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Windows 7: Stuck on 'Starting Windows' screen during install

26 Dec 2012   #1
BinaryRock

Windows 7 64-bit (Home Premium and Professional)
 
 
Stuck on 'Starting Windows' screen during install

I've found others on the forum attempting the same thing as me, but with different problems. I'm hoping this isn't a duplicate.

I recently purchased a Dell XPS 15 (l521x) that came with Windows 8. The system boots from the hard drive through UEFI by default, so I think the hard drive is already GPT. I am attempting to install Windows 7 from a UEFI bootable USB. The system goes through the 'copying files' phase and then goes to the Starting Windows screen. As the colored dots of the Windows logo are circling, the system freezes. Can someone help me fix this problem? The following are the steps I took in order to install Windows 7:

- Formatted a brand new 4GB USB drive to FAT32
- Downloaded Windows 7 ISO (I have a key)
- Extracted ISO files to USB
- Made adjustments so that USB is UEFI bootable (efi/boot/bootx64.efi)
- In BIOS, set SATA Operation to AHCI and disabled Secure Boot
- Select USB drive from UEFI boot menu

Many thanks in advance as I've been fighting with this for several weeks now.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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27 Dec 2012   #2
AddRAM

Windows 7 Professional x64 Service Pack 1
 
 

What tool did you use to put the iso on the usb drive, it may be corrupted. Did you use the tutorial ?

Where did you get the iso from ?

Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool

Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Dec 2012   #3
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 
 

In order to install to a Windows 8 PC which almost all have EFI BIOS and Secure Boot, you must either:

1) disable Secure Boot to install in UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) - Install Windows 7 with - Windows 7 Forums,

or 2) Bypass UEFI to Install WIn7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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27 Dec 2012   #4
BinaryRock

Windows 7 64-bit (Home Premium and Professional)
 
 

Thanks for the responses.

I didn't use any tool as I just extracted the ISO files to the USB via 7-zip. I used the tutorial from here: UEFI Bootable USB Flash Drive - Create in Windows

I downloaded the ISO from here: [MDL LINK REMOVED BY ADMIN]

I will check out the links you guys sent and try again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Dec 2012   #5
BinaryRock

Windows 7 64-bit (Home Premium and Professional)
 
 

I downloaded a fresh copy of the ISO from Digital River Content yet the system still gets stuck at the Starting Windows screen.

I did not use the Microsoft USB/DVD tool since that formats the USB to NTFS, and it's my understanding that it has to be FAT 32. Is this correct?

Where am I going wrong?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Dec 2012   #6
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 
 

Try bypassing EFI if you want. It always seems to work better.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Dec 2012   #7
BinaryRock

Windows 7 64-bit (Home Premium and Professional)
 
 

OK, so I found my original W7 Pro 64-bit DVD.

Booting through legacy BIOS gives me an error about the partition being GPT. Booting through UEFI (using the DVD) gets stuck at the Starting Windows screen. Please advise what to do from here - I'm getting frustrated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Dec 2012   #8
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 
 

Did you run the Diskpart Clean and Convert MBR commands as well as all other steps from Bypass UEFI to Install WIn7?

Perhaps you didnt realize the blue type is a link with a full set of steps in it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Dec 2012   #9
BinaryRock

Windows 7 64-bit (Home Premium and Professional)
 
 

Yes, I understand the blue type is a link.

In digging around more on the site, I found another tutorial on optimizing the HDD for an install. I'm currently working through those steps now. Thanks for your help and patience.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Dec 2012   #10
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 
 

That Optimize SSD/HD tutorial is three years old while the new EFI technology in Win8 PC's is just weeks old.

The latest tutorial to install to a Win8 Secure Boot EFI BIOS is Downgrade Windows 8 to Windows 7 which shows how to install in UEFI mode after turning off Secure Boot, while the steps I provided to Bypass UEFI are also very recent information.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Stuck on 'Starting Windows' screen during install




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