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Windows 7: PC won't boot. Help needed please!

17 Dec 2010   #11
paul1149

Linux Lite 3.2 x64; Windows 7, 8.1
 
 

Two things I would look at here. First, I would disable Asus Express Gate in the BIOS, if possible. I'm not sure how that works, but I would get it out of the way for testing purposes. Could be that the BIOS needs flashing.

Second, it may be that your C drive's MBR is messed up. I would use a boot disk to view the drive independently. Hiren's BootCD has a superb free tool, TestDisk, that will find the partitions, ascertain that the disk's partition table is sound, and make corrections to it if necessary.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Dec 2010   #12
Carl Lawrence

Dual-boot: Windows 7 HP 32-bit SP1 & Windows XP Pro 32-bit SP2.
 
 

Have you tried reinstalling it?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Dec 2010   #13
martinlest

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit
 
 

Gregrocker, I downloaded and ran the Paragon Rescue CD - got to 'Correct Windows Installation' - it shows my main drive as two partitions OK, the 100MB reserved one (marked 'System' - Disk 0, Partition 0) and my Windows 7 x64 installation (marked 'Boot' - Disk 0 Partition 1): I selected the Windows partition and go to 'Correct Drive Letters in the System Registry'. It does show my Windows installation as drive C:/ so there was nothing to do.

Tried using the partition wizard you suggested to rebuild the MBR, but I still get a blue screen as soon as Windows starts to load. I think I am going to have to try a clean installation after all. At least I have a DriveImageXML file that (in theory) will get me part way back to how things were.

Martin
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Dec 2010   #14
gregrocker

 

Are you running Startup Repair from the DVD or Repair CD or the one which comes up from the bluescreen? Sometimes running it proactively from disk can work better.

If the Win7 partition in Diskpart was still lettered C then you don't need to run Paragon Rescue to change back the drive letter.

If you've confirmed 100mb SysReserved is marked Active and it won't repair pro-actively running Startup Repair from the disk (not the one generated from the Blue Screen) three separate times with reboots, then mark the Win7 partition itself Active and try Repairs from disk again.

What is the problem with running the DriveXML recovery from the image you were smart enough to store recently? Follow the steps in the tutorial I posted above.

If you clean reinstall then wipe the HD first of any possible infected code. The steps to get a perfect reinstall are given here: re-install windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Dec 2010   #15
martinlest

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit
 
 

I'd already tried changing the active partitions as you suggest, but the same blue screen..

So I formatted the original C: partition, reinstalled Windows 7, then overwrote that (from an XP installatiuon on the same PC) with my DriveImageXML backup. Whereas after reinstalling Windows clean from the disc, I could then boot fine into the o/s again, after reinstalling the XML backup I return to the blue screen as Windows starts to load. Odd, as the backup was made a week ago when everything was working just fine - the non-booting only began yesterday.

So I am going to have to reinstall Windows yet again and set everything up as it was before - took me weeks!

This is my second PC in 3 months - the first one (similar specs) was such a pain and crashed after 4 days (returned from manufacturer with a new M/B - then sound and other stuff didn't work) that I returned it and got a full refund. Now this second PC lasts 3 weeks before it crashes too - fortunately it seems to be a software not hardware issue, so at least I don't have to send it off to the makers like last time. But if I hadn't spent to much on it and really want to be able to run my games, I'd send it back too (or just give it to charity) and find something else to do. I can't believe the frustration and unreliability of these things. Wish I'd never started in a way..

Thanks again for the advice. (Any other comments still welcome).

M.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Dec 2010   #16
gregrocker

 

Why did you need to clean install Win7 before overwriting it with the DriveXML image recovery? You should do one or the other.

What I would do now is wipe the HD of any possible infected code, because merely overwriting, deleting or formatting leaves all possibly infected or corrupt code on the disk. SSD / HDD : Optimize for Windows Reinstallation

Then apply the DriveXML image to see if it works this time. If it won't boot, make sure it's marked Active and run three Startup Repairs as some imaging programs don't copy the MBR correctly.

If this fails and you get the bluescreen again then it's cause is probably included in your image. I would then wipe the HD again (in case image reapplied any infectious or corrupt code) and clean reinstall following the reinstall steps I suggested above.

As suggested in the steps I linked, install Updates and then your programs slowly enough you can monitor problems which one of them might be giving you, all the while monitoring the logs and diagnostics given here to attend to problems ahead of time: Computer lags every couple seconds
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Dec 2010   #17
martinlest

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit
 
 

Oh this is getting to be a real pain :-)

Windows is reinstalling yet again as I write this, but I'll do it all over again, following your advice - and post back when I have some news (good or bad!). Might as well do it properly at this stage!

What needs to be 'marked active'? The partition with Windows 7 on it, or the 100MB reserved partition?

Thanks a lot for the replies - I really do appreciate your time and input on this,

Martin
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Dec 2010   #18
martinlest

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit
 
 

er, no ... stupid question (I asked it before I got started with the cleaning process!) - this will leave me without the 100MB partition, won't it?

Another problem though - having wiped the C: disk with diskpart as described, there's no longer an option for me to boot into the Windows XP installation (where DriveImageXML is installed), I suppose as the bootloader has gone. I can only reinstall Windows7 on the C drive, then reboot to the XP installation and run DriveImageXML from there. That will wipe the new Win7 installation and replace it with my backup. Is that OK? I don't know how else to get to into XP - I tried (after making sure it was marked active) to get my boot options menu up and choose the drive with XP & DIXML on to boot into - but I get the typical dll missing notices.

Am I OK installing Win7 and wiping it with the XML backup like that or is the installation of Windows first somehow going to spoil something?

M.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Dec 2010   #19
gregrocker

 

Do you have a boot disk to run your DriveXML reimage?

I don't understand why you think you need to reinstall Win7 before reimaging over it? Do one or the other. The image is applying the OS to the drive in full, just as it was when you took the image. You may need to repair the MBR if it doesn't reimage properly, using the DVD/Repair to run Startup Repair x3.

If you have XP in a dual boot on another Hard Drive, then unplug it when you install Win7 so that the HD's remain independent bootable via the BIOS. This way they can come and go as you please.

Once you've either reimaged or reinstalled Win7 to the wiped HD, plug back in the XP HD and boot it via one-time BIOS Boot Menu key given on first Boot Screen.

If you don't have the one-time BIOS Boot menu key to press, or don't want a BIOS-managed Dual Boot, then keep XP plugged in when you install Win7 so it configures a Windows-managed Dual Boot, or if you reimage install EasyBCD 2.0 to add XP.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Dec 2010   #20
martinlest

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit
 
 

The reason I have to install Windows 7 first from the CD-ROm is that without any Win7 installed I can't find a way to get into the XP installation - and if I can't get to the XP installation I can't run DriveImageXML, 'cos that's where it's installed.

I've tried adding DriveImageXML plug-in to a BartPE disc to run it from there, but my laptop won't create the needed .iso image, because there are errors in the log - can't open/close hive and stuff. I am getting further and further back - now trying to troubleshoot why BartPE won't create an iso image - it's getting ridiculous. I've spent two full days now trying to do this - what a waste of time. For two pins I'd sling the whole lot out the window.

M.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 PC won't boot. Help needed please!




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