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Windows 7: Windows 7 will only boot into safemode and hangs on regular boot.


07 Aug 2011   #1
TVo

Windows 7 64bit
 
 
Windows 7 will only boot into safemode and hangs on regular boot.

Hello. I am a repair tech so I usually can figure out the cause of weird issues, but I am currently stumped.

I have a custom built machine that has windows 7 pro 32bit installed. Things were going quite nice until a multi card reader (some roswell version) crapped out. No problem, I'll just buy a new one...

Well, I got the new one in, shut down the computer, installed the new one in the same USB port, restarted the computer and I haven't been able to boot into windows normally since.

I have checked the error logs after booting into safe mode and I don't see anything about hardware errors (I could be wrong or looking in the wrong place). I have tried the built in windows 7 repair features included with the windows 7 disk, I have tried sfc /scannow, I have tried bootrec.exe /fixboot and /fixmbr, I have tested the memory and the HDD, I have tried restore, and I cannot figure out how to solve this problem.

I would love to do a "Windows 7 repair install" but you can't do that while in safe mode.

Where should I go to figure out why this machine won't boot in normal mode? Is there a way to completely erase all the current device drivers and attempt to re-install all the drivers?

Thanks in advance!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

07 Aug 2011   #2

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TVo View Post
Hello. I am a repair tech so I usually can figure out the cause of weird issues, but I am currently stumped.

I have a custom built machine that has windows 7 pro 32bit installed. Things were going quite nice until a multi card reader (some roswell version) crapped out. No problem, I'll just buy a new one...

Well, I got the new one in, shut down the computer, installed the new one in the same USB port, restarted the computer and I haven't been able to boot into windows normally since.

I have checked the error logs after booting into safe mode and I don't see anything about hardware errors (I could be wrong or looking in the wrong place). I have tried the built in windows 7 repair features included with the windows 7 disk, I have tried sfc /scannow, I have tried bootrec.exe /fixboot and /fixmbr, I have tested the memory and the HDD, I have tried restore, and I cannot figure out how to solve this problem.

I would love to do a "Windows 7 repair install" but you can't do that while in safe mode.

Where should I go to figure out why this machine won't boot in normal mode? Is there a way to completely erase all the current device drivers and attempt to re-install all the drivers?

Thanks in advance!
Probably needs a different driver than the old one.

To erase the driver goto device manager find the device and un-install it.
{start>search>device manager)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Aug 2011   #3
TVo

Windows 7 64bit
 
 

I've been in device manager and tried this. Regardless, even when I physically remove the device Windows still will not boot. Basically I've removed all hardware that isn't absolutely necessary while trying to fix this. I only mentioned the card reader because that is what started the problem.

So yeah, the card reader is now not even connected and I still cannot boot. It hangs on the glowing, pulsing windows icon forever.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


07 Aug 2011   #4
Microsoft MVP

 

You don't say what happens exactly when you try to boot normally? Error message? Behavior?

Is it any different if you unplug the card reader?

Boot the Windows 7 DVD repair console or Repair CD to run Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times.

We really need to see a picture of Disk mgmt. Boot free Partition Wizard bootable CD, post back a camera snap.

Mark Windows 7 partition Active, click on HD to highlight, then from Disk tab select Rebuild MBR which may preclude needing to run Startup Repairs again once Windows 7 is marked Active.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Aug 2011   #5
TVo

Windows 7 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker
You don't say what happens exactly when you try to boot normally? Error message? Behavior?
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TVo
So yeah, the card reader is now not even connected and I still cannot boot. It hangs on the glowing, pulsing windows icon forever.
To add a little more detail: The system posts, comes up with the glowing Window saying "Starting Windows" and then sits there pulsing until I force power down or reboot. It gets "stuck" at the Starting Windows Logo.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker
Is it any different if you unplug the card reader?
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TVo
Regardless, even when I physically remove the device Windows still will not boot. Basically I've removed all hardware that isn't absolutely necessary while trying to fix this. I only mentioned the card reader because that is what started the problem.
Detail: I have removed the card reader. I will worry about it again when I can get the system running again.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker
Boot the Windows 7 DVD repair console or Repair CD to run Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times.
I have run it, but not 3 separate times. While I will go ahead and try this, I can't see how that will fix the problem. The problem isn't in the mbr or boot options (I don't believe) but I will do this and report back.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker
We really need to see a picture of Disk mgmt. Boot free Partition Wizard bootable CD, post back a camera snap.

Mark Windows 7 partition Active, click on HD to highlight, then from Disk tab select Rebuild MBR which may preclude needing to run Startup Repairs again once Windows 7 is marked Active.
Burning the disk now. I'll report back after I get a picture.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Aug 2011   #6
Microsoft MVP

 

Now that you've focused on the stalled glowing pulsing Windows 7 startup animation I recognize it as a drivers-loading stall often seen when Windows 7 attempts to start on new hardware with its old drivers.

Perhaps trying the solution to that stall would help here either by SysPrepping the Windows 7 installation or boot to run Paragon Adaptive Restore CD on it - used to remove all drivers so it will start on new hardware - even though it's not the exact same situation: SysPrep to move HD to another computer

This is how one normally gets past that particular stall.

Before that you might boot the DVD Repair console or Repair CD to try a System Restore point to before the new card reader was installed so that it's driver isn't there when you try to start. That may be the only benefit of Startup Repair now (which automates in Windows 7 SysRestore, and the bootrec commands you already ran).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Aug 2011   #7
TVo

Windows 7 64bit
 
 

Well, after hours of beating my head against this problem, I finally found the issue.

When my dad had attempted to install the new card reader, apparently he tweaked the serial card (pci port for a serial connection). This serial card was causing the driver issues. We happened to have the exact same card in stock, switched it out, and got it running fine.

I appreciate the help figuring this out, and that sysprep command was EXACTLY what I was looking for in other types of situations so I can't help but feel as if I have gained a lot from this experience

Thanks again!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Windows 7 will only boot into safemode and hangs on regular boot.




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