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Windows 7 64 bit won't start

tfgeorge
tfgeorge used Ask the Experts™
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On boot up I get a quick blue screen that I can't get because it flashes to quickly. Then I get this:

"Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or  software change might be the cause."
  Safe Mode nor any of the other options work.

I tried running bootrec from a command prompt but it could not identify any windows installations.

I've tried running repair options from the media and it would not work.

What are my options?
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Top Expert 2012

Commented:
Can you even get into Safe Mode? Press F8 after switching on pc, keep pressing until menu appears which will have Safe mode at top
If the machine blue screened there will be a minidump file in C:\Windows\Minidumps folder - if you can load Safe mode and get those files and post them we can analyse and see what is causing the issue...

Other option is press F8 like before - this time choose the option that says 'Disable Automatic Restart' - this will least let you see the blue screen error code
Please check your BIOS for the hard drive settings. If there is an option and it is set to AHCI please try Compatibility mode. Save, exit and test.

Author

Commented:
I was able to recover the entire minidump folder and there is nothing in there from today when this started.

Author

Commented:
I changed it to Compatibility mode and the blue screen changed slightly but same end result.
Top Expert 2012

Commented:
Ok can you see the bluescreen error code?

Author

Commented:
well, i keep trying to see it but it is super fast. i can try again.
Top Expert 2012

Commented:
Use the F8 option, on the menu that comes up you will see the 'Disable Automatic Restart' option - select that and you will see the error
Can you get the Safe mode menu to load?

Author

Commented:
Blue screen snapshotHere it is
Top Expert 2012

Commented:
Ok this is harddrive controller driver error, 7B means the driver for the SATA controller isn't loading

Is this a fresh install of Windows 7?

The BIOS option @David-Howard mentioned usually fixes these bluescreens - but you've tried that without any result yes/no?

What modes can you see in the BIOS? Normally its either AHCI or ATA - can you confirm you can see those options?

Author

Commented:
yes, I changed the HDD controller settting to compatible from ACHI. still blue screening IDE is not an option. I only have compatible or ACHI
Top Expert 2012

Commented:
Ok but is this a new install of Windows 7? What was the last thing you did before this bluescreen started happening?

Have you the Windows 7 installation CD/DVD? You may need to do a repair install if it will not boot

When you switch back to AHCI mode does it give the same bluescreen can you confirm?

Author

Commented:
This is not a new install of Win 7 64 bit. It is a few months old. I could not get the repair install to work. I think it may have been a botched windows updates install.

Here is the blue screen when I switch it back to AHCI
photo.JPG
Top Expert 2012

Commented:
Ok, this is a hard one to fix, I've seen Fatal System errors before, had to reinstall unfortunately

Just before that, can you boot off the Win7 CD into Repair Computer option?
From there you can access System Restore and hopefully there is a restore point you can use to revert back to

Also I notice the previous error isn't appearing(the 7F error in relation to the storage controller) - the only thing you did was switch back to AHCI?
Do you now see the Windows 7 logo when booting?

See if you can do the boot from Win7 DVD/CD - you need to get into System Restore to get moving
If that doesn't work its a reinstall...unless anyone else has ideas...

Author

Commented:
There are no restore points. That feature was turned off. So should I reinstall from image now?
Top Expert 2012
Commented:
I'd say thats the best bet, I've never seen a solution for the c000021 error and I've had a few myself over the years in the IT repair game

Without restore points there's not much else you can do that I know of
Not sure if you have data on the drive but just be aware a reinstall will wipe the drive...