I have a windows 10 pro machine that has Blue Screened IOInitialize fail. I have tried everything under the sun dism, bcdedit fixboot etc . you name it ..and nothing is working to get it to simply boot. I have no restore points and no reg backup .

Is there any way I can simply reinstall windows over the windows installation and keep all programs and files ? Remember I can not boot into windows so before you tell me to go to start and browse to setup .. remember I can't boot into safe mode or regular mode.

I am open to un-documented or unorthodox or even a standard way to do this .. (microsoft bill gates wanted his mother to be able to operate a computer after 40 years you would think this part would be easy ..)

How can I do this ?

  • Windows cannot be repaired or specifically one cannot perform an in-place installation of Windows, outside of Windows, attempting to install Windows over another instance of Windows outside of Windows will result in a fresh installation of Windows. What you want isn’t possible
    – Ramhound
    Commented Dec 20, 2022 at 18:24

2 Answers 2


You need to create a Windows installation USB and install Windows. You may get the ISO from Microsoft's Download Windows 10 page.

If the installation will find your existing Windows partition and identify it as containing Windows, then proceeding with it will have the same effect as a Windows In-place Upgrade. It will repair the boot and upgrade Windows to the latest version, while keeping all data, apps and most settings.

If your existing Windows installation is not found, then your disk has suffered a catastrophic error. Use a Linux Live USB to save as much of your data that is still recoverable, then check the status of the disk. In the worst case, you may need to replace the disk and start from scratch.

  • I thought "If the installation will find your existing Windows partition and identify it as containing Windows," That only occurs if you can boot to windows, not when you boot from the USB ISO. I have copied things, but it is annoying to re-install everything on the system.
    – StixO
    Commented Dec 22, 2022 at 20:44
  • If you're lucky and the disk is in good enough shape, a USB boot will indeed do an upgrade.
    – harrymc
    Commented Dec 22, 2022 at 20:57
  • This is the option I ended up with - it refused to keep apps though. It did keep username and password etc. but not really as appdata folder was minimized to bare essentials. I am required to re-install all of my software - I did backup appdata and programdata before the re-install - hopefully I got the important stuff.
    – StixO
    Commented Dec 28, 2022 at 17:09
  • I marked as accepted answer - though it did not do all that I intended and desired.
    – StixO
    Commented Dec 28, 2022 at 17:19

A Windows Repair Install will not work if Windows is not running. In your case, Windows is not running. This is by design.

If you are unable to get it to start (based on your post, it looks like NO), then you would need to recover your data (boot from a bootable Windows USB Key (Windows ISO made bootable with Rufus), and then reinstall Windows fresh from the Windows Installation Media.

Use the computer manufacturer’s hardware diagnostics app to test the drive before attempting to reinstall.

  • "Windows Repair Install will not work if Windows is not running" "This is by design." Yeah why would anyone want to repair a non-running windows installation - repairs are for working units. People take their cars into the shop and the mechanics ask what's wrong and the person says nothing I just brought it here for you to work on. When it does not start, they say you have to buy a new car its by design. LOL. In this case would re-install repair cause WOPR to fire off the missiles? I followed HaryrMc - it kept some things not all :-( .I plussed you one.
    – StixO
    Commented Dec 28, 2022 at 17:17

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