Resetting the PC fails after earlier BSOD critical process died message


KSV

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After the recent (20H2) Windows 10 upgrade, my computer started misbehaving. I tried varous tricks like using a restore point but I obtained BSOD Critical Process Died message repeatedly. The system checked the hardware and found no problem. Using one of the suggestions given on a related post, I created a USB windows recovery drive using an older computer (Win10). This starts, but none of the recovery/troubleshoot/restore options have succeeded. Using the command prompt, I could see that the file structure on the C: drive was intact.

I posted a thread and received some tips about Windows activation. When all the tips available in the Windows forum failed I tried to reset this PC using a USB Win10 CD and taking the 'delete files route'. After 'recovering this PC 71%' I received the blue screen 'There was a problem resetting your PC. No changes were made'. But now with the command prompt I cannot even see the C: drive. The 512Gb storage drive still passes the Dell Support Assistant diagnostic run.

The computer is a Dell XPS 13 9360, past its warranty by 6 months..

What else can I try, short of installing a fresh Windows 10? Any tips would be appreciated.
 
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Trouble

Noob Whisperer
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Sounds like you're pretty much on top of things.
Keep in mind
But now with the command prompt I cannot even see the C: drive.
When booting using an external resource the drive partition letters are rarely if ever the common lettering you are used to seeing.

The error can be vague but will often be caused by damaged / corrupted system files or a bad area holding critical information regarding partitioning.
Not sure what you could do further to advance the diagnostic process.
I would lean towards the drive itself and consider a replacement.
On the bright side it doesn't look like a big job to replace it.
Dell XPS 13 (9360) SSD Replacement - YouTube

The only other thing I would probably try is booting with a Linux Live Distro and see if that might reveal anything of consequence and possibly give you a means to backup any critical data
Linux Mint 20 "Ulyana" - MATE (64-bit) - Linux Mint
 

KSV

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Thank you for the tips.

I have ordered a replacement drive. In the meantime, I have been trying various tips available in the forum. The latest is that I now obtain 'No boot device found'. One thread suggests going to the USBCD/Troubleshoot/command prompt and then executing
diskpart
list disk
It showed Disk 0 as 476 Gb (the XPS hard drive)

list volume
This showed two volumes C (100Mb), E (476Gb) and two more presumably from the USB CD F Windows RE (506 Mb) and D ESD-USB) (7799 Mb)

I also tried
bootrec /fixboot
The operation completed successfully.

bootrec /fixboot
Access is denied

Another dead end! I do not know how to overcome this one. I shall keep trying.

I also tried Ubuntu, which I had installed earlier on an ancient computerto replace Win 7, and which works without trouble. On the XPS, Ubuntu complained about RST. Apparently, the XPS came with a RAID configuration and I am not sure whether I should reset RST. For the present I am trying various strands to fix Win10.
 
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The Critical process died issue is basically caused when a critical component of Windows detects that data has been modified when it should not have been. This element could be a bad driver, a memory error, etc. Most of the times, this error occurs all of a sudden when users are working on their PCs.

To Fix the "Critical Process Died" Stop Code
  • Run the Hardware and Device Troubleshooting Tool.
  • Run the System File Checker.
  • Run an Antivirus Scan.
  • Run the Deployment Imaging and Servicing Management Tool.
  • Update Your Drivers.
  • Uninstall Recent Windows Updates.
  • Perform a Clean Boot.
  • Restore Your System.
 
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KSV

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I thank those readers of this thread who tried to help. In the end, nothing helped in getting access to the contents of the SSD.

I have replaced the original hard drive with a new (blank) SSD. I have installed Windows 10 on the new drive. I was fearful of Windows licence but, as someone had pointed out, Windows was automatically activated. I have now installed all the software that was on the old hard drive and most of the time the licence information I already had was accepted. Only in one case, I had a problem activating it. The vendor's web-site did not offer any obvious 'support' for my kind of request. I posted a message on the 'community' pages for the software, and they came good. They showed me a convoluted way to get back to the vendor and ask the old installation to be deactivated from the vendor's end. In the end, the vendor was very helpful.

I have purchased an enclosure for the old SSD. I plugged the SSD to the computer, but it was not recognised. The computer offered me the option of formatting it. This I shall do at another time.

After a couple of days of operation, Win10 was updated today. It took a long time, however.

One lesson I have learned is that the 'communities' can be very helpful in solving problems.

I shall now treat this thread as 'solved'.
 
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