Sysytem Crash after Update - Data Recovery Headache After Reinstalling Windows 10


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Hello Forum members,

I'm hoping to get some pointer about how to fix this issue. I've scanned this and other forums and spent days trying to dig my way out of this hole but still struggling.

Here's a summary.

  1. After an update around Christmas my system failed. I got the blue screen of death and every attempt to start or repair failed.
  2. I've been a Muppet and failed to keep backups on multiple drives or even do back ups regularly, so I have a couple of years of data and family photos at risk.
  3. My old C: drive was backed up to an Hitachi Touro 2 TB external drive. After attempts to repair Windows 10 failed, I finally managed to boot into safe mode with command prompt.
  4. Following online guidance, I opened Notepad.exe and was able to 'see' my files and folders on the C: drive. I copied the important stuff that wasn't backed up onto the external Hitachi drive.
  5. The external drive is split into two partitions - backup and general storage. I had to spread the folders between the two partitions as the folders were quite large.
  6. Happy that I'd saved the day, I decided to upgrade to a Samsung Evo 860 SSD (500mb) before reinstalling windows. An obliging neighbour downloaded an ISO Windows 10 recovery file. Windows recovery couldn't fix the problem and I was left with a full reinstall as the only option.
  7. That all went well and my PC came back to life - Hurrah!
  8. Love the speed of the SSD and vowed to get my filing and backups organised better to avoid any future heart stoppers.
  9. When I reconnected the external drive (with all my data) to my USB3 port, it caused my PC to lock up - pulled the Hitachi plug and Windows 10 continued as normal.
  10. I downloaded Ease Us data recovery and partition tools, plus tried Windows disc management utilities and none can break through. Bizarrely I did get access to the outdated recovery partition (M:) on the Hiatchi, however the important stuff is in the other partition. (L:)
  11. The Hitachi drive light constantly flickers when plugged in as if it's working non-stop. Goes on for hours and has yet to pause.
  12. Ease Us, Windows explorer can see the two partitions on the external drive (L: & M:) but when I check disk properties or scan with Ease Us for the L: partition they freeze when that drive is selected. Windows properties window only appears on my screen after I pull the power cord from the external drive and then shows zero capacity for L: (should be 1TB for each partition)
  13. I've tried starting my PC in safe mode with command prompt to open Notepad.exe again to see if I can gain access or replicate the way I transferred files before the reinstall. Bizzarely it's proved very difficult to get back into a safe mode. Tried doing that via troubleshooting and then start up settings and get to the screen with multiple start up options. Safe mode with command prompt is option 4 from memory. I cant seem to select any of the options using number pad, number keys or F keys - just doesn't respond to any selection. So I fail to restart in safe mode. Tried a few times without any joy
  14. In every other way my PC and Windows 10 is performing well. I have just added another (Seagate 5TB) external drive with the aim to have sufficient space to reorganise all my files and then set up a more robust back up plan. The new drive works just fine.
My head is hurting and I don't know where to start looking for a fix.

I'd be grateful for any guidance from the collective forum knowledge.

I'm no computer wizard but reasonably capable having built my PC when I retired 10 years ago.

I'm reluctant to hand my drive over to a data recovery expert if there are solutions I can try first.

Many thanks
 
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Hi C69,

I would download a copy of Ubuntu Linux and create a live bootable USB stick and then connect your external drive and see if you can access your files.


If you want to try a different Linux version, take a look at the following link. :)

 
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Hi C69,

I would download a copy of Ubuntu Linux and create a live bootable USB stick and then connect your external drive and see if you can access your files.


If you want to try a different Linux version, take a look at the following link. :)

Thanks for the suggestions Wolfie.

Not done that before, so assume I'll be booting the PC as a Linux machine, hopefully finding and moving the files to another drive, then rebooting as usual in Windows 10?

Cheers for your feedback
 
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Not done that before, so assume I'll be booting the PC as a Linux machine
Yes you will, as soon as you are finished you can shut the system down and all traces of Linux are gone as it only uses RAM to run!. :)

Another suggestion is to follow the guide below which will put all your data in a folder called "Windows.old" and you can fish them out after the fresh install is done!. ;)

 

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