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Windows 7: Recurring Boot Failure

03 Feb 2014   #1
Unvector

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Recurring Boot Failure

For a month or two I've been plagued by an issue that leaves my computer unbootable. I've reinstalled Windows several times during this time and always eventually run into the same problem.

The typical sequence of events has been: Reinstall Windows. Update Windows. Install Drivers. Reinstall all applications. Move user data from old installation. Use the computer without issues for a few days without installing any new drivers or software. Try to boot computer one morning and go straight into Startup Repair which fails, forcing a System Restore. In the following days the problem returns, and eventually System Restore fails and I'm forced to reinstall Windows.

An observation throughout all of this is that reboots from a working Windows never have failed. All the failed boots have occurred immediately after the system has been powered down for several hours.

Before the most recent Windows reinstall, I tried to perform the bootrec commands. /fixmbr and /fixboot worked. However, /Rebuildbcd failed as it couldn't identify any Windows installations. This was done from the command prompt in the WindowsRE on the Windows 7 installation dvd which did recognize the Windows installation upon launching.

The Startup Repair log from my most recent un-System Restorable boot failure:
0 StartupRepairOffline
1 6.1.7600.16385
2 6.1.7600.16385
3 unknown
4 21199546
5 AutoFailover
6 3
7 BadDriver
OS Version 6.1.7600.2.0.0.256.1
Locale ID 1033

Things I've tried:
sfc /scannow Ran several times at different times. Never any issues.
chkdsk Ran several times at different times. Never any issues.
bootrec /fixmbr /fixboot
Reset BIOS settings
Full scan with Security Essentials

I've attached my results from the SF Diagnostic Tool as per the posting instructions of the BSOD subforum, in-case it would be helpful to anyone willing to try to help me with this. I'm all out of ideas myself. Any help would be greatly appreciated.




Extra. Don't know if relevant or interesting.
Background:
I built my computer myself, and it's been running fine for about three years. About one year ago I added an SSD which I from then on ran Windows from. A month or two ago I decided to get rid of the defunct Windows installation on the old hard drive. I formatted the partition, and this is where all the problems began. First I had messages about a missing bootmgr which I took care of by reinstalling Windows on the SSD.

A week or two ago I thought I'd found the solution when I realized the old Windows partition (now D:\) still held the Active flag, which was a bad thing. I removed the flag, and have since reinstalled Windows on C:\, but the problems persist.

Freak happenings:
One three separate occasions I've had symptoms which haven't since returned.
I once booted into Windows to a Device Manager filled with several malfunctioning "WAN miniport" entries. Internet connection wasn't working. I ended up performing a System Restore.
Another time I came into Windows and the keyboard and mouse weren't working. I tried different USB ports to no avail. On a reboot, I ended up in Startup Repair and had to perform a System Restore.
Finally on one occasion during boot the "Welcome" screen that usually only stays for a couple of seconds remained for a couple of minutes. Once in Windows, many things loaded incredibly slowly, such as System Restore, which I eventually ran.




Attached Files
File Type: zip Unvector.zip (412.7 KB, 0 views)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
03 Feb 2014   #2
gregrocker

 

You can run into trouble replacing drivers Win7 wants. Drivers should arrive via Windows Update after enabling Automatically deliver drivers via Windows Update (Step 3). Install all Important and Optional as there will be valuable patches too. Try only importing those drivers which are missing after all Updates are done and no more are offered.

I would start over using the same steps compiiled in Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 which are what has worked best in tens of thousands of installs we've helped with here.

First however I'd test the hardware from the Troubleshooting Steps for Windows 7.
Look for patches and important bulletins or updates on your mobo or other hardware websites.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2014   #3
Unvector

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Hi gregrocker and thank you for the quick response.

I've enabled the "Do you want Windows to download driver software and realistic icons for your devices?". Afterwards I checked for updates with Windows Update but didn't find anything new.

I've installed everything offered from Windows Update save for Internet Explorer and translation packages. Do you by "Try only importing those drivers which are missing ..." mean I shouldn't install, say, the chipset drivers offered on the official site of my motherboard manufacturer unless something chipset-related shows up in Device Manager as missing a driver?

I ran Malwarebytes without any hits
I ran Belarc Advisor but I'm not sure what I'm looking for. Nothing stood out. Virus Protection and Security Updates were Up-to-date
Action Center has no problems awaiting solutions.
I'll do some work with the Event Viewer to see if I can find anything interesting.

Regarding patches and bulletins for my motherboard. Latest chipset drivers are installed. Latest BIOS is flashed. Latest USB 3.0 driver is installed. I'm not using any of the utilities offered, like ASUS Turbo.
There is a Marvell Controller Driver from 2010 offered on the official website. The SSD system drive is connected to the Marvell controller on the motherboard, but there's nothing in Device Manager about it missing a driver and I'm pretty sure I didn't use this driver before all this started. Would it be worth installing?

Reading your 'Troubleshooting Windows 7 Failure to Start' guide you mention rebuilding MBR at point 9. Like I wrote in my original post, this was something I tried to do with bootrec.exe before my most recent reinstall but it failed saying it couldn't find any Windows installations. Would it be a good idea to boot into WindowsRE right now while Windows is booting properly to try it again?

I'm considering purchasing more storage so that I can wipe the two drives I have completely and start over with a clean installation like you suggested. I'd like to try troubleshooting a little more first though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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03 Feb 2014   #4
Mellon Head

Win 7 Pro x64/Win 10 Pro x64 dual boot
 
 

Quote:
I've enabled the "Do you want Windows to download driver software and realistic icons for your devices?".
I don't think that's a question that Windows asks. Do you have a third party updater? I've never seen Windows ask about updating realistic icons before...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2014   #5
Unvector

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Mellon Head View Post
Quote:
I've enabled the "Do you want Windows to download driver software and realistic icons for your devices?".
I don't think that's a question that Windows asks. Do you have a third party updater? I've never seen Windows ask about updating realistic icons before...
Hi Mellon Head. I didn't know about this setting before either. See here: Automatically get recommended drivers and updates for your hardware
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2014   #6
Mellon Head

Win 7 Pro x64/Win 10 Pro x64 dual boot
 
 

Well, I'll be... I didn't know that. Thank you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2014   #7
gregrocker

 

You have both Marvel and Intel controllers on the board? Have you tried booting off the Intel?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2014   #8
Unvector

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

This morning when booting up I got into Windows just fine, only to discover that neither mouse nor keyboard were responding. I reset the computer and predictably ended up in Startup Repair. I ran it three times with reboots in between. All repairs failed as usual. Here's two of the results. I forgot to get the third:
Code:
Event name   Startup Repair
1            6.1.7600.16385        6.1.7600.16385
2            6.1.7600.16385        6.1.7600.16385
3            unknown               unknown
4            3                     21199525
5            AutoFailover          AutoFailover
6            1                     2
7            NoRootCause           NoRootCause
Diagnostic and repair details mention nothing interesting except "Unspecified changes to system configuration might have caused the problem"

I made another attempt at the bootrec commands. Fixboot and fixmbr worked as before. Rebuildbcd surprisingly found one Windows installation this time: My previous, not-booting, defunct Windows installation Windows.old. Needless to say I didn't go through with the command. I have no idea what is going on here.

At this point I would typically try to run System Restore, but I decided to try something different: Startup Repair Infinite Loop Recovery
This got me into a fully working Windows. Thank you Dzomlija!

Once in Windows, however, I received a dialogue box I never saw before with the title "An unauthorized change was made to Windows" directing me to this website: Genuine Microsoft Software
I followed the instructions and seem to have passed the verification.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2014   #9
Unvector

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Since the problems began I have only been booting from the Marvell controller. Previously I guess I was technically dual-booting two Windows 7 installations: SSD (C:\) on the Marvell controller was the one I was using; but old harddrive partition D:\ on the Intel still had a working installation. Like I wrote in the original post, I formatted D:\, had the bootmgr missing error and then reinstalled Windows on C:\. I guess it is fair to say that the computer ran fine as long as I was booting from the Intel controller So what would this mean? Booting from a Marvell controller somehow eventually corrupts the registry or messes with drivers for some reason? I'm not arguing the find. I just don't understand.

Would installing that Marvell driver I mentioned in a previous post make any potential difference?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2014   #10
Unvector

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Hi there jec1955. It doesn't look to me like this is relevant to the thread. As per the posting rules:
Quote:
Do not hijack other peoples threads asking for help with similar problems to your own, you need to create a new thread of your own.
I hope you find the help you're looking for.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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