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Windows 7: "Preparing your Desktop" and then blue screen with no HDD activity

30 Dec 2014   #31


Post 22.

I'll let you get caught up on all of the other steps from the top that have been overlooked.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jan 2015   #32

XP Pro and Win7 Pro both 32 bit plus Win 8.1 64bit

Now we have got over the Christmas and New Year (have a happy one!) I had been doing a lot of reading and from the advice on this forum and elsewhere decided to start over yesterday. So now I have XP back again which is the most important point for me. Today I went into it in detail looking for things to correct, for example the drive names, emails from my external backup, drivers for camera etc. So far I have concentrated on XP so the HD for Win 7 is unplugged. When I have finished checking all the XP programmes, then I will switch my attention to that and report back.

For the XP Pro OS - looking at the various log files in the root it seems fairly obvious that at some point the Win 7 crash and startup repair attempts had corrupted/added boot information. I looked at the CMD options and decided to use a programme that rolls all those commands up into an easy to use GUI. It worked very well and was well worth the very small cost. This is the link . I used the Automatic option.

Here is the final screenshot of the XP HD management.

I have also used the Malwarebytes on the XP HD and that is clear, so nothing lurking there. There wers just some Open Candy ad links needing quarantine.


Attached Thumbnails
"Preparing your Desktop" and then blue screen with no HDD activity-xp-discs.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jan 2015   #33


Thanks for the report on EasyEssentials boot disk, which offers enhanced Win7 Startup Repair with more focus on the bcd repairs, and is mentioned in Step 10 of Troubleshooting Windows 7 Failure to Start.

The only thing noticeable in the screenshot is that C being the System partition should always be marked Active. You can do this by right clicking it in Disk Mgmt. Remember that Win7 will never repair unless the correct Partition Marked Active is marked Active - preferably the 100mb System Reserved if you have it and definitely if it's already marked Active, or if not Win7 partition itself.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

04 Jan 2015   #34

XP Pro and Win7 Pro both 32 bit plus Win 8.1 64bit

Maybe C (for XP OS) is not shown as active because the screenshot was taken within XP disk management when only the XP OS drive was plugged in?
I just tried right clicking (left for me!) and the option for making both drives active/inactive is grayed out. Maybe because I have now plugged back in the Win 7 OS drive and that partition is marked active - as it was before. I guess I need to use PW to change from Win7 partition to XP partitition as Active.

I ran Malwarebytes again so as to check the Win 7 drive and Malwarebytes gave a clean result.

I have NOT tried booting from that drive as yet! My BIOS boot menu options are now set to boot from the XP drive with CD second and floppy third.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jan 2015   #35


If the XP drive is booting itself with C as the System partition, then C should be Active.

But if you have a Dual Boot configured from Win7 which is providing the System partition for both, then XP should not be Active.

You have the choice to boot either OS via the BIOS Boot order and BIOS Boot menu key, or you can configure a Dual Boot using EasyBCD from Win7 to have a WIndows Boot Menu.

Please post back a screenshot from Win7 of Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image
with both drives plugged in.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jan 2015   #36

XP Pro and Win7 Pro both 32 bit plus Win 8.1 64bit

Taking your questions in order:

PW does show both the XP partition and the Win 7 partition as active. So with the first boot in BIOS set as the XP hosting drive, my PC boots straight into XP without difficulty now. Using Disc management in XP shows the XP partition as System and the Win 7 partition as Active.

I haven't tried to do anything to Win 7 so does that mean that the original Dual Boot file still exists? I don't see a Dual Boot menu when starting the PC.

I do not want (ever again!) to use Dual Boot. When I am satisfied that there is no risk of further corruption, I will try booting via F12 into the Win 7 drive whenever I want to check for updates. It just means remembering the drive model number, which is no great hardship

Screenshot via XP attached that now has both drives showing, and the drive letters back the way they were.


Attached Thumbnails
"Preparing your Desktop" and then blue screen with no HDD activity-both-discs.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jan 2015   #37


Have you tried to boot Win7 with the XP drive unplugged? If it will boot itself with C labeled System Active then it has its boot files and is good to be set first to boot in BIOS setup, or triggered via the BIOS Boot Menu key at boot if you want XP drive set Primary and first to boot in BIOS.

A reason we cannot see if Win7 partition is flagged System now may be because it is not the booted OS. But if you installed Win7 second with XP plugged in then it normally would not have its own System boot files until repaired as follows:

If Win7 cannot boot itself, then with the XP drive unplugged boot into Win7 installation media System Recovery Options or System Repair Disk to run Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times until Win7 boots on its own and holds the System Active Boot flags.

Both System partitions on a Dual Boot where each hard drive is independently bootable need to have their System partition marked Active, always.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2015   #38

XP Pro and Win7 Pro both 32 bit plus Win 8.1 64bit

Thanks Greg for #37. I am having so much fun Well, now that I am sure that XP still works and all my files are OK.

I will certainly boot into Win 7 by itself sometime over the next couple of days. Also, thanks for the XP Repair Tool link. Now that Fix-It is shrinking, it looks like a good thing to have.

From all your comments (yes, I do read them!) I had come to the conclusion that files in XP partition root should be inspected and repaired. I see that the boot.bak file appears to relate to a Dual Boot system and that the current boot.ini file was replaced by EasyRE with a file that msconfig now states "does not refer to a valid operating system". I think I should replace it with a file that shows the correct XP description as mentioned in How to edit the Boot.ini file in Windows XP

I attach the three versions in a text file.


Attached Files
File Type: txt boot-versions.txt (1.1 KB, 0 views)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2015   #39


You'd probably be better off posting those files to the NeoSmart forums where they support the EasyRE tool you purchased. I am not nearly as well versed on XP or what that tool does or is meant to do for XP. Someone else here may be though.

Did you ever try the XP Boot repair commands from its Disk command line?

I'm more interested in whether WIn7 will boot on its own so we can get it booting independently if not.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jan 2015   #40

XP Pro and Win7 Pro both 32 bit plus Win 8.1 64bit


In the end I gave up the Dual Boot install method. It was a good idea as it meant that the original XP installed programmes did not need to be reinstalled.

I have tried most of the suggestions and succeeded in fixing XP so that whole OS, programmes and files are OK again. The best tool for that was EasyRE.

For Win 7 I could not get at several suggestions as the temporary profile could not get even simple services to work, such as opening My Computer!

So I have now installed Win 7 over the original installation without using Dual Boot.

It does mean that I have to install several important programmes where I have the install media. But as they all work on XP anyway, I can always choose to boot from the XP drive and work there for those items.

Thanks for trying.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 "Preparing your Desktop" and then blue screen with no HDD activity

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