Computers & Electronics

Problematic Windows Install vs adding a SSD drive

  • Last Updated:
  • Mar 17th, 2018 1:22 pm
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Sep 1, 2005
4890 posts

Problematic Windows Install vs adding a SSD drive

I have ASUS desktop, Core I7, 2 TB HD, 8 or 10GB Ram...5 yrs old.

It kept dying while trying to do a Windows 10 update. Because I can't turn off updates, it kept rebooting and trying to system restore. It finally went into a endless boot loop and I decided to do a clean install (I already backed up what I needed).

I've been pulling my hair out because the clean install kept running into problem after problem and I can't seem to fix it.

> bootrec /fixboot ===> Access is Denied,
> clockwatch timeout
> attrib C:\Boot\BCD -h -r -s ===> path not found
> and so on and so on. Judging by the forums I've been reading, a clean install of Windows is not always a easy thing as I've seen numerous people posting similar problems.

I've used Windows 10 ISO DVD, Windows 10 USB, WinPE, Paragon Rescue, Windows 10 Rescue Kit so far.

I'm at a point where I think I have to pay someone to do the clean install for me or I'm considering putting in a small SSD drive and clean installing onto there and using the 2tb drive for my data alone.

How much would someone charge me to do the Windows install. I'm thinking they could probably format my HD and just clone a Windows 10 OS onto it.
What do the experts think about this adding a SSD idea?
Maybe just buy another refurb PC. for a couple of hundred $
Any other advice?
We're all bozos on the bus until we find a way to express ourselves...

Failure is always an option...just not the preferred one!
11 replies
Deal Addict
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Jun 17, 2012
1963 posts
In another world
Maybe your hard drive is dying.
Consider getting a new one, or an SSD instead.
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Sep 23, 2013
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gontori wrote:
Mar 14th, 2018 3:30 pm
Maybe your hard drive is dying.
Consider getting a new one, or an SSD instead.
i second that. As it can be used in your new desktop whereas your existing mechanical harddrive is about done

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Dec 1, 2010
946 posts
Sounds like a pre-built machine and maybe something is corrupted. Before paying someone to install and fix it for you. You might want to do some more work yourself if you have access to a second computer and 2 USB/PEN drives, with at least 4GB capacity or more.

1. On the first pen drive go to the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool Website and download the tool and let it create a fresh/clean Windows 10 USB. ... /windows10

Once that's done, use the second flash drive and go to Hirens website and download and create the Hiren's BootCD, the instructions are very clear and its not that difficult.

Once you get that pen drive up and running boot from Hirens BootCD, it has a s**t load of tools on it for troubleshooting computers. If you want the least technical option, choose "Boot Mini Windows XP" and it will boot a Mini Windows XP running off the flash drive where you can access all sorts of tools for the computer. It's fairy easy to navigate. I would look under the section labeled "Hard Disk Tools" as there are a few handy tools in there. Start by checking the health of your HDD by running programs on there like ..

HDTune 2.55, Hard Disk Sentinel 1.00.5, CrystalDiskInfo 4.0.1. They will all let you know if the hard disk is healthy or damaged or has bad sectors on it. If the health comes out OK, then use the tools to completely wipe the disk and destroy all partitions, even the ASUS garbage.

Active Kill Disk 4.1.2393, Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN) 1.0.7, DiskWipe 1.2, etc. whichever one works best for you. Once the disk is completely wiped and no partitions are found, quit Hirens and switch to the Windows 10 pen drive. Boot from the USB, choose INSTALL and when it asks you what to do, choose ADVANCED. If you see anything there, hit delete until it says Unallocated space. Then just click on that and it should install Windows 10 with no partitions, leaving you with only a C:\

That should create a successful install. If it fails after you do all those steps, then you have other problems.

To answer your question about getting someone to do the work for you, depending what the problem is, it could run you anywhere from $50-200, who knows, depending on how much work they have to do, if parts are damaged, if you get ripped off and so forth. It's hard to say "how much" its like bring your car into the shop, same scenario.

I would not buy another PC for a small issue like this. If you want you can get a 250GB SSD as a boot drive (if you don't put a lot of programs on C:\) and use the other one as a DATA drive. Just make sure your BIOS boot order is set to boot the SSD first, then the HDD. If it installs Windows 10 fine on the SSD, then run programs like HDTune, Hard Disk Sentinel 1.00.5, CrystalDiskInfo, to find out the health of the HDD and see if its bad if you get a successful SSD install of Windows 10. Adding a SSD will make the computer more snappier and add life to the computer, its never a bad trade off. Just decide on how much storage you need. 250-500GB, and how much you want to spend.

Best bang for the buck is probably the 275GB Crucial MX300 series drive, performance and price and reliability. Unless you find something else on sale, good luck. ... _id=100101
Deal Guru
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Jun 12, 2007
12368 posts
I ran into something similar recently. A PC kept crashing/freezing while trying to update to W10 fall creators edition 1709. On reboot, it would revert back to old W10

It turned out to be incompatible drivers for the wifi card.

I had to remove the wifi card, connect to Ethernet and update.

After the update, I was able to reinstall the wifi card.

I would try loading w10 with a minimal system (remove all extras)
Jan 13, 2018
47 posts
I have had the same problem with my desktop. I suggest you go back to windows 7. After talking to Microsoft, they said that some computers are not comparable for windows 10 because they do not have any driver. Although it lets you to download it, I suggest staying at your previous OS and use it until your computer dies
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
27235 posts
East Gwillimbury
A 5 year old computer should have no problems running Windows 10. If your computer is that old it should be a Haswell processor. You don’t need to replace it.

I think your problem is hard drive related. I would start with swapping hard drives.

Depending on where you’re located, I can come by and help you reinstall Windows.
Mar 5, 2018
2 posts
Windows 10 is a nightmare. I think probably is the worst since ever, especially the Home Edition.
(I work with Windows since 3.1)

OP, in our day, it's better you use a SSD, it will save a lot of time when reinstalling everything. If someone in the family ask me to fix their PC/laptop without a SSD, I will try to avoid, don't have patience to wait anymore since I begin to use SSD.
If you can find Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise (eBay or somewhere), go with it or stay with Windows 7
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Nov 10, 2002
1893 posts
Let's start by opening your computer case and blow off some dusts.

Consider spending about $110 or so to get a 250GB SSD (atleast) and do a fresh install of Windows 10. Extremely easy and fast.

Your computer should have absolute no problem running Windows 10.
I am still rocking last system I build back in 2011 with Intel Core i5 2500K, 16GB RAM. More than fast enough... but SSD was absolutely the best upgrade ever in improving overall computing.

OP should take "Gee" 's offer of help. It'll be worth it.
(oh and get a good old classic "IBM M Type - mechanical keyboard" if still available from Gee. haha)
Deal Guru
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Apr 16, 2001
14642 posts
If this is an Asus branded desktop, try taking out the wireless card until the Windows 10 installation is complete. I have seen a ton of these cause clean Win installs to fail.
Whenever someone asks a question that starts with "Why do they..." or "Why don't they...", the answer is always a) money, b) stupidity, or c) both.
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Jul 4, 2006
2647 posts
I have a pre-built asus desktop and I finally got creators edition to install properly by:
1. backing up all my data
2. starting from scratch
a) install win 10 from usb
b) when it asked which drives.. I selected each available partition on the hard drive and selected DELETE it (there must have been 3-4 that were less than 500mb). I suspect the issue was old/corrupt previous windows recoveries.
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Jul 26, 2004
2216 posts
I encountered a windows 10 install problem when I tried to install it on a HP motherboard, the initial install went fine, but once it tried to boot into windows 10, it'll hang, but it'll boot into it in safe mode. The trouble turned out to be the built in default integrated video card driver for the gen2/3 i -core integrated graphics. Had to manually remove it from safe mode and install a new downloaded version before windows decide to load its own version.

But with concern to OP problem... yes.. take this opportunity to install a SSD and put windows on it! You'll thank yourself later.