Fix Windows Boot Problems wizard can't find my Windows 10 installation


Fix Windows Boot Problems wizard can't find my Windows 10 installation...
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shmu26
shmu26
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I expanded my C drive, then Windows became unbootable. Not a disaster, because I have a good system image, but want to expand the C drive, if possible.
In the Macrium Reflect rescue environment, I tried to run the Fix Windows Boot Problems wizard.
It did not find my Windows 10 installation. Even when I entered the path as suggested, on C drive, it could not find it. What to do?
jphughan
jphughan
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The behavior of Fix Boot Problems varies based on whether you boot your Rescue Media in Legacy BIOS or UEFI mode, so make sure you boot it using the same mode that your OS uses. If that doesn’t resolve it, did you confirm that Reflect can actually see the disk and its partition layout when it first launches? If you’re booting in the correct mode and Reflect can see the disk but it still doesn’t work, then my guess is that whatever is preventing your system from booting is also preventing Reflect from seeing some key data on that drive or OS partition, in which case I would restore from a backup. You can first capture a backup of your current state if you need to preserve any data that currently exists on the disk of course, which can be done from the Rescue Media environment, and actually during the restore you would be able to specify your desired partition layout and sizes so that you don’t have to expand anything later.

Out of curiosity, what tool did you use to expand your C drive? And did you delete any partitions as part of this expansion in order to create the capacity to expand into?
Edited 18 February 2018 2:38 PM by jphughan
shmu26
shmu26
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Thanks. I did not enable legacy boot at any point, so I assume that the rescue environment was booting from UEFI, just like my system normally does. But for some reason, Reflect recovery was looking for Windows on the other physical disk, not the one with the Windows partition. 

I was using AOMEI partition master, and yes, I deleted the Windows recovery partition. The real trouble, I discovered, was caused after I reimaged the recovery partition to the end of the physical disk, right after the C drive. Even though that is its right place, that is the wrong way for it to get there.
After a real lot of fumbling around, someone explained to me that the right way to do it like this:
1 delete all partitions on the physical disk to the right of the active recovery partition.
2 move the recovery partition to the end of the physical disk
3 expand the C drive to use the remaining space
When I did that, everything was fine.
jphughan
jphughan
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Interesting, I wonder why that other sequence made the difference. I’ve done a restore from an image that had the Recovery partition placed first on disk and I structured the restore so that it would be last on disk, and that worked fine — never even had to run Fix Boot Problems. One thing though: The actual correct location for the Recovery partition is immediately after the OS partition, not the last partition on the disk, which isn’t always the same thing if you have custom data partitions or something. The idea is to allow Windows to shrink the C drive as needed to create more space for a larger Recovery partition.

Anyhow, glad it all worked, but it would be interesting to learn why Fix Boot Problems didn’t work in your initial scenario....
Edited 18 February 2018 10:57 PM by jphughan
shmu26
shmu26
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I would like to know myself.
I did the same thing a couple months ago, and it worked like a charm.
This time, everything possible went wrong, until 
@madmatt30 over at Tom's Hardware forum straightened me out.

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/topicfromemail/id/3645827?userId=1584686&answerId=20718687&hash=0a9fa7636e545fad71e62fb9f2ea7d2e3e58b427&xitiTracker=EPR-8809&utm_medium=email&utm_source=forum_email&utm_campaign=EPR-8809

And I didn't even tell the worst part of the story. At one point, I was able to get Reflect to find the Windows installation and try to fix the boot. But it became so broken, even reimaging the entire disk did not help. 
I needed to boot from a GParted CD, and wipe the whole disk, and then reimaging worked to get me back to square one. Yeah, I was sweating it.
I was advised by people not to expand the C drive, because something usually goes wrong, and they were right.
jphughan
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Ok, well your Tom's Hardware post reveals a bit more of the story.  You initially just said you had a problem when extending the C drive, but even in your follow-up post it quite clear that you deleted you new and active Recovery partition.  I figured that after the Windows upgrade you wanted to rearrange things so that you could eliminate the old Recovery partition that Windows leaves on disk after creating the new one, thereby reclaiming that space.  Yes, deleting the active Recovery partition can definitely be bad news because when it exists, the bootloader on the EFI partition can point to the Recovery partition, which in turn would load Windows from the OS partition.  This is how it typically works if you enable BitLocker, because when the OS partition is encrypted, there has to be somewhere to store an unencrypted bootloader that can prompt you for your password, Recovery Key, etc. in order to decrypt it.  When I briefly tested whether BitLocker can be enabled on systems that lack a Recovery partition, I noticed that those files were added to the EFI partition.  And there may be cases where that's how it works even without BitLocker enabled; I haven't looked into that in detail.

Anyhow, my guess here is that Fix Boot Problems didn't work because either a) the bootloader files that were lost when the Recovery partition was deleted weren't available from the OS partition in order to recreate it, or b) Fix Boot Problems isn't set up to look for and solve that particular problem even if the required files were available to be copied from elsewhere.  I believe it can fix problems with the EFI partition since there's a BCDBoot command built into WinPE that can copy the necessary bootloader files there from the an OS partition, but I don't know about the Recovery partition.  But for what it's worth, when I've wanted to delete a partition that existed after that Recovery partition and shift the Recovery partition to the end of the disk so that I can extend C, I've done the following successfully, even within live Windows:

- Capture an image backup of the active Recovery partition.
- Use diskpart to delete the Recovery partition (you need to use the command "delete partition override"), then make other desired adjustments, e.g. deleting other partitions, extending C.
- Restore the Recovery partition into the remaining empty space at the end of the disk

Edited 19 February 2018 6:28 AM by jphughan
shmu26
shmu26
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Thanks for the explanations. That's pretty interesting. 
GO

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