Windows 7 Pro - Won't boot - simply installed Garmin and "whap!"

whftherb
whftherb used Ask the Experts™
on
Hello -

I have a fairly new Acer Vertion VX275, with Windows 7 Professional - 32bit.  3gB RAM, 320gB HDD, not close to half full.  Graphics off the Mobo.  Been working smoothly until the other day.  I bought a Garmin GPS and registered the device at Garmin.  They offered a map update and as the Garmin was connected via USB, I allowed.  It went through and downloaded the map file(s) and claimed success.  Disconnected the Garmin (via the icon in the systray) and  shut down.  I went to dinner.  Came back and attempted to power up.  This is what I'm now facing:

Power on - one beep.
Screen blank for a moment.
BIOS POST runs.
Screen blank for a moment.
"Starting Windows"
4 colored light balls animated forming the ubiquitous flag.
Screen blank for a moment.
"Setup is starting services"
Halts with an error box, mid screen, announcing:  "Windows could not complete the installation.  To install Windows on this computer, restart the installation".
The Garmin install or update has apparently triggered a more serious event.
I've fired up an Ultimate Boot CD which gives me an XP desktop and use of Explorer.  I've drilled down to \Windows\system32\config and found the files containing five registry hives.  All are dated today and have a filesize of 256kB.  I looked one folder down in \regback and found the corresponding 5 hives from yesterday.  They're all 0 bytes.

Does Win7 store further earlier copies of the registry elsewhere?  Do I have any other options at this point rather than reinstall?  Acer gives you the hidden recovery partition and I know how to get into that.  I did make a recovery CD but of course that's not going to fix this.

What are my options, good people?

H
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leakim971Multitechnician
Top Expert 2014

Commented:

Author

Commented:
Good point.  I should have included that in my explanation.  My fault...
Invoking "Last Good..."   yields the exact same sequence.

H

Commented:
Tap F8 while the computer is booting ..select repair my computer...then select system restore option...restore the computer to an earlier time.



Ded9
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Author

Commented:
Yep - wish I could.
That option off the Advanced Boot category is missing/not available.
This thing is hosed, isn't it...

H
Robert RComputer Service Technician

Commented:
can you boot in safe mode? if so try to restore your computer to an earlier time once it boots into windows

Author

Commented:
No safe mode.  All of the selections on the Advanced Boot Menu yield the same sequence/result seen in the original post.  This is the first Win 7 system I've seen that has this problem where you can't get to the desktop and you can't go into safe mode or Last Good...

Hate to say it, but... I'm not feeling lucky.

H
Top Expert 2011

Commented:
I suppose you didn't create a "system repair disk".  Win 7, when you start to type "create a system restore disk"  "Create a system restore Disk" comes up in the list of found items by the time you have typed "create"

This found item runs "recdisc.exe" from Windows\system32 folder.  It creates a disc you can use to access system recovery options like a bootable Win 7 DVD would give you.  From there, you should be able to access system restore points.

Instructions with screenshots at the following link

Create a System Repair Disc in Windows 7

Since this is basically the same as the recovery environment found on a Windows 7 DVD,  I don't see why you couldn't make one of these CD's on another Win 7 Pro computer and use it on yours.

I looked at mine and all it has on it is bootmgr, a BCD file pointing to the Boot.wim in the resources folder.  The boot.wim has all the system files necessary to repair your system

When mine was finished burning, the instructions were to label it "Windows 7 Repair Disk 64 Bit"

This implies to me that it should be able to rescue ANY 64 Bit Win 7.

At this point in time, I think its worth a try, isn't it?
Commented:
If you have the recovery disc disc then u can do a system restore ....boot from recovery disc...post the options that u see on your screen.


Ded9

Commented:
Take a pic using your cellphone and post the pic in EE.


Ded9
Top Expert 2013
Commented:
look if a friend has an install disk (preferably same version)
then you can do a system restore, or a repair

Author

Commented:
Well, here we go.  Retrieved a Win 7 Pro install media (not a recovery) disk from a partner.  Inserted and booted to the Win 7 Recovery set.    First option:  Repair Windows...  reports that it could not find any problems.  Second option:  Restore Point....  reports that it could not find any earlier restore point(s).   Other options:  I don't think any of these are going to help solve this.  

Time to reinstall Windows?

H

Commented:
Try this command

bootrec /rebuildbcd

and then restart the computer



Ded9

Author

Commented:
OK, using the Win 7 install media, I brought up a DOS command window.
Executed command bootrec /rebuildbcd.
DOS box is frozen.  Hard reset is the only way out.  Reboot, retry, DOS box returns to cmd prompt.
Reboot to HDD, no difference.  As in the past, this system almost gets to the desktop, it looks like it's going to work.  But you always come to a point where:  Setup is Starting Services and then "Windows could not complete the installation, etc. etc."  Same point every time.

Thanks for hanging in there this long with me.  I'm sure others would have given up by now.

H

Commented:
sound like a critical service is disabled...try sfc /scannow and then reboot the computer and check.

If this step does not work then

Tap F8 during boot...select boot logging mode...it will create  ntbtlog.txt,...boot from windows 7 dvd and open notepad....click on open in open notepad and browse to the file ntbtlog.txt, ....connect a flash drive...copy the file ntbtlog.txt, and upload it in EE.



Ded9

Commented:
Also just make sure u have video, power, keyboard, mouse ..only these devices connected...disconnect the reset and reboot the computer.


Ded9
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
seems qomzething wrong with the hardware
run Ram and disk diag from UBCD   http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/      
Robert RComputer Service Technician

Commented:
It is possible that the download you installed may of had a virus attached and hosed your operating system. If you cant run the sfc /scannow command, at a dos prompt then there is not much you can do. It seems like you have tried everything except doing an os reinstall. Looks like you need to back up your data and wipe the drive clean then do a reinstall.
Top Expert 2011

Commented:
If the Win 7 RE found no problems with start up, it's quite likely that there is a virus involved here.  You need to scan the drive from a bootable virus rescue disk.  Even if all you do is rescue your data and reinstall, you'd be better off knowing what is infected and whether it's safe to use after you reinstall.  If your system files got infected you could still have a chance of a repair once the disk is free of any virus.

I'm still curious regarding the ntbootlog.txt.  The last item failing to load is usually part of the problem.  In your case, even after you resolve the first issue revealed by the boot log, more may follow if you never get to run the SFC tool successfully.

You've been held out of your system with this issue for three days now, and no one is going to blame you if you just give up and reinstall.  Sometimes this is ultimately the most efficient method to get back up and running again.

Author

Commented:
OK, here's more in trying to follow the many different avenues provided here:

sfc /scannow - completes without complaint.  Again, that's going against the install folder on the HDD I presume because I'm not asked for the install media which I do not have thanks to "progress".

ntbtlog.txt is not being created though I've asked for it.  I searched for it with the DOS box (I remember those days!) and also with my XP Live CD.  It must be created just before WinLogon fires but I never reach that critical point.

Perif devices are mouse, keyboard, monitor - that's it.  No USB, no camera, no gaming controller.  Nada.

Hardware:  Fairly new hardware but...   Memtest - from Live CD - runs w/ no errors.  I stopped it myself because I thought 6.5 hours on "thorough" was enough.  Just as a safety measure, I also performed a chkdsk /f.  3.5 hours later, reports disk solid as a rock.  It's a Seagate drive so I grabbed a copy of SeaTools and used that too to "find/correct" bad sectors.  It found none to correct.

Virus:  I had the new Garmin connected up to my USB port and it triggered automatically the new map download request for service.  I obeyed and watched as it downloaded and installed the maps to the Garmin from what appeared to be in reality the real Garmin site.  The maps on the Garmin are dead on according to Garmin's phone support.  I've since visited the Garmin site again to make sure and all things being equal,I don't think Garmin would be p-----g off users by allowing viral content.  We'd have heard about it by now, I believe.

The XP Live CD allows networking.  I went to TrendMicro and ran their online scan and check against the C:\ drive which XP's Live CD identifies.  Wish it would find something so I know what I battling.

The data IS there - I can see it, feel it, touch it!  I've now stripped it off to a USB external.  There fortunately wasn't that much due to the newness of the system.  But I resued \Users\Owner and all subfolders plus Favorites.

I think I'm done.  Let's go with Jim-R's suggestion and bite the bullet....  Again, I do not fear losing data - I have it in my hand so to speak.

H



Robert RComputer Service Technician

Commented:
Not sure what corrupted your operating system, especially when running a sfc /scannow could not correct the problem, I would then think it would be a driver issue, but then if it was a driver issue you would be able to boot to safe mode. Normally when booting into safemode only the default windows drivers are loaded up, ie a windows driver for your video card, which gives basic functionality to the system that is it. Since your system seems clear of viruses, this is a mystery to what is causing the problem... Yeah I remember the ole dos days... lots of fun learning new commands. As mentioned by myself and Jim... go ahead and do an os reinstall, since you already backed up your data.
Top Expert 2011

Commented:
This whole thing has made me totally gun shy of Garmin GPS.  Kinda makes you want to use the Public Library's computer to update your maps, doesn't it?  

Maybe use VM Ware and make a virtual OS to trash on your next map update :o)
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
if you need the data, boot from the live Knoppix cd, and copy it to an external disk :
ftp://ftp.kernel.org/pub/dist/knoppix/KNOPPIX_V6.4.4CD-2011-01-30-EN.iso

Commented:
U need to check Windows folder for Ntbtlog.txt

Try this command again

bootrec /rebuildbcd

or first ry


bootrec /scanos

and then restart the computer


Ded9

Author

Commented:
OK, I retried this with F8 > boot logging enabled.  Remember this completely froze on me once before.  This time it does not.  Restart.  Fails.

I then fire up my XP Live CD.  I drilled down to the Windows folder.  I made sure that system files and Hidden files were exposed.  Meticulously carefully scrolled down through every file.  This took five minutes - there's a lot of files in there.  ntbtlog.txt is not there.  

Just to be sure, I once again, repeated the steps through F8 > boot logging, etc.  Restart - Fails. Immediately went with the Windows 7 install media.  Opened a DOS box.  Navigated to the Windows folder (c:\>  cd Windows)  I see I am in C:\Windows >   dir *.txt.  Pulls out 16 .txt files - none of them are labeled "Ntbtlog.txt".  In fact, none of them have even a recent date including today's date but are dated mostly in Nov 2010 when apparently this thing came off the line.

"bootrec /scanos" - this runs for about 2 minutes.  No errors and NO messages either!  Just the DOS prompt.  Restart.  Fails.

You folks know better than I but I don't think this ntbtlog.txt gets written until the essential drivers and core .dlls get put in place so that it can in fact write the file out.  If a particularly necesary core service dies before the critical point, no file writing takes place.

I can't really blame this totally on Garmin.  This might have just been waiting to happen and the imposition of some Garmin file, threw it over the cliff.  Hard to say.  I do know it was working perfectly just prior - nary a whimper.

I actually ran this in to a local shop.  Guy there tries pretty much the same stuff we've done.  Says he's never seen this before.  Wanna leave it?  This statement did not fill me with confidence so I took the computer back home.

I'm very certain I have a good data set, in fact 3 of them now.  I'm going to go now and hit ALT-F10 which is the Acer detour to the hidden partition and their e-Recovery process for the factory image.

Wish me luck.

H


Commented:
You can launch notepad and backup u r data first on external hard drive....and then u can format and install windows.

Just one last thing what happens when u boot to  disable automatic restart on system failure

u will get this when u tap F8



Ded9


Robert RComputer Service Technician
Commented:
he already backed up his data a number of times ded9. He has already gone through enough troubleshooting steps. Doing a factory reinstall is probably the least painful way of reinstalling the os, even though you will still need to reinstall any windows update and remove the crapware or software the manufactures install that nobody wants. ... or trialware. You will also have to reinstall all your applications such as ms office, security/antivirus software, etc.

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