Question

Win 10 PC won't boot up

Mar 19, 2020 4:18PM PDT

I've been trying for about a week to boot up my desktop PC. It's a Windows 10 Home edition 64-bit. Fortunately, I have a laptop with the same configuration. I changed my BIOS to boot from my USB stick, and tried to copy my laptop's system using AOMEI Backupper, then plugged the USB drive into the desktop and turned it on. I got AOMEI up and it asked me to find the .adi or .afi file AOMEI created on the USB drive. There's no way to search that drive's directories in AOMEI Backupper, so I put the USB drive back into my laptop and searched the drive for a .adi or .afi file. Neither was on the drive.

I've also tried to use Microsoft's method to back up my laptop's Win 10 system and copy it to my desktop. Every third time I try to boot up the desktop, a set of help screens appears. But in them, when I say to use the USB drive to start Windows, it tries to reboot, but unsuccessfully.

Is there an application designed to restart Win 10? Most of the apps I've seen are basically designed to create a backup of a functioning Windows computer, not to boot up a dead one. Is it just not possible to repair an unbootable PC?

Post was last edited on March 19, 2020 4:21 PM PDT

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Can you share where you got this procedure from?
Mar 19, 2020 6:54PM PDT

For decades you could only clone one Windows install to another PC if the models were IDENTICAL which a laptop and desktop would never be.

But there is some good news here. Microsoft has a tool at https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/15088/windows-10-create-installation-media to download a small tool to create your choice of USB or DVD Windows 10 install media if you ever need to start over. Since W10's license is digital you no longer have to locate your product keys.

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If you have install media ... or can download ...
Mar 20, 2020 7:56PM PDT

MS now offer a "media creation tool" that allows you to download the installation media as an ISO file, which you can then burn to a DVD or copy onto a USB stick. Either way, you can boot from this medium and try to repair the Windows installation on your computer. Often it is just the boot configuration that needs fixing and then the rest will work.

If that fails for some reason you can also use the DVD or stick to reinstall in a number of ways (fresh install, install over or alongside the existing - broken - install.) Before you go there you need a current backup. Since you can't get at that disk in the computer where it is at the moment your best bet may be to remove it and use a USB attachment to connect it to your laptop temporarily, so that you can back up your data files. You will need administrator privileges to access the data in your user ID's folders, since they are under special protection by Windows, when you are not logged into that user ID on that computer.

After the "repair installation" you may find yourself in a new instance of your user ID. Windows does that from time to time when it isn't satisfied with some of the system files in the original one. But then you should be able to copy your data files across (possibly needing administrator access again.)
This is just a high level description. See if you can work your way through that or tell us if you need more detail. (I am so busy in my home office now that at this moment I can't write up all these steps in full detailed glory.)

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Answer
Check in BIOS/UEFI
Mar 21, 2020 11:51AM PDT

First, remove the computer's power cord. Then press and hold the power on/off button for about 10 seconds. Then remove the side panel, and carefully remove the CMOS battery (round shiny thing bigger than a dime yet smaller than a quarter). Wait a few seconds then replace the battery. Press the power on button and see if it goes.
Can you get to the BIOS or UEFI setup screen when you first press the power button? Usually it can be reached by tapping on either the F1, F2, or DEL key repeatedly. If you can access it then look for an option Load Default Settings. Usually, there's also an option for Load Optimal Settings. You can try each and see if that gets you up and running.

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