SYSTEM RESTORE HAS LOCKED ME OUT OF MY DESKTOP!


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My son-in-law works as an IT for a large corporation. Don't know which one. He built me a computer about a year and a half ago and it's worked beautifully. It's a gaming computer with a gaming keyboard and mouse I have NO idea how to utilize or fix it when my cat steps on it and it doesn't light up or type anymore. It is a hit and miss that I do not even know how I get it working again. Like I even 'game'! I WISH I could tell you the specs but I recently have been locked out of my Windows desktop so I can't bring up system information or anything. I believe it is Windows 10 Pro. For about a week or so there were no back or forward buttons in Chrome. It was very irritating and inconvenient. No way that I could tell of to take me back to pages I'd already been on in the same tab. I don't know if I should have uninstalled, reinstalled Chrome, but I chose to use system restore. The restore point was for earlier this month of January 2022. If I had installed an app it was no big deal to lose. In fact, I wondered if it was from an app added to the toolbar (?) so I removed it from Chrome. Once I did the system restore, I was taken to the Automatic Repair page. I'm using a very old laptop to troubleshoot. I had never known about this new Automatic Repair feature. I read how to use it. But it just keeps looping. I am unable to get into safe mode. I have always been unsure of the F numbers like F8. I know sometimes you have to press another key to make them functional. F8 was not doing anything. I read that in Win 10 they changed it to F4 or just 4 and the same with F5 and F6. I then read how to take it back to F8. I was able to do that using the command prompt. Still, nothing worked. In fact, most commands did not let me use them successfully. I then read where we usually use things as a standard user. You had to click on run as administrator. All the solutions offered for my situation did not apply as I cannot get onto my desktop or get to the start key to choose run as. I looked up to see if there was a command to run as administrator. The answer I came up with no matter how I phrased it, was NO. I can't run sfc /scannow or chkdsc. Almost everything I tried came back as an error of some kind not allowing me to successfully use the command. I did not think system restore could do this. I am unwilling to reinstall Windows. there must be a way I can get to my desktop. Unfortunately, the computer did not come with a disc and I did not make one or backup anything. I am a 70-year-old disabled woman who does not remember things very well anymore. I used to get repair discs at a website that allowed me to fix things. This website just goes up to Win XP these days and I've read there is no way to find such a disc unless it was specific to my computer and its components. I have a portable floppy drive. I found before that this was essential to fixing my PC many times in the past. Using the command prompt from the Automatic Repair page Is a Windows shell. It is not a real DOS command prompt. I've never had luck using the shell. Only real Dos. My PC boots up fine and I'm assuming it is in Windows but just not allowing me on my desktop. Changing the safe mode F back to F8 takes you to the old DOS-looking option choices. They are exactly the same choices as the ones changed to F4,5,6. I am unable to get to safe mode and I am totally at a loss of what to do. I don't give up. I'll keep researching until I find a way. I really need some legal info that's on my PC right now, so I'm stressed. ANY help or advice or suggestions would be extremely welcome. Thank you all. P.S. Before I could click submit, the question popped up asking if I remembered to include the ver number for Windows I'm using. I have no clue if it is not Win 10 Pro. The actual ver info is in the computer that I cannot use until this is fixed. Sorry.
 
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Trouble

Noob Whisperer
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Out of curiosity... How long have you left the automatic repair run??
Have you let it run until you've seen a message similar to this

Capture.JPG


Have you contacted your son-in-law to see if he might have any useful suggestions?

You will likely need to arm yourself with some boot media.
I suggest going here https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10
Use the Media Creation Tool to build a bootable USB stick from which you can boot the system
After booting from that and clearing the Choose a language and keyboard layout pages you should see something like this

RepairYourComputer.png

From there you should be able to step through the Advanced Troubleshooting Options and perhaps try an earlier Restore Point to see if that might provide some relief.

It sounds like you may have your work cut out for you and you may perhaps need the assistance of skilled professional (hands on), at least to secure the data currently on your drive.
It could be a physical issue with the hardware or at the very least a critical Windows system file that has been corrupted.

You are absolutely correct on two counts....
A "successful" system restore should never have left your computer in this state (that's what makes me suspicious of the potential for a hardware issue with the physcial drive or its' contents with respect to the Master Boot Record or EFI partition containing the Windows Boot Manager.
AND
Yes, removing and reinstalling Chrome would have been a good first choice.
 
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Thank you so much for your suggestions and responding. I stupidly do not have any backup or restore disks for Win 10. I received this pc from my son-in-law shortly after my husband died. That was a little over 2 yrs. ago. I have just begun to come out of a cloud and somewhat function again. Going through all the legal stuff and probate, things I knew nothing of, consumed my daily life.

I have not contacted my son-in-law as we had a very negative phone fight which he hung up. I will not be contacting him re this problem. I managed prior to Win 10 and will figure it out the hard way.

I have left the repair screen up at length and also have turned my pc off time-to-time. It always comes back with the screen AUTOMATIC REPAIR - your pc did not start correctly - Press 'restart' which sometimes can fix the problem. Also you can press 'advanced options' for
other options to repair PC.

If I get to the place where I could choose an earlier system restore point, wouldn't it be best to revert the system restore I made to where it was like it did not happen? IF that is given as an option. I've found it is not always the case.

My PC boots up. Apparently into Windows where the automatic repair is. Would a boot USB boot into DOS or before Windows? I feel if I could boot there I could use my floppy disc which I have used AEF Disc program many times in the past to alter or fix things. It has many commands which I never was able to use Recovery Console successfully. Wouldn't any OS ver boot your PC before it then became specific to your own OS ver? I think I have done that many versions and years ago. I may be delusional!

I was given the suggestion to hard shut down PC then restart and hard shut down three times and it will take you to recovery. It takes me back to automatic repair. The same place I'm stuck at in the first place.
 
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I JUST NOW GOT BACK TO MY DESKTOP!! In the Automatic Repair there is a choice for System Restore. I had read that you could not "undo" a System Restore in Repair mode. I just now read where someone did. I gave it a try. One of the system restore points was to undo the last restore. Why would they offer this choice if it could not be done? (goes to show don't believe everything you read at face value. Google it to make sure it was valid information.)

So I was able to 'undo' the system restore that put me in the automatic repair loop in the first place. I need to make my recovery disc but also need to find out what is wrong that did this and fix it. I don't know where to start or what the steps are to find problems when there does not appear to be any.

I can't recall exactly why this was done....the back and forward icons were deliberately removed. I have found that clicking on the place where they were, they work. It is very difficult to see or find the correct place to do this.

Thank you so much for all your help with my problem. If you or anyone has suggestions on how to find and correct the problem this ended up being, I'd very much love to hear them! Thank you again.
 
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The best way to prevent disasters such as this is to take daily system images using a tool like Acronis or Macrium Reflect. Having a system image means you can restore the exact system you had at the time the image was taken, this protects against malware infections as well as the sorts of problems you experienced.
 

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If you or anyone has suggestions on how to find and correct the problem this ended up being, I'd very much love to hear them!
As I recall.... Your issue began when you employed a System Restore point to repair a problem you were having with Google Chrome.
First let me take a second to agree with @ubuysa
You need to obtain a good software package that will allow you to image your system from time to time in order to protect yourself from this type of issue going forward

AND
An external hard disk of sufficient size so as to allow you to maintain a minimum of two such full system images.
More is better, you can't have too many backups.

NOW
Most, if not all, browser issues usually are a result of either too many or a bad (sometimes malicious) browser extension, so you may want to start there
OR
A piece of malware that has found its' way onto your computer.

I would strongly suggest employing https://www.malwarebytes.com/mwb-download
They have a brief (I believe 14 day free trial) after which you might want to consider a subscription (depending on your budget).
AND https://www.malwarebytes.com/adwcleaner IT's a use as needed type product which is frequently updated made by the same company but behaves a little differently as to what it looks for and how it handles what it finds.

FINALLY
Here's a walk through on repairing Chrome.
Read it completely before you start trying things and decide on an approach that might work best for you
 
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As I recall.... Your issue began when you employed a System Restore point to repair a problem you were having with Google Chrome.
First let me take a second to agree with @ubuysa
You need to obtain a good software package that will allow you to image your system from time to time in order to protect yourself from this type of issue going forward

AND
An external hard disk of sufficient size so as to allow you to maintain a minimum of two such full system images.
More is better, you can't have too many backups.

NOW
Most, if not all, browser issues usually are a result of either too many or a bad (sometimes malicious) browser extension, so you may want to start there
OR
A piece of malware that has found its' way onto your computer.

I would strongly suggest employing https://www.malwarebytes.com/mwb-download
They have a brief (I believe 14 day free trial) after which you might want to consider a subscription (depending on your budget).
AND https://www.malwarebytes.com/adwcleaner IT's a use as needed type product which is frequently updated made by the same company but behaves a little differently as to what it looks for and how it handles what it finds.

FINALLY
Here's a walk through on repairing Chrome.
Read it completely before you start trying things and decide on an approach that might work best for you
Do you have any opinion of EaseUS ToDo backup recovery program that also has cloning your disk? It's only $20.
 

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Noob Whisperer
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Do you have any opinion of EaseUS ToDo backup recovery program that also has cloning your disk? It's only $20.
Unfortunately, I do not.
I recall it being mentioned here and elsewhere very favorably but I have not had occasion to use it, so maybe another member may have something to add.
Since my go-to software (Acronis) seems to be moving towards an all subscription service, I may be shopping around myself for an option that provides a perpetual license.
I think you will find that in the case of most top tier backup products will provide a disk cloning option. Something I've never had a lot of use for, preferring a full disk image instead.
 

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Noob Whisperer
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I thought disk cloning WAS a full disk image!?
Just sort of...
It will make one physical disk exactly like a second physical disk, so in that respect it is, but...
That is not generally considered a workable backup solution.
You end up with two physical disks that are identical which is handy enough if your goal is to swap a new disk for an older one that you may have some concerns about.
BUT
A "disk image" is a file that you can open, explorer, rescue a particular file or folder from (if needed)
AND
IF done properly can be used to replace everything, on the same disk (if healthy) or a brand new disk if you find it necessary to replace the disk for some reason.
IN either case you need to remember that a clone OR an image is a point in time solution and generally speaking you don't want to be re-cloning a disk as a backup solution.

A disk that you are using to host your images can likely hold multiple images so as to allow for you to maintain several copies of the image even in the event that you are doing full system images (all partitions) every time. That's without complicating this thread with discussions of incremental and or differential options when imaging, although that may be something you want to read up on.

A disk that you use to clone a drive to is, just that a clone of the existing hard drive and cannot be used to host multiple clones.
 

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Noob Whisperer
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AND
It's only $20.
That is per month, if paid for monthly as a subscription.
The life time license with free upgrades for life is $59.00 which is actually, not a bad deal.
Just make sure you save your purchase receipts (emails) and register the product (which might come in handy if you need to move the license to a different machine at some point in the future).
 
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Just sort of...
It will make one physical disk exactly like a second physical disk, so in that respect it is, but...
That is not generally considered a workable backup solution.
You end up with two physical disks that are identical which is handy enough if your goal is to swap a new disk for an older one that you may have some concerns about.
BUT
A "disk image" is a file that you can open, explorer, rescue a particular file or folder from (if needed)
AND
IF done properly can be used to replace everything, on the same disk (if healthy) or a brand new disk if you find it necessary to replace the disk for some reason.
IN either case you need to remember that a clone OR an image is a point in time solution and generally speaking you don't want to be re-cloning a disk as a backup solution.

A disk that you are using to host your images can likely hold multiple images so as to allow for you to maintain several copies of the image even in the event that you are doing full system images (all partitions) every time. That's without complicating this thread with discussions of incremental and or differential options when imaging, although that may be something you want to read up on.

A disk that you use to clone a drive to is, just that a clone of the existing hard drive and cannot be used to host multiple clones.
Just sort of...
It will make one physical disk exactly like a second physical disk, so in that respect it is, but...
That is not generally considered a workable backup solution.
You end up with two physical disks that are identical which is handy enough if your goal is to swap a new disk for an older one that you may have some concerns about.
BUT
A "disk image" is a file that you can open, explorer, rescue a particular file or folder from (if needed)
AND
IF done properly can be used to replace everything, on the same disk (if healthy) or a brand new disk if you find it necessary to replace the disk for some reason.
IN either case you need to remember that a clone OR an image is a point in time solution and generally speaking you don't want to be re-cloning a disk as a backup solution.

A disk that you are using to host your images can likely hold multiple images so as to allow for you to maintain several copies of the image even in the event that you are doing full system images (all partitions) every time. That's without complicating this thread with discussions of incremental and or differential options when imaging, although that may be something you want to read up on.

A disk that you use to clone a drive to is, just that a clone of the existing hard drive and cannot be used to host multiple clones.
I'm more confused than ever! What is it called when you can install your entire system, programs and all, from a disc you made as a way of doing that, CLONING or FULL SYSYEM DISC IMAGE??
 

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Noob Whisperer
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You should probably do some comprehensive research on your own and see if a general understanding comes to you.
Clone vs. System Image
I know, what I think I know, but...
I'm not sure I have the skill to get that across in a text-based medium such as this thread or individual posts.

Clone vs Image​

A clone contains every bit of information on a disk, including whatever’s in the unused areas, and preserves the physical layout. An image contains only what we care about: the overhead information used by the operating system and all of our data. When it comes to routine backups, an image is generally what you want.
SOURCE: https://askleo.com/difference-between-clone-image/#:~:text=A clone contains every bit of information on,backups, an image is generally what you want.

What you need is a backup solution and "cloning" is not a backup solution.
A clone is just that...
An exact duplicate / replica / copy of an existing disk and is intended to facilitate the changing of one physical disk for another.
Generally, this is utilitarian when you want to upgrade to a new disk that perhaps is larger
OR
Perhaps has a different, faster more efficient interface, like IDE to SATA or the disk is mechanical (meaning it has moving parts) and you want to switch to a SSD (solid state drive).
Those are a few instances where "cloning" would be the thing to employ.

NOW... hopefully, not to further confuse...
You could do all those things with a System Image, ONLY a system image is a single file that will generally be half if not less than the actual size of all the contents of your entire system.

I could go on and give you some further examples of how I employ the various options, but...
It's probably better that you use some time and see what you find
Sooner or later, you'll find an article written by an author who's explanation pops for you and you'll do the palm to the forehead thing and the light will go on.

Further reading that may help https://www.partitionwizard.com/clone-disk/clone-vs-image.html
 
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Noob Whisperer
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Thank you. I've started to already. Thanks!
You bet. Keep us posted as to what you decide going forward.
Any specific questions, please don't hesitate
AND
Thank you.... you got me looking and considering alternatives to Acronis now that they seem to being moving towards a subscription offering only. I have the 2021 perpetual license so I should be good for a while
 
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