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Windows 7: Dreaded Startup Repair loop :-(

18 Jan 2015   #1
KatesDad

Windows 7 Pro 64bit
 
 
Dreaded Startup Repair loop :-(

(this may belong in different Forum; if so, please move thanks!)

Hello,

On January 2nd I built a system based on
i5-4460
ASRock H97 PRO4 ATX
Crucial Ballistix Sport XT 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
EVGA SuperNOVA NEX 650W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply
Cougar Turbine 120mm Fan (1 in case rear, 1 in side panel)
No GPU (using onboard GPU until I can afford a discrete card)
250GB Hitachi HDD for OS and 750GB WD Caviar for data
OS=Win7 Pro 64bit.

I've used the system sparingly, maybe <18 hours total, since I built it and it's worked fine. Last time I used it, it worked properly and shut down normally.

Because I recently learned that I installed the side-panel fan backward (exhaust instead of intake, duh) earlier today I reversed it. I didn't change anything else, didn't disturb any other cables, etc.

When I powered the system on Windows started installing updates; it installed 1195 of 1195 (i.e. 100%), restarted...and almost immediately displayed "Windows failed to start properly..." I highly doubt that changing the orientation of a case fan qualifies as a "hardware change" so I suspect something in the 1195 updates is to blame. (I've seen a few references to Intel releasing a new HD driver that faulted-out a bunch of systems)

It recommended I run Startup Repair, so I did. The screen showed the white "loading files" bar then went blank, so while waiting for something to happen I googled this tool from my living room system.

Most people who used (or tried to use) it describe a blue status bar and message "this may take over an hour" (but much of the info/data I've read online say this tool requires far, far more than 1 hour to solve problems, and often it can't solve them at all)

But I didn't even see this; when I went back downstairs the monitor was blank and the HDD activity light was on almost constantly (but I can't hear any HDD activity). Some time later a mouse cursor appeared at what looks like 640x480 resolution, but the rest of the screen was still blank.

Apart from/after that, NOTHING happened. After seeing nothing else and detecting no change in operation for >hour I restarted and F8'd to the non-standard boot modes, but Safe Mode goes to Repair and Last Known Good does nothing; system just sits.

At this point I am ready to re-install the OS (since I haven't done much with the system I have very little to reinstall) but when I put the Win7 disc in (OEM Win 7, install disc only) and tell BIOS to boot that drive first, it acts like it's booting (as if it's going to start the installation process), displays the "loading files" status bar, then displays the Windows logo and does nothing else.

(The BIOS detects both HDDs properly)

Any suggestions are appreciated.

DjB


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
18 Jan 2015   #2
KatesDad

Windows 7 Pro 64bit
 
 

Additional detail:

When I try Option 2 from this tut
System Recovery Options
My system will not display the Language Preference screen (Item 3). After "Press Any Key..." it just sits there doing nothing.

DjB
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2015   #3
KatesDad

Windows 7 Pro 64bit
 
 

Can anybody please help me with this? I built the system myself to save money, and am hoping I can correct whatever went wrong on Sunday without taking it to the shop near me (but I am glad there's a shop just a few miles from my home)

Thanks,

DjB
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

22 Jan 2015   #4
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

Did you originally install using that same OEM Win7 disk?

Please try alternate installation media as follows:

1. Download the Windows 7 Professional ISO file from here - scroll down to find the English Media Refresh version
2. Write it to a blank 8GB USB thumb drive using this tool
3. On the problem computer, boot from this USB snd see if you can at least get the languages screen.

If so, try re-installing Windows.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2015   #5
KatesDad

Windows 7 Pro 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Golden View Post
Did you originally install using that same OEM Win7 disk?

Please try alternate installation media as follows:

1. Download the Windows 7 Professional ISO file from here - scroll down to find the English Media Refresh version
2. Write it to a blank 8GB USB thumb drive using this tool
3. On the problem computer, boot from this USB snd see if you can at least get the languages screen.

If so, try re-installing Windows.
Hello Golden,

I think I resolved the installation issue.

I was trying to install while both 250GB and 750GB drives connected.

I was advised to disconnect one and try the installation again. I disconnected the larger drive, but could not initialize the installation process.

I reversed the drives and viola (French for "you have a stringed instrument"), I was able to reinstall 7.

I will not have time until this weekend (maybe not even then ) but plan to run a diagnostic on the smaller drive. If it's toast, I will pull out whatever files I can. If it's still viable, and the issue was caused by that Windows update, I will retain it as my backup/restore drive (I don't know if I've consumed 250GB of storage, total, on all the PCs I've ever owned!!!)

DjB
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Dreaded Startup Repair loop :-(




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