Deleted WindowsApps folder and now I cant boot!

#1
I tried deleting (after copying it to another location) the %ProgramFiles%\WindowsApps folder in order to perform a system restore. The restore point gave me an WindowsApps error, so I searched the internet and found several workarounds consisting on deleting or renaming that folder.

It seemed a bit weird as I understand that folder is necessary for the normal use of the PC. But anyway, I did a copy and deleted the original after changing some permissions (I tried renaming or moving it but it would always gave my "file in use" error).

Then I tried to boot and try the restore point again but now I get a black screen at boot, with the cursor with the spinning circle as if the PC were doing some thinking. The same in safe mode.

And no, I don't want to format, thanks :)

I do have access to other PCs on the same conditions, in case I need files from it (like the WindowsApps folder).

Any ideas on how to get out of this situation?

Thanks in advance!
 


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kemical

Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
#2
It's a long shot but try running DISM.

Open an admin command prompt. Type:
sfc /scannow
press enter and await results

In the same command prompt and after the above scan has finished type:
dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth
Press enter and await results (longer this time).

If the first scan found files it could not repair but the second scan is successful, run the first scan again using the same command prompt box and this time it should repair the files found.
 


#3
I'll try and post, thanks!
 


#4
sfc did nothing, I tried with offline switches and found nothing. DISM doesn't like the /online option in Windows RE.
 


#5
Managed to run dism with restorehealth, not sure if it found errors or not, but the command ended OK. Nothing has changed though :(

Is there a way to check logs and events of Windows from RE? I think maybe reading those I could get more info about the problem...
 


Neemobeer

Windows Forum Team
Staff member
#6
/Online only works for the running environment. You'll need to specify the windows directory with what ever letter it's got such as X:\Windows.
 


Neemobeer

Windows Forum Team
Staff member
#7
Do sfc /scannow /offwindr=X:\windows Replace X with the drive letter for the partition that has windows.
 


#8
That's just what I did. Anyways, checks these logs, it seems to be a LogonUI error?
 


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Josephur

Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
#9
You said you made a copy of the folder, and Windows RE works, why not copy it back? Xcopy is your friend :D
 


#10
I actually did that, one of the first things I tried, and it didn't work. Maybe we're looking at the wrong place here. There's so many places that suggest deleting or moving that folder to fix the restore point failing, like here:

System Restore error 0x80070091

I moved the folder, then tried the restore again, then it failed. Maybe that restore attempt broke something.

For some reason now the login/welcome screen fails to load and I can't do anything, even on safe mode.

Is there anything interesting in the logs?
 


#11
Can you boot into safe mode?

If you can I'd then do an in-place upgrade (if you really don't want to do a clean install).

It should take only 20 minutes or so after the download and you'll keep your data/apps.

And then think in future (or make a backup) before changing authority and/or deleting Windows system folders. I spent a lot of time deleting and compressing things and it isn't always obvious what is required by the OS at what point...

With Regards,
Xovo
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#12
I ended up formatting...

Thanks to all for the support though :)

If anyone ever faces a similar problem, this is what I'm doing to restore some heavy configs of some apps (counting with a full backup of the old OS files/HDD):



  • Check ProgramData / AppData folders for config files (e.g. some ESET configs and exclusions were restored this way).
  • User RegistryViewer app to read the old registry and get apps keys containing config then putting them on the new OS (e.g. this way I restored MPC-HC configurations).


The last tip may sound dangerous (putting old registry keys in the new one) and it should be, but I'm talking about specific apps keys here, is something goes wrong the key can be safely deleted as it shouldn't affect the OS. Nevertheless, always perform a registry backup ;)
 


MikeHawthorne

Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
#13
Hi

In the future when you are doing something like that do not move the folder from it's position on the hard drive.
Just rename the folder, for example Change AppData to AltAppData and leave it where it is, Windows will not see it as a active folder.

Then you can just change the name back to what it was and it will resume doing it's job.

If for instance you find you can't boot, you can just boot to a Ubuntu DVD or Flash Drive and change it back.

Mike
 


ricky

New Member
#14
Several of my Windows Store Apps (Photos, Contacts, and Weather) were badly broken on my computer so I tried a lot to make them work again. They didn't start and the event log recorded "Illegal remote procedure call". I tried the Control Panel's troubleshooter (didn't find anything wrong), several powershell commands (most failed with "couldn't register app, AppXManifest.xml not found", tried to give permissions to the "Admins" group and such things. However, none of these worked.
 


MikeHawthorne

Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
#15
It may be time to boot your computer using Ubuntu, back up your stuff and then do a "Refresh".
This is why I always keep a System Image file.

I use EaseUS Todo backup, it's free and has always worked for me. And it's super easy to use, it will create its own boot disk or flash drive, to repair an unbootable computer.
 


#16
Several of my Windows Store Apps (Photos, Contacts, and Weather) were badly broken on my computer so I tried a lot to make them work again. They didn't start and the event log recorded "Illegal remote procedure call". I tried the Control Panel's troubleshooter (didn't find anything wrong), several powershell commands (most failed with "couldn't register app, AppXManifest.xml not found", tried to give permissions to the "Admins" group and such things. However, none of these worked. Also, check Routerlogin for more information.
In place upgrade?
 


MikeHawthorne

Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
#17
Note that doing this will NOT save your installed software, and maybe not all your files.

The least destructive is the Refresh option. This should retain your personal files. "Click Save Your Files" I'd still back them up to be on the safe side.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/12415/windows-10-recovery-options

I really recommend that you make a System Image file once you get your computer back up and running again.
I can get my computer repaired and running like it was when I made the image without losing anything in 25 minutes no matter what is wrong.

It's a lot better than messing around for days trying to find some weird error someplace.
As I said above I use EaseUS Todo free software and it has never failed to work.

If you can't boot your computer to backup your files make a Ubuntu DVD or Flash drive and use it to boot your computer.

Try Ubuntu before you install it | Ubuntu tutorials

Be sure to select the option to boot from the DVD of Flashdrive not the option to install Ubuntu when you put the DVD drive in your computer.

Mike
 


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#18
If you can boot to desktop, in place upgrade / repair install WILL keep all your files and programs.
 


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