Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Unable to refresh or reset PC after Automatic Repair fail

  1. #11


    Posts : 1,121
    Windows 8.1 x64


    Quote Originally Posted by Anshad Edavana;389811 "Last known good configuration" will only try to use the secondary [B
    "Controlset"[/B].Usually there will be at least two Controlset in all systems and may more in some systems (Controlset001, Controlset002 etc). Default "Controlset" to be used is determined by the value stored in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Select key. When we select "Last known good configuration", secondary controlset will be used. So if the "System" hive file is corrupted, both controlsets will be unavailable - "System Restore" or manual hive file replacement from "Regback" folder will be necessary.
    You are getting a little too far down in the Weeds for me. The basic reason for Last Know Good was to allow backups for things that are involved in booting your computer. This system was not booting, so the option may have helped the original problem, unless you know the Auto Repair has already tried that.

    I would be interested in knowing, when a user cannot access the Reset function during a Repair option, what does deleting the HKLM\System key do to suddenly allow such access? Why was it designed in such a manner, and does it work the same way in Windows 8.1?

    Does it behave the same if you have booted into a Recovery Drive, or the Install Media?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #12



    The basic reason for Last Know Good was to allow backups for things that are involved in booting your computer. This system was not booting, so the optionmay have helped the original problem, unless you know the Auto Repair has already tried that.
    Basically there are five Registry hive files inside "System32\Config" folder. They are SYSTEM, SOFTWARE, DEFAULT, SAM and SECURITY. Upon booting, Windows will read this hive files and build the Registry dynamically depending on the hardware and software configuration of the system. SOFTWARE is the hive file which usually stores all software configurations and SYSTEM will have all hardware and driver related info. Usually SYSTEM will be mounted in the Registry branch HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM. Under that branch there will be at least two sub branches named Controlset001 and Controlset002 etc. A control set contains system configuration information such as device drivers and services. Usually Windows will only use either one of the Controlset at a time and the other one will be used a s a backup.

    What are Control Sets? What is CurrentControlSet?

    For example, if you install a new driver, a configuration information for it will be written under the current Controlset in use - let us say "Controlset001". Suppose If the new driver install crashed your system and when you select "Last Known Good", Windows will read the backup Controlset which doesn't contain the new changes ( in this case "Controlset002" ). Since the backup "Controlset" is not updated with new driver's configuration, usually the system will boot fine so you can troubleshoot the issue.



    I would be interested in knowing, when a user cannot access the Reset function during a Repair option, what does deleting the HKLM\System key do to suddenly allow such access? Why was it designed in such a manner, and does it work the same way in Windows 8.1?
    As you already know, "Refresh" operation will preserve all installed drivers and modern apps. To do that the process must mount both SYSTEM and SOFTWARE hives and backup software and driver settings. Although "Reset" won't preserve anything, it will also try to mount the hives - may be because "Reset" and 'Refresh" are performed by same tool or "Reset" may trying to read licensing info to preserve activation status.

    If one of the hive file is corrupted, the process won't be able to mount them and hence the operation will be failed. If we rename the hive files, "Reset" will skip the hive mounting process and continue the operation.

    Sorry if this is confusing. I only barely speak English.
    Last edited by Anshad Edavana; 10 Jun 2014 at 03:46.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #13


    Posts : 1,121
    Windows 8.1 x64


    Quote Originally Posted by Anshad Edavana View Post
    I would be interested in knowing, when a user cannot access the Reset function during a Repair option, what does deleting the HKLM\System key do to suddenly allow such access? Why was it designed in such a manner, and does it work the same way in Windows 8.1?
    As you already know, "Refresh" operation will preserve all installed drivers and modern apps. To do that the process must mount both SYSTEM and SOFTWARE hives and backup software and driver settings. Although "Reset" won't preserve anything, it will also try to mount the hives - may be because "Reset" and 'Refresh" are performed by same tool or "Reset" may trying to read licensing info to preserve activation status.

    If one of the hive file is corrupted, the process won't be able to mount them and hence the operation will be failed. If we rename the hive files, "Reset" will skip the hive mounting process and continue the operation.
    Thanks for the info, that took some time on your part. But what you say is not confusing, seems to be perfect English.

    To me, the requirement to rename the hives is illogical. A Reset should ignore everything and do the Reset requested, especially since it does not need the information to complete the operation. I appreciate the explanation and just will assume it is what it is. As you mentioned, Microsoft seems to have made some design decisions where some situations appear to be unexpected and they neglected to plan for such things.

    Thanks again. Whipcream did find a good answer.

    Edit: To test I did as the link directs and renamed both the System and Software hives. This was done to see what might happen to the system if a Reset was not performed on the system. As you might expect, the system would not boot after 3 attempts. I went to the Advanced options and did a Startup Repair, which did allow the system to boot normally. The System and Software hives had been replaced.

    I suppose this would suggest, if the registry was corrupt in the first place, a Reset may not have been needed. My Srttrails.txt file did determine "Registry is Corrupt" as the problem, which Whipcream's log did not show. I suppose there may have been some other type of corruption in another area... no way to know..
    Last edited by Saltgrass; 10 Jun 2014 at 11:29.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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