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Windows 7: Serious Boot Catastrophe

05 Feb 2014   #1
billybong001

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Serious Boot Catastrophe

Relevant hardware information:

MSI H77MA-G43 UEFI BIOS
i5-3570K HD7850
Windows 7 Ultimate x64 single boot
3 HDD 2 exHDD
Windows Installation disc burned to bootable flash drive
All secondary drives have been temporarily disconnected

So, last night I innocently restarted the computer normally - everything was working fine, to find myself staring at black screen with "OS not found".

Initially I could still get back to Windows by inserting the bootable Windows 7 flash drive and selecting UEFI: SANDISK from the F11 boot menu. Once.

I missed this opportunity to use EasyBCD to fix potential problem with boot sector.

Started Windows Recovery.
Auto System Recovery > "This version of System Recovery Options is not compatible with the version of Windows you are trying to repair." Mind you, this was created with the same disc I installed Windows with.

Recovery Console > Ran diskpart and verified that the 100MB partition was set to active then tried all the usual bootrec stuff, no go.

Basically over the course of 4 hours I tried increasingly complex solutions but they all returned error messages along the lines of "path not found", "could not write" or "requested device cannot be found", all the way up to Neosmart Nuclear Holocaust instructions. It is also worth noting that it appears my drive letters have gone all batshit insane and started playing musical chairs. Throughout the entire process, my Windows was at some point in time located on C, D, E, or G.

I am able to now at least see "Starting Windows" but it goes into an infinite loop. Am out of ideas.

Can anyone help me please? This is very urgent as I am using the computer for a big project that is due very soon. Thank you so much!

Nicholas


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
05 Feb 2014   #2
matts6887

Windows 7 ultimate 64-bit
 
 

Unfortunately; I hate to be the bearer of bad news; but according to some research i have done; your hard drive has either become damaged somehow; and or the main boot sector has been damaged and or corrupted; which basically means unfortunately the hard drive is toast. Do you have a backup of important stuff? But just in case you might want to try downloading the hard drive diagnostics program using a good working computer and then run it on your system to see what it fin\ds. The link below should have the diagnostics you need:

Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities (Storage) - TACKtech Corp.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Feb 2014   #3
billybong001

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

At the moment there are no signs that point to any drive issues. Prior to the problem everything was working fine, no delayed write errors reported, no slow or dropped file transfers (and I have been doing alot of moving stuff around yesterday). Ran chkdsk c: /f twice (from Recovery Console) and both results are "Windows has checked the file system and found no problems."

To be doubly sure, I just burned Testdisk to flash drive and ran that as well, no problems showed up. This looks to be a Microsoft problem and there are various programs used on a big project that I'm wrapping up I am not reinstalling Windows right now. This problem will be eradicated one way or another.

Windows is hopping from one drive letter to another, this shit has to stop first otherwise everything I do results in "path/resource/element not found" because after restarting it gets a new letter. Just now it was C, right now I'm staring at G.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

05 Feb 2014   #4
bigmck

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by billybong001 View Post

Windows is hopping from one drive letter to another, this shit has to stop first otherwise everything I do results in "path/resource/element not found" because after restarting it gets a new letter. Just now it was C, right now I'm staring at G.
Please leave your locker room talk there. This is a family forum.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Feb 2014   #5
billybong001

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bigmck View Post
Please leave your locker room talk there. This is a family forum.
Good day kind sir,

Do you happen to also have any constructive advice regarding the issue at hand pretty please?

Kindest regards,
Nicholas
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2014   #6
gregrocker

 

Yes parents often bring the kiddies when they're repairing their PC.

Hi Nick, everything that can be done is here for Troubleshooting Windows 7 Failure to Start.

If the OS is infected it may not repair so that's where to begin.

Unfortunately some who come here after trying everything they can find have compounded the problem to make it worse. But working through the steps will resolve whether it can be startedor you need to rescue your files to do Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 - which steps are same for retail and compile tips for what works best.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2014   #7
billybong001

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Hi Greg,

Thanks for the come back. I have gone through most of the steps listed last night. Only thing is I haven't been able to select an OS to perform recovery on since it always tells me incompatible (more on that below). Restore system image > not found > cancel, will let me access command prompt but the top reads "Unknown on (Unknown) Local Disk".

Set 100MB active, auto x3, manual bootrec /fixmbr /fixboot /rebuildbcd. Repeated for C: as well. I have narrowed down the issue; when 100MB is active, Windows can begin to load (safe mode/last known good config screen) before infinite looping. When C: or any other drive letter is active, I get "BOOTMGR is missing". So 100MB is correct and we're done with diskpart and can focus on fixing boot and drive letters.*

Now, about the incompatible thing. The Windows image on the bootable flash drive is about 3~4 years old. Windows may have auto-updated itself so much such that the original build 7600 is considered out-of-date. I've found an updated image and am burning it now, will report back shortly how that goes.

Regards,
Nicholas


*does anyone mind kindly explaining in brief how drive letters work in recovery environment? I've read that RE reads volumes differently. Is that why I keep seeing so many drive letters despite all drives disconnected and primary drive only has [System Reserved][C:]and[E:].
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2014   #8
gregrocker

 

Drive letters will change in WinRe and should be ignored.

A new installer is provided in the tutorial so you can try another, both on flash stick and DVD if possible.

Mark 100mb Active run Startup Repair up to 3 separate times with reboots. If that fails and it didn't offer to System Restore, run it from the System Recovery Options.

Then start at the top of steps since disinfecting can't be ignored as the OS may not repair if its infected, and you would never know if it is or not til at least one bootable scan is run. If so, I would run two until both are clean. Then do the repairs.

IT shows how to move the Active flag to C to also do repair x3. One of the tools is Partition Wizard which can mark Active and also has a function on the Disk tab which will Rebulid MBR on highlighted disk (unplug all others). This plus repairs may work. Try to post back a camera snap of PW drive map showing all listings as we can often spot a problem.

Back around 10 am EST.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2014   #9
billybong001

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

The thing is I cannot completely ignore drive letters as command prompt entries sometime refer to these locations (such as when backing up, deleting and creating a new bcd. The image from Digital River that I burned with unetbootin does not work. It just sits there with a Default entry and a 10 second countdown that loops.

I couldn't find any installers in the tutorial you linked, just instructions on how to slipstream SP1 and creating a restore disc, both of which are not relevant to this problem. Did a full scan with MBAM and MSE couple days ago and no foreign drives plugged in since, it's clean.

(!!) I cannot set C: to active as it is a logical partition. Downloaded Partition Wizard and burning it to USB now.

Thank you for your help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2014   #10
billybong001

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Dumped unetbootin, used Rufus instead and it worked well. Burned the new Windows 7 ISO to USB and I no longer get the incompatible message at Automatic System Recovery however the process still eventually fails.

Then burned Partition Wizard using Rufus as well and it worked, clicked repair MBR > apply, reboot and remove flash drive. Windows stil unable to start, stuck in infinite loop.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Serious Boot Catastrophe




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