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Windows 7: Trying to reinstall Windows 7 64bit - getting completely stuck

08 Nov 2014   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
Trying to reinstall Windows 7 64bit - getting completely stuck

Hi all,

So I have had a small nightmarish time of updating my PC. I had bought a new GPU and a SSD harddisk. I could not get them installed properly myself, so had to turn in my PC to a professional to get them installed and working.

I got my PC back today and the new GPU and the new harddisk were working. I put in my Windows 7 installation disk, as I wanted a new installation of window, using the SSD as my harddrive with the OS on, rather than one of my two HDDs.

That is where it went wrong. As part of the installation process the computer rebooted and then it never continued with the installation. If I reboot my computer now one of two things happen:
1) With my Windows CD in, I am prompted to press a button to boot from that - if I do, it will start to load windows and then get stuck on the "Starting Windows" screen and never get any further;
2) If I do not press the button, I will get a very very very short blue screen blink and then the screen will go black and nothing happens.

I cannot "restart" the installation process. It won't recognize my previous installation of windows. I am basically stuck and can get any further. I have recorded a small video of it here:

Any help or ideas for what I can do would be much appreciated. Thanks.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Nov 2014   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate Retail Box (64-bit installed) + Service Pack 1

If you can't get into your own BIOS settings, take it back to the pro that worked on it, I watched the video and it wasn't letting you into your BIOS? That is a problem:

Pro will probably have to disconnect all the hardware and possibly reset your BIOS to default and go from there, I would insist on seeing it working with that install DVD of 7 before accepting it back again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Nov 2014   #3

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)

I looked at your video.

Did your "professional installer" do anything other than getting the machine to work with the new SSD and graphics card physically installed? He didn't actually do the install of Win7 for you onto the SSD?

If that's the case, and if you really want to install Win7 from scratch (i.e. by yourself), we have to assume the SSD is completely empty and with no partitions created on it. Hence you MUST press a key on the keyboard when you boot from the Win7 installation DVD... since there's nothing on the SSD to boot from. In other words this is your very first step, and you have to get "starting Windows" from the DVD.

If you don't push a key to boot from the CD/DVD, the machine BIOS will then go to the next bootable device(s) in the boot sequence, and if it finds a hard drive will look for an "active" partition. I don't know what is on the ST500DM002 hard drive which is shown in your boot sequence, but if it was not your previous bootable Windows hard drive then chances are there's no "active" partition on it, and hence nothing is going to happen. But I would expect the BIOS to issue a message about wanting you to point to some bootable device, and your video doesn't show that. It only hangs with no response. But the absence of an "active" partition on that hard drive is certainly NOT what is expected.

Now in my opinion, at this point that initial loaded Windows from the DVD (i.e. "loading files") wants to "copy files" from the DVD onto what it believes should be your available primary hard drive, either a spinner or SSD. In your case you appear to have only the SSD, so that's where it would want to copy the initial Windows files to then begin the actual installation.

The fact that you never get to that point, of copying files off of the DVD onto the SSD, suggests to me that the SSD isn't actually usable for writing to, for some reason. Your video shows your CD/DVD drive for both boot sequence #1 and #2, with your ST500DM002 hard drive spinner as the "first hard drive" in your boot sequence as #3. There is no SSD shown. Are you sure the SSD is actually installed and visible??

In the BIOS setup, can you try and alter the boot sequence so that your SSD (if visible) is #2? If you go through that process of trying to alter the boot sequence you should at least then see ALL of your devices (you say you have two hard drives, one of which must be this ST500DM002), and would tell us if the SSD is actually seen by the BIOS.

That's the first step here. What comes next depends on what bootable devices the BIOS actually can see in that dialog to adjust the boot sequence.

If you have another machine, can you download and burn the ISO from Partition Wizard for standalone boot? If you then boot to that CD, it will tell us what it can see... i.e. all of your hard drives, as well as your SSD if it's actually visible. This would be very helpful and useful information.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

08 Nov 2014   #4

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Faladu View Post
If you can't get into your own BIOS settings, take it back to the pro that worked on it, I watched the video and it wasn't letting you into your BIOS?

The video certainly did show him getting into the BIOS. The video then showed the three devices in the boot sequence. Of course the SSD (if installed properly) had not been specified in the boot sequence, and eventually that would have to be done (i.e. putting it as #2, right after the CD/DVD as #1). But for now one of the existing internal hard drives (ST500DM002 spinner) shows as #2.

Going into the "change boot sequence" dialog of the BIOS would at least reveal whether the SSD was physically visible and selectable, as eventually it needs to be #2 right after the CD/DVD, so that Windows knows where to copy its installation files onto to begin the Win7 install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Nov 2014   #5


It's best to always unplug all other HD's during install of Win7, then boot the installer to Clean Reinstall Windows 7.

Obviously the issue is that you have your HD set as first boot device, so why would you expect it to reboot to the SSD install? It's going to follow the BIOS boot order. Boot into BIOS setup to set the SSD first device to boot. Then trigger the Win7 installation media to boot using the One-Time BIOS Boot Menu key given on first screen. If you'd given us any System Specs we could tell you the exact key.

Other steps to Troubleshoot Windows 7 Installation Failures - Windows 7 Help Forums
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Nov 2014   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Hi again,

Thanks for the reply and the suggestions. I have tried and unplug each of the harddisks and boot it with only one plugged in (tried with all three) and I get the exact same result.

Have made an updated video - as you can see all harddisks show in the bios. No matter which one I try to boot from, it doesn't really work.

The big issue seems to be that I can reset the installation and start over. I am confident that if I could that, I could make it work but don't know how to do that.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Nov 2014   #7
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1

I did not notice in your video that you did what Greg recommends.

Unhook all other drives (physically). Moving there order around in Bios is not (physically) unhooking them.

If only the ssd is hooked up (physically) Windows has no other choice where to install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Nov 2014   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Hey again,

Sorry for not saying - I did unhook all the harddisk and tried to boot with only one in (even though it didn't show in the video). I tried with the SSD first, as that was the one I was starting the installation on. Then moved on and tried the other two.

It still gives the exact same results as in the video. Since my first post I have shown that the computer can find all three harddisks in the bios, so at least that is not the issue.

It seems that the computer thinks that an installation is still in progress but cannot continue/finish it, but I can't restart the installation process either and I can't get into the previous Windows installation (even though it was on one of the HDDs).

Could some of the problem originate from the fact that I started the installation process while in windows? Asking it to reinstall to another disk?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Nov 2014   #9


Yes the problem is likely that you didn't follow the steps I gave you earlier to boot the installation media with all other HD's unplugged. When it rebooted out of the OS you staged the install from, it probably fouled out while fumbling to figure out which DVD drive (UEFI or Legacy) it was to boot into first since both are shown at top of boot order.

First I'd check your motherboard Support Downloads website for newest UEFI firmware to update.

Then I'd try UEFI install to take full advantage of the graphical BIOS features and use the most modern firmware. This requires that you delete all partitions during install as shown in UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) - Install Windows 7 with - Windows 7 Forums using the Drive Options at the bottom of the drive selection screen.

So you'd set the UEFI DVD drive first priority under DVD drives, then set it first device to boot preceding SSD.

Then unplug all other drives during the install as stated earlier.

And this time boot the Win7 disk as also stated earlier. Be sure to choose UEFI DVD drive choice if you boot via the one-time BIOS Boot menu key. But if you've already set UEFI DVD drive to boot first then it should prompt to "Press any key to boot disk" if it's burned correctly. How to Boot A Computer from CD or DVD - YouTube

If reboot during install continues to cause problems then set the SSD first device to boot in BIOS and use the one-time BIOS Boot menu key to trigger UEFI DVD drive. You can also try removing the DVD before install reboot.

If that fails set non-UEFI Legacy DVD drive as first DVD drive, then first boot device. Again delete all partitions during install. If this fails then follow these steps to Troubleshoot Windows 7 Installation Failures - Windows 7 Help Forums
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Trying to reinstall Windows 7 64bit - getting completely stuck

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