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Windows 7: "Preparing your Desktop" and then blue screen with no HDD activity

05 Dec 2014   #1
Snugglebugs

XP Pro and Win7 Pro both 32 bit plus Win 8.1 64bit
 
 
"Preparing your Desktop" and then blue screen with no HDD activity

I have read many posts with similar headings but none of them quite fit with the way my PC installation got into trouble.

I had the PC fitted with one HD and loaded the XP Pro sp3 32 bit OS on to that when it was first available. It has gone through all the updating procedures and is pretty stable.

But once the full support ceased I thought it was probably time to try out a later OS and settled on Win 7 Pro as the one most likely to fit my requirements. Earlier this year I added a new HD and partitioned it to suit a Win 7 installation from a MS DVD - paid for and fully licensed. I installed Win 7 to the partition I called W and that was fine and since then I have gradually been learning the oddities and kinks in the new OS. BUT, mostly I use the XP installation on partition C on the first HD. I used the Win 7 msconfig to set the boot options to default "Earlier version of Windows" and the alternative "Windows 7 Professional".

All was fine for several months until a couple of days ago when I selected the Windows 7 start option and Win 7 failed to start, as it has done OK many times before, and the Preparing your desktop/blue screen/no activity/not genuine windows routine that others have described came into play

I tried the boot from DVD and then try to repair 3 times and ended up with no improvement. On the last attempt I tried the explorer.exe method and then got a very incomplete desktop with a list of programmes. I tried to access them but every one failed with a message that access was not possible.

At that point I tried some lateral thinking and searching in XP to see if I could find information in either OS set of files. I stumbled across a log file called bcdinfo.txt and there all references to Win 7 mentioned the new name it had been given by the repair process "Windows 7 Professional (recovered)". Even worse, when I went to My Computer I discovered that the Win 7 partition W: was now called O: so hardly surprising that ALL programme shortcuts failed as the path via W: no longer existed.

Using the XP system manager I got the drive partitions letters back to where they should be and on XP all is still well. Checking the files on W shows all the folders and programme files where they should be and apparently undamaged.

So, eventually, to my question!
I don't want to try another repair via the boot from DVD route in case I simply end up in a mess again, and maybe with damaged files as well.

Is there a file somewhere (in XP or 7) that I can simply edit to put the correct name and drive letter back so that boot will work correctly again?

Tony


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 Dec 2014   #2
gregrocker

 

Please post back a screenshot of Disk Mgmt from XP. To capture it you press Print Screen, paste into Paint, then save the file to attach in reply box using paper clip. Screenshot with Paint

Try installing EasyBCD (click Download - no Name or Email required) to XP, under Edit OS Menu tab delete the Win7 listing and then add it again on Add OS Entry tab.

If this fails, back up an XP image using a program like Macrium Imaging - Windows 7 Help Forums. In XP Disk Mgmt Mark Win7 Partition Active then reboot into Win7 disk to run Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times to move the Boot Manager to Win7 while checking it over to see if it can be made to boot. If so then you can install EasyBCD to add XP, if not you can move the Active flag back to XP to start it again.

If these fail and Disk Mgmt doesn't reveal why, follow these steps to this time do a perfect Clean Reinstall Windows 7 sticking with the steps, tools and methods given which has helped over a million users get and keep a perfect install without a single complaint.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Dec 2014   #3
Snugglebugs

XP Pro and Win7 Pro both 32 bit plus Win 8.1 64bit
 
 

Thanks. I will try all that but since i sent the question xp has developed a fault and now wont start! Even trying to boot it from the cd wont work.

I guess i need to try the win7 dteps first and see if i can get that back with all my files. I have inspected thd xp hd using Freedos and all the files are still on both drives so there is hope. I can make the HDs active using a Freedos programme so that will be one way of achievibg it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Dec 2014   #4
Snugglebugs

XP Pro and Win7 Pro both 32 bit plus Win 8.1 64bit
 
 

PS sent using my Tablet and thtag explians the typing errors - I hater touch screens!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Dec 2014   #5
gregrocker

 

Since for some reason you don't have your files backed up then rescue your files from the booted Win7 disk to an external or other HD or flash stick using Copy & Paste - in Windows Recovery Console .

Then Mark Win7 Partition Active and run Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times until Win7 boots on its own and holds the System Active flags on its partition in Disk Mgmt.

Next install EasyBCD (click Download - no Name or Email required) to Win7 to add XP and any other OS to a Windows Boot Menu.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Dec 2014   #6
Snugglebugs

XP Pro and Win7 Pro both 32 bit plus Win 8.1 64bit
 
 

I am gradually reading through your suggestions and downloading the programmes Macrium and BCD - initially to my wifes XP Pro PC for easier study than using this Tablet. (I have now plugged in a USB keyboard which makes my typing better!)

But I find the Help file in Easy BCD very poor. At some point when I first found this marvellous forum I did find a message with a link to a Tutorial here which was very much better. Now I cant find it again! Do you know where it is?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Dec 2014   #7
gregrocker

 

Configure a multiboot with EasyBCD

Where is the screenshot requested of XP Disk Mgmt? I would not proceed before we examine that closely.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Dec 2014   #8
Snugglebugs

XP Pro and Win7 Pro both 32 bit plus Win 8.1 64bit
 
 

Sorry, I thought I had made it clear in my follow up reply. I no longer have the ability to boot into XP so cant make any screen shots from that OS.

After that boot option disappeared from the Boot (F12) menu, I tried to boot from the XP installation CD, but just got a message after the Windows setup files were loaded that windows has been shut down - the BSOD. I tried F8 for other options but nothing happened.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Dec 2014   #9
Snugglebugs

XP Pro and Win7 Pro both 32 bit plus Win 8.1 64bit
 
 

I will get back to you tomorrow. I will append document (.txt) with a full summary which will be much easier than keeping track of various message. I will use the FreeDos programme Bootmaster to check the parameters of the two HDs which should give most of the information that XP Disk Mgmt has. If necessary I can photograph the screen as screenshots are not possible in that!
Thanks for your patience - luckily my wife's XP Pro PC is still working so I can use that from time to time.
Tony
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Dec 2014   #10
gregrocker

 

If XP now won't start then complete these steps. If you need a Win7 disk for your licensed version it is provided in Step 6 of Troubleshooting Windows 7 Failure to Start along with hardware tests if problems persist:

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Since for some reason you don't have your files backed up then rescue your files from the booted Win7 disk to an external or other HD or flash stick using Copy & Paste - in Windows Recovery Console .

Then Mark Win7 Partition Active and run Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times until Win7 boots on its own and holds the System Active flags on its partition in Disk Mgmt.

Next install EasyBCD (click Download - no Name or Email required) to Win7 to add XP and any other OS to a Windows Boot Menu.
Unplug all other drives, if disk fails to boot try the flash stick alternative. Set HD to boot first, trigger media to boot using one-time Boot Menu. If it continues to fail reset the BIOS to defaults after entering BIOS setup at boot.

While you can confirm the Partition Marked Active using the Win7 disk as shown in the blue link tutorial, it might be better to download and burn to CD with Windows Image Burner free Partition Wizard boot CD to use for that and then Partition Wizard Rebuild MBR - Video Help before running the 3 Startup Repairs. You can also test HD with Partition surface test with Partition Wizard and take a camera snap of the drive map and listings to post back for analysis using paper clip in Reply Box.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 "Preparing your Desktop" and then blue screen with no HDD activity




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