1. Tringa

    Tringa

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    Dave
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    Hope someone can help with this laptop problem

    My daughter's laptop is an HP Pavilion running Windows 10 and is about a year old. Yesterday after an update (don't know if it was the recent one that has been mentioned in other posts here) it restarted. The only odd thing was the wallpaper was a generic Windows picture not the usual one she has set, but the password box was there. When she entered her password she got the following message :-


    C:\windows\system32\config\systemprofile\Desktop refers to a location that is unavailable.

    There was more to the message but it all it said was the location could be on a disc drive or a network and to make sure the drive is inserted correctly or the computer was connected to a network.


    We tried a couple things suggested online,

    eg. copying the desktop folder from C:\users\username to C:\windows\system32\config\systemprofile


    and also this one -

    Change desktop location through Registry Editor
    If the copy and past solution fails to help, you can try to correct the desktop location by modifying the registry.

    Step 1. Press Windows + R simultaneously to pull up Run box, type regedit and press enter.

    Step 2. Find and expand HKEY_CURRENT_USER section in the left pane. Click on Software, then navigate to Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders.

    Step 3. Make sure User Shell Folders is highlighted and in the left pane, then double click Desktop. Make sure under Value data: the value is either %USERPROFILE%\Desktop or C:\Users\%USERNAME%\Desktop is the value. Click OK. Close the registry editor.

    Step 4. Restart your system and check if your problem is fixed.


    Neither of these worked.


    Two other error messages were also seen -

    "An attempt was made to reference a token that does not exist"

    “Unknown hard error sihost.exe is missing”

    I'm thinking we might have to buy an external DVD (the laptop does not have an internal DVD) and boot up from a Linux DVD, copy important files elsewhere and then reinstall Win 10.

    Grateful for any suggestions and if we go down the external DVD route is there anything to bear in mind about the external DVD drives? There seems to be a large range of prices

    Thanks

    Dave
     
  2. sphexx

    sphexx

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    Since it’s a recent laptop you can probably boot from a USB stick with Linux on it if you go down that route.
     
  3. nandbytes

    nandbytes

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    been a while since I used windows but you used to be able to system restore to before installing the update thus undoing all changes. But you will also lose any work you have done since the update.

    can you boot up in safe mode?
     
  4. Tringa

    Tringa

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    Thanks for the suggestion about using a USB stick for booting from Linux, Richard.

    I'll have a go at getting into safe mode, Nandbytes.

    When switched now the 'Unknown hard error...', message appears. If I OK that, it brings up the wallpaper (the one my daughter chose, rather than the generic one) and the password box. Inputting the password gets a welcome to Windows with a rotating ring of dots that continues for about 5 mins then the screen goes blank. The cursor is still there, I can move it about but there is nothing to click on.

    Think it is going to be a long day.

    Any other suggestions from other will be gratefully received.

    Dave
     
  5. nandbytes

    nandbytes

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    does ctrl+atl+delete work?

    I am wondering if you can get to the control panel somehow?
     
  6. GTG

    GTG Suspended / Banned

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    If it was me I would try and take out the hdd / ssd from the laptop and connect it to my other PC and copy any files I want to keep from it and then clean install
     
  7. nandbytes

    nandbytes

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    this is what I would do too, but I think OP doesn't have the means to do this now. So just trying to work out if he can do something before he has to go down this or other similar route :)
     
  8. Tringa

    Tringa

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    Can't boot into Safe Mode. Ctrl+Alt+Del does work but in Win 10 it doesn't give access to the Control Panel. The options from Ctrl+Alt+Del are

    Lock,
    Switch User,
    Sign Out,
    Change Password, and
    Task Manager.

    Switch User might have been useful but there is only one user on this laptop and I can't get far enough into Windows to create another one, but thanks for the suggestion.

    If all else fails I might have to go down that route, GTG, thanks.

    Dave
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
  9. troutfisher

    troutfisher

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    Have you tried pressing F8 repeatedly when its starting up that should get it into safe mode
     
  10. Tringa

    Tringa

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    Unfortunately that does not work. Neither does pressing f11 which, according to online guides, should access the recovery partition of the hard drive.

    Dave
     
  11. Mikesphotaes

    Mikesphotaes

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    Sounds like it may have given a diferent letter to the hard drive, during the update.

    If you read that thread on the big update, somebody gave a way to change it back.

    Not much good if you can't get in though!

    What about pressing F2 during start up?
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
  12. neil_g

    neil_g

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    F keys sometimes also need the fn/function key held as they're dual purpose keys.
     
  13. Mr Bump

    Mr Bump

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    If you have your stuff backed up which I am sure you do then just wipe and reinstall from USB
     
  14. sphexx

    sphexx

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    Key phrase in the OP IS “My daughter's laptop...” so I wouldn’t assume that :(
     
  15. Mr Bump

    Mr Bump

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    ah whoops, you can get Linux boot for usb called hirens that will do what you need.
    you will need ausb stick of a few gb and download the hirens newest version then create a bootable usb stick
     
  16. Tringa

    Tringa

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    Very true. :)

    I'm finding the whole thing confusing. We managed to get it to boot and show all the icons that my daughter had created. Even though this was via a normal password screen the icons were not in the 'right' places and the background was blank. Unfortunately the folders with the docs that my daughter wanted to keep were not accessible.

    I got into a HP checking utilities on the laptop and it showed the hard drive to be fine.

    I put a bootable copy of Unbuntu on a USB stick. This also had a disc checker, so I ran it, and it too, said the hard drive was OK. It booted from the USB and Unbuntu screen appeared with a few icons on it, one of which was clearly the file system. Although I could move the cursor over them I could not get any response from any of them.

    I'll have a go at trying the f keys with the Function key

    I have been able to see the hard drive and the drive letter is still 'C'.

    I'll have a go with Hirens on a USB stick and see if that works.

    It is looks increasing likely that there is going to be a clean installation of Win 10 with the loss of some data.

    Many thanks all for the comments and suggestions.

    Dave
     
  17. gramps

    gramps

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    I’ve had exactly the same problem with my Dell XPS grr!
    Currently doing a full restore from an Acronis backup.
     
  18. gramps

    gramps

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    Laptop is back up and running from the Acronis restore ... won't be updating Windows anytime soon :(
     
    sphexx likes this.

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