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Question Windows 10 loop won't end, how to save some files?

Matt_Stevens

Senior member
Dec 17, 2009
460
6
81
Hi, all. My folks never listen to me and of course, they have not been backing up their personal files to the second hard disk in the Windows 10 PC. Never mind that's why I installed that drive.

Their Win10 seems shot. It's in an endless disk repair loop and cannot get booted into a functioning OS. All troubleshooting in safe or recovery mode fails. It cannot find sys restore points, cannot seem to reset, cannot remove updates, cannot do anything. I have been at this for 5 hours now. It seemingly cannot even reinstall Windows while keeping system files. Something is truly amiss.

Is there a program that I can download to create a CD or DVD to boot off of and save the files my folks have on that C drive? They just did their taxes, some mortgage paperwork, etc. that would be sitting in the Documents folder.

I am at a loss and would appreciate some advice.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
52,615
7,293
126
Is there a program that I can download to create a CD or DVD to boot off of and save the files my folks have on that C drive? They just did their taxes, some mortgage paperwork, etc. that would be sitting in the Documents folder.
Yes, download a Linux Mint ISO and burn to a USB or DVD disc, then boot off of it.

If the Windows OS NTFS partition isn't "clean", then mounting it may require some command-line magic to "force" a mount/re-mount. Though, it may still auto-mount it read-only, which would suffice for your needs.
 
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Steltek

Platinum Member
Mar 29, 2001
2,893
640
136
If you can't get it from Linux, you can also try the following:


Download the ISO, burn it to a flash drive using the referenced instructions. If you are going to use a separate flash drive to store the recovered files, you might need to make sure the recovery flash drive is also plugged in to the system when you boot as the bootCD only enumerates devices at boot time. You might also have to use the UEFI BIOS in order to boot the correct flash drive.

If everything works right, you should have a Win10PE environment booted on the crashed system. You can then use Windows Explorer to recover the files since you know where they are saved.
 

Matt_Stevens

Senior member
Dec 17, 2009
460
6
81
I burned Linux and it worked. While the visuals were clunky, I cannot argue with the results. I successfully copied the download and documents folders (plus the files on the desktop) to the D drive, which is a WD 500GB Black drive.
 
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Steltek

Platinum Member
Mar 29, 2001
2,893
640
136
I burned Linux and it worked. While the visuals were clunky, I cannot argue with the results. I successfully copied the download and documents folders (plus the files on the desktop) to the D drive, which is a WD 500GB Black drive.
Once you get the system re-loaded, it might be worth investing in a Macrium license to set up automated backups of their personal files for them. That is what I had ended up having to do for my mother.

If the personal files aren't super big, you can even use a permanently plugged in small format USB 3.0/3.1 flash drive like a Sandisk Ultra Fit as the backup target.
 
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