Advice for PC that has crashed and won't restart.

26
Posted 2nd Nov
Hi peeps, My technical knowledge is lacking and any advice would be appreciated-
My boys were playing Mortal Kombat on PC and had said it was crashing on 2 player (never on single player strangely). The gfx card was upgraded last year to a rx570 which I suspected may have been struggling but the MK benchmark suggested no issues. The PSU was also upgraded last year although everything else is very old bar an SSD which the OS (win 10) is on (poss 3 years old).
When restarting the computer it keeps crashing prior to windows. I either get to system repair through the boot menu or the blue screen of death.
Every option in system repair doesn't work and I have no disk image as I couldn't figure out where to find this option although it obviously still exists under system repair.
System repair tries to repair the hard drive (so I assume the SSD is at fault), but repair keeps failing and all changes are undone.
I really need to keep the files on the PC and gave not done a wipe.

My question is can I just install a new SSD, install a fresh version of Windows and connect the old drives to retrieve the files. I'm too strapped for cash to splurge on a new system and the files and photos are very important.

I know what I should have done in retrospect but any advice on how to resolve my problem would be appreciated.
Community Updates
Ask

Groups

26 Comments
When you upgrades the pc with an SSD how did you copy the original Windows install across form the old mechanical hard drive?

Yes, you are right you could just buy another SSD and plug it in, install Window on the new one and drag files across.
Have you tried one stick of ram at a time? Could be ram related? Im no expert but just something I'd try.

Your SSD is hopefully fine and it's likely you can move the files across. I always tell friends when their laptops or computers break it rarely means data is lost, just the machine has given up but we can plug the hard drive in elsewhere and get that stuff back.
MIDURIX02/11/2019 00:37

When you upgrades the pc with an SSD how did you copy the original Windows …When you upgrades the pc with an SSD how did you copy the original Windows install across form the old mechanical hard drive?Yes, you are right you could just buy another SSD and plug it in, install Window on the new one and drag files across.


It was a fresh install of 10 on the SSD using the win 7 key. Don't know if I have the windows key but hopefully I wrote it down somewhere. The mechanical drive is still attached (1TB) but I think only games are installed on it. The ssd was 128GB SanDisk and despite my best attempts to keep some space on it the kids sometimes maxed it out. My big kid recently installed Minecraft without my say so and I don't know which drive. I have bought a new 480GB Crucial SSD for £40 which I hope will get me back up and running. Just had the thought of disconnecting the big drive and doing system recovery? I don't know if it only repairs the OS or looks at all drives?
Can you create a bootable usb from another computer? Ubuntu bootable is a great way of testing if it is windows related or hardware as it doesnt use windows at all, so seeing what shows up on there is helpful, it can also let you see the boot drive record etc
Have you tried booting into safe mode?
I had a problem with a major update a few weeks ago on my laptop, nothing would get it going, I took the drive out and plugged it into my desktop and when I started it up, it detected a fault and fixed it.
Is there any way you can make a usb boot drive and put a version of linux on it to repair the drive, instructions here hirensbootcd.org/
As for the crashing, on my pc I put an oldish graphics card into it and found that the refresh rate was too high on the graphics card. When it was happening to me, it was set to 75hz, and I lowered it to 60hz and have had no problems since
rev602/11/2019 01:58

Have you tried booting into safe mode?


Yes, it failed. I tried the system repair also that kept files only but this also failed.
Phoenix777702/11/2019 01:27

Can you create a bootable usb from another computer? Ubuntu bootable is a …Can you create a bootable usb from another computer? Ubuntu bootable is a great way of testing if it is windows related or hardware as it doesnt use windows at all, so seeing what shows up on there is helpful, it can also let you see the boot drive record etc


I have not tried Linux before but I may try this as I still haven't found the problem. Thx.
Maggy123402/11/2019 03:00

I have not tried Linux before but I may try this as I still haven't found …I have not tried Linux before but I may try this as I still haven't found the problem. Thx.


I was quite surprised how "windows like" it is (the version in the link anyway), I now keep a usb drive with it on for these little emergencies
esar02/11/2019 02:44

I had a problem with a major update a few weeks ago on my laptop, nothing …I had a problem with a major update a few weeks ago on my laptop, nothing would get it going, I took the drive out and plugged it into my desktop and when I started it up, it detected a fault and fixed it.Is there any way you can make a usb boot drive and put a version of linux on it to repair the drive, instructions here https://www.hirensbootcd.org/As for the crashing, on my pc I put an oldish graphics card into it and found that the refresh rate was too high on the graphics card. When it was happening to me, it was set to 75hz, and I lowered it to 60hz and have had no problems since


I have had problems with every major Windows update with the system loosing the display. I don't have a monitor and output to TV only. Strangely when this happens I swap for my other TV (both Panasonic but different models) and it works fine. I recently installed new gfx card drivers from the AMD Radeon site as there by as not been an MSI update. This significantly increased FPS and I would have thought it was linked other than it crashing prior to this on MK when it was installed nearly a year ago. Very puzzled. I hope it is not ram as I only have 2 x4gb sticks of DDR3.
Check the RAM with Memtest86:

memtest86.com/

Leave it running overnight.
Worst case, buy a usb caddy take out your drives, install new ssd. Move pictures from old drives to new one. Then install the drives back and wipe. Then transfer pics back... you shouldn’t need to but you know your stuff is safe that way... also buy a spare drive for caddy and keep back up of pics separate...
Sorry - but from what you ask it raises more questions

BSOD what codes is it giving you (this will give more of an indication as to fault)?
Do you have an option of getting into safe mode or is this exhibiting the same fault?
You state bar an SSD, is there a HDD too? if so and corruption are you certain which is being attempted to load windows from?

To create the image to recover from you need, on another machine, to get the media creation tool and setup either a usb/iso image to load from another machine microsoft.com/en-…s10

Prior to buying a new SSD or any other approach I would, on another machine, attach your ssd and backup everything you can.

Something like this ebay.co.uk/itm…455 although just over £4 you could get an enclosure

If you can backup (besides the obvious bonus) then, with the media creation tool to give you means to boot and start from scratch, you can eliminate it being an assumption if the SSD is faulty or not first. If it is then a new SSD and teh same boot media wil allow you to rebuild.

Edit: Did write that last night before you answered a few more bits - went to moderation and approved this morning
Edited by moderator: "." 2nd Nov
Bargainhead02/11/2019 05:41

Worst case, buy a usb caddy take out your drives, install new ssd. Move …Worst case, buy a usb caddy take out your drives, install new ssd. Move pictures from old drives to new one. Then install the drives back and wipe. Then transfer pics back... you shouldn’t need to but you know your stuff is safe that way... also buy a spare drive for caddy and keep back up of pics separate...


Or you could just leave the drive plugged into another sata port on the motherboard and just sell the SSD when finished. Keeping spare drives for photos is a bit of a dated idea, just use Google drive/photos etc.
Maggy123402/11/2019 03:00

I have not tried Linux before but I may try this as I still haven't found …I have not tried Linux before but I may try this as I still haven't found the problem. Thx.


There are many Windows-based options rather than Linux, such as as a WinPE-based solution created on another functional Win10 machine. AOMEI's freebie PE Builder boot disk is a minimal 150MB download plus possibly another 350MB download if the machine it is being created with doesn't have a specific environment. Or there is the likes of "Gandalf’s Windows PE" but that is going to be a 3GB+ download.
TBH the simplest method is as suggested by Bertz99 a few posts above: just create an official MS Win10 boot disk on a functional machine then use it to install Windows fresh to the new drive, ideally with all other drives removed, then once the new Win10 is up and running re-introduce the drive that you wish to copy data from.
MIDURIX02/11/2019 08:52

Or you could just leave the drive plugged into another sata port on the …Or you could just leave the drive plugged into another sata port on the motherboard and just sell the SSD when finished. Keeping spare drives for photos is a bit of a dated idea, just use Google drive/photos etc.


I always prefer to keep a drive or 2 with photos and videos on separate. I don’t like the one drive, google drive to store stuff like that, plus don’t like the monthly cost as the free storage is never enough...
Bertz9902/11/2019 01:26

Sorry - but from what you ask it raises more questionsBSOD what codes is …Sorry - but from what you ask it raises more questionsBSOD what codes is it giving you (this will give more of an indication as to fault)?Do you have an option of getting into safe mode or is this exhibiting the same fault?You state bar an SSD, is there a HDD too? if so and corruption are you certain which is being attempted to load windows from?To create the image to recover from you need, on another machine, to get the media creation tool and setup either a usb/iso image to load from another machine https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/software-download/windows10Prior to buying a new SSD or any other approach I would, on another machine, attach your ssd and backup everything you can.Something like this https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/USB-2-0-to-Hard-disk-Cable-Reader-Adapter-for-2-5-HDD-SSD-SATA-Disk-Drive-PC/173354793455? although just over £4 you could get an enclosureIf you can backup (besides the obvious bonus) then, with the media creation tool to give you means to boot and start from scratch, you can eliminate it being an assumption if the SSD is faulty or not first. If it is then a new SSD and teh same boot media wil allow you to rebuild.Edit: Did write that last night before you answered a few more bits - went to moderation and approved this morning


I didn't see any codes throughout the process. Although I can get to a recovery menu no option has worked including booting into safe mode. System repair also gets a few % in, but then says there is an unexpected error and changes will be undone.

The large mechanical drive was (although very old) installed after Windows was installed. I'm pretty sure Windows wasn't installed on it as I have had various messages of insufficient storage space (due to the children previously installing games on it despite space on the mechanical drive).
I have most of my photos on the ssd (some backed up to free online storage which is maxed out).
I only have an old laptop and will read your link but I have already purchased a bigger SSD, I have an old boot disk on CD which I gave to a friend so I will install fresh windows on it. I can't remember ihowever f I need to take the other drives out or not as I don't want all the drives wiped but would hope that windows could identify a product code.

Anyway thanks for all the help everyone. I'll have a bit of fun on my hands for the next couple of days.
Maggy123402/11/2019 14:52

...I can't remember ihowever f I need to take the other drives out or not …...I can't remember ihowever f I need to take the other drives out or not as I don't want all the drives wiped but would hope that windows could identify a product code.


Play safe: remove all drives, then only have the new unused SSD connected when installing fresh Windows. Introduce other drives only after the fresh Windows installation has completed.
MS may recognise your machine and self-activate the installation, although non-activation is simply a niggle as everything will still function regardless of non-activation (including forced updates) but you won't be able to set the desktop image to that of your fave cute cat pic.
AndyRoyd02/11/2019 15:00

Play safe: remove all drives, then only have the new unused SSD connected …Play safe: remove all drives, then only have the new unused SSD connected when installing fresh Windows. Introduce other drives only after the fresh Windows installation has completed.MS may recognise your machine and self-activate the installation, although non-activation is simply a niggle as everything will still function regardless of non-activation (including forced updates) but you won't be able to set the desktop image to that of your fave cute cat pic.


Thanks Andy, much appreciated.
Maggy123402/11/2019 14:52

... I have an old boot disk on CD which I gave to a friend so I will …... I have an old boot disk on CD which I gave to a friend so I will install fresh windows on it.


MS supports USB flash drive as bootable media at its Win10 download page (about 5GB download). If you have an unused / empty 8GB or more USB stick kicking around it may be quicker to use that as the boot medium, then set your PC to boot from USB just for the installation.
Just an update. Been a confusing day and a half.
Got new SSD, pulled old drives. Installed Win10. Didn't Install property. (possibly my fault). Installed second time and start menu didn't work but fixed on reboot.
Ran memtest on each stick and then on both for hours with zero errors.
Installed both old drives and ran product key retrieval apps but none would give me product keys that worked (possibly as it was a win7 upgrade). Luckily have office key wrote down.
Checked all hard drives using the check drives feature in Windows but no issues but still won't boot. Found some useful stuff but can't find anything from old desktop screen. Also, can't access the 1TB of games as new Windows doesn't recognize it despite the drive being full.
Aargh. Could be worse of course.
Maggy123405/11/2019 00:12

Just an update. Been a confusing day and a half.Got new SSD, pulled old …Just an update. Been a confusing day and a half.Got new SSD, pulled old drives. Installed Win10. Didn't Install property. (possibly my fault). Installed second time and start menu didn't work but fixed on reboot.Ran memtest on each stick and then on both for hours with zero errors.Installed both old drives and ran product key retrieval apps but none would give me product keys that worked (possibly as it was a win7 upgrade). Luckily have office key wrote down.Checked all hard drives using the check drives feature in Windows but no issues but still won't boot. Found some useful stuff but can't find anything from old desktop screen. Also, can't access the 1TB of games as new Windows doesn't recognize it despite the drive being full.Aargh. Could be worse of course.


Something else is seriously wrong with your computer then. If you stick in a brand new SSD and manage to get a broken copy of Windows installed there is something very wrong.
The desktop is just another folder, window just knows which one to display, look on the drive for a folder called "user"
Then look around, it's in there somewhere
MIDURIX06/11/2019 07:08

Something else is seriously wrong with your computer then. If you stick in …Something else is seriously wrong with your computer then. If you stick in a brand new SSD and manage to get a broken copy of Windows installed there is something very wrong.


Yes, has me puzzled. When I get home I will try to access the user folder and if I can get the stuff off the desktop I will just use the PC for gaming. I was convinced given previous comments that it was RAM but it has tested OK. No point of throwing any more money at it though.
Maggy123405/11/2019 00:12

...Found some useful stuff but can't find anything from old desktop screen.


Within the previous OS boot drive: Users >> (username) >> Desktop
assuming you have permission to access it.
Post a comment
Avatar
@
    Text

    Discussions

    Top Merchants