-install Windows 7, install all the updates, then re-install Windows 10. I may find time to do that someday, but not now.

    Any suggestions for moving forward without going back to where I was when Windows 7 came out?

  5. #5
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    Hi jsachs! It's my understanding the install repair was to repair W10 once it was installed and problems were encountered. I really don't understand"Setup has failed to validate the product key" I've never been asked for a product key! I really don't have a good suggestion. I guess following MS advice would be the next step.
    I made a media creation tool with flash drive and that's what I use when I up grade seniors PC's to W10.
    I insert the flash and click on setup. In a couple of hours+,W10 is installed. If you made a DVD of the Tool, it should work the same way as the flash.
    here's screen shot. Hope this helps!
    Capture48.JPG

  6. #6
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    Is the Windows 10 version an Insider Preview or one of the official releases?

    You could try re-creating the MCT and doing an in-place upgrade. You should be able to use your Windows 7 product key.

    Joe

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    Joe, the Windows 10 is the version installed with the free upgrade option, done in January. I think that makes it an official release.

    Consider the options on the first page that Media Creation Tool displays after I accept the license: "Upgrade this PC now" or "Create installation media for another PC. It implies that this program is meant only to install Windows 10, not to repair Windows 10. The rest of the program's UI points the same way.

    Yet holdum is correct that Microsoft's on-line content refers users to this program for repairing a damaged Windows 10 system. That suggests that there is no tool to repair a damaged Windows 10 system, and Microsoft recommends M.C.T. for that purpose because it's the best excuse for a recovery tool they can offer.

    You're probably correct that Microsoft's recommendation to reinstall Windows 7, then re-upgrade, will work. For a one-time recovery, after I foolishly neglected to create a recovery disk as soon as the install was done, it's acceptable. But as a planned recovery strategy, it's a non-starter. No way I'm going to run Windows 10 on a working computer if I'll have to do that any time I need to repair the OS.

    (After Microsoft's free upgrade period ends, will that approach even work? I'd guess not.)

    So, right now the question is not: can I recover my system by re-installing Windows 7, then upgrading to Windows 10? The question is: after I do that, can I plan to use a more efficient and reliable means of recovery next time? If the answer is no, there's no point.
    Last edited by jsachs177; 2016-03-21 at 22:50.

  8. #8
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    A more efficient and reliable means of recovery is a disk image.

  9. The Following User Says Thank You to mledman For This Useful Post:

    holdum333 (2016-03-21)

  10. #9
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    Hi jsachs! I think I understand what you're asking. A in place up grade my not work in the future. I admit I don't know what MS has in mind for W10 in the future. I haven't needed to try a in place up grade because I'm not having any problems. If I were having problems, I would use my Macrium Reflect to restore my W10 back like it was when every thing was working like I wanted it to. That's what I'm trying to say in my signature.
    A back up image of your OS is the best friend you will ever have.
    I guess my answer to you is "Yes, you can use a efficient and very reliable means to recover W10!"
    "It's called Macrium Reflect"
    If my PC was in big trouble and I wanted to restore my OS back quickly, I would use a Macrium Reflect image that I knew was good, and I would be back up and running in 30 minutes, and it would be exactly like the day I created the image. I have done it several times!
    Thanks for your post my friend.
    PS You just made my Day!
    Last edited by holdum333; 2016-03-21 at 23:19. Reason: Made my day!

  11. #10
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    As usual Microsoft has difficulty with words. The MCT can be used on the PC on which it is created to do an in-place upgrade.

    As mentioned by others the best way to recover is to have a recent image based backup of your system. There are multiple free tools available to do this. Most people in the Lounge recommend one of several third party tools as they are more flexible than the built-in Windows tool. Check out the Maintenance forum and ask a question there if you need more information than you can find.

    Joe

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    Hi Joe. I have used my MCT flash on several PC's here in my village. I haven't tried to do a in-place upgrade, but
    Shawn Brink makes no mention that the tool has to be used on the PC it is created for. You may be right about the in-place upgrade, but my MCT flash has worked on at least 6 different PC's to do the upgrade. They all up graded in two + hours with no problems!

  13. #12
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    A third-party tool is a reasonable solution. It's disappointing that Windows has lost the ability to make its own recovery disk, though, and it doesn't increase my confidence that Windows 10 will be an improvement over Windows 7.

    The good news is that my Windows 10 implementation is working again without help from the M.C.T. disk. The bad news is that I can't tell what fixed it. This too is not reassuring.

  14. #13
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    To create a recovery drive in windows 10 - open settings, type recovery in the search box, click on "create a recovery drive".

    Joe

  15. #14
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    Hi jsachs! Windows gives you the option to create a recovery drive. I recommend you make one! My understanding is the recovery drive is the same thing as a recovery disk.
    Happy to hear that W10 is working again! Give this a look!
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/w...recovery-drive
    Looks like we posted the same thing Joe. You beat me by 4 minutes!
    Last edited by holdum333; 2016-03-23 at 13:04.

  16. #15
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    Whatever recovery drive you create, windows 10 or third party, test it to make sure you can actually boot from it.

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