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I have a Windows 10 installation that got into a blue screen boot loop after a system crash. I assumed the registry got corrupted since that happened 32 times in the past with this device and putting a backup of the registry back made the system boot but it wouldn't function properly because the registry backup was from 21H2 and the system files were updated to 22H2. To solve that I copied the system files from 21H2 I had in a backup over the updated system files, and the Windows 10 installation works again, it connects to the internet again and the apps and start menu work.

But there are still many other problems, running DISM gives me error 87, the cleanup-image option is unknown. SFC tells me the system was repaired successfully but it doesn't solve any problems. Putting back the newer registry just causes the blue screens to come back.

I want to use a Windows ISO file of Windows 10 Pro 22H2 to perform an in-place upgrade install so the system is completely refreshed but my registry, settings, apps, profiles, and wifi passwords are conserved. The installation starts and goes to 90%-100% but never reboots. Instead it gives me an error stating that the Windows installation has failed, the error logs are empty, and safe boot, nor anything else I found online seem to fix the error.

It could be that the permissions of some files are incorrect but I don't understand why nothing I try seems to do anything. To get around this I would like to know if it's possible to manually copy the files from a good windows image onto my corrupted installation to get it in a state that's stable enough to get the Windows upgrade tool to refresh the operating system.

Google has never helped me fix anything when my Windows installations run into issues. Every single website shows the exact same, useless steps that are just some general solutions to the most basic problems. Completely useless to me 90% of the time. I asked ChatGPT for help and got nothing useful out of that either. Can someone explain how you can install Windows manually by using a command prompt, or by just using Windows Explorer? I also want to know how to transfer settings and wifi passwords from backups of older installations.

After experiencing stuff like this as many times as I did, it's very annoying that Microsoft disabled the automatic RegBack feature, I can only suggest to manually regularly backup your entire registry under C:\Windows\System32\config. The system itself rarely gets damaged, but the registry breaks very often when the system crashes, sometimes completely wiping the contents of the registry even, rendering the entire system useless.

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  • How have you created your 100% functional copy of the installation?
    – harrymc
    Mar 24, 2023 at 20:27
  • There is no difference functionally between mounting the ISO and launching Setup.exe, running the Upgrade Assistant to upgrade your installation to the current version, and allowing Windows Update perform the upgrade. All 3 methods result in an identical end state. If you are getting an error that results in the upgrade being rollback, then your installation is corrupt, and cannot be upgraded using any method since they all perform same identical process. Windows cannot be installed through a command prompt, DISM can be used, but a applying Windows image to your disk would format it.
    – Ramhound
    Mar 24, 2023 at 22:00
  • In order to use the ISO, right-click the file and mount it, then run Setup.exe. Windows will upgrade itself, or attempt to, and rollback the installation due to the corrupted system files.
    – Ramhound
    Mar 24, 2023 at 22:02

1 Answer 1

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At this point, run a Windows 10 Repair Install.

Go to the Windows Media Creation Link

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

Windows 10 is running, so click on the Download button (not Upgrade Button) and select Run. This will launch the Repair. Proceed normally answering the prompts. The default Keep prompt is to Keep Everything.

This is like an installation but is specially set up to keep everything. This is the manual upgrade you requested.

Now, since the registry was corrupted, this may not work. Please expect that.

If it does not work, back everything up and reinstall Windows fresh. Make a bootable USB Key of the ISO in the Creation Link, boot from it and let Windows make its 3 partition and then install.

You can back up all your documents and App installation files, but Settings will be lost.

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  • The problems occur when doing a repair installation, which people also refer to as in place upgrade installation or system refresh installations. I assume if I can't repair it by doing that the last option is to reinstall Windows 10 entirely, but if I do that I need a way to transfer the apps and settings. Thanks for the reply!
    – Foxyz
    Mar 24, 2023 at 20:08
  • If the repair does not work (and I did say it might not because of the registry errors), then your only remaining choice is to back up Apps and Documents and reinstall Windows. Settings will be gone - no way to keep these.
    – John
    Mar 24, 2023 at 20:10
  • The annoying part is that I have a 100% functional copy of the installation with the settings and apps I want to keep on it, but I don't know how I can replace the damaged operating system with the known good one from the backup. Simply copy pasting the system causes all the above mentioned problems.
    – Foxyz
    Mar 24, 2023 at 20:19
  • The settings are part of the registry and it is damaged so I am fairly sure you cannot repair the settings.
    – John
    Mar 24, 2023 at 20:34
  • I was actually able to get it working somehow, I renamed the old windows folder and simply copied all the contents from a known good installation. Then put the registry and other information back and it booted in a very poor and unstable state but just enough to be able to run the windows upgrade installer from an iso which actually got my windows installation fully working again including all apps and settings.
    – Foxyz
    Apr 24, 2023 at 21:48

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