Windows 7 start up failure & error message

Greetings wise wizards of EE:

I'm helping a friend running Windows 7 Home Premium on a Dell Inspiron 580 desktop, with an Intel Core i5 processor and 6 GB of RAM. This morning his machine would not start up, but rather would instead produce the black, DOS-type text screen that provides the option to either repair Windows or start normally. Starting normally simply results in a loop of the same screen, while attempting the repair option results that in a message stating that the problem could not be repaired, along with the following technical info:

Problem Signature
Problem Event Name:  Startup Repair Office
Problem Signature 01:  6.1.7600.16385
Problem Signature 02:  6.1.7600.16385
Problem Signature 03:  unknown
Problem Signature 04:  21200782
Problem Signature 05: auto failover
Problem Signature 06: 4
Problem Signature 07: No root cause
OS Version: 61.7600.
Locale ID:  1033

My friend has been blessed without the cumbersome burden of wisdom, and often makes foolish decisions while using his machine, such as unchecked "exotic" surfing, and dabbling in untried registry cleaners, despite by recommendations otherwise. I have ensured that his system is equipped with up to date AVG Antivirus, but I realize that is only a simple level of protection.

I know not if this error is even Internet threat related, as it mentions Microsoft Office... attempting to start in safe mode results in the same above error message. I am really hoping that one of you wise wizards can offer a possible solution short of a system reformat and reconstruction. Any help would be highly appreciated.

Many thanks in advance,

Who is Participating?
bigeven2002Connect With a Mentor Commented:
First thing to try is System Restore from boot, it will be in the F8 menu:

Select the System Restore option and set it back to a time were you know it was working properly.

If the system comes back up, I would recommend you do a malware scan with Malware Bytes.  Update it and run it like you would an antivirus.  Unfortunately AVG is not enough to keep your friend protected.  You should do weekly malware scans.
Jackie ManConnect With a Mentor Commented:
If system restore fails, you may need to backup the user data and reset the computer to factory standards.

1. Turn on the computer. When the Dell logo appears, press <F8> several times to access the Windows 7 Advanced Boot Options Window.

2. Select Repair Your Computer.

The System Recovery Options window appears.

3. Select a keyboard layout and click Next.

4. To access the recovery options, log on as a local user. To access the command prompt, type administrator in the User name field, then click OK.

5. Click Dell Factory Image Restore.

NOTE: Depending upon your configuration, you may need to select Dell Factory Tools, then Dell Factory Image Restore.

The Dell Factory Image Restore welcome screen appears.

6. Click Next.

The Confirm Data Deletion screen appears.
NOTICE: If you do not want to proceed with Factory Image Restore, click Cancel.

7. Click the checkbox to confirm that you want to continue reformatting the hard drive and restoring the system software to the factory condition, then click Next.

The restore process begins and may take five or more minutes to complete. A message appears when the operating system and factory-installed applications have been restored to factory condition.

8. Click Finish to reboot the system.
luconstaConnect With a Mentor Commented:
You could try a "repair setup" for Windows 7 and maybe the only applications that will not "survive" will the the Office that could be reinstalled after you have a functional Windows 7 workstation.
zovothAuthor Commented:
Greetings bigeven2002, jackieman and luconsta:

Many thanks for your rapid and helpful replies. Alas, I tried System Restore via the methods you provided, and indeed the restoration stated that it succesfully completed... however, the start up issues still remain.

I did connect my friend's SATA drive to a heathy machine of mine via a SATA to USB adapter, and ran a virus scan, which detected (and removed/disabled) multiple Internet threats. I also backed up his data, before replacing the hard drive and attempting another start up. No go again... looks like a reformat and reconstruction is in order... drat and double-drat!!!

Anyhoo, many thanks for your most welcome assistance, and may the wind be at your back.

Take care,

Thanks Zovoth, you too.
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