I have an HP Pavilion 9700 with Vista OS which recently would not start windows consistently. I copied the complete hard drive to external backup drive. My hard drive has a recovery partition to restore the computer to its original state. I tried to use the restore partition, but it did not work. I tried to do a windows repair using a retail Vista Disk and this would not work. I used the diagnostics in the Bios and it says replace Hard drive. I searched and found a fix to repair the MBR and now I get this error every time. Is my Hard drive finished or is there something else I can try to fix this problem?
Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause. To fix the problem:
1. Insert your Windows installation disk and restart your computer
2. Choose your language settings, and then click “Next”
3. Click “repair your computer”
If you do not have this disk, contact your system administrator or computer manufacturer for assistance.
Info: An error occurred while attempting to read the boot configuration data.
I was not able to get safe mode to run. I gave up and Purchased a new hard drive.
I tried reloading Vista home edition, which came with the laptop, but the DVD would spin and nothing happened. I tried both the recovery DVD's that came with the laptop and a retail Vista DVD with same results.
I was able to load the retail Vista on a thumb drive that I made bootable and tried to load that way. A splash screen would come up and showed memory check etc and then stopped for 5 minutes or more sometimes before it found and showed details of the new hard drive and also the thumb drive. After that it would sometimes just reboot itself or just freeze there and I would have to reboot. I did this so many times I actually don't remember how, but it finally started to load the OS. When it came time for the OS to reboot itself, I would have the same restart delays. In the end the OS did load, but there were about 7 items in the device manager that did not have drivers. Dvd drive did not load, nor the network device, system coprocessor and three other system items listed with the same name. A friend came over and attached a usb dvd drive and was not able to get the system to read the disks. In the end he is going to formate the new hard drive on another Vista system and start over.
For the drivers you can go to HP's website and download from there, along with the utilities. Replacing the HDD was a good thing, and a clean install of the OS is always better than a system restore, with all the bloatware that comes with that. Make sure the BIOS was reset to default options.
After a format of the new hard drive on another Vista computer there was still a problem getting the OS loaded. It seems there may be other problems with the laptop. Not too hard to believe, because HP replaced the motherboard just a year ago and probably with the same faulty design. At this point I guess I should end this quest for an answer to this problem. Thanks for the help in any case.