Question

Q: Inaccessible Boot Device error - cause? fix?

I manage multiple computers running Windows 10 Pro 64-bit with the latest Current Branch and recently had multiple computers randomly startup with this BSOD: Inaccessible Boot Device.

I have tried everything:

https://www.windowscentral.com/how-fix-update-causing-inaccessible-boot-device-error-windows-10

Which recommends deleting registry keys and install packages, though no pending installs could be found

SFC /SCANNOW - No corruption found

CHKDSK /R - Some minor issues corrected

BOOTREC - Scan OS shows 0 windows installations

FIXBOOT - Successful, but this tool finally made the entire process fail without being able to get to the recovery environment, just boots to the legacy screen and shows options for safe mode, but those fail too.

I am at my wits end, because I find thousands of websites and desperate users and admins, but the only fix that works is to clean install. I can't clean install the whole company. This is insane, there has to be a better known cause / fix out there...



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Hi Bobby,

This could have resulted due to a corrupted system file. In some cases, it's been caused by third-party antivirus program that causes issues in downloading/installing important updates for Windows 10.

Since you have already used the SFC tool, we suggest proceeding in using the DISM tool to possibly fix things that SFC can't. This article System file check (SFC) Scan and Repair System Files & DISM to fix things SFC cannot created by ZigZag3143 (MS -MVP) would guide you in using the DISM tool.

You can also check the post of Rob_268 from this thread as a reference for a possible resolution to your concern.

Do get back to us with the results and if you have any other questions, don't hesitate to post back.

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I will try DISM the next time it happens. I believe it is an issue with the latest security updates, but it is affecting all types of machines. Mostly older computers, but we run Intel processors primarily.

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We appreciate the update. Don't hesitate to post back so we can know the results and assist you further.

Keep us posted.

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I will try DISM the next time it happens. I believe it is an issue with the latest security updates, but it is affecting all types of machines. Mostly older computers, but we run Intel processors primarily.

I've had it happen on 3 different, older laptops running Windows 10, both 32- and 64-bit versions. It definitely occurs after one of the Windows Updates applied during January 2018. In all cases, chkdsk and sfc showed no major problems.

In 2 of the 3 cases, I fixed it using System Restore to go back to a time before the Windows Updates were installed. Both systems required 20-40 minutes to complete, which was much longer than I would have expected, but they did complete eventually.

After rebooting those systems, I reran Windows Update. The January 2018 updates installed without issue and I was able to reboot successfully.

Unfortunately, the default configuration of Windows 10 is to have System Restore disabled. This was the case on the third system, a very old Acer laptop which I was using mostly for testing purposes of older hardware. Without System Restore, the only other option present was to do a System Reset. That completed successfully, but I lost all of the non-store apps installed on this machine.

I would strongly advise everyone to turn on System Restore on their main disk drive, allocating about 5% to keep an adequate number of restore points. System Restore does not add any noticeable time to Windows Update on Windows 10.

If there's another way to test for and fix a damaged or missing disk driver (Intel SATA in this case) on Windows 10 from the repair console, I would appreciate a pointer. This has to be done only with the resources already available on the broken system.

Bob

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4 people were helped by this reply


You located in Canada and have the Canadian keyboard installed?

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You located in Canada and have the Canadian keyboard installed?

No, located in the U.S. with U.S. English keyboard in all 3 cases.

Bob

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Symantec antivirus?  Use a rmm tool on all of these impacted machines?

Reason I'm asking these cryptic questions is that I have several folks reporting the same thing and I'm trying to figure out commonality.

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Two of the laptops that were recoverable with System Restore (both Toshiba laptops) had Norton Security and Teamviewer installed. The Acer laptop had neither (only Windows Defender) and had to be reset.

What all 3 had in common was that they were seldom rebooted. One of the Toshiba laptops had system restores from 01/10/18 shortly after midnight, 01/09/18 and 01/06/18. Only the earliest restore point worked.

All 3 laptops were originally Windows 7 Home Premium systems that were upgraded directly to Windows 10 Home. All 3 still had and used most of the original Windows 7 drivers, including the SATA and PCI drivers. I'm wondering if there was an earlier version of the 1709 January 2018 Cumulative Update that tinkered with system drivers making the SATA driver unworkable. I've seen a similar situation with older Intel video drivers not working (Error 43) on another system after installing the latest Insider Previews 17063 and 17074.

Only one older Intel desktop system (DG35 chipset) at my workplace with Windows 10 Pro had an issue possibly related to the January Cumulative Update: On Wednesday of last week it spontaneously rebooted and entered the BIOS setup screen without any operator intervention. (Never saw that before!) Upon rebooting the onboard network adapter was not functioning, but this was probably due to Windows 10's quick hardware initialization scheme. A restart solved that issue. However, after rebooting, Windows Update again installed the January Cumulative Update that I personally saw installed on Monday of last week.

I fear this is the situation you predicted years ago in your column when MS took back control of what gets updated in Windows 10. Only with these recent troubles did I discover that W10 Home has no explicit option to delay/defer updates under Advanced Options like the Pro version.

Bob

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I always say, get everyone up to pro.

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I had two Dell XPS computers come up with the same inaccessible boot drive report after a reboot on Jan 11.

Both Dell are Intel computers. (The reports that all problems are related to AMD does not appear to be true)

The older Dell had been a free upgrade from Windows 7.  It had a single internal drive

The newer was a week old and had PRO installed. It had an SSD plus a hard drive. I rebooted that unit because explorer did not show both drives.

Both had Norton Security Suite and were updated.

It reports that the drive is locked and will not allow me to reset 

I have run SFC /scannow but after 10 minutes, it reports that it can not perform the operation

It was a royal pain to build this computer the last time and I don't want to just replace windows and wipe out all of the drivers.

Does anyone have a solution to this Microsoft debacle?

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Views: 5606 Last updated: January 20, 2018 Applies to: