I accidentally initiated a hard drive wipe on a Windows 10 partition and stopped the process as soon as I noticed (less than a second), but it was too late.

  • This is a dual boot PC with separate Windows and Linux partitions, and I can still switch to my Ubuntu startup partition without issue.

When attempting to boot Windows, this is the sequence of what happens, along with my troubleshooting steps:

  1. "Preparing Automatic Repair" begins
  2. "Choose an option" screen is shown
  3. I first try "Continue", but nothing happens.
  4. I then choose: Troubleshoot > Reset this PC and keep my files
    • Result: Cycles back to home "Choose an option" screen
  5. Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Startup Repair
    • Result: "Couldn't repair your PC", which lists the path to a log file, and a "Command Prompt" option (I wonder if this might be useful for troubleshooting?)
  6. Boot to a Windows InstallUSB > Install Now > Upgrade option is chosen
    • I then get the following "Compatibility report screen", which is where I am stuck Screenshot

What are the next troubleshooting steps given the above?

Is it possible there is more I have to do before reinstalling Windows?

  • What do you mean by "initiated hard drive wipe"? That you selected to format the Windows OS partition? If so, and the quick format process started, the OS partition will not contain any files/directories (view in notepad > CTRL+O, or from Linux). If that's the case, use TestDisk to recover the partition table. If the partition was not formatted and still has files/partitions, issue the following command sequence: bootrec /fixmbr > BIOS only: bootrec /fixboot > bootrec /rebuildbcd - if it finds an install, add it, if not, reboot once the command completes. – JW0914 May 23 at 16:16
  • Cont'd... Download: TestDisk. Also, Windows can only be upgraded when the InstallUSB's / ISO's setup.exe is executed while booted to Windows. – JW0914 May 23 at 16:42
  • Thanks for the feedback. As to how I 'initiated a hard drive wipe' it was via the 'Anti-theft' feature of Bitdefender. Accidentally chose wrong device. – Bachalo May 25 at 15:50

Try to fix the MBR in the system by using Command Prompt and issuing:

BootRec /FixMbr && BootRec /FixBoot && BootRec /ScanOs && BootRec /RebuildBcd
| improve this answer | |
  • bootrec /scanos is not needed, as /rebuildbcd does that, and /fixboot only works on BIOS motherboards, not UEFI (UEFI requires extra steps, mounting and entering the EFI boot partition, in order to use /fixboot) – JW0914 May 23 at 16:18

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