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Windows 7: Problem booting after cancelled repartioning

29 Jun 2013   #1

W7 64bit
Problem booting after cancelled repartioning

As background, I am a tutor for a seniors computer club, and need to be able to work on some different operating systems. After aborting the repartitioning a drive on one computer I then had problems booting. Here is rather long description of these events, for the length of which I apologise. The question I have is what happened to cause this problem, and have you any comment on the solution I finally used?

I have four computers, and three have multi operating systems. They are

1. A tablet with W8, which is the only OS.

2. A fairly old desktop, which has a SATA 160 GB hard drive, a Pentium 4 CPU and 2 GB of RAM. The first OS installed was XP pro, 32 bit. Later W7 Pro – 32 bit - was installed, and a Data partition created for access from both systems. Later a second W7 OS was added (for certain testing and other purposes). It is presumed that all boot files are in the XP partition.

3. A Dell Vostro 3500 laptop, which came with two extra partitions – boot and recovery – and W7 Pro 64 bit. Later Vista Enterprise 32 bit was installed. Then in November last year the Vista OS was replaced by upgrading to W8 Pro. It is presumed that all boot files are in the boot partition.

4. A second higher capacity desktop has twin SATA 320GB hard drives, AMD 64 Athlon X2 6000 CPU, and 8 GB of RAM. It has a Gigabyte MA785GM-US2H motherboard Initially Vista Business 32 bit was installed with the hard drives arranged in RAID (mirrored). Subsequently the RAID arrangement was dismantled, and Vista Business 64 bit added. To the drive with Vista 32 bit. The second drive was used for Data and certain test work. The next addition was W7 Pro 64 bit. Then when W8 became available the 64 bit W8 Pro OS was installed as an upgrade over the 64 bit Vista.

Problems arose with this computer when the W8 partition needed to be expanded. This is now the system used for everyday work. The Vista partition had previously been reduced, and now further space had to come from the W7 partition. It was first shrunk using the W7 management tool, and then EaseUS Partition Manager was used to move W7 to newly unallocated space to the right of it, and then expand W8’s partition. The operation froze at about 20%. (This partition management tool has been used without problem on personal computers and those of some others for some years.)

The process was cancelled and automatic reboot then began. Except that it did not occur – the white text/ black screen message was to the effect that a repair should be attempted using the installation disk. When booting from the disk the P.O.S.T screen no longer showed both drives – only that for Data and Tests. The drive for the OS’s was absent.

On selecting Startup Repair, the first window which looks for operating systems duly showed all three but all of them gave 0 for their size. (Vista and W8 were shown as “Recovered”). Selected W7 and ran the repair. Restarted. Both drives now showed in P.0.S.T and W7 was able to be started. Carried out a Repair/Install and downloaded and installed all updates. (This returned the drive to the pre-repartitioning state).

However it was found that after a shutdown/ restart in every case restart was not possible without doing another repair as before. Without knowing why this was so, I decided that as the problem arose when in W7 it may be there, and may not have been corrected by a repair/install. As W7 was no longer the main system I decided to do a complete reinstall.

Before this was done, the startup repair was repeated but this time W8 was opened. Using the EaseUS partition manger the W7 partition was formatted, then deleted and some of the new unallocated space added to the W8 partition. W7 was then reinstalled in the remainder.

However the same boot problem persisted. A belated thought at this time was that the earlier W7 difficulties may have also affected the boot files location in Vista, so a startup repair was attempted with Vista using its installation disk. This program reported that the attempt failed.

I then booted from a PE rescue disk made from Macrium Reflect’s backup program (standard version). This has a “boot repair” function. I applied this to Vista, closed the rescue disk and the computer rebooted. Both drives showed and both Vista and W8 could be opened. Not W7, however.

Ran startup repair for this again – and this time both other systems showed their partitions with their true size. When the repair finished and the computer was restarted W7 had a ‘did not shut down properly” sort of message; "start normally" was selected and it started.

And every operating system now could be started normally – all problems apparently solved.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jun 2013   #2
Microsoft MVP


In our experience here with countless thousands of operations, the only partitioning tools which will not fail with data loss are Disk Mgmt and Free Partition Wizard bootable CD.

This video will show you how resizing is done with the PW disk: How to Move/Resize Partition with partition manager? Partition Wizard Move/Resize Partition Video Help.. This one will demonstrate the PW operation to give or take space from any other partition even if it's not adjacent: How to extend partition easily with partition magic ? Partition Wizard video help.

If the OS's involved in the failed or aborted operation don't respond to Startup Repair then they are almost certainly unrecoverable. I have lost data myself using Easeus Boot Disk so learned the hard way.

If data is not retrievable by a rescue disk such as Paragon Rescue Kit Free Edition Free Download or using the Win7 DVD to Copy & Paste - in Windows Recovery Console then it is scrambled and may also be unrecoverable even with Data Recovery software which isn't designed to work with scrambled data. The best you can do is look for it carefully and copy it out if available.

I have no use for Vista or Win8 since Win7 offers the perfected Desktop experience but if your club needs require demonstrating all three then the best way would be to install each to its own Separate HD booted only by the BIOS Boot order or Boot menu key at boot. To achieve this you would keep all other HD's unplugged during the install of each.

Finally since you're an enthusiast look over these same steps for Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 which represent the state of the art for getting and keeping a perfect install, based on tens of thousands of them we've helped with here since before Win7 was even released.

I hope this helps for your future needs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jul 2013   #3

W7 64bit
Reply to gregrocker

Thank you for your reply, which I have read with interest.

I had previously used an earlier version of Partition Wizard - and have now downloaded and installed the latest version.

You have referred me to the Paragon Rescue Kit, which I see that it includes a boot repair facility. I had not lost any data , however - just could not boot without running W7 startup repair each time.

I used the boot repair facility in a Macrium Reflect PE rescue disk, and with this repaired the Vista boot (in which I presumed all the boot files were) and since then have had normal booting (after I had then done a this time successful startup repair of W7).

You write that W7 is the perfected Desktop experience, but I needed to learn to use W8 as well. After many months I think I prefer W8, for what worth that assessment may be.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

01 Jul 2013   #4

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64

Greg always gives excellent advice, glad to hear you got it fixed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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