Question Really messed up, I think. Too many MS Windows?

OhGod

Great
Feb 17, 2020
50
3
85
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They say idle hands are the devil's play-things, but since I've been staying home, I think it's the other way around. :(. I think I really messed up this time.

Going to try to keep it short - haha:

For reasons too long to go into, I wanted to perform a complete reset / recovery. The reset/recovery did not work though! I tried three times and it would go through almost everything, then tell me that no changes were made. Thinking I'd just reinstall fresh from a bootable USB, I tried that and I put Windows Home on one Primary partition. It would not start or let me back into my system, but kept looping me back in to "Install" or "Repair"; Repair just took me back to the same thing: Install or Repair (basically, NO other option than to Install, but I had already tried that). I then tried choosing Windows Pro which is what I originally had on it. It went through install, but did the same thing again. I could not get in or get past Install. Repair now took me to Continue to PC, but it showed THREE different Windows installations and those would take me back to Install or Repair. :( I could not get a picture of screen with the three, because it goes by pretty fast.

I THEN found this:
us.msi.com/support/technical_details/NB_Boot_OS_Entry
which had me go through Bios and reset it. After the Bios reset, it took me to the screen to log in with the three Windows choices again. I was trying to get my phone to take a picture and also read what each said/was but it then it actually worked, I guess, and took me through the entire Cortana-guided set-up experience, after which I was finally able to log into this:

i.imgur.com/fS3aN0l.jpg
i.imgur.com/a4rzlLl.jpg
i.imgur.com/LxtWZ4l.jpg
i.imgur.com/2VkhX9Z.jpg
i.imgur.com/HxPv63g.jpg

First of all, how do I tell if I really have more than one Windows installed, and how do I get rid of the extra one without messing everything up even further? There are "Windows" folders in both the C Drive and the D Drive, plus a bunch of old Windows.

Need help please, and I promise to stay away from trying to tweak my systems.
 

OhGod

Great
Feb 17, 2020
50
3
85
0
Update: Thought I should begin setting up (at least a little) the Windows instance I was in, and changed the registry since my .inf files do not have Install in context menu), then restarted. This is what came up:
i.imgur.com/YSbQXrO.jpg

I thought I could right-click on second option and just 'delete' it :) (worth a try?), but it tried to log into it, I guess. I then got this:
i.imgur.com/7ajroDM.jpg
i.imgur.com/Gxua3gp.jpg

After it cycled, it went back to option screen and I guess it did self-delete one instance because now I only have two.

Any help is appreciated.
 

OhGod

Great
Feb 17, 2020
50
3
85
0
Figured it out for the most part. Went to system configuration (msconfig), then boot tab where it is giving me an option to delete one (one is marked Default, the other, Current).
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
What exactly are you trying to do here? Sounds like you were doing Windows setups without removing the old installations which is why you were getting all those other versions you could select.

If you just want to install Windows clean on the system, make a backup of your files, then boot off the setup media, go to advanced disk options, delete the all the existing partitions then start the setup on the drive which would be blank. Then you will have one Windows setup there.

This will wipe everything off the drive and give you a single clean partition with a single Windows installation. Then just copy your files/bookmarks, etc.. from the backup. Or do what I do when I need to install Windows clean, put a new drive in the system and install Windows on that, use your existing drive for backups and to copy your files over.
 

OhGod

Great
Feb 17, 2020
50
3
85
0
What exactly are you trying to do here?
That was not the intent to begin with. Managed to move most of my Adobe seats to my new system, but began fresh with all the plugins. The plugins that were left over on this older system, plus some old music editing files which had not been removed correctly in the past (before I got it) left it pretty wonky and slow. All I wanted to do was a reset, first leaving what remained of my files and applications and when that did not work, a full reset. That did not work either. The system was clearly corrupted as I later found out, but it would have been a choice of several simple fixes as I found out later, like cmd'ing a C:\$SysReset\Logs\Setupact.log and reading it upon first fail to see what the issue was, and fixing it. Live and learn. Worth it! - although I wasn't feeling that yesterday. Screw the Easter Bunny. I kept sneaking to my system to try and fix it.

Anyway, at that point (when the resets kept failing), I just chose the 'fresh' install it proposed, but that did not work either. I know how to reinstall, but this was the same install option, but it was popping up from the failed reset attempts, so I went with it. Twice. The second time adding a Windows Home choice and a Home key from one of my other systems just to see if it would let me in. Fail again. By that time, I had the two installs / operating systems.

That's when I found the msi. info. page and was able to enter Bios and install yet again, and was able to get it to work, although I still had all three operating systems. In fiddling around with it the following day (yesterday) , I opened the msconfig boot choices, then Googled it JUST to be sure, and BINGO. The problem then, was that I had (kind of) erroneously kept the bootable, system, etc. on the HDD instead of the SSD, basically making the SSD partition a waste.

Finally got out of the house for a while yesterday and after returning late in the evening, snuck out of bed and ended up reinstalling everything again, this time to the correct partition and all is great.

Hopefully someone else can learn from my boneheaded stubbornness.
 
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