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Windows 7: Unable to Boot to Windows or Safe Mode Following Chkdsk

6 Days Ago   #1
heldmacm

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 
Unable to Boot to Windows or Safe Mode Following Chkdsk

Hello,


I have a custom built PC (about five years old) that I intended to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 over the holidays when I have some time off work. This PC has been running extremely sluggish the past couple months to the point it was unusable at times, and my daily virus scans (with Avast) and on demand malware scans (Malwarebytes) didn't report anything that would account for the slowness. My plan was to install Windows 10 fresh on my HDD next month when time permitted after I backed up all files to my external drive. However, since the PC performance had been so bad recently, I scheduled a disk check (within My Computer) to run at the next boot. This disk check took literally four days to complete, and while I knew that wasn't normal, I didn't want to end it early. I never saw it complete, but the last time I saw it, it was approximately 95% complete, so I'm assuming it finished.


Anyway, ever since I ran the disk check, the PC won't boot to Windows. It hangs for an extremely long time on the Windows logo / Starting Windows screen most of the time, though one time it did progress to a black screen with the Windows cursor, though nothing else loaded. Usually, it ends in the PC restarting. Afterwards, the Startup Repair utility will attempt a repair, though it hasn't solved anything as if yet (it's still running right now).


The things I've tried include booting to Safe Mode, which results in a reboot loop, and starting in Safe Mode with networking. The ends up hanging while loading files with the most recent file shown being one belonging to Avast. Unfortunately, while I have the Windows 10 files downloaded to the HDD, I hadn't yet burned them to a disk or thumb drive, so I couldn't install Windows 10 right now even if I wanted to. Additionally, while I did periodic backups to an external hard drive, there are definitely some files I'd like to back up before clearing the HDD, if at all possible. Assuming the root issue is a hardware issue, I suspect it's most likely the hard drive, though I haven't run any tests to confirm that. This is the only PC I have, so I don't have a way to burn any DVDs or thumb drives without access to a friend or family member's computer. The two CDs I have that could possibly help are my Windows 7 Home Premium OEM System Builder Pack and a Hirens CD boot disk I burned several years ago.


In light of these issues, I could really use some assistance getting to a point I can back up files from my HDD (assuming it's still possible) and then, determine if one or more hardware parts are failing. If so, and the HDD is part of it, I'll then be in the market for a new one (I'd be fine with a SSD this time), as well as any other defective hardware parts, such as memory. Can anyone please offer some advice on how I can back up any salvagable files from this HDD (preferably without having to burn files from someone else's PC, if possible), offer any suggestions as to how I can get and suggest how I can determine if I have a hardware problem? Figuring out a way to boot to Windows 7 to both back up the files and burn the Windows 10 ISO would obviously be ideal, but if that's not possible, I then need some advice on where to go from here. Thanks in advance.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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6 Days Ago   #2
samuria

win 8 32 bit
 
 

Have you got a win7 install disk that you can boot and choose repair
My System SpecsSystem Spec
6 Days Ago   #3
heldmacm

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Yes, I have the Windows 7 Home Premium OEM Systems Builder disk that I purchased. It's what I used to install the OS on this PC. Is that what you'd suggest doing first, or would that jeopardize recovery of the files I need to back up, if possible?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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6 Days Ago   #4
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

I would say that your disk is dying, if not already dead.

First thing to do is to try to save your data to an external disk.

On another computer download Windows Bootable Rescue Disk. Burn a DVD or make a boot able USB flash drive. If you don't know how to make a boot able USB flash drive, please ask.

Boot from the rescue disk and copy all your data to an external disk.
After saving your data, do another check disk. Open a CMD window and type:
chkdsk x: /f (replace x: with the disk letter of your HDD)
If it finds bad clusters. bad blocks, bad sectors.... you must replace the drive.
Replace with a SSD.
I've been using Crucial-bx500. They are fast and cheap.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
6 Days Ago   #5
heldmacm

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I was able to find a utility on the Hirens Boot CD that allows files to be copied, so I'm copying files from my HDD to my external drive now. It's extremely slow but otherwise appears to be working. Also, I found a utility on the CD that allows an ISO file to be burned to a DVD. Since I had the Windows 10 ISO already downloaded, I should be able to burn it to a DVD once the HDD is backed up.

Assuming those activities both complete, does it make sense to test the HDD, and if it's not bad, install Windows 10 from the DVD? I suspect it is bad, and if that's the case, I could order a new SSD, install it and then use the DVD to install to the new SSD. The latter would also give me access to copy over anything from my current HDD in the (likely) event I miss something. Let me know if you see any problem with that approach or if there's an easier way. Thanks again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
6 Days Ago   #6
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

It makes sense to test the HD - something like the wd tool WinDlg which can be run from winpe - it might already be on your hiren thing.

If you haven't got it already: WinDlg.zip

Possibly the HD is ok, and the problem was a lot of filesystem errors, but I wouldn't bet on it. Check it first.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
6 Days Ago   #7
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

Every 6 months you have a new version of Win 10 so the DVD will have a short life.
If Windows 10 ISO already downloaded is on the problematic disk, DON'T use it as some files may have been corrupted. Download it again on another computer.
If you make the Rescue Drive on a 8G USB flash drive you don't need to burn a DVD. You can mount the Win 10 iso then copy all files and folders to a folder on the USB flash drive.
You boot from the Rescue Drive then run setup.exe
Mine has Win 7 and Win 10 installations files.

Why do you want to downgrade to Win 10? In my opinion, Win 7 is still a better OS (more stable)


Attached Images
Unable to Boot to Windows or Safe Mode Following Chkdsk-win_install.jpg 
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6 Days Ago   #8
heldmacm

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Megahertz07 View Post
Every 6 months you have a new version of Win 10 so the DVD will have a short life.
If Windows 10 ISO already downloaded is on the problematic disk, DON'T use it as some files may have been corrupted. Download it again on another computer.
If you make the Rescue Drive on a 8G USB flash drive you don't need to burn a DVD. You can mount the Win 10 iso then copy all files and folders to a folder on the USB flash drive.
You boot from the Rescue Drive then run setup.exe
Mine has Win 7 and Win 10 installations files.

Why do you want to downgrade to Win 10? In my opinion, Win 7 is still a better OS (more stable)

That's good advice. To answer your question, I don't want to upgrade, but I believe MS is stopping Windows 7 updates in January 2020.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
6 Days Ago   #9
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

There has been so many threads about M$ end of Win 7 support.
Nothing will change. You will be able to use Win 7 the way you do it today for many years.

You wrote: "I could order a new SSD, install it and then use the DVD to install to the new SSD. The latter would also give me access to copy over anything from my current HDD in the (likely) event I miss something".

Is the problematic drive a SSD? How big is the current drive?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
6 Days Ago   #10
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

As long as there is continued support from antivirus and browsers - two or three years at least, I expect. In addition Win7 pos ready will still get MS updates for at least another year after January.
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 Unable to Boot to Windows or Safe Mode Following Chkdsk




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