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Windows 7: Fails to work after booting up

04 Apr 2012   #1

32 bit ultimate
Fails to work after booting up

Windows 7 32bit on Dell 9200 4 GB RAM 2 x 500GB HDD ... with all OS updates.

Been working fine ... today left PC running, returned to it, power but screen was 'black'

Power off to reboot - on start up (normal) desktop paints in, the spinning wheel runs for ages, then eventually all seems fine ... but can't do anything, only action is cursor .. nothing clickable. (incl Ctl+alt+del) HDD led on PC running permanently.

Reboot in safe mode ... chose system restore .. and it shows a Windows Critical update restore point .. at a time that matches failure. ??
OK tried restore ... still the same.

Tried Windows 7 repair disk, again selected restore ... Tried restore to next previous (2 days ago) all seems to go well, get login, desktop paints in ... then screen goes black ... all that is on it is cursor.

The only other points I can think of is that this morning (last successful boot up) it brought up a pop-up "Express files updated" with recommendation to run it ... as it gave no program, or manufacturer ... I chose not to run.
On one of the boot ups during problem .. an unfamiliar icon showed on desktop ... "Homegroup", a green sphere, surrounded by 3 orbiting blue spheres" although not been there on any subsequent boot up.

Any suggestions on next step ?

My System SpecsSystem Spec

04 Apr 2012   #2

Windows 7 64 bit

I take it the computer is not actually BSODing? It almost sounds like a memory error or corruption that is causing windows to freak out?

I take it that you are not overclocking it, this can happen when an overclock is unstable.

It sounds like the VGA is ok if you are getting some sort of start up screen but maybe when the VGA tries to set the resolution that you use for your desktop screen it is somehow not doing it and causing an error.

Its so hard to diagnose especially without any actual memory dumps or BSOD to highlight any issues.

Have you tried safe mode?

It could even be that the system restore hasn't worked correctly, as you know system restore operates on the reboot as well as while restoring, often setting up some files just before you get back into your desktop password screen.

Just come across this which may be of help to yourself??

Startup Repair Infinite Loop Recovery

Good luck
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Apr 2012   #3

32 bit ultimate

I followed the suggestion and all steps in your 'infinite loop' procedure.

It does now allow start in normal mode ... but after painting in desktop icons ... that is it, still nothing will work ... it did allow me to click windows start button .. and took about 20 sec to open the launch screen .. and then nothing more after that ... noticed clock goes to correct time on boot up ... but freezes at that point.

Any suggestions ? dreading if I have to do reinstall.
I do use Backup & restore ... so should have backup there, but I guess only after new Windows 7 install ....unless you have a suggestion.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

05 Apr 2012   #4

Windows 7 64 bit

That was just something I came across which I hoped may have helped you, it sounds like the disc is fine, have you checked the memory using memtest 86+??

Allow it to run for an hour or so, you will need to create a bootable CD from the ISO that is available to download, it could be that your memory is not very good.

Also try pressing F8 after post screen and try Windows memory diagnostic.

If these come back ok then at least you have ruled the memory out.

Have you got your windows seven disc? let it boot from the disc and select repair your computer and use the back up that you have rather than system restore.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Apr 2012   #5
Microsoft MVP


Work through these steps for Troubleshooting Windows 7 Failure to Boot - Windows 7 Forums

While Windows 7 will boot you don't have enough function to do the disinfection and repair required to see if it will boot, or copy out your files to run Factory Recovery or Clean Reinstall.

Everything needed is in the tutorial above.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Apr 2012   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64

It is booting fine.

The problem arises after that.

Because you have already replace the hives from the regback directory, it seems you have problem with some of the files.

You could try sfc from winre or the Windows 7 repair cd/ Windows 7 install dvd.

SFC /SCANNOW : Run in Command Prompt at Boot

SFC /SCANNOW Command - System File Checker
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2012   #7

32 bit ultimate

Looks like a HDD h/w failure ...
Been unable to get any further on repairing the issue .. still won’t start other than in safe mode.
Windows 7 repair disk also shows some disk sector errors but can’t fix them.
I then tried Dell diagnostics ... it diagnosed error 7

I run Western Digital data Lifeguard and SMART gives status as PASS
If I run Quick test .. it reports:
Quick Test on Drive 1 did not complete
Status code = 07 (Failed read test element)
Failure Checkpoint=97

If I run Extended test: I get FAIL
Error code 08- Error was detected while repairing bad sectors.

Unless somebody knows how to fix this – I’m guessing I need a new HDD

My config is 2 HDD, split to 4 partitions .... on Drv 0 contains OS , my apps and data are on Drv 1
As I can start up in SAFE mode, is there any particular backup I can take that will allow me to put in a new HD, install OS, and then reinstall my backup ........... hopefully allow all my programmes on Drv1 to still work ?

I take a normal ‘user files backup’ but should I take something else to allow “recovery”

Would welcome any suggestion on steps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2012   #8
Microsoft MVP


If you can back up a Windows 7 backup image or Macrium
image externally, you can boot with the Windows 7 DVD or REpair Disk or the Macrium boot disk to reimage the replacement HD. You can also run Factory Recovery disks if you made them or order them from Tech Support.

The best plan however is to Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 with all other HD's unplugged.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2012   #9

32 bit ultimate

Not sure if I follow fully ... if I boot up with Windows 7 repair disk, will that allow me to take a backup ? (I had only been running diagnostic tools)
Or do I have boot up in safe mode.

Assume then I have a full back up ... can I swap the HD and install the backup onto the new HD ... assume I will have to put the necessary partitions in first place ?

Are there any steps anywhere I could follow to do this.

Assume I am going to have to start up on something like the repair disk or similar to allow me to reinstall the backup ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2012   #10
Microsoft MVP


Since you have WD HD in the mix I would use WD free premium Acronis imaging/cloning app to take a boot time image using the boot disk which comes with it. You may also be able to install it and run in Safe Mode. The manual is here with the download: WD Acronis free cloning app
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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