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Windows 7: Won't Start, Says OS Files Missing

29 Apr 2013   #1
uvbogden

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 
Won't Start, Says OS Files Missing

I have a Dell XPSM1710 Core-Two Duo Notebook MXC061 Series, BIOS revision A07 that I bought new in 2007. Many problems with Vista, but much fewer once upgraded to Win7. Currently, the further from a Clean Install, the more I would get frozen pages saying (Not Responding) and using the Task Manager I find that 100% of both of the CPU memory is being used despite shutting all applications down except Windows-related stuff.

This can be dealt with by using Task Manager to close any applications running and rebooting. When my laptop starts behaving badly, I do a System Restore using a point before the problems started developing. Over a month ago, the System Restore would begin to cycle, but end up saying it couldn't complete the System Restore and all files and settings went back to where I started. Then I tried a fix from sevenforums to get System Restore working again. Then I had a McAfee update, rebooted, and the laptop wouldn't start (several days ago). I never got to see whether the fix for the System Restore worked.

I inserted the Win7 DVD and got to the System Recovery Options screen. I ran Startup Repair and it found one root cause: No OS Files Found in OS Folder; partition table repair was attempted with the Result-Failed, Error Code 0x3bc3. The Check for Updates, System Disk Test, Disk Failure Test, Disk Metadata Test, and the Target OS Test all completed successfully without error. Running System Restore or Startup Repair, no OS could be identified, System Restore could not function, and I could not enter Windows Recovery Environment to recover important documents. Running Command Prompt from System Recovery Options and then running autochk or sfc it says they can't be run in Win32 mode (the mode you get to work in from System Recovery Options when the OS files can't be found).

When I start the laptop with the Install DVD in the DVD drive, it fails to find the OS files and gives me the choice of restoring from a system image previously created (I don't have one) or if the OS isn't listed (it isn't), click Load Drivers, then install drivers for your hard disks. When I do this I get a window like Windows Explorer showing attached external HDDs (F and G), the Boot Partition (X) which is on the drive that contains the OS files, and "Removable Storage" devices: a memory stick (C), an external CD/DVD drive (E) and the Win7 DVD in the internal CD/DVD Drive (D). Not listed is the internal HDD that has the OS files and other important documents on it.

I can't do a Repair Reinstall, where my important documents would be available because to do this the Install DVD must be started while in Windows--which I can't get to. I could do a Clean Reinstall and get a working OS again, but I would lose all my important files. Does anybody know of a way to get from where I am to recovering my important documents?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Apr 2013   #2
VistaKing

Windows 7 Ultimate 32-Bit & Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit
 
 

See if this will be of any help to recover your files

Copy & Paste - in Windows Recovery Console

Before you do the above steps try the steps below

SFC /SCANNOW : Run in Command Prompt at Boot
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2013   #3
uvbogden

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by VistaKing View Post
See if this will be of any help to recover your files

Copy & Paste - in Windows Recovery Console

Before you do the above steps try the steps below

SFC /SCANNOW : Run in Command Prompt at Boot

Thanks for the quick reply. I have tried both approaches but it won't go to the Windows Recovery Console--what it does go to is a Windows Explorer like window similar to the Console, but it doesn't show my main drive with the important documents on it (as well as the OS files). And since the boot files are also missing (a part of the OS files), the Command Prompt accessed through the Install DVD "System Recovery Options" won't run either an autocheck or a sfc, instead it says "you can't do an autocheck or a sfc in Win32 (the only Command Prompt I get is in Win32). If I didn't know the results of the Startup Repair, I would think I had a dead internal HDD. I wish these solutions would work, but I guess I'm not that lucky--I was stupid not to keep everything backed up and current. Thanks again.

Bruce
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Apr 2013   #4
Jacee
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit SP1
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2013   #5
gregrocker

 

Bruce -

MucAfee is the worst possible AV you could use. We see nothing but problems with it here and it has likely ruined your Win7.

I would start over using the same tools and methods in Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 to get and keep a perfect install for as long as you stick with them. These practices are based on countless thousands of installs we've helped with here and work just as well for retail.

There is a step to copy out your stranded files, how drivers are best handled, and help on deciding which partitions to keep.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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