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Windows 7: Restore to Factory Default Recovery Crashes Before Completing

23 Dec 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 
Restore to Factory Default Recovery Crashes Before Completing

I have an HP dx7 laptop, which was experiencing repeated blue screens with many different error codes as well as periodically restarting seemingly at random. Occasionally it would also have the screen go black (looked like it entered sleep mode), which was unrecoverable.

I tried to track down the various drivers and problems suggested by the error codes in the BSOD, but didn't have any success in preventing the blue screens/restarts. Eventually I decided to take the system recovery DVD's from HP, and reformat and reset to factory defaults. I figured at factory default settings if the system was still unstable, it'd point towards a hardware problem as opposed to drivers or other software.

While performing the system recovery, it proceeds all the way to where it says "Setup is preparing your computer for first use" and gets to the step of installing drivers, at which point the system restarts. After booting up it then tells me that the installation has failed, and to reinstall. I've done this 3 times now, and get the same issue each time. I cant provide logs or dump files of the blue screens or other errors, since the HDD has been formatted as part of the system recovery.

I'm not really sure what to do at this point, as it seems to be a hardware issue since Windows 7 wont even install successfully, but I'd like to get a better grasp of what the issue is before I decide to replace parts, or just scrap the laptop altogether.

Thanks.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Dec 2011   #2

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

Hello Iskra, and welcome to Seven forums

Can you provide more info in your system specs, esp. model number/windows version?


You have internet access from another PC, so you do have other options such as a clean/custom install from an ISO file if necessary. So don't go throwing it away just yet!

It sounds like the recovery may have written to the disk correctly, then a driver issue (possibly a new version of a driver downloaded from MS that is causing some type of conflict. You might be able to read the drive from another computer through an external drive connection (like a USB port type ext. HDD case/connector) or if you have another windows retail/upgrade DVD it might be possible to read the drive offline by booting to the DVD and starting the recovery options console, where you can enter command prompt and possibly access your HDD to retrieve any logs.

Mike
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Dec 2011   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Dec 2011   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Sorry, I should've posted more detailed specs in the first post.

HP Pavillion DV7t-3000
Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
Intel Core i7-720QM
1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 230M
8GB DDR3 (2x4GB)
500 GB 7200 RPM SATA HDD
LightScribe Super Multi 8x DVD+/-RW

Sadly I dont remember offhand the manufacturers and exact specs of the RAM/HDD and device manager isnt exactly an option right now. I cant find it listed in the BIOS either, so I guess I'll have to open it up to take a look. I've run the HDD diagnostic in the BIOS, which it passed, but I'll try the ones linked above.

I ran memtest86 back when I started getting the blue screens, since a bad stick of RAM seemed a likely cause, but after 4 passes, all the sticks passed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Dec 2011   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

So looking through all the documentation that came with the laptop, as well as HP's support site, theres no mention anywhere of the maker of the HDD. Even looking at HP's part replacement site, when entering the specific serial number of the laptop, it just lists several generic HDD's without any additional information. Looking at the list of HDD utilities above, they are all specific to a given maker of HDD's. Is there any recourse here other than to open the machine up and try to determine the maker by physically looking at the drive?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Dec 2011   #6

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

Try checking in BIOS setup, your documentation should give you the key to press at initial boot-time to enter this environment (usually <F1>, <F2>, <Del>, etc). It might say on the screen when your system starts the boot process, but it can be rather quick! It should auto-detect the drive, although this is not foolproof, and probably even less reliable if the drive has some serious malfunction.

Mike
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2011   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Alright, so its a Seagate drive. I've run their diagnostic utility from a boot CD and its failed twice saying its found damaged sectors that it couldn't repair, so it seems like I'm looking at buying a new HDD.

Is there anything I should check out before replacing the drive, to make sure the new drive doesnt fail as well from some other root cause?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2011   #8

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

Hello again Iskra,

The root cause for damaged sectors is most often just age & quality related, but can also be caused by physical "traumas" like dropping a laptop or shaking an active HDD too forcefully. Occasionally even a strong magnetic can lead to physical damage to the drive's surface. Basically, a HDD needs to remain neatly aligned inside.

So no, I don't believe there is any type of root cause inherent in your computer system that would damage sectors on the hard drive's surface. And, even if they had been "repairable" damaged sectors, I would start looking for a new drive anyway - as that's usually indicative of bad days ahead.

Best of luck!
Mike
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2011   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Makes sense, I figured that was the case, but wanted to be sure. Thanks for your help, I'll get a new drive and hopefully that should resolve both the inability to load windows, as well as the blue screen issues. Thanks again!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2011   #10

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

Your very welcome Iskra.

Please let us know how it goes.

Mike
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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