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Windows 7: OS no longer loads after Windows Update

15 Jan 2013   #1

Windows 7 64 bit
OS no longer loads after Windows Update


I am running: Windows 7 64bit
On: Acer Aspire 5750 laptop

For a couple months my computer has been locking up at random intervals for several seconds each time. I got no error messages and each time it came back acting fine, so I just assumed I had too much running. Now, I'm not so sure it wasn't the HD failing, because...

Last week, I noticed the shield on the shutdown button indicating windows needed to run an update. I closed out of everything and pushed the button to shutdown/install updates. The computer immediately crashed almost as if I had held down the power button. When I attempted to restart it, my only 2 options were to start normally or launch repair mode. Normal didn't work, so I launched repair. Repair ran for close to 4 days. In the first 36 hours it asked to be restarted twice, after that it just kept running until finally I gave up and shut it down with the power button.

Like a moron, I do not have a recent backup of my files and really wish they could still be saved.

Since then:
  • Tried to rescue files with Umbutu boot stick- error said it could not mount to drive.
  • Tried to launch safe mode with command prompt via F8- system went back into repair mode instead.
  • Tried to launch to last known good configuration via F8- system went back to repair mode, again.
  • Tried to launch via Windows Boot Disk- the screen it gave me was not the same screen as the screenshots on the forums suggested I should get. My screen was an Acer logo with 3 options, but only 2 I could chose and both promised to wipe my data. One was to repair windows and the other was to replace it. I chose neither in an effort to not loose my data. From other peoples screen shots it looks like this disk should give me many more options, including one for command prompt.
  • Tried Windows boot disk again, disk would not load this time.

Now I'm stuck! How can I check for HD failure if I can't get a command prompt or OS? It seems like everything I try goes right back into the same repair mode that ran for 4 days and did nothing good and forces me to shut down with power button despite how bad that is to do. Please help!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jan 2013   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Hello Drexi and welcome to Seven Forums.

Sorry to hear about the problems you're having. One of the Forum experts (who also happens to be a Microsoft MVP) prepared a troubleshooting tutorial for failure to boot issues. It's time consuming but has helped many to resolve their boot problems.

Troubleshooting Windows 7 Failure to Boot
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jan 2013   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

Probebly need to run a SFC /scannow from a command prompt.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

16 Jan 2013   #4

Windows 7 64 bit

Thanks for the suggestion marsmimar but that document says to run startup repair 3 times which troubles me because startup repair takes over 4 days to run! At least that's how long it had been running when I gave up on it, as stated above. If I ran it 3 times it could be weeks before its done!! Surely that is not normal!! 4 DAYS!?

I know the system was virus and malware free prior to this because I had just run virus scan and malwarebytes scan right before it happened so that doesn't help either.

Nor can I get a command line of any sort. As I said in my origonal message, literally everything I do takes me right back into startup repair, regardless of what option I pick. Startup repair will run days at a time, if allowed and obviously is not working. Rendering that entire tutorial useless to me, since it seems to rely on the proper functioning of startup repair.

Skipping over the parts about startup repair, it says to open a comand line which also is not working. Then I'm to make a disk, which I can't do from a phone so it will have to wait.

Got anything else?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jan 2013   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


If I'm understanding your original post, the startup repair that lasted 4 days was launched from an on-screen prompt that asked if you wanted to start normally or repair. Is that correct? Did you ever run the repair option from a system repair disk or from a Windows 7 installation DVD? If not, you could give that a try but you'll need to make sure your BIOS is set to boot from the CD/DVD optical drive as first option, not the hard drive. Here's how to create a system repair disk. Also, if you need an official, legal, and free Windows 7 installation disk for the version installed on your computer, you can get it here. Download and save the ISO file to desktop and then burn it to a blank DVD.

System Repair Disc - Create

Or you could try doing a Repair Install which might be faster than going through more startup repairs. Again, your BIOS must be set to boot from CD/DVD drive as first option. A repair install will try to fix your currently installed Windows 7 and preserve your user accounts, data, programs, system drivers, etc. If successful you'll have to reinstall Windows Updates. The repair install should take about an hour and the updates at least that long, maybe longer.

Repair Install

If a repair install fails your final option is a clean install. One of the Forum experts prepared a tutorial for that and there's also a general information tutorial that goes hand in hand.

Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7

Clean Install Windows 7

All of the above is based on a hope that your computer has not suffered any hardware issues. If the hard drive, CPU, motherboard, RAM, etc got damaged you may not be able to do a repair install or a clean install. If you don't have access to another computer at home or at work to make the repair disk and/or installation disk, you may have to be inventive and see if you can use a computer at a library, school, Kinkos, Office Depot, UPS Store, etc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jan 2013   #6

Windows 7 64 bit

Indeed, the startup repair is an option that the BIOS gives after windows fails to start, or can be accessed through F8. I thought what I had was a windows repair disk but apparently its just a factory default disk, according to the info on the page you gave me just now. Ill be able to use the work computer tomorow so I'll try making a different disk then. Thanks, I'll let you know how it goes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jan 2013   #7

Windows 7 64 bit

Ok, so I got the disk and used it to open up a command prompt. Since, by the way it's acting, I'm fairly certain it's suffering hard drive failure, I went straight into chkdisk /f.

C drive came back fine and was done in less than a minute, so then I told it to check D. Big mistake, as it turns out D drive is huge (3 million files!) and apparently riddled with problems. It's only able to check 2 files per minute and so far it's found over 100 errors. It's going super slow but at least I can see it progressing, unlike when it just sat there for 4 days. lol I'm not sure why so slow, other than the drive is perhaps about dead.

But I'm confused. D drive is actually just a partition of the same HD as C is, right? My laptop is still as the factory made it, I haven't added anything or changed any of the drive letters. If it's the same piece of hardware, how can C be fine and D be corrupt? Could it have something to do with all the failed/aborted recovery attempts that startup repair did?

Should I even bother trying to restore the OS, or just go straight to replacing the hard drive? Or can the hard drive be fixed? I know that is what chkdsk /f is supposed to do but I've never actually had to use it so I'm not sure how successful it will be, plus at the rate it's going I estimate like 6 months to completion!

At least if C is fine, I should still be able to rescue the files, right?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 OS no longer loads after Windows Update

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