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Windows 7 boot problem

By vomacka ยท 95 replies
Nov 19, 2017
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  1. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing. Posts: 3,617   +986

    "When I try to boot up with the CD file "Rescue-system.exe" it does not run."

    Did you create a bootable CD? Did it boot? I believe the ISO version, if properly burned, should boot. What does the Avira documentation (User Guide and How To) say?
  2. vomacka

    vomacka TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 115

    I also tried to use a Rescue-system.ISO file. It would not run either. No message, just no file execution.

    It is possible that I have made a bad ISO CD burn.

    I will look into the five rescue disks mentioned earlier. Maybe I will have better luck with them?

    To be continued...

  3. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing. Posts: 3,617   +986

    Try your boot media on another machine.

    If it boots, then I begin to suspect the Host Adapter on the motherboard. Keep us posted.
  4. vomacka

    vomacka TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 115

    I tried the rescue-system.iso on another system, and it would not load. It just spun-up and that was it. I suspect the CD is bad and will try another burn in a few days.

    To be continued...



    It is looking more and more like I will have to wipe the slate clean and start all over again. My worst computer nightmare..:'(:'(:D(n)
  5. holdum323

    holdum323 Banned Posts: 1,724   +455

    Hi! I'm sorry to hear this. It's times like this where I get on my stump and start preaching.
    Learn how to use a 3rd party image program. I like Macrium Reflect, but there are several good free programs out there.
    I have 4 images of W7 and I keep 4 up to date Images of W10 on a external drive. I can switch back and forth from W7 and W10. I can install a brand new Hard Drive and be back up and running just like the day I created the image, in a matter of minutes .
    I just finished creating a image after the W10 November update. It took a little over 15 minutes. This makes me a fearless windows user. Not much scares me. I wish I could get the whole world to create images of their OS. If I could do that, There wouldn't be any need for help forums and then I wouldn't have any thing to do ROFL. If you do have to start over, at least you will have a nice clean PC and that will be good.
    DavidBailey likes this.
  6. vomacka

    vomacka TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 115

    Could you please explain what you mean? A format would just wipe the drive clean so I can re-load windows. Would the MBR still have damage even after a re-formatting?

    I plan on running a boot scan this weekend to see if it finds anything. After that I will pull the drive and plug it into another system to see if I can get any important files off it.

    To be continued...

  7. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing. Posts: 3,617   +986

    Hardware/Software troubleshooting is like climbing a ladder. Bad software may run (badly) on good hardware, but good software will not run on broken hardware - so we start with hardware.

    MBR is placed at track zero on HDD (before UEFI).... when the hardware starts, it bootstraps from BIOS microcode which directs hardware to define devices and then read from track zero of the boot device....the media at that location must be readable and good ... track zero starts the Operating System which is Software stored on the HDD (which is why you can get to BIOS even if your HDD is dead or your MBR empty).

    Possible Checklist .. take notes.
    1. Can you reach BIOS?
    - if yes, then motherboard, cpu, gpu, memory work in a basic manner...see 2
    - if not, did you get lots of beeps -> see beep codes
    - if not, was it silent, dead, unresponsive -> consider removing everything from case and rebuilding system on benchtop

    2. Does BIOS identify boot device(s) properly?
    - if yes, then see 3
    - if not, power down in order to disconnect and reconnect all cables, repeat 2 again
    - if still not, then device is bad or motherboard is bad - determine which by testing devices on known good system and testing known good devices on the suspect motherboard

    3. Set boot order in BIOS so that the boot device with boot media comes first and save BIOS to begin restart. Does it start? (most systems give a short single beep if system passes POST)
    - if yes, see 4
    - if not, repeat 3 using another boot device

    4. Does it load an Operating System (Windows, DOS, Linux, etc)?
    - if yes, begin software testing/repair - chkdsk, anti-malware, sfc /scannow, HDD maker's testing utility, rebuilding MBR with Rescue Disk, etc...
    - if not, try other boot media

    At this point, you should be able to access your HDD and to determine how healthy it is. If it is healthy and malware free, then you should be able to repair the MBR. If not, try to backup your data files and license keys. Having done all that, do a clean install.

    I think you are probably step 4, but I am puzzled as to why some things won't boot. You did say that the Windows CD would boot, yes? Can you make a Rescue Disk and confirm that it boots on a known good system before trying it in this system?

    Please, let us know how it goes.
    holdum323 likes this.
  8. vomacka

    vomacka TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 115

    I have to re-burn another rescue disk because the ISO file would not run/load. The CD would just spin at high rmp and then stop and not do anything. I set the BIOS to boot to the CD drive as well. I then tried the rescue CD in another computer with the same results. It is possible that the CD is damaged somehow. I will try to burn another one and let you know what happens.

    To be continued...

  9. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,366   +1,389

    A QUICK FMT does not rewrite sectors, so yes, an infected MBR would still be infected. The LOW LEVEL reformat rewrites every sector (which contains its sector number) and thus destroys sector 0,0,1 where the legacy MBR resides.

    The MBR will be recreated when you define the first Active partition to contain the new OS.
  10. vomacka

    vomacka TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 115

    Thanks for the explanation.
    So, When I do a format with the windows installation disk it does not fix the damaged MBR. Only after I set up a new boot partition drive has to be reformatted.will a new MBR be created?

    I think I have this correct?

  11. vomacka

    vomacka TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 115

    OK. I am now in the process of retrieving my important files from the damaged drive. I burned the ISO file to another cd and it now runs the rescue program.

    After I retrieve the important files from the disk, then I will try to scan the drive for any boot virus.

    To be continued...

  12. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,366   +1,389

    There are tools to force rewrite the MBR
    • fixmbr
    Select the partition that is shown, then
    and enter
    • bootrec /fixmbr
    followed by
    • bootrec /fixboot
  13. vomacka

    vomacka TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 115

    Ok. I used Hirens Boot CD to see what's going on with the drive. It does not look good....

    Let me start off by saying this.

    Before the problem started two weeks ago, I had one C: partition (1Tb) that had the Windows 7 installation files and all of my other program files (Firefox, Microsoft Office Etc..)

    Drive D: was my CD drive.

    Drive E: was for my USB drives.

    These were the only drives I had. (C: D: E: )

    Ok, NOW after the problem started my drives are really messed up. Take a look at the following screenshots


    It looks like my original C: drive has been partitioned into a D: drive and my CD drive is now E:.

    All of the program files have been moved to the D: drive They are are still intact, but do not run. (Error with 32Bit program)

    BUT WAIT.... THERE'S MORE!....

    I went into Regedit to see what I could find. The registry seemed to be missing a lot of parameters. I could not find any of my programs (Firefox for example) listed anywhere in the registry. I would do a search for Firefox. Nothing would be found. Thunderbird, nothing found, Etc. None of my programs were listed in the registry.

    With the Windows files moved to a D: drive, no wonder the OS won't load. I could not even find it in Regedit.

    Right now I am doing a virus scan of the drive. When that is done it looks like I will have to reformat and reinstall.:'(

    Unless someone has any suggestions on a fix?

  14. holdum323

    holdum323 Banned Posts: 1,724   +455

  15. holdum323

    holdum323 Banned Posts: 1,724   +455

    @jobeard Read post #2. Scott already tried to fix the MBR.
  16. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,366   +1,389

    It appears C/D have been swapped & you flip'm while booted from either.

    Not sure HOW to reassign the DLAs in this condition ---
  17. vomacka

    vomacka TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 115

    From what I see, it looks like the registry has been damaged and can not access any files.

    In Regedit I did a search for "Windows". Nothing found.
    I did a search for Internet Explorer. Nothing found.
    I did a search for Firefox (My default browser). Nothing found.
    I did a search for Microsoft Word. Nothing found.
    Do you see a pattern. There is almost nothing in the registry to recover. There is a registry repair tool in Hiren's Boot CD but there is no registry entries to repair.

    I also tried to recover from a past system image (Nov. 12, 2017). It could not load the image.

    I did the fixmbr three times, but still got the BSOD as if the fix did nothing.

    I am currently out of ideas right now.

    On Sunday, I will re-format the HD and re-install Windows 7.

    Then I will spend most of next week installing/configuring all of my necessary programs and drivers.

    I have not re-installed an OS in ten years (WinXP) so I am a little rusty. I found these sites to help me out.

    If I have any other questions/problems with the installation I will ask here.

    I want to thank you all for your help and advice. I really appreciate it.

  18. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing. Posts: 3,617   +986

    Prepare for a long period of updates. Windows 7 does not have a recent major update version, so there are a couple (several?) of years of updates to download and install. Last time I did Win7 it took 3-4 hours.
    holdum323 likes this.
  19. holdum323

    holdum323 Banned Posts: 1,724   +455

    Hi! After you get everything like you want it, make a backup image. Then make backup images on a regular basis. Then you won't have to go through all this BS next time a disaster comes. I like Macrium Reflect. Here's a Zip file I made.

    Attached Files:

  20. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,366   +1,389

    Did you notice that the D:\ partition is not marked ACTIVE? Your examination via Regedit took place on the C:\ (aka the current boot drive). It is labeled System Reserve and that's a BIG clue that it is NOT intended to be booted,

    IMO, I would get a copy of Gparted and set the D: as Active. Notice I too have a System Reserve, but booted sysPC, a label of my choice.

    Using the Windows Disk Mgr, here's what a normal boot partition looks like:
  21. vomacka

    vomacka TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 115

    I tried making the D: partition active and it told me (after re-booting) that the BOOT.INI file was missing.

    I then searched both C: and D: and could not find the BOOT.INI file.

  22. vomacka

    vomacka TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 115

    I tried to do a Windows repair after making the D: partition active. The error given was:

    TIME TAKEN = 744423MS

  23. holdum323

    holdum323 Banned Posts: 1,724   +455

    Hi Scott! The things you have done are above my pay grade. IMO, it's time to reinstall windows. It looks like some infection done a number on you, and a reinstall will be your best choice??Are you able to get to CMD with Admi rights? Some times my terminology isn't to good. Have you tried a sfc /scannow https://www.lifewire.com/how-to-use-sfc-scannow-to-repair-windows-system-files-2626161
    Here's what my disk management shows. I'm thinking my first partition is where the MBR is. I might be wrong. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
  24. holdum323

    holdum323 Banned Posts: 1,724   +455

  25. vomacka

    vomacka TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 115

    Here is what Disk Manager looks like after I activated the D: partition.

    All the system files are back under the C: partition. But the original problem (BSOD) still persists, even after doing the (bootrec)Fixmbr, fixboot and rebuildbcd commands.

    Should system reserved (E: ) have a drive letter?

    Last edited: Nov 26, 2017

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