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Windows 7: Windows crashed. Now can't boot, even in repair mode or safe mode.


29 Jan 2012   #1

Windows 7 Professional 32 bit
 
 
Windows crashed. Now can't boot, even in repair mode or safe mode.

Let me open by saying I'm too old to understand most of the jargon and directions found in a technical forum like this. I've been trying to fix this myself for about two weeks, and have made so many changes, I've probably made a complete hash of it.

The latest thing I did was to attempt a fresh install of Windows from a DVD. I had to format the C drive to have enough space for the installation, so I did. The installation seemed to running normally, so I took our dog for a walk. When I came back, there was this error message: "Installation was cancelled."

The details of the error message are as follows: "Windows cannot install required files. Make sure all files required for installation are available, and restate the installation. Error code: 0x80070070"

My fear is that my hard drive has failed. When it's trying to boot up, there's always a line that says something to the effect that no drives were found. However, when running GPart from a disc, it finds both C & D. I tried to use one of the GPart tools to repair C, but it didn't work. It said I need to "Run chkdsk /f, the reboot TWICE." I can't do that, because I can't get it to boot into a command prompt.

I think I already destroyed all of my data on D, where it was all stored, in trying to install Windows. At one point, it told me that Windows could not proceed with formatting if D was excluded, so I removed the exclusion. I think that was a bad mistake.

By the way, I was able to boot from a Linux DVD (Xubuntu). From that OS, I was able to see user accounts on C. Those should not exist, after repeatedly trying to format that drive. Somehow, I seem to have formatted D (which I wanted to save), and failed to formal C.

As I said, I'm in way over my head here. Any help, in language plain enough for a simpleton like me, would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, in advance.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Jan 2012   #2
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

You did a few smart things. So do not despair.

As a first measure I would try to save as much of your data as possible. Since you have the Xubuntu disc, try that.

Then you really should run the chkdsk /f. If you load your installation disk and go to "Repair this Computer" (or something like that), there should be a Command Prompt.

If that is all done, try to reinstall again and come back to let us know how you are doing.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2012   #3

Windows 7 Professional 32 bit
 
 

Thanks, WHS. I apologize for the delay, but during the work week, I don't have time to wrestle with these problems.

As I said before, I think my data are gone. When booting from the installation disk, and going to "Repair this computer", I wind up at a "System Recovery Options" screen. I've been here many times, by the way, and tried both options. ("Use recovery tools..." and "Restore using system image...") It was in trying to boot from an image on an external drive that I think I lost all my data. At one point, it told me it couldn't continue as long as "D" was excluded from formatting, so I removed the exclusion.(regretfully)

Anyway, now I'm back at System Recovery Options. The default is to "Use recovery tools." "If your operating system isn't listed, click Load Drivers, and then install drivers for your hard disks." In the past, I think perhaps my mistake was that I was looking for drivers on the hard drive, rather than on the installation disk, so this time I made sure to point it at the DVD.

Here are my options: boot, efi, sources, support, or upgrade (all are folders). Then there's "autorun" setup folder, "bootmgr" file, or "setup" application. My gut tells me I want "setup", but I don't want to screw up again.

Can you tell me where to go from here?

Thanks in advance!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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03 Feb 2012   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

First question: Did you try to save your files with Xubuntu ??
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2012   #5

Windows 7 Professional 32 bit
 
 

Can't find any files now...but then I'm a total newb at Ubuntu.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2012   #6
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

In Ubuntu, go to Places > Computer and you should see the partitions. They are called differently, but just open them. If your data was on the OS partition (C), navigate to Users > Your system name. There you should see them (if they are there). Have an external disk or USB stick attached and running so that you can copy/paste them to there. That device would also be in Computer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2012   #7

Windows 7 Professional 32 bit
 
 

OK, I opened Ubuntu, and found my two partitions of my 1TB drive. The one that's supposed to be the OS is labelled 53G. 49.7G of space is available. There seems to be a Windows file system on it, but virtually no data, and nothing of any value (or meaning!) to me. The other partition is labelled Data. It has 881.4G free, and 0 files. That tells me (I assume, anyway) that all of my data are gone.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2012   #8
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Yeah, unfortunately. At least now you are certain - and you learned a bit about Ubuntu.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2012   #9

Windows 7 Professional 32 bit
 
 

OK, so now I'm back to my earlier question:

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by BThom52 View Post
Anyway, now I'm back at System Recovery Options. The default is to "Use recovery tools." "If your operating system isn't listed, click Load Drivers, and then install drivers for your hard disks." In the past, I think perhaps my mistake was that I was looking for drivers on the hard drive, rather than on the installation disk, so this time I made sure to point it at the DVD.

Here are my options: boot, efi, sources, support, or upgrade (all are folders). Then there's "autorun" setup folder, "bootmgr" file, or "setup" application. My gut tells me I want "setup", but I don't want to screw up again.

Can you tell me where to go from here?

Thanks in advance!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2012   #10
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Please remind me - what make is your PC (Dell, HP, other)??
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Windows crashed. Now can't boot, even in repair mode or safe mode.




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