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Windows 7 suddenly corrupt and not starting

Posted on 2012-03-18
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
I have a dell studio 17 about 2.5 years old.  Yesterday, booted like normal in the morning, shut it down (power off) like normal in the afternoon to return home. Went to boot it and went into windows recovery mode.

Cannot boot to safe mode.

Had a program, Farstone's restore it running and it is suppose to keep a snapshot of my computer at all times.

Windows 7 was unable to restore.  Ran restoreit to the previous day.  Said successful, but when rebooted, returned to the windows 7 recovery mode and would not boot normal.

tried restore it again, but apparently it wiped/reset itself or windows wiped out its drive images.

Restore it must have turned off the windows 7 recovery program because now it looks like there is nothing that is able to be restored.

I ran PC check on the hard disk and the hard disk appears to in good working order.

Is there any way to repair windows 7.  While I don't specifically remember the options presented (although restoring to a previous time was there and it did not work.) I do know none of the options as presented seemed to be the right one.

I know I can wipe and reload, but would prefer to keep that for last resort.  

With puppy linux and spideroak I either have my important files backed up or moved to a external drive, so i could wipe it out.  But I have so many programs it will take days/weeks to return to to normal.

Any suggestions or am I hosed and just need to wipe and reload?

Thank you.
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Question by:Jerry Thompson
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Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 50 total points
ID: 37735108
From here and all the things you did, the only thing I can think of now is to run a Windows 7 Repair from your Windows 7 DVD. You need the same Windows as you have on the hard drive, make certain you have backed up critical data, boot from the Windows 7 DVD and select the Repair option.

If that does not work, then start again is the only option left. ... Thinkpads_User
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by:ednetman
ednetman earned 50 total points
ID: 37735128
The web page says they have free tech support.
They should be able to show you how to create the Bootable recovery disk and use your last data save to restore the computer.

Another option would be to use a tool like MSDaRT to run sfc, checkdisk, etc.  It will even let you back out recent updates that may be preventing you from starting up properly.

Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack 2011 R2 is the current version.  I used to have a link for the trial version of the last verson, but it doesn't work anymore.  I'll see if I can find the 30 trial of this version.
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jcimarron earned 50 total points
ID: 37735194
jerlo727--I think thinkpads_user means Repair Install.  In Win 7  you have to be able to boot into Windows first (not so with Win XP).
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/3413-repair-install.html
That will usually leave installed programs and personal data alone (but a backup to an external location is always adviseable).

The alternative is a Clean Install  which will wipe installed programs and personal data as you know .
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/1649-clean-install-windows-7-a.html

I think you have already tried the options in Startup Repair
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/products/features/startup-repair

Did you by any chance create a Boot Repair Disk?  
http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/5409/create-a-system-repair-disc-in-windows-7/

If you do not have an installation Win 7 DVD you might be able to borrow one from a friend.  It has to be the same version as the Win 7 installed.  You would use your own Product Key when asked.
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Expert Comment

by:nirbod
ID: 37738175
Turn off the Laptop, unplug the battery and the charger. Then wait 1-2 minute to completly discharge. Also check the heat around the fan, because if there is a lot of dirt (for almost 3 years) it may start loading but after that to increase the tempriture and to shut down. Is there some error message when the windows starts? Can you see the windows icon before to shut down?
You can try to repair the windows from the DVD which comes with it, if you already did that, pls try one more time for startup repair or full repair.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Jerry Thompson
ID: 37746643
Thank you all for your feed back.  Unfortunately I did not make a bootable repair disk and I tried most of the other options.  While the drive did not fail the testing, I don't feel like I can trust it as the primary drive with this sudden unrecoverable corruption.

So it looks like a new drive and a clean install.  No data is lost because of backups.  But lesson learned. Create a bootable disk and make a full disk image regularly.

Thanks again.
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