Was working normally until 2/16/15. Not sure what actually went wrong but it was either caused by, or just coincidentally happened at the same time as, the power adapter suddenly dying.
Put it to sleep until we could get a new adapter... then later woke it up, just for one more brief check, or so we thought: to our surprise, Windows immediately set about repairing the disk (or something, afraid I don't remember the message exactly), without option to cancel or go back to sleep, and warned us not to shut it off until it was done. Well, since we couldn't plug it in, the battery ran out first. When we got a new adapter on 2/18, the computer would no longer boot.
To complicate matters: the CD/DVD drive is broken (an unrelated problem, I think), so USB is our only way in. And I don't have access to a full Windows 7 install disc, because it didn't come with one. I have tried repeatedly to download an .iso from http://www.microsoft...ftware-recovery but their download system seems to be broken. I was however able to make a Windows 7 recovery USB from another computer.
I've been struggling with this continuously for two days, following lots of different tips found online, but with no success... and since I don't really know what I've been doing, it's entirely possible that I've complicated the situation. I know that at one point I made trouble by running startup repair while the USB was plugged into an inappropriate port (exactly as described in the top answer here: http://superuser.com...device-cannot-b ). I don't know if the effects of that mistake are lingering or not.
At one point boot was failing at "amdxata.sys missing or corrupt" and I found advice online to simply replace that file with a clean copy, which I did: now boot fails at "aswRvrt.sys missing or corrupt." I also followed advice to manually roll back the registry files in System32\Config, which I did, to no apparent effect. I have also followed instructions to use bootrec.exe to try to repair the startup, which I've done more than once; the responses in the Windows repair environment did seem to change slightly as a result but after a couple rounds of rebooting I seem to have ended up back where I started. I've run chkdsk and the HP Recovery disk test without finding anything significant. I'm afraid I may be forgetting some of the other things I've attempted that may have had an effect on the situation. Sorry!
The current status:
All boot options (including "last known good configuration," "safe mode," etc.) result in the same failure:
Info: Windows failed to load because a critical system driver is missing, or corrupt.
Booting from the repair USB identifies a Windows installation but then fails during Startup Repair with
I don't have the impression this is a malware issue so I'm posting it here, but feel free to move this if you think it should go in a different forum.
[Edit: Someone here seems to have done just that. This was originally posted in the Windows 7/Vista forum.]
Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!
I have run FRST64 (as I've seen advised elsewhere around here) and am attaching the results.
Edited by HGP, 21 February 2015 - 03:17 AM.