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I have a Notebook which originally ran Windows 8 and has been upgraded to 8.1 and then to Windows 10 with the Microsoft Updater (no clean installation of these upgrades). It ran fine without issues.

Since I updated my main workstation to 1903 a couple of weeks ago, I decided to upgrade the Notebook too. The tricky part is that I encrypted the boot partition with VeraCrypt. I always take my notebook with me and I don't want anyone to be able to access my files in the event that it is stolen.

I've downloaded the 1903 updater from the Microsoft website (since the auto-updater didn't show it yet) and started the download. A bit later it installed the update and everything seemed to be fine - but when it restarted the system, it went into a boot-loop. I've searched on the internet for what to do, and they said to shut it down, restart it, and if that didn't help to install a fix when booting into safe mode.

The issue with that suggestion is that I have no option to boot into Safe Mode since it (after inserting the VeraCrypt password) says it needs to be repaired or reset. When I click to repair it, it shows Windows 8 as target system.

In the recovery menu there is an option "F8 for Startup Options", but if I press F8 the screen flickers for a brief moment and nothing happens.

Does anyone know of anything I could do without to resetting the PC completely?

  • The upgrade process supports BitLocker, due to the fact it can suspend BitLocker, and then later resume BitLocker protection. However, you should have disabled VeraCrypt, before you performed the upgrade. When you say "reset the PC completely" what are you trying to achieve. Windows 10 supports a Reset feature but that presumes you have the ability to use that feature which based on your description you do not currently process. – Ramhound Jul 19 '19 at 14:38
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A Windows feature upgrade is more a new installation than an update. Over-simplified, at one stage of this process, a "mini Windows" is started which should transfer the settings from the old installation to the new one and "swap" the installations so that from now on the new one starts.

The problem is that this "mini Windows" by default does not include the Veracrypt drivers and thus does not have access to the encrypted system partition / drive, possibly leaving the system in a "half-configured", faulty state.

I believe you now only can decrypt your HDD, backup your important files and start over from scratch.

The next time you want to do a feature upgrade with an encrypted system disk / partition, you have some options:

  1. Before doing the upgrade, decrypt your system disk / partition. After having done the upgrade, re-encrypt it.

  2. Do the upgrade deploying the Windows 10 media patcher method as outlined here.

  3. Deploy the ReflectDrivers mechanism, outlined at the very same place (click).

(Side note: I know that it's preferred to not just provide a link, but also outline the solution here, but in this case, this really would take up too much space.)

(Side note: When decrypting and re-encrypting an SSD, please be aware that some unencrypted data could be left on the drive. If you are very serious about encryption, you should apply special precautions when working with SSDs. However, this is not subject of your original question, so I won't go into the details here.)

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What is the notebook model? HP? Because I have an HP and it doesn't respect EFI boot.

It always boots the Microsoft entry, so Veracrypt replaces the Microsoft boot entry; but sometimes the file replaced with an original copy by Microsoft updates (bootmgfw.efi).

If your PC boots into repair mode, open a command prompt, mount the EFI partition and copy back the original file.

Other option is: disable secure boot (this is important, otherwise the PC will silently ignore your selected boot option), then use F9 or whatever key you have to open the "boot options" menu and go EFI->Veracrypt->DcsBoot.efi

More info here: https://sourceforge.net/p/veracrypt/discussion/technical/thread/f403d1d8/

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  • Hi, no, it is a 6 year old Asus... i tried and can decrypt the partition via Veracrypt, so i tought, if nothing else works, i copy over the most important files and reinstall win10 from scratch... I already disabled secure boot.... How do i mount the efi partition? Do you mean the encrypted one? Thanks! – pixx Aug 26 '19 at 6:43

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