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Windows 7: Windows won't start. HDD unplugged?

10 Mar 2014   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
Windows won't start. HDD unplugged?

Everytime I start my laptop, this pops up:

Windows Boot Manager

Windows has encountered a problem communicating with a device connected to your computer.

This error can be caused by unplugging a removable storage device such as an external USB drive while the device is in use, or by faulty hardware such as a hard drive or CD-ROM drive that is failing. Make sure any removable storage is properly connected and then restart your computer.

If you continue to receive this error message, contact the hardware manufacturer.
Status: 0xc00000e9

Info: An unexpected I/O error has occurred.


The recovery menu, safe menus...etc won't open. I have tried using a Windows Recovery Disk, but it loads and then there's a black screen (with a mouse). I tried installing Windows Defender Offline onto a USB and booted it (through BIOS, the one thing that works) and it just loads and loads and then there will be an error message "This app can't be started. Error: Unable to detect a Windows system drive. This could be due to missing drivers, an encrypted drive, or a corrupted Windows Installation". My HDD and CD-ROM are both detected by BIOS.

Then I tried opening up my laptop (not fully, just took a peak) and nothing seems out of place.

Help? I'm stumped and I need this working by tomorrow.

Thanks in advance.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Mar 2014   #2
Microsoft MVP


Boot into System Recovery Options to run Startup Repair. If you can't access these via the F8 key, then try the Windows Installation media for your licensed version provided in Troubleshooting Windows 7 Failure to Start, Step 9. Everything that possibly can be done to start Win7 is in the latter tutorial, leading up to if necessary rescuiing your files to run Factory Recovery or do the vastly superior Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7

Set the HDD first to boot in BIOS setup, trigger the DVD or stick to boot using the one-time BIOS Boot menu key (F12 on most Samsung I believe). Do you get a prompt to Press Any Key to boot disk? If not try booting in another PC to check the media, try the other form of media, reset the BIOS to defaults to try to get it to boot. If that fails unplug or disable in BIOS the HDD to see if it will boot. If that fails, unplug or disable the DVD drive to try to boot flash stick - either one of those can block media boot.

If you'll post back results as you go, we may have other steps. I will be around most of the day Tues.

Next test your HDD with the maker's HD Diagnostic extended CD scan, or Partition Wizard bootable CD Partition surface test. Both of these will autostart themselves.
These can also be used to wipe the HD if necessary which should force the installation media to autostart to do a Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 - Windows 7 Help Forums . You can first rescue your files using self-booting Paragon Rescue Kit Free Edition 11.0 Free CD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Windows won't start. HDD unplugged?

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