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Windows won't start, Error: Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might have caused the issue after yo

Last response: in Windows 7
May 9, 2013 4:49:53 AM

Error: Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might have caused the issue after you install Windows Updates

Hello, this is my first post here.

My friend's laptop displays this message as I try to start it, I've tried both 'startup repair' and 'last good known conf' in the Advanced startup after pressing F8. In both cases it seems to be starting up Windows, but as the 'starting Windows' screen proceeds to the screen where you have the blue default Windows 7 background for logging in users, it stops right there. The mouse indicator is on the screen and I can move it, but the screen stays blank. Sometimes it automatically starts rebooting.

This happened as he (my friend) angrily smashed his Samsung laptop with the palm of his hand a few times when he was being an unpatient idiot. He described it to me where he hit it, and I think he struck it about right on the HDD every time he hit it. So I suppose the HDD could be damaged. I've also tried the Samsung recovery solution v4 which is included in the system, but it still read 'please wait' while nothing had happened yet after more than 20 minutes.

My question now is, should I try using another HDD, or try fixing the OS with a bootable disc? I'm quite convinced the HDD could be damaged, but how can I be sure of this? I don't hear anything rattling or bad about the HDD, it sounds normal.
a b $ Windows 7
May 9, 2013 4:54:06 AM

If there's no critical data on the hdd, i'd just try and reload windows. You could run diagnostics and see if that finds anything. Samsung may have diagnostics to check hardware, and there are several HDD tools that can check the HDD.
May 9, 2013 7:09:32 AM

Thank you for your (quick!) answer. Yes, I will reload will reinstall Windows (if that's what you mean) if I have to. But if the hdd is broken that won't help much either, right? About the diagnostics, can't I run them from for example Hiren's bootcd? Then I could perhaps determine whether it is broke or not before I have to buy an OS disc..
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a b $ Windows 7
May 9, 2013 10:28:51 AM

Yes, use hiren's and run diagnostics.
May 11, 2013 5:04:36 AM

I am now running HDTune and it shows some damaged blocks yes, I suppose that only a few of those damaged blocks could cause enough trouble to fail a Windows startup. It's only very small percentage 1.2% while a third has been quickscanned, I guess that I will still be able to recover most of the undamaged data. Thanks for your help!