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Windows 7: Can't get past '"Starting Windows" screen

26 Sep 2012   #1

Windows 7 ultimate x64
Can't get past '"Starting Windows" screen

Using Win 7 x64, Intel i7 965, Asus Rampage 2, 32gb memory, 2 Intel ssd running RAID 0, 2 Seagate 500gb drives RAID 1. Had the Seagate hard drives fail, but were under warranty and they replaced them. Do NOT have them on-line at present time. Have tried to re-install system (had upgrade DVD for Win 7), but was not able to get the system to recognize the DVD because I can't get to OS. Am unable to get the system to do anything. Have checked BIOS to make sure drives are RAID. Since hardware comes up and ssd's come up,and graphics seems to be ok, am unable to figure out problem. Any ideas, anybody?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Sep 2012   #2


I'm assuming you had the two Intel SSD's RAID as your Win7 drive, and the two Seagates which failed were a Data RAID. So why do you need to reinstall the OS? Just reinstall the Seagates in a RAID if you want.

If the SSD's were not the OS RAID then why not? Install Win7 to them to get best performance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Sep 2012   #3

Windows 7 ultimate x64
Can't get past "Starting Windows" screen

Problem doesn't seem to be with RAID(either 0 or 1). Just can't get past "Starting Windows", in other words, can't get Win 7 to complete load. At start of boot, says drives(SSD's since I don't have others installed now)are fine in RAID configuration. Have scoured BIOS, and can's find a problem. Thought maybe the hard drives messed up WIN 7 when they went down (on 2 separate occasions, once for each drive) That's the reason for trying to re-gen OS. Why won't OS load is the question.....
My System SpecsSystem Spec

27 Sep 2012   #4


What exactly makes you think that having your data RAID go down would mess up Win7 requiring reinstall? Did it have problems before? Have you tried running Startup Repair a few times from booted installer?

If this fails try wiping the HD with Diskpart Clean Command from installer Command Line accessed by pressing Shift + F10 at first screen when disk boots.

Where did you get Win7? Did you burn the disk yourself? Confirm it boots into Install Now and finds the drives in another machine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Sep 2012   #5

Windows 7 ultimate x64
Can't get past Starting Windows" screen

Thanks for the reply. I will try and answer the questions that I can, and will tell you if I don't know.

I purchased the Win7 x64 Ultimate upgrade disk from Used the original disk, so don't have a burn disk. Have tried to boot from CD drive, but system would not accept.

Came back from trip and system was in this condition. Prior to leaving had removed hd and sent back to vendor for replacement, so they were not on system. I made the assumption they were the problem.

When the system is cold, I have been able to sometimes get to the repair system screen, and have tried to repair. After some period of time, the system has come back and said unable to repair. I have tried starting normally, get to the sign in screen, and entered my password. The system says bad password. I have never changed password. However, after the system has warmed up, it will never go past the"starting windows" screet tried .
I have not tried Startup Repair from installer and am not familiar with Diskpart Clean Command? Does this relate to ssd's?

I have been traveling on business so much, have not had time to spend any amount of time on this problem,have been using my laptop (win7 Pro) but since I have a break, thought I would make a concerted effort to fix system. I cannot determine if hardware or software, so any thoughts or help would be greatly appreciated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Sep 2012   #6


Win7 is on a DVD so it will not boot in a CD drive. You can extract the disk ISO image using Imgburn to write to USB flash stick using Universal USB Installer with Win7 in drop down menu.

Then boot stick using one-time BIOS Boot Menu key under USB, REmovable or HD's.

Wipe the SSD's with Clean Command, attempt Clean Install Windows 7 using Custom install Drive options to delete all partitions and creating new as desired, or just clicking Next to have installer do it for you.

If this fails, unplug one SSD while unRaiding using RAID utility at boot, enter BIOS setup to reset to Defaults, set SATA controller to AHCI, boot to try install to SSD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Oct 2012   #7

Windows 7 ultimate x64
Can't get past "Starting Windows" screen

Am not familiar with imgburn but fifally downline load it. Have tried for several days to load Universal USB installer. After loading, I get the .exe, specify the unbuntu in step #1, when it finishes, winzip has loaded, and I am unable to get to step 2 or 3. Have sent several messages to contact but am still hung up.

On the original problem, I have been able to get to the signon on the system. When I enter the password for signon sometimes it will accept it, sometimes it won't. Looks like the password is corrupted. Have tried to load several programs to bypass the password, but it seems that they have to be on the system before you can change the password. So I have a lot of frustration because nothing I have tried seems to be working. Can you help?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Oct 2012   #8


I apologize for my original impatience and want to work with you for as long as it takes to get your installation repaired or reinstalled. Please also mark the thread Unsolved at top so others will chime in with help.

Because we've only seen problems with RAID here, I may have jumped too quickly to encourage you to break the RAID and install to one HD. Am I correct that you would like to keep the RAID?

I asked you earlier if the OS is on the SSD's? If so and the SSD array stopped working when you lost the Seagate array it may be that the Seagates held the System boot files for Win7. Do you know if this the case?

To repair this I would unplug all but the OS array, boot into the Win7 DVD System Recovery Options to make sure Win7 partition or it's 100mb System Reserved partition is marked Active: Mark Partition Active.

Then from the DVD Recovery options run Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times to see if it will repair or rewrite the System boot files to the Win7 partition and start up.

To have a graphical picture of your work, you can also mark the Win7 or it's 100mb System Reserved partition Active using free Partition Wizard bootable CD. Download the PW CD ISO and burn to CD using Windows Image Burner or ImgBurn. Here is a video for How to set partition as Primary or Logical.

Then try to rebuild the MBR following this video: Partition Wizard Rebuild MBR Video Help.

If it fails to start boot into the Win7 DVD to run Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times, report back all results.

Since you earlier had a problem with ImgBurn in burning the Win7 DVD at 4x speed here is a tutorial on how to do that: How to write an image file to a disc using ImgBurn - Guides - ImgBurn Support Forum.

If you wish to try writing the installer ISO to flash stick use Universal USB Installer with Win7 in dropdown menu.

If you wish to boot Partition Wizard from flash stick follow these steps: Hiren's BootCD From USB Flash Drive (Pen Drive) with this download: Hiren’s BootCD 15.1. There are many other tools on Hirens to rescue your files, test your HD and RAM.

It would be especially helpful if you could post back a camera snap of your HD drive map and listings taken from the Partition Wizard CD screen. Screenshots and Files - Upload and Post in Seven Forums - Windows 7 Forums

Please ask back all the questions and take all the time you need to get these steps done so we know everything possible is being done to repair your install. We will stick with you until it is up and running again, one way or the other.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Oct 2012   #9

Windows 7 ultimate x64
Can't get past "Starting Windows" screen

To answer your questions:
I was running my OS on Intel SSD's. I would like to keep the RAID if possible.The boot file was on the SSD's, not the Seagate drives. One of my problems was (yes!) I did not have my data backed up. The last backup was on the Seagate drives, and when each of them went down, I was SOL on my data. That has been the MAIN reason for trying not to have to clean the ssd's. I'm sorry that I didn't mention that to you earlier.

I will TRY my very best to proceed through your instructions and get the system to operation. It will take me some time to accomplish these instructions read, the tutorials and digest the information.

Also, I have some personal obligations, along with running my business, to attend to that may make it longer to complete the tasks. Please bear with me.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Oct 2012   #10


You can browse in now to see if you can see your data and even rescue it. You can do this from the Win7 installation DVD or System Repair Disk using Copy & Paste - in Windows Recovery Console or Paragon rescue disk to recover data burned with Windows Image burner.

This might also tell you if the OS is still intact enough that it is possible to repair it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Can't get past '"Starting Windows" screen

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