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My PC recently got stuck at startup after the installation of Windows Update. I tried multiple ways to restart it, but I always got stuck at the same point. I had to find my Windows 10 Recovery Key to continue.
Since my PC is standalone, I didn’t have an organization that stored the recovery key centrally, so I have to keep track of it myself.
I could boot into Startup Repair and select Reset this PC, but it wanted me to supply a recovery key.
Fortunately, I used my Microsoft Live ID on the PC at some point, so it stores the Recovery Key in Azure.
The Reset this PC wizard guided me to a link, https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=857635, where I could find my recovery key. However, after signing in, I could only find my profile information and what directories my account was linked to.
I could not find a single device, not even an incorrect one. I was about to give up on recovering the drive, but while downloading a new Windows image, I found a site that would help me.
Finally, I was able to find an URL that showed me what I wanted to see.
When I signed in to this site, I was immediately presented with a list of drives and recovery keys, and it listed the current one at the top.
After this happy moment, I could reset my PC and select to keep my files, only having to reinstall my application.
Since I am a big user of OneDrive, this was no issue for me at all.
It was easy to find your key and unlock your drive when you know where to go. You wish that Microsoft would update the link, and hopefully, they will.
What is the lesson learned here? Always remember to store your files on OneDrive, so they always are safe if something like this happens.