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Windows 7: Laptop Won't Boot, can't get past Initial Windows Screen

09 Nov 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64
 
 
Laptop Won't Boot, can't get past Initial Windows Screen

Not sure if I'm posting this in the right section. If I've put this in the wrong area, you have my apologies.

My laptop has had an immense amount of trouble booting over the past couple of weeks. I've google searched and tried every trick I could find to fix the problem, but things have only gotten worse. I've even tried posting the ordeal on another forum in the hopes that I could get some help, but I think it just annoyed people that I posted a wall text instead... so I'd like to start over in my attempts to troubleshoot this problem and hopefully get some help. I'm past the point of coming out of this unscathed, but I really want to avoid a system restore. I've foolishly put off backing up my stuff for the 8 months that I've owned my laptop, so only as a last resort would I prefer to do that.

Specs:

Acer Aspire 7741Z-4643
- intel pentium processor P6100 (2.0 Hz, 3MB L3 cache)
- intel HD graphics
- 3GB DDR3 Memory
- 250GB SATA hard drive
- Running on windows Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit Edition

Here's exactly what happens when I try to boot:

First it shows the Acer logo, then the blinking cursor (Where I can hit f8 for more options), then I get to a screen that tells me Windows can't start up. It recommends that I do startup repair, but starting windows normally is also an option. If I do that, it tells me that it's attempting repairs and pretty much nothing happens. It says that it may take over an hour, but I waited much, much longer than that to no avail. I believe I waited about 5 hours the first time, then 6 the second time. Nothing was happening, so I forced a shutdown.

If I try to run windows normally, it gets stuck at the initial windows screen where you see the logo come into effect, except for me the logo never comes up. Sometimes, after a few minutes it automatically goes to startup repair.

If I hit f8 at the black screen with blinking cursor that I mentioned above, I get more options, such as system recovery, booting into Safe Mode and returning to last known good configuration etc.

When I attempt Safe Mode, it tells me that Windows is loading files. Now, I know what Safe Mode looks like, it's supposed to list a bunch of files before the booting actually occurs, but for me, it just freezes without anything being listed.

When I try last known good configuration, it goes straight to the windows screen that still won't load, and eventually startup repair will show up.

When I go to the system recovery options, I'm asked for my keyboard input, which is at US by default, and then I click next. From there, it takes about 5 minutes to load, but eventually I see a bunch of options: startup repair, system restore, system image recovery, windows memory diagnostic, command prompt, recovery management.

I've tried some things in command prompt to no avail, but I'm open to any suggestions.

Can anyone help?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

09 Nov 2011   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 64
 
 

Update

I recently fiddled around in the recovery command prompt to see if I could get anything to change. I typed the following in the command prompt:

bcdedit /export C:\BCD_Backup
c:
cd boot
attrib bcd -s -h -r
ren c:\boot\bcd bcd.old
bootrec /RebuildBcd

I shut down after this. Upon restarting, I got a few different things. This time it started into the Windows Boot manager and directly told me that windows failed to start and that I should use the installation disk (Which I don't have) to repair.

The same happens when trying to boot in safe mode after waiting a minute or two. It gives a few details at the bottom:

File: \Windows\system32\config\system

Status: 0xc00000e9

Info: Windows failed to load because the system file registry file is missing, or corrupt.

I'm not sure if I made things better or worse here, but I'm glad to see it's not in an endless loop of startup repair anymore.

Going to try booting with my Windows Recovery usb again. Beforehand, any progress I made was hindered by the startup repair showing up before I could reach a command line. I'll report back with what I find (Hopefully someone is reading this. )

Edit: Nope, I ultimately get the same problem when trying this. This really sucks. I hope someone can help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Nov 2011   #3

Windows 7 Professional SP1 32-bit
 
 

I think you did make progress here. At the moment, your problem appears to be that Windows' registry is severely damaged. The \Windows\system32\config\system file is an integral part of the registry.

The easiest way at this point would be to reinstall Windows over itself (repair install). Alternatively, see if you have a backup of the registry files - better yet, a system restore point you can go back to via the Windows setup DVD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


09 Nov 2011   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Corazon View Post
I think you did make progress here. At the moment, your problem appears to be that Windows' registry is severely damaged. The \Windows\system32\config\system file is an integral part of the registry.

The easiest way at this point would be to reinstall Windows over itself (repair install). Alternatively, see if you have a backup of the registry files - better yet, a system restore point you can go back to via the Windows setup DVD.
Unfortunately I'm not sure if those are options for me. I don't own a Windows Install disk, a side effect of Windows 7 coming pre-installed and the seller not providing it. If I really have to, I will buy it though. I've reached a point of desperation. Just throwing this out there - is it okay to download just to do the repairs? It feels pretty unfair that I own a legitimate copy of windows 7 and yet need to buy it all over again just to fix this.

As a side note, will reinstalling windows over itself effect my data at all? Sorry if that seems like a novice/obvious question.


I should also mention that I foolishly haven't backed anything up, so I have no point to return to with system restore.

Thanks for the response!

I have managed to reach the command prompt in windows recover usb above all odds. Now I'm going to try a few things... namely offline sfc scan and bootsect.exe, things I couldn't try without the recovery usb.

I'll report back with what I find.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Nov 2011   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64
 
 

Update 2:

The sfc scan worked at first, but then gave me an error: "windows resource protection could not start the repair service", and abruptly stopped.

After this, I tried the following commands after specifying that it would apply to the (D :

bootrec.exe /fixmbr
bootrec.exe /fixboot

Both of them claimed to be successful in a short amount of time, which has happened before. Of course, this means that nothing has been fixed.

Finally, I typed bootrec.exe /rebuildbcd

The results came back different from last time:

Successfully scanned windows installations.

Total identified windows installations: 0

The operation completed successfully.

This is most likely because I didn't type it in like last time:

Quote:
bcdedit /export C:\BCD_Backup
c:
cd boot
attrib bcd -s -h -r
ren c:\boot\bcd bcd.old
bootrec /RebuildBcd
So in other words, the Windows Recovery disk command prompt hasn't made any difference so far.

Does anyone know of some other commands that could help me while I have the command prompt up?

I'm getting pretty desperate here. I think I'd rather use the factory reset option before buying Windows all over again...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Nov 2011   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

You shouldn't need to buy another Windows DVD as you can create your own system repair disc.

System Repair Disc - Create

You will need to carry out the repair at least three times with a reboot after each one.

Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Nov 2011   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64
 
 

Ah, right. I do indeed have Windows Repair as a USB. It's what I'm currently running the command prompt on now. Since my laptop has the option to reach the recovery options without it, I forgot to mention that I was doing some of my most recent things while using System repair.

I have tried start up repair, but it hasn't been working. At least, I don't think... I waited 5-6 hours on two separate occasions, but it was still running. I figured it wasn't working, so I powered off each time. Is it possible that it would take even longer than that?

Nevertheless, I will try to follow the second link you posted for me. I'm not one to turn down help after all.

Edit: Hm, I seemed to have more than one active partition. That may have been the cause. It's currently running... if it doesn't stop after an hour or two I'm just going to force a shutdown and assume it didn't work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Nov 2011   #8

Ubuntu 12.10
 
 

Hi,

Look. This is very simple. First of all, you need to get your data from your computer before we format. So, if you can download and burn Ubuntu onto a CD Homepage | Ubuntu.

Boot up from Ubuntu, and then select try Ubuntu. Then, access your Hard Drive from Ubuntu, and copy all the files to an external HDD or something. Shut down Ubuntu.

Download the Windows 7 iso from the Internet, it is legal to do so because you already have a key for Windows 7, so its all good. Make sure you download the Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit ISO. I can not post the link as it is against forum rules. Once you download it, burn it to a DVD. Boot up from the DVD and install Windows 7. The key can be found on the bottom of your laptop, it is the COA key, or Certificate of Authenticity. After you install Windows 7, we need to get you the drivers...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Nov 2011   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bits 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Total identified windows installations: 0=> wow you're having sever problems.
Can you explain what your partitions are?
in recovery console->command prompt
DISKPART
lists disk (tell how many disks)
select disk 0
list partition (tell how many partition)
select partition 0
detail partition
select partition 1
detail partition
.
.
etc
only one partition can be active. which one is it? and which one is your system disk?
exit diskpart
--------------------
what is your windows partition? DIR C:\WINDOWS or DIR D:\WINDOWS do you see windows files?
assume it's your C-drive (in recovery environment this can be called D, but you checked) and are you very sure this is your windows and NOT your useb drive!!

BCDBOOT C:\WINDOWS
succesfull?
BCDEDIT/ENUM ALL

reboot without the usb-drive attached
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Nov 2011   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium 64
 
 

So then, the repairs did nothing like before after a couple of hours. I powered down... but now things seem even worse due to my messing with the partitions. I can't even get to the recovery options now. I fear that I've turned off an important partition or something...

After waiting at a very long screen, to my surprise, an Acer e-recovery management window pops up. It then gives me the option to "completely restore the system to factory defaults", or "restore the operating system and retain user data".

I'm unsure whether this will solve things for me, but wouldn't the second option essentially be the same as reinstalling windows?

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SlasherIT View Post
Hi,

Look. This is very simple. First of all, you need to get your data from your computer before we format. So, if you can download and burn Ubuntu onto a CD Homepage | Ubuntu.

Boot up from Ubuntu, and then select try Ubuntu. Then, access your Hard Drive from Ubuntu, and copy all the files to an external HDD or something. Shut down Ubuntu.

Download the Windows 7 iso from the Internet, it is legal to do so because you already have a key for Windows 7, so its all good. Make sure you download the Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit ISO. I can not post the link as it is against forum rules. Once you download it, burn it to a DVD. Boot up from the DVD and install Windows 7. The key can be found on the bottom of your laptop, it is the COA key, or Certificate of Authenticity. After you install Windows 7, we need to get you the drivers...
Would what I mentioned above, namely using Acer's e-recovery option to restore operating system and retain my data, be the same as what you're suggesting I do here? I honestly had no idea my laptop had that option. Sounds too good to be true, even.

If not then your suggestions sounds like it could work. I'll get on finding that ISO right away... but in the meantime, what did you mean about "we need to get you the drivers"?



Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kaktussoft
Total identified windows installations: 0=> wow you're having sever problems.
Can you explain what your partitions are?
in recovery console->command prompt
DISKPART
lists disk (tell how many disks)
select disk 0
list partition (tell how many partition)
select partition 0
detail partition
select partition 1
detail partition
.
.
etc
only one partition can be active. which one is it? and which one is your system disk?
exit diskpart
--------------------
what is your windows partition? DIR C:\WINDOWS or DIR D:\WINDOWS do you see windows files?
assume it's your C-drive (in recovery environment this can be called D, but you checked) and are you very sure this is your windows and NOT your useb drive!!

BCDBOOT C:\WINDOWS
succesfull?
BCDEDIT/ENUM ALL

reboot without the usb-drive attached
Lol, yeah there's some serious problems. I can't quite try what you've suggested yet, because I'm at the screen I mentioned above and want to make sure it's something I can't use before leaving the screen, because I have no idea how I got those options and they seem valuable.

I appreciate the responses!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Laptop Won't Boot, can't get past Initial Windows Screen




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