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Can't boot from Windows 7

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Last Modified: 2018-12-11
Hi all,

I have a PC (running Windows 7 SP1) that won't boot.
The situations is this;

At every boot I get the black DOS screen with 2 Windows options: 1. Repair Windows (Recommended) and 2. Start Windows normally.
If I choose the first one (repair) it starts up the repair and the boots and then all over again with repair, reboot etc.
If I choose the second option (start normally) I see the Windows logo under booting for a short while and then the PC boots all over again and sends me to the black screen with the 2 options.

I then created a Windows Repair & Recover CD and booted from that.
From here I have used "Reapir Windows" which completed successfully and the rebooted - only to come back to the black screen with the 2 options.
From the repair CD I have also tried the Command Prompt and used the "bootrec /fixmbr", "bootrec /fixboot" and "bootrec /rebuildbcd" - nothing helped. I then (from the CMD) ran the "diskpart.exe" and noticed that my "[SYSTEM]"-drive was 0 MB and I had another driver with no drive letter assign saying 465 GB. That seems to be my normal C-drive - but it's now a RAW type format.

I have tried "Test Disk Live" but can't really seems to figur out how to use it prober.

Any suggestions??

Thanks in advance.

P.S. I know I can create a brand new installation - but the purpose here is to save the current Windows installation since it contains some software installations I can't re-create.
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Matt MinorTechnical Systems Analyst
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Commented:
Check system BIOS under storage configuration for the disk mode. I can't remember what settings should be there, but AHCI comes to mind- sometimes changing the disk mode will allow the boot process to complete.

if it does not work, switch it back to its original setting.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
In addition to the above, when you are in BIOS, reset BIOS to default settings and make sure Boot Order is set to removable device first and hard drive second.  

See if it restarts properly.

If the suggestions here do not work and the Repairs you have done do not work, you need to back up and reinstall Windows.

Good time to move on to Windows 10 if you can.
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Commented:
I think that the most significant observation you've shared is that there is a 465G drive that is listed as "Raw".  This isn't a problem with BIOS settings, boot order, or boot files.  It's an issue with the volume being damaged.

I'd pull the drive out and analyze it as a second drive in another computer.  My preferred tool is GetDataBack from runtime.org, but I've also had good success with EaseUS Partition Manager with a similar problem.  These are likely to be able to recover files, but recovering the full drive (including your applications) is less likely.  I did have Partition Manager repair a "Raw" drive once, though.  You may be as fortunate!

If the data is critical, consider making an exact duplicate of it before proceeding.  This can be done either with software or with a physical disk duplicator.  You can find a number of these on Amazon for under $40.

If the data is very critical, don't do anything with the drive other than sending it to a drive recovery company.
William FulksIT Services Analyst
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Commented:
Sounds like you got a bad hard drive. If I were you, I'd be thinking recovery and stop trying to boot from it before you risk losing more data.

As for your software installations, what is it about them that you recreate?

Author

Commented:
Thanks for your suggestions so far - and yes, I'm willing to try almost everything to get PC back up.
I have now tried the BIOS with no luck.

I agree with CompProbSolv that the significant thing is the RAW state one of my partitions is in. I will now try the EaseUS Partition Manager software.

As for your software installations, what is it about them that you recreate?
I no longer have the software installed on the machine and it's no longer in production and I can't find it anywhere on the Internet. I guess I have to start searching for a different solution.
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Commented:
i would first test the drive with the manufacturer's diagnostic tool, like WD lifeguard for WD drives, or seatools for seagate ones
you can find them all on the UBCD
if you want, i can give more info on the UBCD
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Commented:
One comment on the Partition Manager.....

The one drive I encountered that was listed as Raw that was fixed by PM: it took two tries (no idea why) to fix it.  Both times I did the same repair (don't recall specifics, probably "fix partition").  The first time didn't resolve it.  The second time the drive came back to life and everything was visible.  I have no clue why the first attempt didn't work.

Before the repair, files were retrievable with GetDataBack.  Afterwards, the drive booted.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
I no longer have the software installed on the machine …..  I guess I have to start searching for a different solution.

If it comes to that (and it appears the machine is not going to work), then even more, now is probably the time for a new machine.
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This one is on us!
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
That was my very answer earlier on. I think you should have recognized it.

Author

Commented:
I did not find a solution to my problem. I new all the way that I could install a new PC for the user - but that would still leave me with the case unsolved.

I do thank you all for your inputs - but sorry to say - it did not help me.

Author

Commented:
That was my very answer earlier on. I think you should have recognized it.

Hi John,
I appreciate your inputs - but it did not solve the problem. That's why I can't give points to you or others for that matter.

I do hope you understand.
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Commented:
you never responded to other posts, so we can't help...
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Commented:
How far did you get with EaseUS Partition Manager?

Author

Commented:
you never responded to other posts, so we can't help...

@nobus - sorry, but I missed your comment. Somehow my eyes skipped that one.

@CompProbSolv - I tried 3-4 different software tools but neither of them could get the partition out of the RAW state. I did clone the disk upfront  - in case I needed to get back to 'the start'. Every tool just keeps telling me the partition was 0 MB... I did not even manage to get into any directories on the partition so no was recovered :-(
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Commented:
did you try UBCD?
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Commented:
"I tried 3-4 different software tools"
Were EaseUS Partition Manager or GetDataBack included in the tools you tried?

Author

Commented:
did you try UBCD?

@nobus - no, I did not try UBCD. As you can read from my earlier comment - I missed your post.

Were EaseUS Partition Manager or GetDataBack included in the tools you tried?

@CompProbSolv - I could only find EaseUS Partition Master....and as far as I could see/read it had nothing to do with recovery (only modifying, resizing etc.). I gave up (after 3 days) before I got to GetDataBack.
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