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Windows 7: System will not boot, cannot use F8, cannot access advanced boot menu

07 Mar 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
System will not boot, cannot use F8, cannot access advanced boot menu

Hi all...

My Gateway Laptop (NV55S05u) had a Norton scan today and found a trojan virus that Norton could not remove. I restarted the computer to try to get it in safe mode, and when I restarted I got a black screen with just a cursor. I was able to get into the BIOS (F2) and also able to burn AVG rescue disk onto a CD and boot from that as I was unable to boot from a USB stick or SD card. I ran all the scans I could find and deleted the virus files off my system. I then created a Windows 7 recovery CD from a different functioning computer and booted from that disk. I was able to run startup repair, but then it doesn't finish. I don't get a chance to see why it doesn't finish because this stupid HP Recovery Manager pops up. Upon further research, I discovered it should have something that says "System Recovery" to reset back to factory settings. I can see it is there, but I am unable to click on it. I then tried doing a system restore back to an earlier point and it completes and has me restart. When I restart, I push F2 again to change the boot order so the computer boots from the hard drive first. When I do this, I just get the black screen with a cursor in the upper left corner of the screen. I am not sure what else to do at this point. I do not have the original windows 7 disk as I bought it pre-loaded on this laptop. This computer is only about 2 months old so I am freaking out. If anyone has any ideas I would be SO appreciative.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

08 Mar 2012   #2
Microsoft MVP


You do not need to buy a new copy of Windows 7 as you own the one which came preinstalled on the Gateway for the life of the machine, and can reinstall it as often as you need and in any way you want via several methods.

First work through these steps for when Windows 7 fails to boot.

I should tell you that Norton and AVG raise red flags with the experts here - the better choices are in the steps.

Do you have a Windows 7 System Repair Disk to use as this is best to try the repairs?

If not you can download the latest official Windows 7 ISO download with SP1 for your licensed version and burn to DVD or write to flash stick using Windows 7 USB-DVD Download Tool:
Win7 Home Premium x86 SP1 English Official ISO download

Use one of these disks for repairs given in the steps above, or if necessary to Clean Reinstall Windows 7 Factory OEM without the bloatware and useless factory utilities which have better versions in Windows 7.

You can also try running Gateway Factory Recovery by tapping the key given on first boot screen for Recovery, or order Recovery Disks from Gateway Tech Support which is included free for the first year along with a full parts and replacement warranty.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Mar 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

Since your laptop is only two months old and should be under warranty still, I would advise you to contact Gateway Tech Support first before you start doing anything else on your own.

The following link should help you do that hopefully. Gateway Computer, Server, Portable, Consumer Electronic Product Support
My System SpecsSystem Spec

08 Mar 2012   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

gregrocker -

Thank you so much for your help! The Windows Defender scan found a trojan that no other scans had been able to find (trojan: DOS/Alureon.H) and as soon as that was gone, my system started normally. I ran the scan again just to be sure but everything seems to be working perfectly now. Thank you SO MUCH again!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Mar 2012   #5
Microsoft MVP


Glad to help, Heather.

I hope you'll consider Microsoft Security Essentials as a better performing free alternative to Norton which I would uninstall asap. It is the same as the Defender scan you ran but will be standing guard virtually invisible in the background, whereas Norton likes to hog things and missed the trojan.

Here are some other tips to Clean up factory bloatware for best performance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Mar 2012   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

Ok, well, I thought the computer was fixed but we were using it as normal this afternoon and all the programs that were open started closing one by one. Then the entire computer shut down. I can no longer even boot from disk. I can access the BIOS menu and select to boot from disk (I was going to run the scan again) but it won't boot from disk, it just takes me to startup repair. Then startup repair fails and tells me to restart. I don't know what to do to get past this. Please help (again!). Oh, and F8 still does no good.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Mar 2012   #7
Microsoft MVP


You are attempting to boot Windows Defender bootable scan and it won't boot? Try burning to DVD or writing to flash stick the official Windows 7 installation ISO I linked for you, boot to copy out your files using Copy & Paste - in Windows Recovery Console.

Once you have your files you can attempt running Gateway Factory Recovery by pressing the key given on the first boot screen. You may want to call Gateway Tech Support for help in doing this as if it fails they will send you the Disk set if you didnt' make it.

You also have the Windows 7 installation DVD with SP1 to use if you want to boot and clean reinstall or run the Repair Install given in the steps due to unfixable System files. If you can't boot the Windows 7 DVD to clean reinstall then you can force it to boot by using free Partition Wizard bootable CD which will autostart on its own to Wipe the HD from disk tab.

Or if you want to try to continue to clean up the infection you can try writing Defender to flash stick which it offers on the Download page, to see if that will boot. Our specialists in Security forum here can advise you on more targeted approaches. Often times however it saves the most time to Factory Recover or Clean Reinstall since it assures the viruses are gone.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Aug 2012   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

I am having similar problems, and i tried downloading the bootable Partition Wizard, but my computer doesn't recognize it as a bootable CD. Somehow, every time I use the recovery CD, the system repair CD, and even a clean copy of Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, it gets hung up before it can show me any menus. I don't know what to do. HELP!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Aug 2012   #9
Microsoft MVP


Have you tried booting the disks using the one-time BIOS Boot Menu key given on first boot screen? Do you get a prompt to "Press any key to boot disk?"

Try resetting your BIOS to defaults: Clear CMOS - 3 Ways to Clear the CMOS - Reset BIOS.
Make note of the SATA controller setting in BIOS setup first, afterwards set it there and set the HD first to boot.

PW should autostart on its own at boot. Are you using Windows Image Burner or ImgBurn to burn using a good quality CD which will boot on another machine?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Aug 2012   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

I don't get the option "Press any key to boot disk". I can access BIOS, and I can access the advanced boot menu, but none of the options work from the advanced boot menu. I can see it, and I can select things from it, but it doesn't ever complete any of the processes.

I've reset the BIOS to defaults, and the SATA mode remained unchanged...meaning it never got changed from the factory defaults to begin with.

I am NOT using an image burner. But I did not know if I could burn an image from another of our laptops and use it to boot the crashed one.

After making the changes you suggested here, I rebooted the machine, and I get the "Windows Error Recovery" menu, where it asks me do I want to run startup repair or start windows normally. When I choose startup repair, it gives me a screen that says "Windows is loading files" and a status bar for such, but after the files load, it goes to a black screen and locks up. When I choose start windows normally, it tries to go into windows, goes to a black screen, and restarts itself, taking me back to the Windows Error Recovery screen.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 System will not boot, cannot use F8, cannot access advanced boot menu

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