Fixing Windows Fall Creator Update (1079) ‘Restoring your previous version of windows’ startup loop

Symptoms

  • PC starts up, bios screen is shown, windows loader goes through but stops right after the following message “Restoring your previous version of Windows”. Then it restarts and on and on.
  • Unable to enter into recovery mode because PC shuts down before.

You are going to need :

  • A Windows 10 bootable disk or usb
  • (optional) a hard drive to back up your data

Steps

Plug the USB or Disk. Start by putting the PC boot mode into legacy (not UEFI).  On bios splash screen press the key to enter boot options (F12 for Dell). Now select your key/disk, soon should you see a Windows logo. If you get prompted with a yes/no dialogue, just press escape. Then select ‘repair computer’, then ‘Advanced Options’ and finally ‘Command Prompt’.

Now we need to know which partitions are assigned to which letter in the Windows recovery environment.

I advise you to take this opportunity to backup your data in order to avoid any loss of data caused by misusing the command line.

DiskPart
lis vol

If you want to back up note your external hardrive mount point (I’m assuming it’s E) and run :

cd /d E:
mkdir win_2017_fall_backup
robocopy C:\ E:\win_2017_fall_backup\ /E /XJ /W:1 /R:1

In the list that appears please note the partition corresponding to your Windows C:\ Drive. I am going to assume it’s C. Also take note of your UEFI partition, it should be around 500MB large, formatted in FAT32 and labelled “ESP”. It should not be assigned to any letter yet, but note the volume number.

For those of you who made a restore point, the end is near. In the command prompt run :

rstrui.exe /OFFLINE:C:\Windows

Then you should see the system restore interface.

For those who do not have a valid restore point, it gets a bit more complicated.  We need to flush the UEFI partition and rebuild it. I am going to assume that my UEFI partition is ‘Volume 2’ (see above). First we need to mount the UEFI partition. If Z: is taken as a mount point (already assigned in the above diskpart above) just take any other free letter.

DiskPart
sel vol 2
assign letter=Z:
exit

Now we are going to flush the UEFI Partition. Assuming it is mounted on Z  and your Windows C:\ is mounted on C. Also, replace ‘fr-fr’ by your language id, such as ‘en-us’.

format Z: /FS:FAT32
 cd /d Z:
 MD \EFI\Microsoft\Boot
 bcdboot c:\Windows /l fr-fr /s Z: /f All

Now exit the command prompt and reboot. Put the boot mode back to UEFI (disabling secure boot might be a good idea).
The first reboot should show you a new blue screen with an ‘Inaccessible boot device’. Second reboot should give you the option to boot in safe mode, do that. Now Windows should start the rollback process.

If this does not work please let me know @GuardianOfHoney.

If everything fail your last resort is to make a clean install of Windows 10.

  • Aaron S

    Outstanding, this worked great on a business laptop that the user let the battery go dead during the update. Thank you!

    • Leo TOMAS

      Thanks for reaching out, glad I could help.

  • John R

    My PC was always in Legacy mode, not UEFI. Does this affect your instructions?

    • Leo TOMAS

      I don’t think the instructions above will work in your case. Logically if your Win10 is not using UEFI you should not see a UEFI partition when you run “lis Vol”. You can always try to go back to a previous restore point with rstrui.exe as instructed above. Best of luck.

      • John R

        There are no restore points (not my computer). But as I mentioned, I was able to fix it from that other page. Thanks.