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HELP! KB 60209 broke my system -- Windows won't start

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J K
Regular Poster
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Comments: 94

So I carefully followed each and every step of KB 60209, for the purpose of testing the bootability of a disk image.  I did get the UEFI warning, but the KB article says this can safely be ignored.

I successfully booted into the VHDX once, then restarted the computer.  Now, the computer no longer boots at all (it hangs at the black "Dell" logo screen with the rotating dots).  The only thing I have figured out is that going into startup repair and selecting Advanced Options, I can select "Other operating systems" which takes me to the bootloader.  Here I can again boot into the VHDX, but if I select the native Windows 10 OS to boot into, it just hangs again and will not complete booting.

The KB article did provide instructions for backing up the bootloader settings in EasyBCD, which I had done, but the VHDX does not have EasyBCD installed.  Should I install EasyBCD in the VHDX virtual operating system and then try to restore my original bootloader settings from here?  Or will that make it worse?

I need advice urgently -- the KB article did not provide sufficient or accurate information for how to get your computer back to its original state.  Help!

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Forum Hero
Posts: 55
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You should be able to use the Advanced startup option in Windows Recovery to select your Windows 10 installation.  While booted into the VHDX do the following:

Navigate to Settings - Update and Security - Recovery then click on the Advanced startup selection.  Your PC will reboot into the Windows Recovery environment and you will have several options from which to choose.

 

Windows Update & Security Settings in Windows 10

 

You can enter the bios to select Windows Boot Manager as your 1st boot option which should allow you to see the menu from which to choose your Windows 10 install.

J K
Regular Poster
Posts: 10
Comments: 94

@Enchantech : Thanks for responding.

You wrote: "select Windows Boot Manager as your 1st boot option which should allow you to see the menu from which to choose your Windows 10 install".  First, I'll need more detailed instructions (about how to select the Windows Boot Manager in BIOS).  Second, the main problem is not that I can't see the boot manager.  I can get to the Metro boot manager, but if I select the original WIndows 10 install to boot into, it hangs.

The EasyBCD settings (after adding the VHDX boot option) are pasted below.  I noticed just now that both boot loader entries use the same "identifier"... that seems like it could be a cause of problems.  If you agree that this is the issue, how do I fix it?  For now, I don't care about being able to boot into the VHDX anymore, I just want my original OS to work again.

Thanks!

 

---

 

Windows Boot Manager

--------------------

identifier              {9dea862c-5cdd-4e70-acc1-f32b344d4795}

device                  partition=\Device\HarddiskVolume1

path                    \EFI\Microsoft\Boot\bootmgfw.efi

description             Windows Boot Manager

locale                  en-US

inherit                 {7ea2e1ac-2e61-4728-aaa3-896d9d0a9f0e}

default                 {b9c3b10c-61ef-11e9-bbe6-c8f75055a0d1}

resumeobject            {b9c3b10b-61ef-11e9-bbe6-c8f75055a0d1}

displayorder            {b9c3b10c-61ef-11e9-bbe6-c8f75055a0d1}

                        {b9c3b10f-61ef-11e9-bbe6-c8f75055a0d1}

toolsdisplayorder       {b2721d73-1db4-4c62-bf78-c548a880142d}

timeout                 30

 

Windows Boot Loader

-------------------

identifier              {b9c3b10c-61ef-11e9-bbe6-c8f75055a0d1}

device                  partition=E:

path                    \windows\system32\winload.efi

description             Windows 10

locale                  en-US

inherit                 {6efb52bf-1766-41db-a6b3-0ee5eff72bd7}

recoverysequence        {b9c3b10d-61ef-11e9-bbe6-c8f75055a0d1}

displaymessageoverride  Recovery

recoveryenabled         Yes

isolatedcontext         Yes

allowedinmemorysettings 0x15000075

osdevice                partition=E:

systemroot              \windows

resumeobject            {b9c3b10b-61ef-11e9-bbe6-c8f75055a0d1}

nx                      OptIn

bootmenupolicy          Standard

 

Windows Boot Loader

-------------------

identifier              {b9c3b10f-61ef-11e9-bbe6-c8f75055a0d1}

device                  vhd=[F:]\win10-ati-convert.vhdx,locate=custom:12000002

path                    \Windows\system32\winload.efi

description             VHDX Boot Test

locale                  en-US

osdevice                vhd=[F:]\win10-ati-convert.vhdx,locate=custom:22000002

systemroot              \Windows

nx                      OptIn

detecthal               Yes

Forum Hero
Posts: 55
Comments: 9127

Once you enter the bios which is "Change the PC's firmware settings" look for a Boot tab.  Click that tab and look for Boot Order.  The Boot Order should be a drop down selection from which you can select Windows Boot Manager making it the first thing to boot.  That should bring the boot menu back when you save and exit the bios so that you can select which boot option you want.

J K
Regular Poster
Posts: 10
Comments: 94

The only option to change firmware settings is UEFI, not BIOS.  When I enter the UEFI, there is a "Boot Sequence" tab, but it only shows a single entry in the boot sequence, which appears to just be the physical harddrive in my laptop (UEFI: KXG60ZNV1T02 NVMe TOSHIBA 1024GB, Partition1).

Like I said above, I have already a way to get to the Windows Boot Manager (although it's indirect).  The problem is it won't successfully load the original Windows 10 installation.

I'm afraid the procedure in the KB 60209 article may have resulted in a disk signature collision or something (since both boot loaders have identical identifiers -- the Windows Boot Manager can't tell apart the VHDX image from the physical disk from which it was made).

At this point I just want the simplest, most robust way to restore my system as it was.  The two ideas I am considering are:

  1. While booted into the VHDX OS, use EasyBCD to restore the original bootloader settings (from before I added the VHDX boot option).  However, I am afraid that if this fails to resolve the Windows bootloader problem, I will have bricked the computer, because I will not even be able to boot into the VHDX image anymore.
  2. Use ATI bootable media to restore the EFI partition.  However, I don't know enough about the interaction between BCD, EFI, and UEFI to know if this even has a chance of working (or if it likely to make the situation worse).

Please let me know if either of the above appear to be safe and likely to succeed, or propose a different solution.  Thank you.

J K
Regular Poster
Posts: 10
Comments: 94

Steve Smith  ? Enchantech  ? anybody?  This is my main (only!) computer and I need it for work.  I cannot do anything (other than these internet forums) until I have restored my operating system.

In summary, I am afraid that the instructions in KB 60209 may have caused a disk signature collision that broke the Windows Boot Manager and the boot loader for my Windows 10 operating system.  If this is the case, how do I fix it?  I have two potential ideas (see post #4 above), but I'm afraid they could make things worse, so I need input from someone with more expertise than me.

Please help!

Legend
Posts: 106
Comments: 26363

I would suggest recovering your EFI partition backup using the Acronis rescue media to boot the PC, assuming the backup was made prior to the changes leading to this non booting scenario.

The BCD store is located in the EFI partition.

If this is a EFI boot system, then the EFI Boot sequence in the UEFI bios settings should show as 'Windows Boot Manager' and not as the physical hard drive in the laptop (UEFI: KXG60ZNV1T02 NVMe TOSHIBA 1024GB, Partition1). which is indicative of a Legacy / MBR boot system, not UEFI.

Forum Hero
Posts: 55
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JK,

How about booting the VHDX  and then installing the EasyBCD app there?  Doing that and setting it up to boot both boot files should then give you a way to boot to your installed Windows.

As a matter of practice I do not dual boot computers in any fashion, gave up the practice amny years ago due to boot issues.   I have limited knowledge of EasyBCD as I do not use it and when I did it was a very different application.  I still do not trust it and I think your case here is proof enough of a flawed process.  Anytime you go changing your boot files you are inviting issues.

I know that Steve Smith uses EasyBCD, maybe he will have further suggestions for you.

J K
Regular Poster
Posts: 10
Comments: 94

Steve,

Do you know where the disk signatures reside?  I'm afraid that there was a disk signature collision created by KB 60209, causing the physical harddrive to be assigned a new signature -- if this signature info is stored in the firmware, is it possible for things to get worse if I restore the EFI (potentially causing signature info in the firmware and in the EFI not to match)?  I'm very afraid of making the problem worse and bricking my laptop (which I have read is possible when there are disk signature problems).

I don't know why "Windows Boot Manager" is not shown in the UEFI boot sequence, but I am certain that the harddrive has an EFI partition, and it has no partition marked as "Active" (even before I attempted to use KB 60209).  I also know for certain that the disk is GPT.

What about the idea of using the EasyBCD restore function?  Could that make things worse if there was a disk signature collision?

Legend
Posts: 106
Comments: 26363

The disk signature is written to the MBR first sector of the disk drive, so not in the EFI partition.

EasyBCD is a Windows application therefore you cannot use the restore feature unless you are running from the Windows desktop.

KB 60209 in Method 2 of the document at the bottom has a link to using Microsoft tools to modify the BCD etc.  Which you could do from a WinPE command prompt or the Windows Recovery command window.

Method 2. Using Microsoft-provided tools to manage BCD and VHD(X)

Following steps 7, 8, 10, 11 and 12 from these instructions will give the same results as using the Method 1, purely by Microsoft-provided means, without any third-party software. This method requires working with Windows command prompt. Namely, commands bcdboot and bcdedit are used.

 

J K
Regular Poster
Posts: 10
Comments: 94

The disk signature is written to the MBR first sector of the disk drive, so not in the EFI partition.

 

What if the disk signature was altered due to a signature collision during the initial dual boot, will I be better off or worse off if I use ATI to restore the EFI partition to its state just prior to the problem (prior to using EasyBCD)?  I'm worried that creating some kind of mismatch will brick my computer.

I looked at the instructions that you linked, but they seem to talk about how to create a dual-boot into a VHDX image, not how to get rid of a dual-boot and repair the boot manager and boot loader.

FWIW, I am currently booted into the VHDX OS copy, and doing "bcdedit /v" shows the same info as produced by EasyBCD running in this virtual OS (see Post #2 above).  Are you saying that none of this info is "real", because I am not booted into the physical harddrive?

 

Legend
Posts: 106
Comments: 26363

I have never used the options to boot from a VHDX OS copy so I do not know whether any changes made to the BCD in that environment are permanent or are volatile, i.e. lost when the OS is closed?

See webpage: Repairing A Broken Bootloader Or Master Boot Record In Windows 7, 8, And 10

or webpage: How to repair the EFI bootloader on a GPT HDD for Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10 on your Dell PC - which used commands relevant for all PC's not just Dell.

Forum Hero
Posts: 55
Comments: 9127

The info is real.  Your VHDX is a copy of your OS disk.

Your worries over a signature collision are unfounded.  That occurs when two physical disks containing the same signature are installed into the same machine.  This does not apply to your scenario.

Have you tried to sign out of Windows then shutdown the machine followed by powering the machine up again?  It may get things working as that will reinitialize the disk.

J K
Regular Poster
Posts: 10
Comments: 94

Just adding that I have now re-done "bcdedit /v" while booted into the ATI Rescue Media, and it shows the same info as when I'm booted into the VHDX.  I think the main problem is that both of the boot loaders (native Win 10 installation and VHDX clone) have been assigned an identical GUID ({b9c3b10c-61ef-11e9-bbe6-c8f75055a0d1}).  I think this will make it hard/impossible to use bcdedit.

J K
Regular Poster
Posts: 10
Comments: 94

Have you tried to sign out of Windows then shutdown the machine followed by powering the machine up again?  It may get things working as that will reinitialize the disk.

Enchantech  , yes, I think so -- unless it is important to first "Sign out" and secondly power cycle.  I usually use the Start Menu "Shutdown" or "Restart" options while logged in.  This always results in the system getting stuck on the Dell splash screen.  Then I have to use the physical power button to shut down the computer, and when I power up again, the system goes into "Preparing Automatic Repair" mode.  When it finally says it cannot repair the system, I click "Advanced Options", then "Use another operating system".  This is the only way I am able to get to the Windows Boot Manager Metro screen.  It shows two options (the native Win10 and the VHDX), but only the VHDX OS is functional.  I have repeated this process many times, and always the same result.

My worries about disk collision are from reading articles like this one:

techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/windows-blog-archive/fixing-disk-signature-collisions/ba-p/724114

Quoting: "on the off chance you attach a cloned disk to a Windows system that has a disk with the same signature, you will suffer the consequences of disk signature collision, which renders unbootable any of the disk’s installations of Windows Vista and newer."

Forum Star
Posts: 57
Comments: 1965

You're wrong about the identifiers being equal. Look at the end of the first group of characters. There is a letter that is different.

Stop trying to over-analyze the problem and just restore your backup from the recovery media.

Forum Hero
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Comments: 9127

Ditto Mustang.  Easiest way out of this mess.

J K
Regular Poster
Posts: 10
Comments: 94

well I recovered the EFI partition and Track 0 and it is still not booting. Now I don't even have the option to boot to the virtual OS, so I have to use a tablet to access this forum. Now what????

 

J K
Regular Poster
Posts: 10
Comments: 94

tried following the instructions linked by Steve as well, and when I attempt "bootrec /FixBoot", I get the error "Access is denied". help!

Legend
Posts: 106
Comments: 26363

See webpage: Windows 10 bootrec /fixboot access is denied - written for earlier builds of Win 10 but may help you here.

Forum Star
Posts: 57
Comments: 1965

You need to restore the entire disk not just the EFI partition. Restoring the EFI partition got you back to the original BCD file that doesn't have the VHD entry. Now that you still can't boot Windows, you know there is a problem with the C: Windows OS partition as well. Restoring the entire disk should solve the problem.

 

Forum Hero
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Comments: 9127

Ditto again.

J K
Regular Poster
Posts: 10
Comments: 94

I was able to recover after restoring EFI, C:, and Track 0; I also checked the option to restore the disk signature, just to be sure.

Any ideas what went wrong in the first place?  I followed exactly the instructions in an officially published Acronis Knowledgebase article (KB 60209). 

I feel like that KB article should start with a big, boldface warning stating that if you have cloned the operating system of a computer to a VHD, never to attempt a dual-boot into the VHD on the same computer that the OS was cloned from (only test bootability of the ATI image using a different computer).

Forum Star
Posts: 57
Comments: 1965

The article is old. It definitely isn't working with Windows 10. It may have something to due with UEFI firmware. I followed it using method 2 doing it from the command prompt instead of using EasyBCD. I got a similar result to your result. All I got was a spinning wheel that wouldn't boot. The problem was that the VHD was set as the default. In my case, I didn't get a menu to choose the original Windows 10 system. All I had to do to recover was to restore the EFI partition. In your case when Windows 10 went into automatic repair mode something was damaged in your C: drive partition so you had to restore that as well.

J K
Regular Poster
Posts: 10
Comments: 94

The article is old. It definitely isn't working with Windows 10. 

KB 60209 has been cited on this forum even recently:

forum.acronis.com/forum/acronis-true-image-2021-forum/running-ati-bootable-media#comment-563882

forum.acronis.com/forum/acronis-true-image-2020-forum/bare-metal-restore-true-image-cloud-backup#comment-528825

I stand by my recommendation:

Put a big warning label on KB60209 (or retire it altogether)!  

Thanks for testing it on your end.  In your case, was the source of the VHD clone the same system on which you set up the dual-boot? (i.e., is it possible the VHD dual-boot could work if one does it on a different machine from the source of the image cloned to the VHD?)

Forum Star
Posts: 57
Comments: 1965

It was the same machine, but I'd be very surprised if it worked any better if done on a different machine.

I agree with you about the warning. I would say the article should be fixed. If it can't be fixed, I would agree that it should be retired. Any procedure like this that changes BCD files can be very dangerous.