Truecrypt - Hidden OS not booting after Win update

Discussion in 'encryption problems' started by KloseM, Jul 18, 2021.

  1. KloseM

    KloseM Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2021
    Posts:
    2
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Hi to everyone,

    I'm newly registered and after checking many posts for a possible solution to my problem, I find this community to be very nice and strong. I'm in a somehow desperate situation, so I hope that some of the great people around here, would take the time (which is precious for anyone) to offer me some help. I've browsed the past discussions and I've already started to learn a lot of new things, which I should have learned and apply them earlier before. I still didn't find a solution yet, only a person was disscusing about a similar situation, but with no real help for me.

    The situation goes like this:

    On one of my computers I am using TC with Hidden OS (Win 7 Ultimate) since many years ago. I know, many of you will wonder why I still use it and why Windows. Let's just say that I have some doubts about what happened after the sudden and very strange way of TC's project termination. I still remember the day I saw that very strange message posted on the TC homepage regarding the termination. Why Windows? I just need a full Windows enviroment too.

    Anyway, I have to use this setup and a few days ago I had to apply some Win updates for the Hidden OS. I've did this on other ocassions, without problems, but now after researching, I've seen examples and understood that the Win updates could actually cause big troubles for a TC enviroment. I now know this can be totally avoided with backups, backups and backups, but unfortunately I didn't do a full backup before applying the updates. Especially I'm sorry that I didn't know about sector by sector clone before. That I would have made before aplying any updates.

    So...after the restart and after entering the Hidden OS's password, I'm presented with the black screen Windows Boot Manager error

    Error 0xc000000f
    Info: The boot selection failed because a required device is inaccessible.


    There is no other option of entering the recovery mode, F8 option not working either, only this error.
    The thing is that the Decoy OS loads and works perfectly fine. Also, from the Decoy OS, I can mount the Hidden OS as a normal volume and have access to all of it's files. This means that Windows didn't play with the TC bootloader or the volume headers, right? It messed only with something inside the Hidden OS's files. I have the TC Rescue Disk and the first thing I did, was to restore the TC bootloader.

    After researching, it seems that one of the reasons for this error could be the BCD file being corrupted. I know the separate System Reserved partition (100 mb) holds that file in the "Boot" folder but I have noticed that on the Hidden OS partition there is a "Boot" folder too containing a BCD file.
    Isn't the Hidden OS using the same System Reserved partition for loading the BCD file? Or is it using this one instead?
    Further, I have compared the System Reserved partition's BCD file with the one found in the Hidden OS by opening them both with Visual BCD Editor and they are completely different in structure and size. The Hidden OS's BCD file lacks many settings found in the System Reserved partition's BCD file. I don't know if in my case this file could represent the problem, since the Decoy OS is loading, but maybe could be a hint.

    Maybe there could be some log files where I can find what is causing this trouble. I've already checked the Hidden OS's events logs by loading them up in the Decoy OS's Event Viewer, but I didn't notice anything important.

    Maybe someone more experienced and willing to help could find a solution. I have a strong feeling that this problem could be fixed with a little more knowledge. I really don't want to go down the road of wipe and clean install.

    I thank you all in advance!
     
  2. KloseM

    KloseM Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2021
    Posts:
    2
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Hi again,

    I'm coming with an update. After many days of reading and trying several tools, I have found the solution, so I'm posting this in case someone with a simillar problem needs help. The solution was a small, but powerful tool, called DISM++ (practically the GUI version of the DISM command-line utility). Since this tool is intended for managing Windows images (clean, update, backup, recover, optimize, etc..) it means that the system which need modifications doesn't necessarily have to be live. The tool can manage any partition which contains a Windows installation and the key part is that it can uninstall updates. In my case, since I was able to access the Decoy OS and from there mount the Hidden OS as a normal volume, with this tool I have uninstalled the last Win updates applied to the Hidden OS. Rebooted and everything came back to normal.
     
  3. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    Posts:
    9,330
    Location:
    U.S.A. (South)
    Hi @KloseM It's really appreciated that you bothered to return and give us happy news of your relief in that result given seems your Topic was left to twist in the wind with not so much as a one reply.

    And i have to say your timing couldn't be any better my friend. Most user's look at Windows 7 and Windows 8 user's reliance and system usage of those O/S's as of no interest anymore or worthy of reputation enough to pitch in when an issue crops up. And that's a real shame as well as wholly inaccurate. I said 'timing' because i have been reupping my 8 systems in light of Windows 11 debut announcement since those units will for all purposes for most be considered junkpile fodder.

    Nothing could be further from the truth for both. Glad you found DISM++ and it worked to recover what you was desparately needing. I too have AFTER WINDOWS 8 UPDATE have run into ISSUES of my own, and not DISM++ but rather Windows DISM (I also have and can use DISM++) with just the right commands is proven of immense help in overcoming introduced problems that MICROSOFT UPDATES fudged up.

    For example some updates (as i been scrambling to catch up on before they are gone for good) broken the sync on me for Win 8.1 Recovery Environment PATH rendering CustomRefresh (Fantastic Win 8 Feature Rollback without losing settings or files) like a RESET would. Also DISM is reliable when SFC/Scannow cannot (or will not) fix files it deems corrupted.

    In short, also Reagentc after DISM re-establishing PATH to the Windows 8 RECOVERY Volume and such aligned EVERYTHING as the computer requires to function that feature. It's like Microsoft is deliberately turned a blind eye to many such snafu's they could easily have supplied in a single Cumalative Update for us 7 and 8 user's.

    I for one am thrilled you recovered it. Thanks so much for posting. Someone many others may read and discover all is not lost when they can find replies as yours that there are Programs which can save them tons of wasted time and frayed nerves.

    One of their so called Updates (Reckless) cost me a once good 1TB Hard Drive this week and i won't forget that. I also ran into their sticky fingers malicious intent of not being able to simply uninstall a update and also seized up the Windows Update Screen from Control Panel.

    Keep studying and learning more. Thru Google Search we have adequate resources of users who run into many situations and they are reasonable and generous enough to share the solution for everyone's benefit.

    Welcome To The Forums @KloseM :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2021
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