How repair Win 7 that doesn't start but keep files ??

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  1. Posts : 132
    Dual boot - Win 7 Pro 64-bit and Win 10 Pro 64-bit
    Thread Starter
       #11

    MisterEd - Both my OSes are on Disk 0, and they used to work just fine. I'm UEFI-GPT with Secure Boot OFF. I have two other disks for Files and Backup.

    How can I post screenshots of stuff the neat way you do? Then I could show you graphically.

    Thanks.
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 15,689
    7 X64
       #12

    if you can boot into windows 10 you can use the snipping tool.

    did you try F8 to get to the advanced boot options screen ?

    Advanced Boot Options
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 132
    Dual boot - Win 7 Pro 64-bit and Win 10 Pro 64-bit
    Thread Starter
       #13

    SIW2 - How do I get to that first screenshot in your link?

    I have not seen that once in my efforts. I sometimes get the screen for selecting an OS that's big white boxes on a blue background, not the white letters on the black background in that first picture at your link.

    I would LOVE to try what you suggest - how can I get that option?

    Thanks!
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 15,689
    7 X64
       #14

    when you get the choice of win7 or win10 on your boot menu, highlight win7 and press F8

    when you get to the advanced screen it might be worth trying "last known good configuration" instead of safe mode.

    It is also possible to change the bcd entry from booted media, in cases when f8 key doesnt work.

    - - - Updated - - -

    If there is only one system partition on your machine, it can be done quite easily from booted media ( winpe of some kind ) or another os if you are multibooting.

    like this:

    from another OS ( or booted winpe) open cmd prompt and type
    bcdedit /enum
    (then press enter )

    then find the {identifier} of the os you want to boot into safemode

    then type
    bcdedit /set {identifier} safeboot minimal
    (then press enter )

    to change it back to normal boot afterwards
    bcdedit /deletevalue (identifier} safeboot
    (then press enter )


    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    open cmd prompt

    How repair Win 7 that doesn't start but keep files ??-set-safeboot.jpg

    type bcdedit /enum
    How repair Win 7 that doesn't start but keep files ??-set-safeboot2.jpg

    In the example below there are 2 operating systems listed.

    find the {identifier} for the os. Highlight it and rt click will copy it to clipboard

    in this case win11 has has the identifier {52437a98-8fc0-11ed-bdf9-18c04d5f80c6}

    we dont want that one

    How repair Win 7 that doesn't start but keep files ??-set-safeboot4.jpg

    and win7 has the identifier {default}

    that is the one we want

    How repair Win 7 that doesn't start but keep files ??-set-safeboot3.jpg

    then type

    bcdedit /set and rt click and paste in the identifier safeboot minmal
    (then press enter )

    How repair Win 7 that doesn't start but keep files ??-set-safeboot5.jpg

    Because you can boot into win10, you can run the commands from within windows 10 instead of booting into winpe:

    It is the same

    bcdedit /enum
    (then press enter )

    find the identifier for the windows 7 entry

    then type

    bcdedit /set {whatever is the win 7 identifier} safeboot minimal
    (then press enter )
    Last edited by SIW2; 2 Weeks Ago at 12:54.
      My Computers


  5. Posts : 132
    Dual boot - Win 7 Pro 64-bit and Win 10 Pro 64-bit
    Thread Starter
       #15

    SIW2 - you are a great man? woman? bird! to respond so frequently with such good detail. Many thanks!

    Since my last post, I managed to get into Win 7 Safe Mode, using a combination of Msconfig and EasyBCD, but it did not help. It hangs at the end of its list of loaded drivers. See the pic below. I've run it many times now.

    How repair Win 7 that doesn't start but keep files ??-image.png

    What I really need is a screen at the beginning of Win 7 with "Last Known Good Configuration", as can be seen at your link above. How to get it?

    I will try again your suggestion to hit F8, but when I select the "Win 7" box (white box on blue background), it usually just starts - no opportunity to hit F8. Thoughts?

    Finally, I have been unable to get my PC to boot from a USB stick with a version of the Win 7 installation on it - I want to try "Repair". But such attempt to boot from the USB only throws an error message that my hardware has changed with reference to an EFI file.
    Very frustrating.

    Anyway, what's the magic sauce for being able to select Win 7 and then being able to hit F8?

    Thanks.

    - - - Updated - - -

    SIW2 - In my other thread, you added the following, which I'm copying here to have all your good advice in one place:

    bcdedit /set {identifier} lastknowngood on

    a simpler way is to change to the grownup boot menu

    bcdedit /set {current} bootmenupolicy legacy
    So, using the identifier for my Win 7 (which won't start), I ran your
    bcdedit /set {identifier} lastknowngood on
    and I can see in EasyBCD (which I run from my Win 10) that it shows as added to the Win 7.

    However, I still cannot actually get to the screen with white letters against a black background that would give me the option to do "Last known good configuration". If I get the OS selection screen (white boxes against a blue background) and move its focus to the Win 7 box, hitting F8 does nothing, and if I hit that Win 7 box and then start hitting F8, my keyboard is ignored, I don't get to the screen with white letters against a black background, Win 7 tries to start, and I'm again left with the four glowing flags forever.
    It seems my keyboard is NOT connected as soon as Win 7 tries to start and so hitting F8 does nothing.

    While in my Win 10, is there a way to reboot into Win 7 with "Last Known Configuration" pre-selected or some other way to pre-select the screen (white letters on black background) that will give me the "Last Known Configuration" option? And, as always, if it doesn't work, I need to be able to re-boot into my Win 10 at least. (Win 7 should never become a hard default that I cannot change.)

    Thanks again.
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 15,689
    7 X64
       #16

    You are using the kindergarten boot menu with the blue squares.

    why not change to the grown up boot menu ?
      My Computers


  7. Posts : 132
    Dual boot - Win 7 Pro 64-bit and Win 10 Pro 64-bit
    Thread Starter
       #17

    SIW2 - thanks very much for your encouragement to get that Legacy boot menu - I was able to get it following your hints and the BCDEdit / set article from Microsoft Learn.

    Unfortunately, after selecting Win 7, hitting F8 and selecting Last Known Good Configuration (Advanced), my PC still does not start up into Win 7. Same getting stuck at the four glowing flags.

    Did that twice.

    Then I did Enable Boot Logging, but the resulting ntbtlog.txt is dated 2019 (the last time I enabled boot log), so nothing helpful.

    I might try selecting the Win 10, then F8, then Last Known Good Configuration, but could I make things worse?

    Looks like I'm going to have to do a Repair Install of the Win 7, but my PC will NOT boot from a USB stick with a Win 7 iso on it. I might have to buy a double-capacity DVD-R and burin the 2018 heidoc.ney Win 7 Media install onto it. Not even sure the PC will boot from that.

    Here is one clue about my stuck Win 7 start: At the beginning, the lights under my mouse and on my keyboard are on, then they turn off as the Win 7 start proceeds and never come back on. The mouse and keyboard remain dead as the four MS flags glow.

    Also, I have a TP-Link WiFi network adapter plugged into this PC's USB3 - that's how I get connected to my home's WiFi and Internet signal. Its power light does not come on at all during the attempts to start Win 7. Also, I tried one of my boots without this attached just in case it triggered the halt, but that did not help.

    Any ideas other than a Repair Install?

    Should I do a Last Known Good Configuration for the Win 10 (which is starting good)?

    Thanks very much,.
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 15,689
    7 X64
       #18

    Should I do a Last Known Good Configuration for the Win 10 (which is starting good)?
    no.

    Repair install has to be done from within win7. You cant get into win7 so you cant do a repair install.
      My Computers


  9. Posts : 132
    Dual boot - Win 7 Pro 64-bit and Win 10 Pro 64-bit
    Thread Starter
       #19

    SIW2 - Not even if I have a Win 7 installation DVD? (Which I have not yet tried.)

    See, for example,
    Startup Repair

    Or - what if I create a new (third) partition and newly install Win 7 Pro 64-bit on it (with nothing else). Can I then run a repair Install but point it to my original non-starting Win 7?

    What else could I try?
      My Computer


  10. Posts : 227
    Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bits
       #20

    I just looked back at post #6. You should never have seen an error message like that.

    To boot from a USB flash drive you first have to find out what key you need to press when the computer starts to bring up the boot menu. This is important because even for the same manufacturer it varies. For example, for my 12 years old ASUS motherboard I have to use the F8 key to bring up the boot menu.

    I went back and used Rufus to create a flash drive with Windows 7 Pro on it. When done I inserted the flash drive into the computer.

    1. After my computer started up I started tapping the F8 key repeatedly.
    About 5 or 10 seconds later I saw the boot menu.
    I scrolled down and selected the Sandisk flash drive
    I pressed the Enter key

    2. I then had to press a key to verify I wanted to boot from the flash drive.

    3. Maybe 30 seconds later I saw the Windows 7 setup menu
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails How repair Win 7 that doesn't start but keep files ??-boot1b.jpg   How repair Win 7 that doesn't start but keep files ??-boot2b.jpg   How repair Win 7 that doesn't start but keep files ??-boot3b.jpg  
      My Computer


 
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