Solved Windows 11 Home - BSOD Critical service died, Deleted Catroot folder


GamerMan

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Hello i deleted the CatRoot folder in system32 on 10-3-2022 as a cumulative update failed that day, now i have the blue screen "Critical Service Died". I have some Games For Windows Live games that have no remaining key activations and i do not want to lose my installed windows apps and settings, so i do not want to do a reset or refresh. I tried all things like sfc etc with no luck. I found this thread: BSOD reboot loop "CRITICAL SERVICE FAILED" - Windows 10 Help Forums that says that you can boot with driver signatures disabled if you copy the files from a working system with the same OS and do an inplace upgrade. I tried copying the CatRoot folder from a windows 10 home pc, windows 8.1 pro pc and the X:\windows\system32 folder but i get BSOD error 0x0000021a when i try to boot with signatures disabled. I do not have another pc that can install windows 11 and recuva did not see my old catroot files since overwrote them. Is there any way to fix this without losing my apps and settings?
 
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GamerMan

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Could someone send me the default Catroot folder of windows 11 home please?
 

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glasskuter

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You cannot just copy a catroot folder from one PC to another. First of all, if you were having trouble with an update, the normal route is to rename that folder rather than delete it and then windows update would establish it again. When you deleted it, did the troublesome update then apply? If so, then the catroot folder was re-established at that time.

If you deleted this folder in Oct. and your system has been running ever since, it is doubtful it has anything to do with your current blue screen. The blue screen can be caused by your software as well as defective hardware and drivers. I suggest you enter this thread into the BSOD Analysis category of this forum along with the applicable logs.

As far as installing windows and retaining your games, if you can boot into Windows, you can do a repair install. Repair Install Windows 11 with an In-place Upgrade Tutorial

If you cannot boot into windows, you can do a system reset using the "keep personal files and folders" option which should retain everything you downloaded from the Windows store.

I would like to suggest that once you get this worked out that you establish some sort of backup plan to protect you in the future. When it comes to software failure, backups can save you.
 

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GamerMan

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You cannot just copy a catroot folder from one PC to another. First of all, if you were having trouble with an update, the normal route is to rename that folder rather than delete it and then windows update would establish it again. When you deleted it, did the troublesome update then apply? If so, then the catroot folder was re-established at that time.

If you deleted this folder in Oct. and your system has been running ever since, it is doubtful it has anything to do with your current blue screen. The blue screen can be caused by your software as well as defective hardware and drivers. I suggest you enter this thread into the BSOD Analysis category of this forum along with the applicable logs.

As far as installing windows and retaining your games, if you can boot into Windows, you can do a repair install. Repair Install Windows 11 with an In-place Upgrade Tutorial

If you cannot boot into windows, you can do a system reset using the "keep personal files and folders" option which should retain everything you downloaded from the Windows store.

I would like to suggest that once you get this worked out that you establish some sort of backup plan to protect you in the future. When it comes to software failure, backups can save you.
Hello, thank you for responding. I deleted catroot this week on March 10th, and when i restarted i got this blue screen. I am not able to boot into windows sadly so i do not think it is possible to do an inplace upgrade. Will resetting while keeping my apps restore the catroot files? And from the thread i posted it seemed that copying the catroot folder from a different pc would let your pc get to windows while driver signature check is disabled which is a sacrifice i am willing to make lol.
 

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FreeBooter

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Deleting catroot folder should not cause Windows 11 have BSoD error. Catroot is Windows system folders required for Windows Updates. Deleting this folder has been known to fix Windows Update errors or problems.

Post a picture of the blue screen error message.

If there are any attached memory dumb files (.dmp) created by BSOD you can find the dump files at C:\Windows or C:\Windows\MiniDump folder.

You can open File Explorer by typing notepad.exe command at Command Prompt and from Notepad click File --> Open.
 
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GamerMan

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:( It says "File too large" but the code is CRITICAL_SERVICE_FAILED

I do not see any dump files even after setting save as to "all files" instead of just .txt files.
I have deleted the catroot2 folder in the past, but this time i deleted the catroot folder aswell and apparently deleting that one makes your pc bluescreen while catroot2 will not.
 

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zbook

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Deleting catroot folder should not cause Windows 11 have BSoD error. Catroot is Windows system folders required for Windows Updates. Deleting this folder has been known to fix Windows Update errors or problems.

Deleting catroot2 is used for troubleshooting Windows update.
Deleting catroot often causes failure to boot.

See this link:


Code:
if exist "%SYSTEMROOT%\system32\Catroot2.bak" rmdir /s /q "%SYSTEMROOT%\system32\Catroot2.bak"
if exist "%SYSTEMROOT%\system32\Catroot2" (
    attrib -r -s -h /s /d "%SYSTEMROOT%\system32\Catroot2"
    ren "%SYSTEMROOT%\system32\Catroot2" Catroot2.bak

 
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glasskuter

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To answer your question, Yes, a reset will restore catroot
 

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zbook

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A reset save files if it can be performed will result in the loss of drivers and applications.



A custom install will also result in the loss of drivers and applications.



Boot to a Windows 10 iso > perform a system restore to the oldest restore point

 

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GamerMan

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Maybe the Cryptographic does not work, is there a way to run services.msc from the windows pe cmd? Currently it says interface not supported.
 

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x BlueRobot

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It won't work because you've deleted the CatRoot folder, this is where all your cryptographic hash information is stored for the signed files on your system. The operating system isn't able to verify the integrity of any of files on your system now and therefore will refuse to run anything. You'll going to have to either attempt a repair install using an .ISO of the same build or do a complete clean install. Those are your only options I'm afraid.

Deleting catroot folder should not cause Windows 11 have BSoD error. Catroot is Windows system folders required for Windows Updates. Deleting this folder has been known to fix Windows Update errors or problems.
That's simply incorrect. The CatRoot folder is one of the most important directories and should not touched under any circumstances unless you have a strong understanding of what should be there and what shouldn't. The catroot2 folder is one which many people suggest people delete to resolve Windows Update problems, even though there is very little reason to do so.
 

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FreeBooter

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I don't know if copying CatRoot folder from Windows 11 Pro will help your problem but it won't hurt to try it out.

Here is the download link for CatRoot: CatRoot.zip
 

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x BlueRobot

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You can't copy a CatRoot folder from another system; you're going to have completely different packages.
 

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FreeBooter

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You can't copy a CatRoot folder from another system; you're going to have completely different packages.
That is why i said i don't know it will work.
 

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x BlueRobot

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It's a protected folder; you can't just copy packages over even if they were the exact same. The user has to either attempt a repair install (highly doubt it will work) or do a complete clean install.
 

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GamerMan

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I don't know if copying CatRoot folder from Windows 11 Pro will help your problem but it won't hurt to try it out.

Here is the download link for CatRoot: CatRoot.zip
I copied these to my system32 folder and now my system works again :D thank you so much! I didn't even have to disable driver signature checks. Also thanks to everyone else, i am very happy my PC is working again!
 

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GamerMan

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Btw when it started it said "updates are installing" and then it just loaded up normally.
 

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glasskuter

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This is hard to believe since it is a protected OS file and even a different version of Windows. But, weird things sometimes work. I would certainly followup with sfc /scannow from command prompt and a manual 'check for updates"
 

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FreeBooter

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I copied these to my system32 folder and now my system works again :D thank you so much! I didn't even have to disable driver signature checks. Also thanks to everyone else, i am very happy my PC is working again!
We are glad to hear your issue has been resolved, thank you for letting us know that all is now well!
 

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x BlueRobot

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This is hard to believe since it is a protected OS file and even a different version of Windows.
I agree, I assume that the user has taken ownership of the directory? DISM will probably be better than SFC in this circumstance. I would be curious to see what happens when the next cumulative update is released, however, they may get lucky and experience no problems for some time.

I still firmly stand on my point that a repair install or a clean install were the safest options.
 

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