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15 inch XPS 9560 not booting after last Windows 2020 update

I've had this issue with the last three Windows updates where the boot sequence will be stuck on the Dell logo.

In previous cases I had to manually hard boot (hold down the PWR key) for it to try again. Slowly and sluggishly, usually after a few times of doing this, it would complete the update. However on the last update - May 2020, it has not been able to boot up and is just stuck in the black Dell logo screen.

I've run Support Assist and it doesn't detect any HW failures. When I select continue it launches Support Assist OS Recovery and displays the message

"Error: OS_BOOT_FAILURE" "Something is missing or corrupted files can prevent Windows from booting properly on your computer. We recommend running a software repair."

The SW repair seems to run to completion and reports 

"Everything's back to normal" & "we fixed any missing or corrupted files."

However, upon reboot the it is still stuck on the black Dell logo boot screen. I can keep going through this in a loop.

Utterly poor quality from what is supposed to be a premium laptop!

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Re: 15 inch XPS 9560 not booting after last Windows 2020 update

@DisgruntledXPSowner  If Windows is failing to boot and the hardware is ok, then chances are it's a Windows problem, not a hardware problem.  So I personally wouldn't blame the laptop itself, premium or otherwise.  If it were me, I would just perform a clean install of Windows since if this continues to happen, there's clearly something else going on within the OS that isn't getting fixed properly.  This type of behavior is typically caused by an adverse interaction between the OS and some installed application, not a hardware problem.

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Re: 15 inch XPS 9560 not booting after last Windows 2020 update

So you're saying Dell bears no responsibility when their own support assistant SW reports finding an issue, then claims to have fixed the issue? Anyway yes, I can do a clean install of Windows but I was hoping to recover some files which is what is preventing me from blowing away the OS.

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Re: 15 inch XPS 9560 not booting after last Windows 2020 update

@DisgruntledXPSowner  I didn't comment on what Dell does or should bear responsibility for.  I pointed out that it sounds like an issue with the OS or its interaction with some application you might have installed.  And depending on the nature of the issue, it may not be realistic to expect SupportAssist to diagnose and resolve that problem.  SupportAssist isn't a panacea for OS and application interoperability issues, and I would say that Dell should not bear responsibility for trying to create such an application.  If even Microsoft that actually WRITES Windows hasn't managed to achieve that in any meaningful way, then how would it be realistic to expect Dell to do so?

As for recovering data, even if you can't boot into your OS, you could use any number of bootable tools to access your files, or just use a disk imaging tool to capture a backup of your entire disk that you can then mount as a virtual disk later in order to browse it and extract the required data.  There are many solid options for both, some of them also free.  Macrium Reflect is a popular choice in the latter category, and in fact the bootable "Rescue Media" that it creates for backing up and restoring disks outside of Windows includes a basic file browser if you'd prefer to just go that route.

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Re: 15 inch XPS 9560 not booting after last Windows 2020 update

I guess that's the main issue isn't it - Windows. Can't afford the luxury of complacency when working with Windows. Have to always assume it will fail at some point and have to have a rigorous backup plan, also don't waste money on so called premium laptops.

Thanks for the suggestion, I will try that.

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Re: 15 inch XPS 9560 not booting after last Windows 2020 update

@DisgruntledXPSowner  Premium laptops get you higher-end hardware and possibly longer and/or better warranty contracts.  They don't buy you immunity from Windows or application issues.  But yes, Windows has been having more than its fair share of issues pretty much ever since Microsoft decided to push new releases of Windows 10 roughly every 6 months.  And people who run things like third party anti-virus, which hook into the OS in all sorts of ways that Microsoft doesn't support or recommend, seem to have more issues than others.  But that's a longer discussion.

Anyhow, whether Windows is having more or fewer problems than macOS and Linux these days I can't say since I don't spend enough time on those platforms to have an informed basis for comparison.  But no matter what OS you choose to run or how premium your hardware is, assuming that things will fail at some point and having a rigorous backup plan to mitigate that is just good common sense.

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