WS4 Tech Notes
Repairing WS4 or WS8 Windows 10 Operating System
Product: WS4, WS8
Date Added: 2020-10-09
If Windows starts "Preparing Automatic Recovery" or enters the Aptio Setup Utility screen, try these steps to repair the Windows operating system.
Create a recovery USB drive
Insert a USB flash memory drive with 8+ GB capacity into a computer running Windows 10. It is preferably a USB3 drive, inserted into a USB3 port. Windows will say 16+ GB is required but 8+ GB is sufficient.
Click on the Windows start menu or the search box next to it. Type 'recovery', click on the search hit 'create a recovery drive'.
On 'create a recovery drive', check 'back up system files to the recovery drive', click on 'next'. On 'select the USB flash drive', make sure the correct USB drive is selected. Click on 'next', 'create' until a progress bar appears on 'creating the recovery drive'. Wait until 'the recovery drive is ready' then click on 'finish'.
Safely eject the recovery USB drive. One method is to click on the USB drive icon in the notifications area on the task bar to open a list of connected removable devices. Then click on the recovery USB drive.
Enter BIOS setup
Insert the recovery USB drive into the ws4/WS8 (powered off). Press the power button on the front panel to turn on the WS4/WS8. Press the Del key repeatedly until the computer enters Aptio Setup Utility.
Check boot drive
Press left / right to the 'boot' tab. Make sure the correct drive is 'boot option #1'. In most cases, it will be a Crucial SSD. Proceed to the next section if 'boot option #1' is correct.
If not, press down to 'boot option #1'. Press enter to bring up a list of drives. Press up / down to highlight the correct drive, then press enter to select it. Press right to the 'save & exit' tab. Press down to 'save changes and reset'. Remove the recovery USB drive from the computer. Press enter to restart the computer.
See if Windows now boots properly. If not, return to BIOS setup (recovery USB drive inserted into the WS4/WS8) and proceed to the next section.
Boot recovery USB drive
Press left / right to the 'save & exit' tab. If the recovery USB drive is listed under 'boot override', press down to highlight it and press enter.
If not listed as an override, press left to the 'boot' tab. Press down to 'boot option #1'. Press enter, highlight the recovery USB drive, press enter again to select it. Press right to the 'save & exit' tab. Press down to 'save changes and reset'. Press enter.
'Choose keyboard layout' is the first screen loaded by the recovery USB drive. Press enter ('US' layout should be selected by default). Using the arrow keys and the enter key, select 'troubleshoot', 'startup repair'. If startup repair is not successful, select 'advanced options', 'troubleshoot', then 'command prompt'.
This applies to WS4/WS8 with serial number 1xxx only. There should be 1 USB2 port on the front panel. If using WS4/WS8 with serial number 2xxx, see EFI repair step below.
On the prompt, type each statement below then press enter to execute one at a time.
bootrec /fixmbr bootrec /fixboot bootrec /scanos bootrec /rebuildbcd
If the above commands succeed, type exit on the prompt to return to the options menu. Select to 'turn off your PC'. Remove the recovery USB drive and turn on the WS4/WS8.
This applies to WS4/WS8 with serial number 2xxx only. There should be 2 USB3 ports on the front panel. If using WS4/WS8 with serial number 1xxx, see MBR repair step above.
On a different computer, open this article. Follow 'How to repair your EFI bootloader', 'Windows 10', 'If you do have the installation media'. At this point, you should be ready to start at step 6-i.
After step 6-i (
list disk to get the correct number for the Windows drive. The
Windows drive will be about 250 GB. Use the correct number for step 6-ii.
For step 7-i (
sel vol), the EFI partition will be FAT32 under the fs (filesystem) column, and may
indicate 'hidden' under the 'info' column.
For step 7-ii (
assign letter), N or V is commonly used. Can be anything that is not already in use.
Step 8-i (
cd) will fail if you selected the wrong disk and / or the volume.
After step 8-ii (
bootrec), if the command is successful, remember to skip over the section for
'if you do not have the installation media'. Continue at 'The next step is the same across all
systems: 1. Rebuild the BCD store'. Enter
exit on the command prompt after bcdboot is successful,
then select to 'turn off your PC'.
If step 8-ii (
bootrec) failed, e.g., 'access denied' error triggered, execute the following on the
command prompt one at a time. Remember to replace
x: format <drive letter>: /fs:fat32 press enter when prompted for volume label bcdboot c:\windows /s <drive letter>: /f UEFI
exit on the command prompt, then select to 'turn off your PC'. Remove the recovery USB drive
from the WS8. If you modified the 'boot option #1' BIOS setting previously in order to load the recovery
drive, you must now change it to boot the Windows drive.