Windows 7 Stuck on Starting Windows

I have a bout 7 machines at various locations that after a storm passed through get stuck at Starting Windows and never load Windows.

They will work in Safe mode with Networking, but not Normal mode.

They vary between Dell Laptops/Desktops and one Lenovo Desktop and Windows 7 32 and 64-Bit.

I've tried about every solution online and tried power supply, memory and ran hard drive diag and no luck.

Any help would greatly be appreciated.
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Mark BillExchange, AD, SQL, VMware, HPE, 3PAR, FUD, Anti MS Tekhnet, Pro EE, #1Commented:
sounds like a driver problem or application program, try booting into clean vanilla mode set the settings in safe more.

set all non windows services to disabled in msconfig.

configure boot to safe mode here too.

windows should boot up now do some troubleshooting starting services individually. try this,

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
truth_talkerAuthor Commented:
I tried that to.  I booted to safe mode and disabled startup items and all non microsoft services and same thing.
Mark BillExchange, AD, SQL, VMware, HPE, 3PAR, FUD, Anti MS Tekhnet, Pro EE, #1Commented:
what do you mean 7 different computers with the same problem after a storm passed through? what happened to them did the computer log an unexpected shutdown in the event low of all 7 machines because of a power outage?
Acronis True Image 2019 just released!

Create a reliable backup. Make sure you always have dependable copies of your data so you can restore your entire system or individual files.

truth_talkerAuthor Commented:
after a storm went through on 2 consecutive nights several customer called describing the same problem.

One was a laptop which had a battery so it shouldn't have lost power the but the rest were desktops that were likely no on UPS's.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Unless the storm caused a major power surge, a power off should not break an operating system. Do you think there was a big surge?

In safe mode, open cmd.exe with Run as Administrator and run SFC /SCANNOW. Allow to complete, shut down, start up and test.
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Try on one of them restoring to a system restore point.
truth_talkerAuthor Commented:
I tried SFC /scannow on one and that did not work.
Trying restore point now.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
If the damage from the power surge (is this correct?), you may need to do a Windows Repair Install. For this you need a working recovery partition or the Windows 7 DVD. Here is a Seven Forums Tutorial to assist you with this.
dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.Commented:
How many different locations?

And are the computers/locations connected in any way; such as domain or belonging to the same overall customer/owner?
i think you cannot assume all these pc's have the same problem
you'll have to look up the problems for each one separately
probably you'll be able to repair some, while others have to do a factory restore - or fresh install
truth_talkerAuthor Commented:
There are 2 in the first location, both Desktops

Three in the second location, 2 desktops and 1 laptop.

Two in the third location, both desktops.  

All but one are Dell's.  All Have Windows 7 Pro 32 or 64 Bit.  The first two locations are in the same city blocks from each other and the third in another city about 20 minutes away.

All three locations were on separate networks but all on AD Domains.

I have tried booting to the Windows CD and doing a system restore.  That appears to work for one reboot and then back to the same problem.

I'm thinking I will end up with doing fresh installs on all of them but was trying to avoid that.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
You might try a fresh install on one. If one fresh install works fine, then you may have to do this. But you should also check your environment, and ask an electrician about storm surge protection.
it can be the motherboard(s) are hit, and need to be replaced
you can always test if they run fine from a live OS CD, like Knoppix :      

if this runs ok - the hardware is probably fine (at least for 95 %)
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Have you tried then after system restore doing the following: kick the machine out of domain and readd it again.
Try also to start without network controller enabled.
Mike TLeading EngineerCommented:

I think I would start by ignoring Windows and verify that the hardware of each machine is still 100% OK.
This is probably best done by using the OEM hardware test at BIOS level. For the Dells it is something like this:

The alternative is to create a bootable CD like ... Knoppix which is Unix based. This is a long test what-ever you use.

Once done you can rule out hardware problems, if they pass, and focus on fixing Windows but I think you've already tried any solutions.

I would rebuild one and wait to see if it still develops the fault. I have a hunch that the RAM has hard errors which means you'll have to swap them out.
The problem with any electrical storm is not the lack of any UPS but surge protectors. When cathode ray TVs were all the rage people would rush to unplug the TV aerial from the wall to avoid the lightning blowing up the TV. Unfortunately RAM is probably 1000 times more sensitive and far less spectacular. Just random unexplained faults or constant faults that cause software failure.

The best (arguably) test tool for RAM is memtest free from PassMark. They also have a burn-in test which is ideal for what I'm talking about.

Good luck,

Mike  - the cd you refer too is illegal, and not accepted here "hirxx"
Mike TLeading EngineerCommented:
Ah - apologies. I can see why now you mention it. I  never actually used it - just heard other people recommend it. It's probably easier to use a custom WinPE but that requires some knowledge.

truth_talkerAuthor Commented:
I took a new hard drive and installed into one of the systems.

windows loads fine now, working on drivers to make sure it still loads fine after that.

After trying the system restore, removing from domain and disabling network card i think a clean install is going to be my only/quickest option compared to trying to fix without the clean install.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
It looks the surge was a serious hit to the operating system (and possibly the hard drive). So if a new drive works, fresh install of Windows is probably a plan going forward.
keep an eye on it - other parts can be hit also
and yes, a clean install is by far the best solution
Do you have AVG installed.... I believe this is your answer.  An AVG update went bad during the storms we had here as well and when the workstations rebooted after shutting down from power loss, stuck on windows starting.

I have had to uninstall AVG on several of my client's workstations:

I used the AVG remover tool from safe mode:

Good luck, Rob.
i dont' see why you accepted that answer - since in the next post you said
"I tried that to.  I booted to safe mode and disabled startup items and all non microsoft services and same thing. "
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I am also confused because the stated fix was a new hard drive and fresh Windows install as some other answers supported / suggested.
A fresh install is not a solution in my eyes, that's giving up :-)

I am curious if you had AVG installed. I have had to remove and reinstall it on 4 workstations. That is a pretty decent percentage of my total clients.
Mark BillExchange, AD, SQL, VMware, HPE, 3PAR, FUD, Anti MS Tekhnet, Pro EE, #1Commented:
thank you sir, bless and gl.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows 7

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.