Stuck endless Windows 10 repair - Update: Fan noise gone, shutdown is not

Hi Folks. So a couple of days ago, I was playing Dark Souls 2. I beat a boss, and I think I heard a sound from my PC, or in retrospect maybe it was a lack of sound. Maybe something I was hearing and then suddenly not hearing? Either way, I’m not sure.

As I walked forward in the game, suddenly I had huge graphical glitches. The world geometry kept switching off, and all I could see were was the background and blood spots and messages left all over the level by the players. I quickly tried to quit the game. But that just took me to a black screen. I did three-fingered salute, and hit task manager, but was back at the black screen.

No further attempts at anything with the keyboard did anything, but the keyboard was still functioning since I could turn NumLock on and off. I hit the button on the PC that puts it to sleep or sometimes resets it. It seemed to switch off after a while. I hit it again to turn it on, and it came on, with Dark Souls 2 minimized. I right-clicked on it and selected “close”, and it turned off. I figured I’d better restart the PC. I hit restart in the menu. Nothing happened. So then I went to Shut Down. Nothing happened.

A bit of background, I upgraded the Windows 7 PC to Windows 10 a couple of months ago, and the transition went very smoothly, and I’ve had no problems until now.

Back to what happened. As I was contemplating using the hard-switch in the back to reset, suddenly the PC went into the low resolution mode where it said it had trouble shutting down because of the an error. I remember the worlds “DRIVER_STATE_FAIL” or something very similar, and there was a progress bar as Windows did something, and it eventually reached 100% and the PC shut down.

Now when I switch it on, it goes into Automatic Repair. If you haven’t seen the Windows 10 automatic repair options, there’s a bunch of stuff here. And yesterday I spent time trying all of it to no avail.

When I get home today, I can go into detail and write down what all I’ve tried. But basically I can’t reset the PC, I can’t go back to a restore point, there is a previous build option, but it’s from 2011, and I’m not sure I even want to go that far back. I’ve tried all the options on starting in safe mode, or with debugging, or logging, or pre-malware protection off, and other options. None of it seems to work. It doesn’t seem to have any restore points that it can find.

When I go into the BIOS, my Intel (SSD) drive seems to be fine, but I’m not sure what to check for. As are my two HDDs.
When I go to command line, my C: drive (SSD from Intel) has been replaced and renamed F:. Instead, there is an empty C: with reserved space. There’s an X: drive now with Windows on it. My two HDDs are still there, named what they were before. My windows backup should be there to be found.

So a couple of things:

First thing: What happened? Was it a hardware failure? Video card had something go wrong maybe? That’s why there was a driver failure of some kind? Maybe something went wrong with a RAM stick? Should I be locating a potential hardware failure first, before I mess with Windows 10?

Second thing: Should I try to download a Windows 10 recovery disk or something at work? I could take it home and try booting from it. But see the first point, maybe I shouldn’t do that until I troubleshoot hardware first?

Thoughts? Questions? Suggestions? Things I should try and report back with?

Have you tried safe mode? Sometimes when you get stuck in a repair loop like that going into safe mode and then doing a proper restart fixes things.

It sounds like a software issue, probably your driver crashed, I’m not convinced yet it’s a hardware issue. If you can get into safe mode, but not normal mode even after that, try to right-click on your video card and delete the driver, then restart and re-install the latest driver.

Sounds like a hard drive failure to me

I did try safe mode. On Windows 10 automatic repair menu, you go into advanced options, and then a more specific advanced options, and then restart with options, and then restarts and gives you 10 options, and I’ve tried all 10 options, where option 4, I think, is to restart is safe mode. All it does is restart and bring me back to the same automatic repair boot screen again.

It’s been a bit since I’ve had to do this, but have you tried running repair options or reinstalling from a USB or DVD boot of Windows 10? In other words, boot from the USB stick or DVD of Windows 10, and try the repair options from there. If that doesn’t work, you should be able to do a repair installation of Windows 10 (at least, I know you could with earlier versions – I haven’t tried that alternative yet).

I think Ginger nailed it with the hard drive (SSD) failure. Particularly if Windows is suddenly gone from C: and now you have an X: drive.

Yeah, I’m sorry to have to agree - sounds like a bad drive after all. :(

Interesting. I thought the X: drive thing was strange, but was thinking maybe that’s what automatic repair always sets up.

Windows 7 came on this machine from CyberpowerPC, and was upgraded to 10. So I hope I can download some kind of Windows 10 boot DVD at work, then take it home and boot it from there. Please Microsoft, offer than option.

So if the hard drive is bad, then theoretically, replacing the hard drive and installing Windows on it should do the trick.

I don’t have a problem with the X: drive, you are correct in that it’s just likely part of the repair process. The problem is a C: drive that’s empty - that indicates the files/folders aren’t readable, which is not right. I missed that bit this morning when I read the original post. How old is the drive?

I bought the hard drive (SSD) with the cyberpowerPC machine back in December 2009.

Keep in mind what used to be the C: drive is still there, it’s just labeled as the F: drive now I believe. At least from the command line, typing in dir, the directories looked the same as what used to be on the old C: drive.

You can download the USB media creation tool from Microsoft’s Media Creation Tool page, or you can get an ISO there to burn a DVD. Good luck!

The problem is he upgraded to Windows 10 - are there .iso files available for that? It might be tough to do a repair without one… but assuming the drive IS okay, doing a repair off a bootable USB stick or a burned DVD is probably the next best bet.

I had something along these lines happen with Windows 10, that was also upgraded from Win 7. I’m also running an Intel SSD, mine’s about 4-5 years old. After doing an update, the machine worked fine for an hour or so following the reboot, then I got a BSOD saying “CRITICAL PROCESS DIED” or something. It would boot, but would crash out with some error text screen that would go by too fast to see what was going on.

This was the second time I’d had something go screwy after an update. The first time, it just restarted at random after seeming to successfully install the update, then couldn’t find the boot files. I booted off my Macrium Reflect rescue DVD I created when imaging my Win 7 drive, and could see that the boot SSD was still there and looked OK. I recall having to go into BIOS to reset things to point to the correct boot drive, then run some command line stuff to repair the MBR, etc. Then it booted fine and worked with no issues, until the second episode.

That time when I rebooted off the rescue DVD, the SSD had WAY too much free space, so it seemed like it hosed a bunch of files which was why it wasn’t completing the boot process. Rather than try to repair whatever the hell that was, I said screw this and just restored my Windows 7 image. That’s worked fine for the last 2 months with no issues, aside from trying to keep MS from sneaking Windows 10 back onto my machine. This makes me think there was nothing wrong hardware-wise like the SSD going bad.

Windows 10 ISO and USB? Yes, absolutely available via the media creation tool. Takes a bit to download it all and create the media, but definitely available.

It’s a shitty situation to be in. I finally had one of my machines with Windows 10 crash and burn in the middle of a windows update. Fortunately I could restore from an image backup, but it was a pretty frustrating situation.

Yes, Aleck’s link above let me create a USB bootable stick. Hopefully that will help me sort this out. If it does, I might take Volksy’s advice and go back to Windows 7. I don’t want to though. I really enjoy streaming my PS4 and XB1 games and TV channels to the PC, and that’s only possible in Windows 10.

Have you checked to see if all of your cooling fans are working? The fans probably constitute most or all of the noise that would normally come from your PC.

Yeah, this sure sounds to me like it can’t read the MBR or something, which I would think was a hard drive failure. A 6+ year old SSD is amazing anyway.

So I went into auto repair last night with the USB drive connected. I couldn’t find a way to load windows through any of the options available to me, including trying to boot from the USB drive through the BIOS. So I went to the command line, and I found the drive, and started setup from the USB drive, and proceeded to install Windows on my old C: partition.

It’s basically a clean install of Windows 10, and it put the old version of Windows, including all my old files into a directory called “Windows.Old.000” (since there was already a Windows.Old apparently).

After I installed windows, I was installing Razer’s software for my mouse, and I went into Windows Explorer to look at my C: drive, when I clicked on the drive, suddenly had the exact same DRIVER_POWER_STATE_FAILURE error as before. It went through its thing, got to 100% and restarted my computer. I saw the familiar automatic repair bootup, rolled my eyes and left the room for a few minutes to do another chore. And when I got back, Windows had booted up normally.

Huh. Unexpected.

And I’ve been tinkering around with this fresh install of Windows and no problems so far. I’m still nervous that it’s going to implode on me again, but we’ll see I guess.

I tried starting up Steam from my D: drive, and it needed to re-install, but got up and running. Then I tried starting Dark Souls 2, but it said I needed to re-install from Steam. I did that, with the target location the same as before. And it went through some initial setup, but didn’t download the whole thing again. It started up, but my save game is gone. Le Sigh.

Still, I guess I need to play some graphically intense game to test the graphics driver.

By the way, in my Device manager screen, I don’t see any drivers as being flagged. Everything seems to be good. So I’m still kind of perplexed. If this was a hard drive failure, it sure is a strange intermittent way for the hard drive to fail. On the other hand, this is my first experience with an SSD, so maybe this is exactly how SSDs fail after 5.5 years?

SSDs fail in a whole host of ways, most of them spectacular. BACK EVERYTHING UP. Download a free copy of Macrium Reflect and make an image of the entire drive. I suspect you’re on thin ice with the errors you’re getting. Buy yourself a nice new SSD (they’re dirt cheap compared to five years ago), restore the image to the new SSD, and you’re off to the races.

I hope you’re right. I’ll do that.

I just hope it’s not the motherboard.

This morning it had the same failure again, this time when I was trying to access a folder on my D: drive (my older HDD that also came with the computer). Again DRIVER_POWER_STATE_FAIL. Again, it booted up fine. I hope replacing the SSD is all it takes to fix everything.