Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.

Windows 7: Can't start win7 outside safe mode

07 Nov 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
Can't start win7 outside safe mode

Got a nice comp about a year ago off craigslist and havent had a single issue with it until now. I am not your typical "oh-you-mean-I-have-to-plug-it-in-to-work" end user, but neither am I an "expert".

Especially in this case I'm in way over my head; a few days ago I went to slave up a buddy's HD. The mistake here was that I had always worked with ATA, not SATA. Yes, I was a temporary idiot, and no, I don't remember WHAT I was thinking. Whatever was or wasn't going through my head, I hooked up the second drive to the second clip on the (belt?). Everything started as usual until the windows loading bar; after the bar, I got a black screen, and then the computer shut itself off. Uh-oh.

On attempt #2 to startup (and removing the second hard drive), before the loading bar, I get a prompt for "Windows startup repair" or "Start windows normally". Option #1 results in "windows is loading files" for about 10 seconds, then black screen, then computer shuts itself off again. Option #2 just results in windows loading bar, black screen, then computer shuts itself off.

So far I've managed to start it in Safe Mode, but little else. I've ran the diagnostics from what looks like DOS, including the 12-hour long diagnostics, and the only error thus far is this:

Error Code: 4400:11A
Msg: SCSI_0-000_DISK_GENERIC-_SD/MMC - Target not ready

After running diagnostics specifically towards this, it consistently fails the Confidence Test and consistently passes the Device Self Test (the Read Test and Verify Test options are greyed out).

I've defaulted everything in the BIOS (although it says my HD is in a Raid setting, which as I understand it is for synching multiple HDs together, but the only option to change it to is ATA, which I know my HD is not). I have tried bare-bonesing the startup as well, but running only microsoft stuff I still get the same results as above, and I dont know enough to risk turning off anymore startup stuff.

The most confusing part of all is when I broke down and just decided to reformat the drive and start from scratch. Again, I could only boot from the Windows 7 CD in safe mode, and while in there I reformatted the main drive (there are 3 partitions; OEM, Recovery, and the Main). I have done this process multiple times, but the only thing I get even after reformatting the drive is more OS to choose from when starting the comp.

I am very much out of my league here, and humbly ask for help. Please save my baby!

As for computer stats I dont remember everything off the top of my head, and can't get past the setup screen now on windows, so I dont know how to check. From the dell website comes this mess: Dell Technical Support Home Page / Dell Troubleshooting Search
Other than that what I can remember is:
8gig ram, quadcore (cant remember gHZ), 1mb ATI Radeon vid card, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. Sorry if this isn't enough, if anyone knows of a way I can check for further info I'll be happy to oblige.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

07 Nov 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit

Welcome to Windows Seven Forums.

Do you have a set of Dell recovery discs to get you back to factory state if need be?

When you try a Startup Repair you need to do it at least three times with a reboot after each attempt.

If that doesn't work, I'd be inclined to boot into Partition Wizard and completely wipe the hard drive by deleting the current partitions and creating a new one.

Once you've done that you should be able to boot into your Windows 7 DVD and reinstall Windows.

To use Partition Wizard you need to download the ISO and burn it to a blank CD then boot into it, as this tutorial explains.

Partition Wizard : Use the Bootable CD
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Nov 2011   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Thanks for replying!

I'm not certain that the dell system restore is on seperate discs (seems computer companies are trying to outdo each other on cheapness). I do know that trying to do the "Dell Factory Image Restore" from the f8 advanced boot menu also results in "Windows is loading files" for a bit, then black screen, then shuts itself off. I don't know if this is the same thing, but thought I should mention it.

As for the startup repair, it also does the whole "windows is loading files"-black screen-shuts itself off, thing. Do you mean to do that three times? As I understand it there's supposed to be another dos-based screen after "windows is loading files".

In regards to the partition deletion, does that mean also getting rid of the OEM and RECOVERY partitions? Also it seems to be I can only boot in safe mode, will that partition wizard work in safe mode or DOS?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

08 Nov 2011   #4


If it's booting in safe mode... attempt removing the majority of startup services/applications from Msconfig (Startup Menu). then booting regularly.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Nov 2011   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit


If I understand you correctly I've done that, and still can't start it up outside safe mode. Unless you're talking about disabling EVERYTHING (I left all the microsoft startup services enabled).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Nov 2011   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit


Also, the most frustrating part of all this is I don't understand what caused this total meltdown. The only modification was from the additional hard drive, and the first thing I did when it gave me errors was remove it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Nov 2011   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Bump again,

Going to try the secure erase from the Partition Wizard mentioned by Seavixen32
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Nov 2011   #8
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1

"Bump" is not needed with every post.
Error Code: 4400:11A
Msg: SCSI_0-000_DISK_GENERIC-_SD/MMC - Target not ready
Is there a SD or some type of flash memory card plugged in somewhere?
I would suggest while you can still boot to Safe Mode to burn a Windows 7 DVD with the Dell tools.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Nov 2011   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

The bump was to signify what the post was mostly about and to explain the double posting.

As for the SD memory card, no, not that I'm aware, never even heard of it till I went googling this error. And I already have the windows 7 restore disk (or are you referring to something different?).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Nov 2011   #10
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1

If it is the restore disk that has Windows 7 installer, yes. There are also recovery disk(s) which will boot you into repair options, which you say are snookered.
I was going to suggest you save all of your data and do a fresh. clean install. Clean Install Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Can't start win7 outside safe mode

Thread Tools

Similar help and support threads for2: Can't start win7 outside safe mode
Thread Forum
Solved System will only start in Safe mode, Clean virus in safe mode General Discussion
Can only start in Safe Mode General Discussion
can't seem to start windows in safe mode General Discussion
BSOD during startup for normal mode. Can only start in safe mode. BSOD Help and Support
Solved help new build will only start in low res mode or safe mode Installation & Setup
must start in safe mode everytime BSOD Help and Support
BSOD on Start - able to start in Safe Mode and Restore Backup and Restore

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:49 PM.
Twitter Facebook Google+

Windows 7 Forums

Seven Forums Android App Seven Forums IOS App

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33