Windows 7 will not boot

I think I am at reinstall from scratch time but I wanted to ask around first to make sure I am not missing anything.

Dell PC running windows 7 Pro 64. User reported to me this morning that the machine completely froze up & would not respond. He did a hard reset [held power button down] & on starting up the machine gets to the windows loading graphic, stops then reboots. Two options come up; start normally & launch startup repair. Start normally just repeats the process. Startup repair cannot find anything to repair.

- I have tried booting into a 3 safe modes, it fails at loading classpnp.sys then reboots.

- I have tried going back a few instances of System Restores, same error.

- I have tried this, no joy.

- I wanted to do a repair reinstall of Win 7 but you have to be able to boot into windows in the first place to do that.

- I also ran the BIOS hardware diagnostic on the machine & everything checked back as OK.

In the absence of any specific error messages I am now out of ideas. Anything I am missing or is it reinstall time?
Who is Participating?
JAN PAKULAICT Infranstructure ManagerCommented:
can you start machine pressing F8 and choose disable automatic system restart on system failure - then post here lovely blue screen code you will see - something like 0x0000007B

I recommend doing chkdsk /f to fix any issues. Boot the PC using from the recovery console. From the command prompt, type chkdsk /f

This will take a while and MAY resolve the issue.
First thing I'd do is chkdsk

Either boot up into the Recovery console(the same area as Startup Repair is run from)
From there launch the Command Prompt
chkdsk c: /r

It will repair disk

Or boot from something like BartPE boot disk
Cloud Class® Course: Certified Penetration Testing

This CPTE Certified Penetration Testing Engineer course covers everything you need to know about becoming a Certified Penetration Testing Engineer. Career Path: Professional roles include Ethical Hackers, Security Consultants, System Administrators, and Chief Security Officers.

Stelian StanNetwork AdministratorCommented:
Try "Last known configuration". Boot the system > press F8 and chose that option.
WJPR_ITAuthor Commented:
CHKDSK came back clean, forgot to add that to the OP. Last Known good does not work, from any of the restore points I tried.
Have you tried sfc /scannow ?
If sfc /scannow does not work try...

1. Boot into Windows Recovery Mode

2. Open command prompt

3. Type:

Also try the following:
1. Unplug everything (power cord, mouse, keyboard, etc.)
2. If it's a laptop remove the battery as well
3. Then press the power button a few times
4. Then plug everything back in and try booting it again

A lot of times this process will resolve these types of issues.  It discharges all of the power from the motherboard and lets the computer have more of a fresh startup.
WJPR_ITAuthor Commented:
tried booting off the install disk, repair tools & command prompt then running the sfc /scannow commands but I just get this error:

There is a system repair pending that requires a reboot to complete. Restart Windows and run sfc again.

Rebooting & booting off the install disk then running it again gets the same error.
WJPR_ITAuthor Commented:
running the extended command:

gets a different error:
Windows Resource Protection could not start the repair service.
reseat memory?
WJPR_ITAuthor Commented:
Reseated the memory [though no memory beeps to suggest a fault] and unplugged all power, CMOS battery, hdd, RAM & Graphics cards for 1 hour, still the same issue.
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
any windows image backups that you can restore from?
I've requested that this question be deleted for the following reason:

Not enough information to confirm an answer.
WJPR_ITAuthor Commented:
There were lots of good answers, I just need to post an update & award points.
WJPR_ITAuthor Commented:
janpakula I somehow missed your comment. Turning the automatic restart off gave me the blue screen, which gave me an error message & that in turn lead to the solution.

In this instance the OS had lost / corrupted the driver for the HDD in its current mode so I was able to change that in the BIOS which presented it differently to the OS & it booted fine from there.

Thanks everyone else for the suggestions.
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.