If you have files that need urgent rescue because they are not backed up then you may wish to start with Step 10 because in rare cases (e.g. on a failing hard drive) they may become inaccessible due to the strain of repairs
If possible unplug all other HD's while checking all cable connections. Boot into BIOS setup by tapping the key given for this on first boot screen, check that Windows 7 HD is detected and set to boot first (after CD/DVD drive). 2
. Try booting into Safe Mode with Networking
to install, update and run a full scan with Malwarebytes
If Safe Mode is not working, download, burn to CD or write to flash stick, boot the disk
and run a full scan with Windows Defender Offline.
If it fails try one of these FREE Bootable AntiVirus Rescue CDs
burned to CD using Windows Image Burner or ImgBurn.
You can also move the HD to another PC to scan it with Malwarebytes
If infection cleans up enough that Windows 7 will start then run SFC -SCANNOW Command
to check for damaged System files.
If not post back the virus scan results in our Security forum for expert help. 5.
Once the System is clean if it won't start boot into System Recovery Options
via the F8 menu or disk as shown in tutorial, run Startup Repair
repeatedly up to 3 separate times with reboots in between each - no matter what it reports. 6.
If you need an installer for your licensed version to boot to run Repairs or possible Clean Reinstall, download the latest official Win7 installer w/SP1 ISO
, burn to DVD or write to flash stick using Windows 7 USB-DVD Download Tool. 7
. If no installation shows up to repair when booting into DVD System Recovery Options
or Repair CD, or Startup Repair won't work after several tries, click through to System Recovery Options
, open a Command Line to use the Bootrec.exe tool
running each one of the commands shown. If ScanOS or RebuildBCD does not find an OS, be sure to do the final steps to export and delete the BCD store which often will find and correct it.
Failure to boot disk is almost always user error. Set disk drive first to boot in BIOS setup, look for prompt to "Press any key to boot disk." Its absence likely means the ISO or disk is bad. Alternatively tap the one-time BIOS Boot Menu key to trigger disk drive. 8.
If these fail, try running System Restore from Recovery Options list working chronologically backward to find a bootable configuration. If those fail, from Recovery Options open a Command Line to run SFC -SCANNOW Run in Command Prompt at Boot
As a last resort boot free Partition Wizard
bootable CD to Explore C to see if your files are intact and post back a camera snap of drive map for more help. Make sure C or the 100mb System Reserved partition (preferred) is marked Active
, then click on HD to highlight it, from Disk tab select Rebuild MBR, Apply. How to Set Active/Inactive partition -Partition Wizard Video Help. Partition Wizard Rebuild MBR - Video Help.
If Windows 7 doesn't start and you restored Active flag, run Startup Repair 3 Separate Times
. If marking 100mb Active fails to Repair x3, then mark Windows 7 partition itself Active and try above steps again. Make sure the Windows 7 HD is set first to boot in BIOS setup.
For a bootable flash stick version of Partition Wizard write it's CD ISO to stick using Universal USB Installer
. This is illustrated in How do I boot Partition Wizard bootable cd from my USB?
Without the Partition Wizard CD you would Mark Partition as Active (Method Two)
from DVD/Repair CD System Recovery Options
then run the 3 Startup Repairs.
Sometimes a deleted/missing partition can be restored by PW Partition Recovery Wizard
. A failed partition which cannot be repaired using steps above can sometimes have its table restored using DiskGenius trial
. The only bootable version is on Hiren's boot disk which is not supported here. 10.
If these all fail you can copy out your data using your Windows 7 installation media or System Repair Disk
using this method to Copy & Paste - in Windows Recovery Console
, or Paragon rescue disk
burned to CD with Windows Image Burner, or a Linux boot disk like Peppermint3 - Create Live CD/DVD/USB To Use For Emergency Backup - Windows 7 Forums
Then run Factory Recovery from its partition following steps you can find by googling, in the Manual on your computer maker's Support Downloads webpage or in this list of Recovery Methods
, disks you made or order from computer maker's Tech Support, or follow these steps to Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7
or Clean Install Windows 7
If you can't boot disks
most of the time it's due to User failure. Set DVD drive first to boot in BIOS setup, then HDD, Save changes, exit. How to Boot A Computer from CD or DVD - YouTube
Place DVD/CD in drive, reboot. Do you receive the prompt to "Press any key to boot disk?" If not the disk may not be burned correctly. Try ImgBurn
at 4x speed. Or try tapping the key given on first boot screen for one-time BIOS boot menu to trigger disk.
Reset the BIOS to defaults after taking note of SATA controller setting: Clear CMOS - 3 Ways to Clear the CMOS - Reset BIOS
. Try disk again.
Try booting flash stick installer which should be listed in BIOS Boot order or Boot Menu under USB, Removable or HD's for: OS repairs or reinstall, WD disinfection, Partition Wizard repairs. If these fail try unplugging DVD drive.
As a last resort you can replace the DVD drive, or rescue your files with Paragon Rescue CD which will boot itself, then boot Partition Wizard bootable CD which will also boot itself to wipe the HD
, which will in turn force the installer to boot itself for reinstall.