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Windows 7: Black screen with cursor installing Win7 from USB

22 May 2015   #1
serrath

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Black screen with cursor installing Win7 from USB

Lenovo Y500 shipped with Windows 8, I purchased Windows 7 Ultimate x64, installed from USB DVD-ROM drive. Last year, the hard drive died, no longer had the DVD (took a picure of the key, thank gods) or USB DVD-drive, and to reinstall I needed to download the Digital River Windows 7 ISO, make a bootable USB drive, and reinstall from there.

My backup computer is WinXP SP3 32-bit so it couldn't create the bootloader. I eventually had a friend create a USB installer using their Win7 computer, and it worked. I forget what other troubleshooting I might have had to go through. The new hard drive failed, so I replaced it again, but don't have a Win7 computer from which to make a USB installer.

CURRENT SITUATION:
Need to install Win7 on Lenovo Y500. Have a USB drive, appropriate iso image, and a working XP SP3 32-bit machine.

Here are my steps:

- System was already in Legacy (BIOS) mode (default was UEFI, fixed this to first install Win7)
- Downloaded Win7 USB installer on XP SP3 32-bit machine
- Googled and found I needed bootsect.exe, so I went and downloaded that too
- Copied bootsect.exe to the correct folder and created a Win7 USB installer

USB Win7 Installer creates without error

PROBLEM 1: Booting to Win7 USB installer gives NTLDR missing error.

- Did some Googling, used my 32-bit version of bootsect to run "bootsect /nt60 h: /force /mbr", where h: is the drive letter for the USB stick on the XP SP3 32-bit machine

Fixed NTLDR error

PROBLEM 2: Booting to Win7 USB installer gives black screen with mouse cursor (indefinitely) after loading bar then very brief loading logo.

- Did some Googling, disabled AHCI mode on the SATA controller
-- Did not resolve the issue

- Tried creating the USB installer with Rufus
-- Did not resolve the issue

I don't know how to resolve this issue.



HARDWARE CHANGES:
- Between 1st and 2nd install, replaced SATA HDD under warranty
- During 2nd install, 4GB memory module (of 8GB and 4GB) became corrupted, replaced both modules with 2x8GB MUSHKIN 997067 R memory kit.
- Between 2nd install and present attempt, replaced SATA HDD with SSD (CRUCIAL CT960M500SSD1)

HARDWARE ANOMALIES:
- Unit contains an integrated 16GB SSD drive. I have moved this to the lowest boot priority so it will stay out of the way.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
22 May 2015   #2
gregrocker

 

Is this 16gb SSD on an MSATA drive? Install Windows on MSATA (SSD) Drive - Windows 7 Help Forums
Install Windows on System with MSATA and ISRT - Windows 7 Help Forums

Is there an EFI BIOS? If so you'd need to format flash stick and boot it as a UEFI Device. Check in BIOS setup for Secure Boot, EFI, UEFI, CSM, Legacy BIOS or boot.

Otherwise confirm the ISO and use the Download tool discussed in Step 1 of Clean Reinstall Windows 7.

If this doesn't help then Troubleshoot Windows 7 Installation Failures - Windows 7 Help Forums
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2015   #3
serrath

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I do not know what the status of the 16GB internal SSD is, but mSATA sounds likely. I didn't think to check when I opened the unit; I'm trying to leave that drive out of this process. I'm trying to repair the installation on the 960GB Crucial SSD I replaced the dying Toshiba HDD with. (Imaged over from the Toshiba to the Crucial drive. Even if I could get a fresh install working at this point, I'd be relieved.)

The BIOS is UEFI, but I set boot mode to legacy.

I verified the ISO.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

22 May 2015   #4
gregrocker

 

Is the SSD registering in BIOS and disabled, under IRST, etc?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2015   #5
serrath

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

The internal SSD registers in the BIOS as "Internal Drive" 16 GB SSD. The Crucial drive (and previously the Toshiba) is listed as SATA HDD and correctly identified. I moved the internal SSD to the lowest priority on the boot order. I can't tell you what its status is under IRST, since I can't get to the OS. It was previously enabled under IRST, but if I remember correctly, it notified me recently while the computer was booted that it stopped detecting that drive. I assume it started detecting it again in the future, but I'm not sure.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2015   #6
serrath

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

WOAH!! Good call turning me on to the mSATA drive on the inside, I yanked the thing and the rest started working again!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2015   #7
serrath

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Do you accept charitable donations or anything, man? Saved me a TON of trouble here!

Edit: Not quite there yet...

When I try to boot to the SATA SSD (Crucial drive) after removing the mSATA drive, we're no-go. It skips right past it as if it didn't even look at it, and tries to network boot. I ran Repair Installation, it found the OS install, fixed the label, then ran Startup Repair, which says the volume boots cleanly. Go to boot from the drive and it still skips right to PXE though. No system restore points, which is scary.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2015   #8
serrath

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I've got my install rigged pretty well, I'm just hoping to repair the install I imaged from the previous drive. It's skipping right past the SATA SSD though, so I don't think it realizes that volume is bootable?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2015   #9
gregrocker

 

Did you confirm SSD is set first HD to boot in BIOS setup?

If so then unplug all other drives, confirm SSD Partition Marked Active is 100mb System Reserved (if you have it) or Win7 partition (if you don't) then run Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2015   #10
serrath

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Ah! Looks like I only imaged the install partition over; didn't do an exact disk clone because the new drive is smaller. I have 17 GB free though, so I should be able to create a system reserved partition, yeah?

Startup repair sees no issues when I run it. The drive still does not attempt to boot, just goes right past it to the next source when I select it manually. It's at the top of the boot order, regardless.

Edit: I GOT IT!!

From the repair console:
c:
bootsect /nt60 c: /force /mbr

Thank you so much, again! I never would have made it here without you pointing me in the right direction and teaching me what was going on! Any way I can thank you? You saved me $200 on computer repair that I really didn't want to spend after replacing the drive out of pocket.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Black screen with cursor installing Win7 from USB




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