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Windows 7: Windows 7 will not boot, infinite startup repair loop + "unknown disk"

09 Jan 2015   #1

Windows 7
Windows 7 will not boot, infinite startup repair loop + "unknown disk"

First time posting here, so I apologize if I my post is too vague.

I started up my laptop (Alienware M14x, Windows 7 64 bit - not sure if it's Ultimate, Home Premium, etc...) yesterday and it displayed a message saying that Windows had failed to boot. I restarted and attempted starting it in Safe Mode and from the last good configuration and both failed, leaving me with the same screen with the two options of starting normally or running startup repair. I also tried disabling driver signature enforcement, which also failed to resolve the issue. I then ran startup repair and just let it go for about 8 hours and it just continuously "attempted to repair." I left it overnight and then let it keep going for most of my day today. Altogether, it was running startup repair for around 30 hours.

I forced a restart and made a system repair disc using another laptop (also Windows 7 64 bit). I booted with the disc and hit next on the language/country menu. Windows 7 showed up as a choice as my operating system, but I could not hit the next button (blue loading circle would replace my cursor whenever I dragged over the window). After a couple minutes, a window appeared that said something along the lines of "identifying disk." This window stuck around for about 5 minutes and when it disappeared I was taken to the system recovery options. On the top of this window it says "Operating System: Unknown on (Unknown) local disk." I do not have my Windows 7 installation DVD.

I used the command prompt to run chkdsk C: and let it run. The results say that windows found no problems with the file system. I can post a picture of this if necessary. The system restore option is unavailable to me (because of the unknown disk). I have not created an image anytime in the past. I tried using chkdsk /f C: to see what would happen and it says that this volume is in use by another process, and that the volume can be dismounted to allow chkdsk /f C: to run, but I'm not sure what any of that means so I've left that as it is.

Any suggestions on what I should do? Should I restart and see if it will recognize Windows 7 on a second boot of the system repair disc? I'm not horribly worried about losing data, just need this fixed ASAP, as I need to use my laptop almost daily.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jan 2015   #2
Microsoft MVP


Work through the rest of the steps for Troubleshooting Windows 7 Failure to Start
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 Windows 7 will not boot, infinite startup repair loop + "unknown disk"

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