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SSD + Windows 7 very unstable, constant startup repair, fails to boot

Last response: in Windows 7
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May 12, 2013 1:06:05 PM

I've had a Dell Precision M4500 laptop for about 2 1/2 years. It has run fine all this time. I've been using a Seagate 750GB SSD / HDD Hybrid for about eight months, until it recently became unstable. No new drivers, hardware or software were installed. It began going to Startup Repair at every boot. Safe Mode would not work either. After many attempts, I chalked it up to the drive going bad.

I purchased a new Seagate 1TB SSD / HDD Hybrid. Installed Win 7 Pro and began installing drivers and Win updates. I attempted this about five times, each time Win 7 would install smoothly, but during one of the driver installs or during one of the Win updates, when required to reboot, I could not get back to Windows. Startup repair would come up each time and say it could not fix the computer. If I tried Safe Mode, it would begin to load and then cut to Startup Repair again. In those five attempts, there were one or two BSOD's, other times the Windows logo would begin to fly in, but then it would cut to startup repair again. Each of the five times the failure to boot seemed to be caused by a different circumstance. Once it was because I installed my WiFi card driver, another time it was after a Windows Security Update, another time it was after I installed the .NET framework. Once Windows began going to startup repair, I could never get it back. Each time I wiped the drive clean and started over. Bad drive again?

Next, I purchased a new Samsung SSD 500GB 840 Series. The exact scenario described above occurred with this drive too. I attempted about 3 times. Bad drive again? Exact type of thing that would happen to me.

Frustrated, I pulled out an old Seagate 250GB HDD 5400rpm drive. I installed Windows 7, all drivers, all updates, Win 7 SP1, all my data, all my programs on the first try. Success.

After my successful install, I created a system image using Win 7. I then wiped out the Samsung SSD and imaged it with the successful install. This seemed to work great, and for a few days I got some work done. After about 3 days, I connected my Samsung Galaxy II by USB cable and I installed a Cisco app required by one of my clients. I've used the Cisco app for many years without a problem. After attempting to reboot, Windows went back to startup repair and that whole installation was gone again.

I'm currently using an old Seagate 500GB 7200rpm, I started it with the successful image from above and it is rock solid. It's killing me to have seen the speed of an SSD and have to come back to this. Is my system doomed to never be able to use an SSD or a hybrid? Could I have purchased 2 different drives that were bad, in a row? I am just itching to go out and get another SSD and try again. Any suggestions? Your insight and advice would be greatly appreciated.
May 12, 2013 3:42:46 PM

Redemmer, thanks. You're right, I haven't updated the BIOS. I hadn't heard of mSATA until now. I'm looking into it.
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