Can't boot inaccessible_Boot_Device after installing HDD driver...........


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Here is my configuration:

Boot Mode: UEFI
OS Installation Location: Crucial SSD

Here is the situation that led to my Windows 10 not booting:

I purchased a Seagate Expansion Drive 5 TB external HDD to backup data on a failing RAID 5 array on my Linux server. It is this one right here:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00TKFEEBW/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The drive was brand new and the box has the "Windows 7, Windows 8, & Windows 10" certified logos on the box. I took the drive out of the box and attached it my Linux server and started backing up my files to it. I did not touch the partitioning on this disk. It came from the factory formatted as NTFS for Windows, After all data was backed up, I am able to read the data on the Seagate drive from Mac OSX and from my Linux Mint systems without issue.

So, next thing, I wanted to run a Powershell script I have on the backed up folders on my external drive to identify any empty folders. Easy enough, I'll just boot into Windows 10, attach the Seagate external (that is NTFS formatted) and away I go, right? Wrong!

After booting into my Windows 10 installation, I attached the Seagate 5TB external. It shows up as Drive letter F: but Windows acts like it is trying to index files or search the drive or something. Then I get a message that Windows is unable to recognize the device.

So I start digging around on the web (super-annoyed at this point because Windows can't recognize a disk that is formatted with its native Filesystem , but OSX & Linux can access it without issue!). Apparently this is a known common issue with Windows 10 and "Large Format Drives". Apparently the "fix" to get the disk readable in Windows 10 is to install the Paragon HFS+ driver for Windows 9.1 from Seagate's website. (This makes absolutely no sense to me since the disk is formatted as NTFS, NOT HFS+).

Here is the driver referenced: http://www.seagate.com/support/external-hard-drives/portable-hard-drives/goflex-pro-for-mac/backup-plus-mac-software-master/

And here is where I ran across this information: https://www.reddit.com/r/Windows10/comments/3g7ghc/external_seagate_drive_not_showing_up/

I installed this Paragon HFS+ driver in Windows 10 and rebooted my PC with the External HDD still attached.

Windows 10 would not boot giving the "Inaccessible_Boot_Device" error. So I disconnected the external Seagate HDD and tried rebooting again. Same issue. I powered the machine off and back on. Now I'm stuck in the "Automatic Repair" loop and most of the time I get the " inaccessible boot device" error, but on random restarts I will get the "WDF" error.

So it looks to me like the Paragon driver installation may be the root cause of the problem:

1.) How do I get into SAFE mode on a UEFI Windows 10 installation? If I can boot into Safe mode I can uninstall the Paragon driver.

2.) Why will Windows 10 not recognize the NTFS formattted Seagate external drive?

Basically, my Windows installation got broken because a piece of hardware that is supposed to be natively supported and is "Windows 10" certified did not work as advertised.

Any assistance booting into SAFE mode on my UEFI installation is appreciated. I am far from a PC novice and run multiple OSes daily. I even used to do Managed Network Support for businesses as a career (was an MCSE), before coming to work for a large ISP. This is just unbelievable. I don't know if this is a Seagate or Microsoft problem, but it needs to be fixed! Supposedly, there is no issue accessing these large format drives in Windows 7.
 
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First, have you check the bios to make sure the Windows Boot Manager option is selected as primary.

Since you don't seem to have a bootable system, unless the above helps, you can't get into Safe Mode unless you have a recovery drive. You could use install Media to get into a command prompt window and you can do some things from there.

If you need to replace the boot files you can do that from a command prompt when booting from a recovery drive or install media. The software you installed (HFS+) is used with an external "For MAC" drive. Since yours is certified for Windows I would not know what the install might have done except MAC systems use UEFI also and it might have gotten confused and messed with your EFI system partition where the boot files are.

If you are able to boot into a command prompt we may need to look at the partitions on the drive using Diskpart to make sure the EFI system partition is intact.

There have been quite a few folks having problems accessing external drives. My Seagate seems to work fine but I don't run the control panel software.
 
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Everything is good in the BIOS. All the software that I installed does is installs the Paragon HFS+ driver that allows support for HFS+ (Apple) formatted partitions/disks in Windows. It should not touch the EFI boot partition. And yes my Seagate external is formatted for Windows (NTFS), but that Reddit thread I linked in my original post, had a couple of users stating that their drives were also NTFS drives but Windows 10 would not recognize them, and that installing that driver for some reason made the drive accessible. I agree it doesn't make logical sense, but neither does Windows 10 not recognizing a drive formatted with its native filesystem (NTFS).

Without going into to much detail, I was able to mount my EFI partition via another OS and looked at the "Microsoft" folder there. Nothing looks out of place there with the BCD, etc. To clarify, Windows IS trying to boot up but then hits that inaccessible_boot_device or "WDF" error. Literally, the only thing that changed recently was connecting the Seagate drive to the PC, and installing the Paragon HFS+ driver in Windows 10.

If I have to build a recovery USB with the Media creation tool I will, but this just doesn't make any sense. I don't see why I should have to rebuild the BCD if no updates were installed and I made no changes to it. I have been impressed with Windows 10 as far as usage, but installation and issues such as the one I am having here are worse than ever. Error messages are vague, unhelpful, and make it almost impossible to troubleshoot an issue. "We're sorry! Something went wrong starting your PC"! Really?
 
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If you look through some of the news groups you will see many threads regarding loss of the boot device. I do not know what is happening or the exact circumstances which create the problem. It may not be related to the HFS+ but the same type of situation the others are experiencing.

Right now, all I know of to try is to rebuild or replace the BCD store on your system.

And you are correct, when Win 10 sees a new drive it does seem to perform some procedures to set the drive up to work, which may involve security settings and indexing.
 
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Interesting. I am going to boot from a Recovery USB and see what happens. Sounds like this could be a larger scale issue though. I wonder if it was introduced in the "Anniversary Update" that went out recently.
 
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I think it started with Win 8. But I suppose one more thing to mention. If the Repair Options have run 3 times, if you see a Cancel button you can select, try that and reboot.

I tested the repair system once and it never was able to tell me the system was repaired but I hit cancel and it booted fine.
 
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Well, I'm not so sure that the BCD is the issue here. I followed my go to guide here:

http://www.hasper.info/repair-a-destroyed-windows-7-uefi-boot-sector/

Process should be the same on Windows 10. Booting off the HDD I do get the black error screen now that allows me to choose Safe Mode and several other options. However, regardless of what I choose here I still get INACCESSIBLE BOOT DEVICE ERROR.

I also tried booting with the options "Disable Driver Signature Enforcement" & "Disable Early Launch Anti-Malware Driver". No such luck.
 
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So you are choosing the Startup Repair options? You have done that 3 or more times and rebooted between each one?

The link you provided is about creating partitions. That should not be necessary but I did suggest earlier you check for that. Replacing the boot files, if the EFI partition is intact in a one command operation.
 
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I recently cloned from a HDD to this new SSD, so I should have a fairly recent backup of the Windows partition. I am convinced there's nothing wrong with the EFI partition files since I just rebuilt the BCD. I have a backup of my EFI partition on that old HDD as well. I may try to replace the Microsoft folder on my EFI partition with the one from the old HDD. Also may try just cloning the C: partition from the old HDD to the C: drive on the SSD. Re-installing Windows is not an option for me as this is a multiboot system using UEFI, and Microsoft hates any other OS on the same disk. Will post updates in this thread if I resolve it. I'm guessing at this point the system must have gotten broken in the background by Windows update or something.
 
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FYI -

I tried the startup repair options and your suggested solution, but no dice.
 
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Well I am back working again. I love Clonezilla. :) There ended up not being any issue with the files on the EFI partition. I cloned my C: partition from the old HDD over the top of the C: partion on the SSD I am using now (my broken installation). Everything booted right up. I then proceeded to install the Anniversary update and any other updates. Everything is working good now. However, I still have no idea what broke the operating system. This time I am not installing the Paragon HFS+ driver as I don't think it should be needed anyway. Hopefully, Microsoft and Seagate can sort out the issues with large format external drives not being recognizable in Windows 10. I feel like this is more of a Microsoft issue than a Seagate issue.
 
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Glad you got it working. Maybe something was messing with the winload.efi file in the Windows\System32 directory.
 

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