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Windows 7: "Windows failed to start", won't allow me to boot from CD/DVD drive

25 Jul 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
"Windows failed to start", won't allow me to boot from CD/DVD drive

Hey guys,

Recently my iTunes went haywire and froze my computer, and when I rebooted it, I got the error:

Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause. To fix the problem:
1. Insert your windows installation disc and restart your computer.
2. Choose your language settings, and then click "next".
3. Click "repair your computer".

Ya-da ya-da..

I have a Samsung SF510 laptop running Windows 7 x64.

Anyways, I burned an ISO to a disk (downloaded from this forum) and put it in, and hit F4 which brought me to Samsung Recovery Solution 5 or something like that, and it has said "please wait" for the past 6 hours

I've tried booting Sea Tools by putting the CD drive as my #1 on my BIOS priority boot list, but no luck.

When I hit F12, then I get the error:

Media test failure, check cable
Exiting ---

Im pretty darn sure its a hard drive problem (Despite the hard drive still being recognized in my BIOS).

Before I shell out $400 for future shop to recover data, swap the hard drive and install everything for me...Do you guys have any thoughts?

Thanks so much. I gave as many details as I could.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

25 Jul 2012   #2
Microsoft MVP


F12 should be the key for BIOS boot menu on Samsung, used to trigger the DVD if it was burned correctly for a Clean Reinstall. If you're choosing HD and getting the error you specifiy then it likely is a bad HD. Is the HD detected in BIOS setup? Check now?

Work through these steps starting with HD tests: Troubleshooting Windows 7 Failure to Boot.

What ISO did you burn that caused what you describe? Did you skip to trying to Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 and somehow confused running Samsung Recovery with booting the Windows 7 DVD? These are two separate things. Google your Samsung model + run Factory Recovery to understand better the difference.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jul 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Oh okay! Well in that case it looks like my BIOS isnt working. Whenever I hit F12 I get the "Windows failed to start..." message. I thought F2 was my BIOS! What is Aptio Setup Utility then?

Ive tried all my function buttons, but none of them bring me to a BIOS that you're describing, which means I can't run in safe mode and try those HD tests you suggested.

And the ISO was from this thread:

Win7 Repair Disk Download
My System SpecsSystem Spec

26 Jul 2012   #4
Microsoft MVP


F2 is indeed the key on Samsung to enter BIOS setup, but there should be another key given on first screen for BIOS Boot Menu. If not enter BIOS Setup to set DVD drive to boot first: How To Boot From a CD (or DVD or BD) Disc

There is only one step given in Troubleshooting tutorial to run in Safe Mode. All of the others require booting a disk. So you'll need to learn to do that since 95% of the time failure to boot disk is due to user not doing it correctly. Boot disks must also be burned using an Image Burner like ImgBurn which never fails at 4x speed.

Did you burn the Repair CD ISO using Windows Image Burner or ImgBurn? Try booting it now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jul 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

I burned the repair CD using ISOrecorder.
I did notice in my BIOS priority list that I have a USB CD option, and an AHCI CD option. I've been choosing AHCI because the USB CD says: N/A beside. Which would be the correct CD drive option?

And I think I'll re-burn that repair disc at 4x this time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jul 2012   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Before I re-burn, the AHCI CD option boots with the "Windows wont start" error, while the USB CD option gives me the "Media test failure, check cable" error.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jul 2012   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit


You, my friend, were correct in saying that I should re-burn the boot disk. I ran it slower and BAM! It booted.
I ran it through the startup repair, but it did nothing..
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jul 2012   #8
Microsoft MVP


You may need to run Startup Repair up to 3 separate times with reboots no matter what it reports, after confirming the correct partition is marked Active. Follow the tutorial as it also may not repair until disinfected.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jul 2012   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

The first repair said nothing was wrong, but the second repair said it was attempting to repair a disc problem. It was going to take an hour. A day and a half later, it's still running
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jul 2012   #10
Microsoft MVP


What's happened is Disk Check has stalled out likely because of irreparable sectors which fouled the Startup Repair.

What I would do next is run the HD maker's HD Diagnostic extended CD scan to see if it can repair the HD.

Then run Disk Check from the DVD Command Line as shown in the blue link at top of this post.

If you have files to rescue I would do that first using Copy & Paste - in Windows Recovery Console or Paragon Rescue CD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 "Windows failed to start", won't allow me to boot from CD/DVD drive

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