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Windows 7 Startup Repair Boot Loop


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#31
emeraldnzl

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I will ask my technical colleagues for answers to those questions.

Before I do however there is one more thing we might try.

I have another user who has a similar boot problem that we have narrowed down to a corrupt MBR. While that has not been flagged by your machine the tests for memory and hard drive passed so I think it worth a try.

Here are instructions:

These instructions were originally put together for Vista but they work for Windows 7 as well.

You will need a windows CD.

If not, are you able to create a recovery disc as shown on this page

  • Reboot your system using the boot CD you just created.
    Note : If you do not know how to set your computer to boot from CD follow the steps here

When you reboot you will see this although yours may say windows 7. Click repair my computer
Posted Image

Select your operating system
Posted Image

Select Command prompt
Posted Image

At the command prompt type the following

  • Bootrec.exe /FixMbr

    Note the gap... it should be there.
  • Once finished type Exit

Reboot to normal windows and then come back and tell me how it went.
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#32
emeraldnzl

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Further to my last post.

Just to tell you that I have to go out now and will be away until tomorrow.

I will try and check in from a friends house this evening NZ time but otherwise it will be late afternoon tomorrow. :)
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#33
emeraldnzl

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Hello again clearlyclearly,

Sorry about the delay in getting back to you. I had an appointment in Auckland (the nearest city to where I live) and stayed overnight.

I am assuming the MBR fix didn't work.

Now

I have had some good information from some of my colleagues.

Firstly

The picture you provided shows that the W7 Ultimate disk is upgrade. You can clean install with that, if needed. You have the Enterprise key on hand if you ever need it to reactivate by phone.

If the hard drive is dying, you will need a new drive of course. In that case you can re-image so no need to reinstall from scratch.

- You mention that you don't have an external enclosure for a 2.5 drive. Those are very cheap:

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16817182143

You can also get a small cable kit for less than $10 :

http://www.newegg.co...=9SIA2V511J6043

http://www.walmart.c...-Cable/28884897

Also this may be of interest and I quote:

"- SeaTools : I had a bad experience with it recently. Purchased an internal 3 TB disk and it lasted 1 day. For the RMA, Seagate procedure says you have to run SeaTools to get the problem code from it, or else you can't do the RMA. So I ran the tool and the results said the drive was good. It wasn't. I emailed SeaGate and they told me that SeaTools wasn't reliable and to just send the disk in without a code. No problems to get a new drive.
Don't know if the Lenovo tool is any good."

Secondly

One of our technical people who I regard highly has put together the following.

It might be a way for you to access the hard drive. This would be a way to back up your data.

A couple of things that may help:

===================
***Required Hardware***
CD Burner (CDRW) Drive,
Blank CD,
Extra Storage Device (USB Flash Drive, External Hard Drive)

===================

1. Save these files to your Desktop/Burn Your Live CD:
  • Download Latest Puppy Linux ISO (i.e.: lupu-528.iso)
    Download BurnCDCC ISO Burning Software

    There are instructions on how to boot from flash drive with puppy here; http://www.pendrivel...e-from-windows/

  • Open BurnCDCC with Windows Explorer
  • Extract All files to a location you can remember
  • Double Click Posted Image BurnCDCC
  • Click Browse Posted Image and navigate to the Puppy Linux ISO file you just downloaded
  • Open/Double Click that file
    IMPORTANT: Adjust the speed bar to CD: 4x DVD: 1x
  • Click Start Posted Image
  • Your CD Burner Tray will open automatically
  • Insert a blank CD and close the tray
  • Click OK
Puppy Linux Live CD will now be created
2. Set your boot priority in the BIOS to CD-ROM first, Hard Drive Second
  • Start the computer/press the power button
  • Immediately start tapping the appropriate key to enter the BIOS, aka "Setup"
    (Usually shown during the "Dell" screen, or "Gateway" Screen)
  • Once in the BIOS, under Advanced BIOS Options change boot priority to:
    CD-ROM 1st, Hard Drive 2nd
  • Open your ROM drive and insert the disk
  • Press F10 to save and exit
  • Agree with "Y" to continue
  • Your computer will restart and boot from the Puppy Linux Live CD

    Posted Image

3. Recover Your Data
  • Once Puppy Linux has loaded, it is actually running in your computer's Memory (RAM). You will see a fully functioning Graphical User Interface similar to what you normally call "your computer". Internet access may or may not be available depending on your machine, so it is recommended you print these instructions before beginning. Also, double clicking is not needed in Puppy. To expand, or open folders/icons, just click once. Puppy is very light on resources, so you will quickly notice it is much speedier than you are used to. This is normal. Ready? Let's get started.

    3a. Mount Drives
  • Click the Mount Icon located at the top left of your desktop. Posted Image
  • A Window will open. By default, the "drive" tab will be forward/highlighted. Click on Mount for your hard drive.
  • Assuming you only have one hard drive and/or partition, there may be only one selection to mount.
  • USB Flash Drives usually automatically mount upon boot, but click the "usbdrv" tab and make sure it is mounted.
  • If using an external hard drive for the data recovery, do this under the "drive" tab. Mount it now.
3b. Transfer Files.
  • At the bottom left of your desktop a list of all hard drives/partitions, USB Drives, and Optical Drives are listed with a familiar looking hard drive icon.
  • Open your old hard drive i.e. sda1
  • Next, open your USB Flash Drive or External Drive. i.e. sdc or sdb1
  • If you open the wrong drive, simply X out at the top right corner of the window that opens. (Just like in Windows)
  • From your old hard drive, drag and drop whatever files/folders you wish to transfer to your USB Drive's Window.
For The Novice: The common path to your pictures, music, video, and documents folders is: Documents and Settings >> All Users (or each idividual name of each user. CHECK All Names!) >> Documents >> You will now see My Music, My Pictures, and My Videos.

Remember to only click once! No double clicking! Once you drag and drop your first folder, you will notice a small menu will appear giving you the option to move or copy. Choose COPY each time you drag and drop.

YOU ARE DONE!!! Simply click Menu >> Mouse Over Shutdown >> Reboot/Turn Off Computer. Be sure to plug your USB Drive into another working windows machine to verify all data is there and transferred without corruption. Congratulations!



Posted Image

Free and user friendly back up software that phillpower2, the technical consultant, often suggests and that has proved positive with members is Macrium Reflect

Tell me how you get on. :)
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#34
clearlyclearly

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Thank you emeraldnz. Sorry for the delay, I was also away last night.

I have tried the Bootrec command with no success. I previously tried Bootrec with three different switches to no avail also. Alarmingly, my Windows 7 DVD upon loading gave a new error - new as I've been using it on and off during the week as some of my own research indicated the System Repair functionality was often more successful from the DVD than from that on the system. The error was "This version of Windows is different from the DVD". Which is clearly of some concern.

I also have another DVD which I used to run the Bootrec command, it is a repair disc I separately created from inside Windows shortly after successful installation.

I am now trying to get the portable linux install on my flash drive as recommended to be able to access the file system and salvage my files to an external hard drive/backup drive.



I am still concerned around the hard drive partitioning and Windows licencing. Do you really think I can do a fresh install using the Windows upgrade DVD I have if we format the hard drive? I don't have an enterprise key - the educational organisation overwrote the original windows 7 pro that was on here - and the key I have under my laptop's battery is windows 7 pro. So the chain was:

(1) laptop purchased for me by educational institution and it came with "Windows 7 Pro OA MEA".
(2) the educational institution installed Windows 7 Enterprise 64bit on the laptop and the machine arrived in my hands.
(3) I tried to install ubuntu on the machine making it a dual-boot but that failed horribly and I had to fix the MBR and gave up on the dual-boot dream
(4) I partitioned the 500 GB hard drive into 90 GB for the c: drive and around 350 GB for the d: drive. I setup system imaging of the C: drive using windows backup and restore and tested it often.
(4) a year later I left the educational institution and received the Windows 7 Ultimate DVD (as shown previously), which I successfully used to "upgrade" away from the Enterprise version.
(5) a year and a bit running windows 7 ultimate 64bit and suddenly this happens

Furthermore, even if we got Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit (my DVD) running back on this machine, then won't this issue still persist? Isn't this issue "outside of the OS"? Because if it is within the OS, then it may well be worth me trying to restore from my system image of the C: drive from two months ago, bearing in mind that my image from the day before this failure event booted back into the same boot loop following restore. Also, how would I restore from a system image if Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit was installed back successfully on this hard drive - doesn't that require restoring a system image back on the exact same partition?

Thank you so much for all your help and the effort you are going to here. Your time means more than you can believe to me.
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#35
emeraldnzl

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I am still concerned around the hard drive partitioning and Windows licencing. Do you really think I can do a fresh install using the Windows upgrade DVD I have if we format the hard drive? I don't have an enterprise key - the educational organisation overwrote the original windows 7 pro that was on here - and the key I have under my laptop's battery is windows 7 pro.


I can't answer whether Microsoft will accept your system for validation. I don't see why not but it may require some approval somewhere. My recommendation would be to go here and ask the question. Also you might check out this link which discusses validation. Note the instruction "Click Start and in the Run box type slui.exe 4 (note the space... it should be there), Enter. Select an activation centre near you, call, speak with a real person and explain what happened".

The error was "This version of Windows is different from the DVD". Which is clearly of some concern.


My guess is, that it has to do with the different version previously on the machine i.e. the enterprise version. Something you could also take up with Microsoft.

I am now trying to get the portable linux install on my flash drive as recommended to be able to access the file system and salvage my files to an external hard drive/backup drive.


Tell me how you get on. :)
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#36
clearlyclearly

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Well so far so good! I have linux running off the flash drive and am copying files to an external drive! Thank you for this. Certainly a more user friendly way to save data from the drive :)
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#37
emeraldnzl

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Very good news. :thumbsup:
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#38
clearlyclearly

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Greetings emeraldnzl,

I've had some useful input from the microsoft guys. Perhaps you would be so kind as to have a look at their comments and give your advice please?
http://social.micros...7&prof=required

It seems I am licenced either way for Windows 7 Pro using the sticker under my battery (original OEM), although will need to download the ISO and am trying to get a valid link.

It seems I may also be able to use my system image of the C: partition (Windows 7 Ultimate) to restore the computer if I delete and re-create the partition.

I guess my remaining concern is ensuring that the unidentified root cause of this is actually removed. I already restored a system image of the C: partition and was dropped straight back into this boot loop [bleep] following restoration. Thus, the root cause resides outside of the operating system. Presumably removing the partition and re-creating it would fix that?

Thank you so much
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#39
emeraldnzl

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Hello again clearlyclearly,

I take it you have tried the bootsect.exe option without success.

It seems I may also be able to use my system image of the C: partition (Windows 7 Ultimate) to restore the computer if I delete and re-create the partition.

I guess my remaining concern is ensuring that the unidentified root cause of this is actually removed. I already restored a system image of the C: partition and was dropped straight back into this boot loop [bleep] following restoration. Thus, the root cause resides outside of the operating system. Presumably removing the partition and re-creating it would fix that?


If it were me, I would format the disk to ensure any software problem was removed and go from there. The instructions for that are at the link provided in your discussion with microsoft.

As far as using the system image you have, well that depends on it being a good image. If there is anything wrong with it you will just be reloading the same problem again. The only way you will know though is to try it out. :)
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#40
emeraldnzl

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Thanks emeraldnzl,

I did try the bootsect.exe without success. Actually the boot folder on my dvd didn't have it, but I have recently burned a Win7Pro 64bit ISO and used the bootsect.exe in that disc.

Strangely, my original Win7 Ultimate 64bit disc (as photographed), and the newly burned Win7Pro 64bit disc both produce the same error when I boot off the disc. They both say "This version of Windows does not match the one on the sytem" or something similar. It's a VBOKOnly dialog so I can't access startup repair. Rather strange as during this long process I was previosly able to boot off my Win7 Ultimate disc and use the system repair tools there.

Anyway, I don't expect that will be a problem if I format the drive and start fresh. That appears to be my last resort now and I'm going to do that probably this weekend. The latest Win7 Pro 64bit ISO on the HEIDOC.net site (called "Media refresh") is what I'll try to use to format and then re-install, using the original product key on my pink and white sticker under my battery. As you say, once that's installed I can try restoring a system image. At least then I'll have a working computer!!

Will let you know how that goes. Thank you so much for your long-standing patience and support. :thumbsup:

Perhaps at this point I can ask about recommendations of installation with dual-boot? I think it would be great to have a linux (ubuntu) OS on the drive to future-proof against similar Microsoft self-destruction...


As this is a technical question I have moved your original post to the Windows 7 technical forum here. They are better placed to answer than I. :)
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#41
clearlyclearly

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Hi emeraldnzl,

Well I took the day off work to try and format and re-install. I first tried to restore to the system image from a couple of months back, using the option in System Repair from my Win7 Ultimate 64bit repair disc. Remember, originally I tried restoring the latest system image which was from the day before, but that booted me back into the can't load Windows 7 boot loop.

Well this older system image has booted into Windows!
I am rather stunned. Does this mean the problem does not reside "outside of windows" after all?

Thank you kindly.
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#42
emeraldnzl

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I don't know what has gone on there.

philpower2 in the technical section may have a view but it's a mystery to me. :)
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#43
emeraldnzl

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This issue which appears to be technical is now continued here.

If the topic starter wishes to have this thread reopened please PM a moderator.

Everyone else should start a separate topic.
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