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Windows 7: Re-install w7: cannot move past Starting Windows screen

29 Jul 2014   #1

Windows7 home premium 64bit
Re-install w7: cannot move past Starting Windows screen

Good evening,
my Intel SSD 520 is where I installed my OS. I've had the SSD as my OS drive since August 2012. I changed my motherboard, CPU, RAM and graphic card in March of 2014, kept the SSD and reinstalled w7 64 on it. It had been running fine since.

Yesterday, for the first time ever on w7, I got a BSOD while playing a game (Dvinity Original Sin). I did not get time to read the error before my PC rebooted. Following the reboot, the OS does not start any longer. Instead, I end up going back to BIOS every time (as in it opens the BIOS screen).
I removed all the other drives, sound card and rebooted- back into BIOS every time.
I dismantled my PC, removed every part, including the CPU, put everything back together and made sure the cables were connected properly and securely.
I then cleared the CMOS, removed the battery on the Motherboard, rebooted, reset the settings in the BIOS and still the same issue.
I checked that the AHCI was enabled, CSM enabled, UEFI enabled. Rebooted to the same end.
I switched off the UEFI and rebooted to the same result.
One thing I have not been able to do is to get to the windows start advanced menu by pressing F8. Asus, in their infinite wisdom, use the F8 key so you can quickly check which drive you want to boot from... So I have not been able to boot in safe mode or anything.

So I started thinking that since I could not start windows, I might as well re-install it. I made sure my DVD drive (I have two) was set up as the boot drive. I inserted the bootable DVD I had prepared with SP1 installed. It loads the files and then moves to the Starting Windows screen and then just hangs there.
As I had used the DVD before, I knew it was working fine previously.
I nonetheless proceeded to insert my original w7 home premium dvd and the same thing happens.
I did not despair yet and moved to my bootable USB key with Win7sp1 installed, and the same thing happens.

In the BIOS, I can see my SSD is detected but funnily enough, when I go to the Asus EZ Flash option, it is not detected there. I'm not knowledgeable enough to know whether this is confirmation that the SSD is as dead as a dodo?

In the meantime, I'm getting another SSD which I can try to install w7 on using a clean fresh install. But I was wondering if anyone had ever had a similar issues where W7 cannot be reinstalled and whether this is the sign the drive is dead?

Sorry for the long post. Any help & comments appreciated.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jul 2014   #2


Since Asus uses F8 as its one-time BIOS Boot Menu key, you must first select the hard drive, then quickly tap F8 again to access System Recovery Options.

But its best to run the Repairs from disk anyway.

If you're committed to reinstall you can rescue your files from Step 5 of Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 which steps also assure you'll get and keep a perfect install, compiling everything that's worked best in tens of thousands of installs we've directly helped with here.

Your SSD firmware may need an Upgrade.

WOrk through these steps for Overcoming Windows 7 Installation Failures - Windows 7 Help Forums
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jul 2014   #3

Windows7 home premium 64bit

Thanks for this. I actually just performed a MEMTEST86+ and it's only returning errors so it looks like my RAM is at fault here...
My System SpecsSystem Spec

30 Jul 2014   #4

Windows 10 Pro

Good to hear. Try and see if you can replace your RAM. If it's working, then you might not need to reinstall windows after all since it's a hardware issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jul 2014   #5


It shows in the tutorial how to isolate the problem stick or slot - it could be either.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jul 2014   #6

Windows7 home premium 64bit

Yes, thanks, I ran the memtest 86+ on each of my RAM individually and isolated the one that was faulty (one out of the 4). I have since restarted windows7 without any issues running on 2*GB of RAM rather than my usual 4*4.
Thanks for your help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jul 2014   #7


You may notice some lag with 2gb RAM running 64 bit. You an either upgrade the RAM or I would reinstall 32 bit, edit Visual Effects of fading, sliding, animation, dragging box intact and selection rectangle which are resource hogs but don't change the appearance: Optimize Windows 7 - Windows 7 Forums
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jul 2014   #8


Nice to know, Brian. Kingston will do this even if they don't know where the RAM was bought. They just confirm it tests bad and automatic RMA.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jul 2014   #9

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64

Corsair will replace the ram, no questions asked. Not sure if it`s worth it for you though. Was it a 4 pack kit or 2 2 pack kits ?

I fried one of my 8GB sticks, I sent the entire 16 GB set back and they shipped me out a brand new set

Easiest RMA I`ve ever done.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jul 2014   #10

Windows7 home premium 64bit

Yes, the Corsair RAM has a life warranty on it which is good.
It was 4*4GB sticks I had, one of them being bad, I'm still running with 2 of the 4GB sticks. Unfortunately I ordered them as 4*4 so I'll have to send the whole batch I think, just need to check that with Corsair for the RMA.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Re-install w7: cannot move past Starting Windows screen

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