Unable to boot Windows 10 after CHKDSK

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rdkapp

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The subject drive was a Windows 10 SSD boot drive in a dual boot system (Win 10 and XP). XP is on a separate HDD. I've rarely used XP in the past couple of years, but I needed to restore some backups made with the XP backup program. Due to the time involved, I had to do the restore in 2 sessions. In the 1st session, everything went smoothly, but the 2nd session, in hindsight, was a huge fail. At the beginning of the dual boot into XP, it told me it needed to run CHKDSK on one of my drives (N: drive). I didn't know what drive that was until it was too late. It was the subject Windows 10 Boot Drive! So, CHKDSK ran and the files were scrolling so fast on the screen, I couldn't tell what it was doing. After booting into XP, I was able to restore the files I needed, but ever since, I have been unable to boot into Windows 10, and in fact, I can no longer boot into XP. The computer continuously loops on startup, no matter what I've tried. When I tried to boot into Safe Mode, I received the error that Winload.exe was either missing or corrupted. Since this happened, I've only been able boot with the Windows 10 recovery console or with a rescue boot disc that contains diagnostic programs.

The Windows recovery console (Startup Repair and command prompt bootrec /rebuildbcd) was unsuccessful. Then, I ran TestDisk (from the rescue boot disc) and I don't have the knowledge or experience using TestDisk to understand what it is telling me or what the next steps should be, and I have reached out on the TestDisk forum, but it is clear the mods don't respond very quickly. If anyone has experience with TestDisk, I can post the logfile upon request.

I don't know why CHKDSK found it necessary to scan the Windows 10 boot drive, but in doing so, it certainly messed something up. My inexperienced guess would be the Master Boot Record, but that is just a guess. Hopefully, someone here can help me.

Other items of note:
The Windows folder on the subject drive is missing or has been renamed. Some of the folders/files in the root directory of the subject drive that were modified around the time that CHKDSK ran are:
1. Windows (file - 0 KB)
2. Recovery (folder)
3. found.000 (folder)
4. Config.Msi (folder)
5. PerfLogs (folder)

There are also a couple of folders dated back to Jan 14, 2020 (may be the date of the last major update to Windows?) with the following names:
$WINDOWS.~BT (folder)
$Windows.~WS (folder)

Finally, in the Recovery partition, there is a Boot folder modified around the time that CHKDSK ran.

I don't think the drive is going bad, although it is an SSD. I just think CHKDSK just messed it up. If anyone can help me get this drive back to bootable status, I would greatly appreciate it.
 

managed

Allan
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The reason CHKDSK ran and messed things up is because the XP version of CHKDSK doesn't understand the Windows 10 version of the NTFS filesystem so it 'thinks' there are errors and attempts to 'fix' them.

I don't think TestDisk can help in this situation, it's more for repairing the partition table rather than files.

If you don't need XP any more the easiest fix would be a clean install of 10.
 

rdkapp

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Thanks for the reply managed!
The reason CHKDSK ran and messed things up is because the XP version of CHKDSK doesn't understand the Windows 10 version of the NTFS filesystem so it 'thinks' there are errors and attempts to 'fix' them.
I had a feeling it was something like that; however, why did it take so long for CHKDSK to do this? I've had this dual boot system for at least 4 years, and early on, I logged in to XP often (not so much lately). Also, the other night, CHKDSK didn't run on the 1st session, described in my initial paragraph in the original post. Strange behavior. I just wish I would've/could've stopped it.
I don't think TestDisk can help in this situation, it's more for repairing the partition table rather than files.
I know TestDisk also does MBR recovery, but I'm guessing you don't think that is the problem. Is that correct? Also, TestDisk has a companion program called PhotoRec that recovers files. Are you familiar with PhotoRec? Is that something I should try before going for your recommendation below? If not, why?
If you don't need XP any more the easiest fix would be a clean install of 10.
Yeah, I don't think I need XP any more, but that computer was soon to become my secondary computer and I was hoping to keep the dual boot as an option. I've been working on its replacement (the one I'm currently on). Hence, the reason for restoring an XP backup. I'll need to do some thinking on that option. Couldn't I do a clean install of Win 10 with XP as a dual boot option?
 

managed

Allan
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So to be clear there are still files you want to recover on the hard drive ?
What is this 'recovery disk' you have ?

I don't really know what triggered the CHKDSK that messed things up, I mentioned the standard answer but who knows, my guess is XP 'thought' it saw something wrong on the hard drive.

For now try the Windows Startup Repair again a couple of times, I've read it sometimes needs to run a few times before it can fix things.

TestDisk might recover a deleted partition and it does have an undelete option for files, we can try that later if the above doesn't work. PhotRec is also an option, it can only recover files though.

You mean a clean install of XP and of 10 ? Yes that's easy enough if you have the install media for both.
 

rdkapp

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Thanks again managed! Sorry for delay in responding, but some storms knocked out my power for most of the day today and I'm just now catching up.
So to be clear there are still files you want to recover on the hard drive ?
Interesting that you asked this, as the short answer is NOW "yes," however, I previously wasn't thinking this, as I had setup Windows 10 on that system to save my data to a separate storage drive (not the XP drive). So, my thinking was all my data was safe on the storage drive. But this is not 100% so, as I discovered after using a trial version of a data recovery program (MiniTool Power Data Recovery). It found quite a few files (MS Office files, pics, and audio files) that I definitely want to recover. I'm thinking TestDisk/PhotoRec or maybe Recuva will handle the recovery.

Anyway, this data recovery program has made it pretty clear to me that CHKDSK did one hell of a job messing up the drive. It found the main partition that is only partially intact, 6 Lost Partitions, and a Lost Files partition(?) (RAW). On top of that, the Windows folder on the drive is basically gone and it's difficult for me to see that any program will be able to put it back together in any sort of working order. I don't mind trying a few more options at your suggestion (note: I'm easily challenged :)), but I'm leaning towards a file recovery and then clean install.
What is this 'recovery disk' you have ?
It is the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows. It's an older version, designed for XP, but most of it still works in Win 10. It saved me several times back when XP was my primary OS. It has quite a few good diagnostic tools on it.
I don't really know what triggered the CHKDSK that messed things up, I mentioned the standard answer but who knows, my guess is XP 'thought' it saw something wrong on the hard drive.
I think you are correct. CHKDSK made many of the files on that drive into RAW files. At least that is what the data recovery program is showing them as. It found over 22,000 RAW files, including all the MS Office files, pics, and audio files.
For now try the Windows Startup Repair again a couple of times, I've read it sometimes needs to run a few times before it can fix things.
I will try it a few more times and report back. In the meantime, if you have anything of note in response to this post, I will check periodically during the day, provided we don't have another power outage :(.
TestDisk might recover a deleted partition and it does have an undelete option for files, we can try that later if the above doesn't work. PhotRec is also an option, it can only recover files though.
Or, if you think Recuva would be a better option, I have that too. The only thing is, I'm not sure it will recover the files with their original names, which will create a time consuming exercise after recovery. Please correct me if I am wrong about this.
You mean a clean install of XP and of 10 ? Yes that's easy enough if you have the install media for both.
I do have install media for both, but I'm not sure that I will need to reinstall XP. My inexperienced guess is that the problem(s) with the Win 10 drive is causing the dual boot system to fail to boot into XP, but that's just a guess.
 

rdkapp

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TestDisk tries to restore the partition table which could lead to getting most files back with their correct filenames so I recommend trying that first.

This guide is the best I have found, ignore the French ! Have a look at it and let me know if you want to try it :-

https://us.informatiweb.net/tutorials/it/windows/testdisk-repair-a-raw-partition.html
Yes, I like it. For the inexperienced, it's better than the online documentation posted by the creator and the moderated forum.

I have some questions before I begin:

1. Should I try TestDisk before trying the Windows Startup Repair a few more times?
2. My main concern is not writing to this Win 10 Drive, as I know that is what can further mess up any file recovery. I don't think it does, but can you confirm that TestDisk will not write to the Drive when it is trying to restore the partitions?
3. I am attaching a screenshot from Disk Management that shows that in the Windows environment, the drives are not in RAW format. The subject drive is Disk 0. It is showing as Healthy with an NTFS File System, which I find odd. This is different from the guide you linked to. Is that a concern?
4. I am re-running the data recovery program and will post a screenshot of the results for your reference.
 
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Allan
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1. Try Startup repair a couple of times first.
2. I thought you wanted files from the XP drive ? If so and you find any files you can safely copy them to the Windows 10 drive, we can try that later if TestDisk (TD) can't repair the partition table.
TD won't write anything to the drive unless you use it's Write command, which you should not do until we have looked at the partitions it finds.
Ignore the drive details at that guide, yours will be different, but the guide is good at showing what to do in general
3. It seems you forgot to attach the screenshot !
This is a good way to do it :- https://forums.techguy.org/help/screenshot/
I'll comment when I've seen it.
4. Ok
 

rdkapp

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And here's the screenshot of the Data Recovery program results. I believe all the files I want to recover are in the More Lost Files (RAW) section. And there are more that could not fit on the screen.

1589758777838.png
 

managed

Allan
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I still can't see a screenshot (SS) in your post #7 but it doesn't matter now.

So Disk 0 has XP on it and Disk 1 has 10 ?

Try to recover something in that RAW folder in your last SS.
I believe you can recover 1GB of data without paying.
 

rdkapp

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I realize I still need to reply to your #'s 1 & 2 in Post #8. I will do that after this.
I still can't see a screenshot (SS) in your post #7 but it doesn't matter now.
Yes, I removed it when I re-posted it.
So Disk 0 has XP on it and Disk 1 has 10 ?
No, this is not that computer. Disk 0 is from the troubled computer and has Win 10 that is all corrupted. I removed the drive and put it in this computer. Disk 1 has Win 10 on it, but it is working. XP is on a drive still in the non-working computer.
Try to recover something in that RAW folder in your last SS.
I believe you can recover 1GB of data without paying.
Will do. I will try this before I do anything else and report back.
 

rdkapp

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Going back to your post #8
1. Try Startup repair a couple of times first.
Okay, will do.
2. I thought you wanted files from the XP drive ? If so and you find any files you can safely copy them to the Windows 10 drive, we can try that later if TestDisk (TD) can't repair the partition table.
I don't think the XP drive is a problem. However, I can take it out and plug it into this machine and see if it is showing any issues. I think (and correct me if I am wrong) that the dual boot computer won't boot into XP because of the issues with the Win 10 drive. It's constantly looking for the boot files of the Win 10 drive and when it can't find them, it reboots. Could that be the case?
TD won't write anything to the drive unless you use it's Write command, which you should not do until we have looked at the partitions it finds.
Ignore the drive details at that guide, yours will be different, but the guide is good at showing what to do in general
Okay, thanks. That is what I thought.

One more question:
Is it okay to run TestDisk on my working computer (this one)? It is a much shorter and simpler process than having to boot up with the UBCD Rescue disk everytime. I know I just need to make sure I run the TestDisk diagnostics on the correct drive.
 

managed

Allan
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Disk0 is the messed up W10 from the 'first' computer installed as an internal drive in the 'other' computer and Disk1 is the working W10 on the 'other' computer. Is that correct ?

Yes you can run TestDisk on the 'other' computer'.
 

rdkapp

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Try to recover something in that RAW folder in your last SS.
I believe you can recover 1GB of data without paying.
Will do. I will try this before I do anything else and report back.
I tried recovering around 450 MB and then for grins, I tried 480 KB, but it wouldn't let me do either. It says I need a license. Apparently, they don't allow free recovery of any amount of data.
Disk0 is the messed up W10 from the 'first' computer installed as an internal drive in the 'other' computer and Disk1 is the working W10 on the 'other' computer. Is that correct ?

Yes you can run TestDisk on the 'other' computer'.
Yes, that is correct. And thank you for the last comment.
 
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