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Windows 7: Restore to Factory Default Recovery Crashes Before Completing

28 Dec 2011   #11
Iskra

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

So I got a Seagate Momentus XT 750GB HDD, and installed it. I ran the Seagate test utility to see if the drive functions properly before I did anything else, and the new drive passed twice, so it seems ok. When I try to boot from the Win7 recovery discs, I get the same crashing trouble as I had with the old drive.

When I tried to boot from the recovery disk, the first time I had the screen go completely black (not even backlight) and couldn't recover from that. The next time, it simply hung right before loading to the start of the recovery wizard. Third time I just got a blue screen halfway through the "windows is loading files" screen.

I'm not sure what additional information I can give, seeing as its literally a completely new drive without any software installed.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 Dec 2011   #12
rubyrubyroo

MS Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit (Family Pack Lic.) Upgrade
 
 

Hello Iskra,

Sorry to hear your still having trouble. It sounds like your previous drive was actually damaged. So it's good that you got a new drive, regardless, or as I mentioned before, it could be a ticking-time-bomb even if all had installed correctly in the first place.

Now, the disc you are using often can be a source of confusion, as there are repair discs, restore discs and recovery discs, to name a few of the labels often used somewhat loosely depending on the manufacturer. A repair disc would simply give you access to tools to fix a installed version of windows that is having problems. Since you need to actually reinstall windows on this new drive, you'll need a full system recovery disc (rarely included with systems anymore.) One can probably be ordered for $20-$40 from the manufacturer's website, or by contacting them by phone. This installs your system back to the original condition you received it from the factory, so updates, programs, data-files will obviously need to be reloaded.

Other options do indeed exist. If you can find a windows retail or upgrade DVD that matches your version of windows, either borrowed from a friend or from another computer, you can use this to reinstall windows using your Product Key (it is on the COA sticker, and hopefully is still legible - may want to check this now.) If this is not possible you may need to create a installation disc, from a downloaded file.

(NOTE: even if you do have the correct disc, it could be flawed, by a small scratch, or due to a problem during it's original creation process.)

Any chance you can locate a retail/update that matches your licensed version of windows?


Thanks,
Mike
(BTW: I am also assuming from your text that you are set up with the DVD drive booting before the HDD in BIOS Setup– OR you are using the change boot order menu at boot-time. To be sure that the DVD/CD is booting rather than attempting to boot the unformatted, empty HDD.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Dec 2011   #13
Iskra

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Yeah, I'm glad that I replaced the drive even if there's some other issue, since the other one was showing up as damaged. I'm using a recovery disk which I boot from and then it proceeds to reformat the drive, install windows, and reset to factory presets. In practice though, the farthest its gotten is right before where it would begin installing windows. The other times it crashed right after it finished loading files and before the installation started. I've only tried booting from the recovery CD three times, so it might just be a coincidence that it crashed at around that point each time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 Dec 2011   #14
rubyrubyroo

MS Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit (Family Pack Lic.) Upgrade
 
 

Hmm. That is odd. just out of curiosity, does the recovery disc show any signs of wear and tear (still doesn't rule it out, nor that your optical drive is reading it properly, but if there's obvious scuff marks, it might be the disc) If you did have access to a disc as mentioned above, to try a clean install, you could use it obviously to install windows, but it's may help rule out the physical recovery disc, if it stops at a similar place in the process.

Just a though!?

I'll see what else I can dig up.


Mike
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Dec 2011   #15
Iskra

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

As far as I can see, the disks dont seem to be damaged, but like you said, that doesnt really rule it out. I can try using the XP recovery disks from my desktop to see if that would install properly. Presumably that'd tell us if its the disks/optical drive causing problems.

The serious instability and blue screen/black screen crashes are what prompted me to try recovery on the laptop in the first place, so I'm thinking this might just be the same problem showing up. That would seem to point at something other than the disks/drive, but obviously cant say for sure.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Dec 2011   #16
Iskra

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Alright so in the meantime, I decided to re-run memtest86 from a boot CD. For some reason, now its giving me errors. It gave me "unexpected interrupt" errors the first two times I ran it, which forced me to restart. Once it gave me something like 3700 errors in the memory... Now it doesn't detect any errors, but instead gets to about 80% on the first pass, at which point the computer powers off completely. So something seems very wrong here, not sure if its bad RAM or a CPU issue, or possibly it overheating?

I have no idea why it gave me completely different results from when I ran memtest in the past. I'm thinking the next step would be to try to test the individual sticks of ram and see if I still get the errors. I suppose I'll do that tomorrow if I have time. Any suggestions or ideas?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Dec 2011   #17
rubyrubyroo

MS Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit (Family Pack Lic.) Upgrade
 
 

I was thinking memory, but like you said you had run memtest+ so I was going to ask you if you installed any hardware since the initial factory system, that might be causing a conflict. But your memory recheck was a great idea. I usually run it ~6 runs and let it run overnight. But you'll want to try them one at a time to rule out each stick (in the first DIMM socket, the one closest to the CPU) and of course, make sure they are seated perfectly in the socket and snapped in just right.

If you think there may be excess heat, you may need to clean any dust off the heat sinks & fans with some "canned air." You should be able to get a pretty accurate idea of the heat from inside the BIOS setup environment.

Maybe you have some other compatible ram to try temporarily that would allow you to retry the windows 7 install? Because if it's the DIMM socket(s) then you're looking at replacing the MOBO, so fingers crossed on this!


Mike

This may be of some help: How to Test and Diagnose RAM Issues with Memtest86+
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Dec 2011   #18
Iskra

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

I dont have any ram that I can swap in to complete the win7 install, so I'm going to have to pull out the DIMMs and test them one at a time to see if one/many/all of them have problems. I'll give them 6+ passes when I can pull it off, as right now the computer shuts off at 80% on the first pass. Hopefully when I find the problematic stick/socket that wont happen and I'll be able to run the required passes. I'm hoping its a bad stick and not a bad socket, but we'll see how things go.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Dec 2011   #19
rubyrubyroo

MS Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit (Family Pack Lic.) Upgrade
 
 

To be thorough, I guess I should be sure:

Are you using any OC settings?
The RAM does match the system specs for memory, correct?
Any recent virus/root-kit infections you know of?
Have you ever updated/flashed the BIOS?

Best of luck with the memory!
Mike
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jan 2012   #20
Iskra

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

I'm not OC'ing anything, and haven't had a virus or rootkit infection that I know of. I havent changed any setting on the RAM, and it worked fine for a long time, so I dont think its got bad timings or voltages.

I ran memtest86+ on both sticks for about 24 hours now. Its done 12 passes without finding any errors. Is there a significant difference between memtest86 and memtest86+ that one could find errors and the other wouldn't? Also I'm booting from a flash drive for memtest86+ whereas I used a boot CD for memtest86, would that possibly have an effect?

I'm going to go back and try memtest86 from the boot CD, and if that still has the same issues as before, I'll see if I cant run it from a flash drive and see how that works. Then I suppose I'll try memtest86+ from a boot CD just for completeness and see how that goes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Restore to Factory Default Recovery Crashes Before Completing




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