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Windows 7: Win7x64 not starting -- disk contents intact, though

20 May 2014   #1

Windows 7 Pro x64
Win7x64 not starting -- disk contents intact, though

Hello All,

new here!

I'm having trouble with my Windows startup. I do not have any other OS installed on this 180GB, Intel 520 SSD drive. It only has the partitions needed for an install of Windows (I think there's 3: EFI, reserved and OS).

Symptoms: this install has been running like lightning for several months. These past few weeks though, the boot sequence froze after POST now and again. I thought this was due to a conflict with a new powered USB hub I had bought, because the 2 or 3 times it happened, unplugging the hub seemed to solve the problem. Now I believe this was pure coincidence, because the freeze (black screen) is now permanent.

What I've seen so far:
  • the SSD drive does show up at POST and in the "BIOS"
  • listing boot devices and selecting Windows Boot Manager leads to a black screen
  • using a Win7 install thumbdrive to boot and use the repair tools does not help (booting on the UEFI version): it seems to repair something, but it's not making any difference
  • using a Win7 install DVD to boot and use the repair tools does not help (booting on the UEFI version): it says it "cannot repair this computer"
  • in none of the two above methods does any OS appear in the "installs repair list"
  • now, when I plug the drive to my MacBook under Ubuntu, not only does the drive appear, but the contents also look intact and I can browse all files without problem
  • out of despair, I bought PartitionGuru (before DiskGenius), and I thought I would use the "rebuild MBR" function, but -- the disk is GPT, so the function is grayed out...
  • for some reason I'm not willing to describe here I do not have a system image to restore

I'm really at a total loss with these new boot systems. GPT, EFI, UEFI, non-UEFI... what the heck?! Any help greatly appreciated!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 May 2014   #2

Windows 7 Pro x64

Hi all,

went through gregrocker's great Troubleshooting Windows 7 Failure to Boot walkthrough, to no avail. In all salvage/partition utils I tried (PartitionGuru, PartitionWizard, etc), the Rebuild MBR item remains grayed out for some reason, whatever I do. All the contents of the faulty drive still show up fine in Ubuntu and the structure can be browsed and files opened flawlessly. I just don't understand how this can be.

Here's my next question: couldn't I use Clonezilla to carbon-copy this drive to a newer one? Would the "boot problem" be transfered to the clone this way? Or is there a chance a cloned version of this drive could be more easily fixed?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 May 2014   #3

Windows 7 Pro x64

FINALLY after days of going back and forth, buying recovery software and even a new drive, I found a way to make my system boot. After a BIOS update, the drive was finally visible to the Windows 7 Install/Recovery environment. Had to fiddle with Startup repair and bootrec.exe (by the way, option "/ScanOs" never found any Windows installation), and now every thing runs fine. Only weird thing: I'm now forced to boot through Windows Boot Manager, selecting the drive itself at boot does not work anymore.
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 Win7x64 not starting -- disk contents intact, though

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