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Windows 7: Windows 7 No Go!!


25 Aug 2009   #1

 
Windows 7 No Go!!

Running 32 bit Win 7 RC1 on a dual core 4GB box with 250+ GB HD, ATI Radeon Saphire 4770, Samsung 906BW.

Ran a CHKDSK /r because of error messages in Win 7 System log. Windows was operating sort of OK at that point (the reason for checking logs and implementing CHKDSK).

Now boots to blank screen with cursor which will move around using the mouse. Indicates some part of windows is loading.

Cannot get to safe mode.

Tried repair function from RC install disk. All results normal with last message indicating windows booted successfully.

Tried Restore function from RC install disk. Even though there ‘were’ set points, none are found.

See boot screens up until selection of OS. The only OS loaded is Win 7.

Third party utilities allow me to see files on drive.

Downloaded Hirens Boot CD. With one of the utilities I can see the file system but cannot open any programs. I am able to run ‘small XP’ from the CD.

One thought is the MBR is corrupted. However, if so I would think the Boot Repair would have noted that.

My next thought was to see if I could do a SFC. Cannot run it.

In Win 7 is there still the ability to get into the console via the command prompt to attempt a repair? I've repaired XP systems in the past. Not sure if those commands would work under Win 7.

Open to logical and non-logical suggestions.

Short of a clean install of Win 7 what suggestions come to mind?

Thanks.

Mike


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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26 Aug 2009   #3

XP_Pro, W7_7201, W7RC.vhd, SciLinux5.3, Fedora12, Fedora9_2x, OpenSolaris_09-06
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Amadeus View Post
In Win 7 is there still the ability to get into the console via the command prompt to attempt a repair?
Your post implies one physical HDD with only one partition.
If anything else, post otherwise, and do not attempt these instructions.
And do not use any XP stuff, unless you have dual-boot, not mentioned.

The problem may well be the mbr-code, boot sector, bootmgr, etc...

The solution should be to boot from your Windows 7 install DVD.
This will get 'Windows 7-code' into the box, probably to the "Install Windows 7" screen...

Now you need to get to a "command prompt", which in Windows 7,
is to hit "Shift F10" which brings up an 'Admin Cmd prompt'. (the 'DOS-box')

(Now you have to find out the 'letter' of your DVD, and HDD.)
type: diskpart
then: list volume -- Note the letters of DVD (D:?) and boot HDD (C:?)
type: EXIT to get out of 'diskpart' and back to the cmd prompt.

type: D: (D:? for your DVD letter)

type: CD boot
type: bootsect /nt60 C: /mbr (C:? for your boot HDD)...
--- He should say "Success" ---

type: EXIT to get out of 'Command Prompt' and back to Windows 7 Setup.

That ought to do it. Cancel out of Setup, and reboot.
If that doesn't do it, there may be something else to go at.

If Windows 7 can't boot, how are you running these "Third party utilities" ?
Have they made any modifications to your HDD ?

(Amadeus is a well-known first-name...)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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26 Aug 2009   #4

Windows 7 build 7100 x86
 
 

i actually think i had this problem. black screen cursor before logging in?
dont have any idea how i fixed it, i think i left it for a few hours and a logon screen came up, but it was still very sluggish. Finally managed to load a desktop, then logged off and shutdown and all fine since
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Aug 2009   #5

 

ChuckR - The 'procedure' worked well. Thanks for that. However, the 'outcome' unfortunately, did not change.
The system boots up to the 'select operating system' screen with Windows 7 highlighted (it is the only OS on this box). Pressing enter produces a blank screen. A few seconds later the small blue dashes appear in the upper left hand corner of the screen for a few more seconds. Then the cursor appears in the middle of the screen. The cursor is movable with the mouse. And, there it sits.
Only one partition. I've thought about trying to partition the drive and loading Win 7 on the new partition. Haven't thought that through yet.
As for third party utilities - from the install screen of Windows 7 a command prompt is accessible from which the DIR of C: is visible. A third party set of DOS utilities also allows for booting to an X: which get me to C: also. From the X: the utilities have not made any changes.
Any further suggestions are greatly appreciated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Aug 2009   #6

XP_Pro, W7_7201, W7RC.vhd, SciLinux5.3, Fedora12, Fedora9_2x, OpenSolaris_09-06
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Amadeus View Post
The system boots up to the 'select operating system' screen with Windows 7 highlighted (it is the only OS on this box). Pressing enter produces a blank screen. A few seconds later the small blue dashes appear in the upper left hand corner of the screen for a few more seconds. Then the cursor appears in the middle of the screen. The cursor is movable with the mouse. And, there it sits.
A "quick" reply, during 'morning' coffee:
'antt's post seems like a good idea - I've seen other posts that said leaving it alone for a while, finally brought it up.
But that was usually after a new install.

"Select OS" would be the 'Boot Manager' screen saying that the MBR, bootsector, and bootmgr executable are all OK.
From this screen, you should be able to hit the 'Tab' key to select 'Memory Diagnostics' at the bottom of the page.
It would also be a good idea to run this for a while (30 minutes?).
Once in Memy Diag, I would select the "Advanced" option and let it run for several passes.

The fact that the "small blue dashes appear in the upper left hand corner of the screen" indicates (to me) that there could be a video problem, video memory problem, etc.
These blue dashes should be 'centered' and at the lower part of the screen.
Unfortunately I don't know exactly whats going on during the dashes.
Obviously, Windows 7 is loading something and the blue dashes are a 'Please wait' type of message.

The 'chkdsk /r' is what apparently "goofed-up" your running installation.
I have read posts that said more that one run is necessary to "fix" disk problems. Perhaps 3 or 4?
This might be able to be done from: boot DVD, Shift F10, for cmd prompt.
___C:
___CD windows/system32
___chkdsk /r etc.
Not sure about this, but the file should exist there, and be executable (launched).

Quote:
Only one partition. I've thought about trying to partition the drive and loading Win 7 on the new partition. Haven't thought that through yet.
That is indeed a possible solution, which should work.
However that will leave you with a useless install on C:, and a theoretically new working install on the D:? new partition.
Unless you have 'valuable' data on the current C:, a new clean install, with formatting the C: might be the wiser choice.

Quote:
As for third party utilities - from the install screen of Windows 7 a command prompt is accessible from which the DIR of C: is visible.
"Third party" generally refers to not-Microsoft = Some other vendor's software.
The cmd prompt is Microsoft and is Win 7 code, not third-party.
I assume Shift F10 gets you to that cmd prompt, to do the DIR.

Quote:
A third party set of DOS utilities also allows for booting to an X: which get me to C: also. From the X: the utilities have not made any changes.
Here I assume you're referring to that 'Hiren CD', which I have also read is an illegal distribution of MS Windows XP software...
My assumption is that it is a form of "BartPE" rescue CD.
I wouldn't use that unless I were really "down in the mud", but I have my own legal BartPE CD with my favorite tools for troubleshooting.
XP may not "fix" things the "Windows 7 way", especially the important things.

In the meantime, try the Memory test, Chkdsk, and antt's suggestion to just let 'er be.
The fact that you started with a running system implies (to me) that Chkdsk 'repairs' are the culprit.

There's a lot of Windows 7 experts on SevenForums and I'm sure there will be many other suggestions for "plan of attack" or fixes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Aug 2009   #7

 

Thanks Chuck.
As for letting it sit as 'aant' suggested is now a time tested theory that did not work as this box had its last successful display of Win 7 on Aug. 18.
Even thought I don't think the memory would be a culprit in this instance I will give it a try. Not a problem to let it run for as long as it takes.
The blue dashes have always appeared on the upper left hand corner when the system was functioning. I am assuming that is the time the system is loading drivers (like the mouse and CD/DVD). What may not be loading is a video driver. I tried booting with the low resolution option. No change. Running the ATI 4770 card.
I've run two or three instances of CHKDSK /f but never hurts to try another one.
Yes, I do get to C:> with Shift + F10 at Win 7 install screen.
Also have BartPE disk. Not updated. Hiren's CD was a quick and dirty download for the utilities. Not impressed with it. Will update my BartPE to see if there is anything in it that might help.
Yes, I could reformat the HDD and reinstall. However, it is my nature to find a way to fix it first. Aside from the satisfaction if it does work it is also a great learning process. Something I picked up from my work on cars! My daughter said I've graduated from building car engines for speed to computers! Although, I still work on the cars...when the computers are working well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Aug 2009   #8

XP_Pro, W7_7201, W7RC.vhd, SciLinux5.3, Fedora12, Fedora9_2x, OpenSolaris_09-06
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Amadeus View Post
I tried booting with the low resolution option.
Is that a switch on the card?

Quote:
Yes, I do get to C:> with Shift + F10 at Win 7 install screen.
Good.
Since its a win 7 problem, the 'proper' solution should be done by using only win 7 tools/utils, which I don't know much about...
You have everything on C: from your Windows 7 install. It just ain't workin' right.
Almost everything is in \system32. Some good stuff is on DVD.

Quote:
My next thought was to see if I could do a SFC. Cannot run it.
What does "Cannot run it" show as error msge?
Did you try SFC this way:
___C:
___CD windows/system32
___sfc /SCANNOW (to verify and repair files) etc.

At C:> type SET
and post that. May be a hint in there.
Should look something like this:

Quote:
Yes, I could reformat the HDD and reinstall. However, it is my nature to find a way to fix it first. Aside from the satisfaction if it does work it is also a great learning process.
Right... Then you have the patience to 'play around', and a 2nd computer.
And, full comprehension that things could 'get worse', with reformat/reinstall as the final solution.

Edit:
Since you have one drv, 1 partition, you should have the 100 MB partition, also.
Type: diskpart
then: list disk
then: list volume
then: exit
See if the 100 MB partition shows anything of significance, or even if he's listed.
Quote:
I still work on the cars...when the computers are working well.
How about a clutch on a 74 Alfa Romeo Spider ?


Attached Images
 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Aug 2009   #9

 

Tried the SFC /scannnow from c:\ and c:\windows\system32. Interesting response in both instances. "There is a system repair pending which requires reboot to complete. Restart Windows and run SFC again."
Now the question is how do I initiate the repair? Rebooted four times with no change.

As for the Alfa clutch, should be about as easy as fixing a non-booting computer. Current project is finishing up a '96 SHO after an engine rebuild and upgraded trans.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Aug 2009   #10

XP_Pro, W7_7201, W7RC.vhd, SciLinux5.3, Fedora12, Fedora9_2x, OpenSolaris_09-06
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Amadeus View Post
Tried the SFC /scannnow from c:\ and c:\windows\system32. Interesting response in both instances. "There is a system repair pending which requires reboot to complete. Restart Windows and run SFC again."
Now the question is how do I initiate the repair? Rebooted four times with no change.
Found this, and the way I interpret it is:
When you booted from DVD, you were not booting a 'real' Windows 7 installation --
you are "booting" an image-file. ie, like a Zip file, that has to be "unpacked" to
execute Windows 7 commands.
The Cmd-prompt is one of those unpacked cmds, run from the image-file.

When you attempted to run C:\win\sys32\sfc.exe, the 'unpacked-cmd-prompt' KNOWS that it is running from a .wim image-file,
i.e.:
You cannot use the System File Checker tool to verify or to repair Windows Vista if Windows Vista is in a mounted image file or in a bootable WIM file
Quote:
You cannot use the System File Checker tool to verify or to repair ...
This process will take some time. There is a system repair pending which requires reboot to complete. Restart Windows and run sfc again.
So much for that.

This also implies that the only 'trusted' programs (running from the .wim image file) are those found on DVD, or, if booted successfully to the bootmgr screen (Select an OS), those manually put on C:\Recovery for that express purpose.
------------------------------------------------
The recovery tools put on C:\Recovery are not automatically placed on that menu.
Which brings us to Antman's link, posted above, and siw2's write-up on how this is done.
Once accomplished, it will simply be a copy of the recovery-tools on the DVD, but loaded from the C: HDD instead.
Since none of these worked for you from the DVD, there's not much sense in putting a menu entry in bootmgr to accomplish the same thing.
The menu entry is surely "booted" from an image-file also, like the DVD.
------------------------------------------------

Unless others who have "been-there, done-that" could jump in here, I'd try the DVD repair/restore functions another time or two from DVD, then go for the format/install route. I'd NOT do a 'Quick' format, though...

I would personally also try a thing or 2, 'off-the-wall' (and quasi-rational) such as running BCDEdit,
and say, change the displayed 'label' by putting the identical same entry where it currently is,
in the hopes that he'll write exactly what he began with, with the original being saved as a .BAK file. This way, the "new" BCD-store file will be on a different physical place on the disk.

Or, because I sometimes do stuff like this, is use 'diskpart' to create a 30 GB .vhd file and install Windows 7 (ULTIMATE only) into that. There's an excellent tutorial on "installing to a vhd" on this board.
This takes time to format the .vhd, install, etc. but I just might do it, just for grins.
This would leave you with still only 1 partition, but with 2 installations: the bad one in C:\Windows and another in a .vhd file.
Theoretically, the .vhd would be bootable as the first entry in Bootmgr with the bad install as the second entry.
OTOH, it might not work...
The only thing you could gain from this is to have a "real" functional bootable Windows 7 (vice .wim image file), I think, which might allow you to do troubleshooting on the misfit C:\Windows.
Sort of a "BartPE" on the same HDD, contained as a single .vhd file...
Kind of gutsy, and, wandering into the unknown... Also, there are some limitations on vhd installations.

There's still the option to 'squeeze' the one partition down, creating new space for a 2nd partition, and a 2nd installation put there, as you were pondering before.

Sorry Mike.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Windows 7 No Go!!




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