Startup repair failure -- where are boot files stored?


My system (Win 7 Ultimate) doesn't boot and Startup Repair is unable to fix the problem. I have two back ups -- one is a system image made 4 months ago and second is a copy of system files (not an image) made by taking out the hard disks *after* this event. I plan to install the system image and then copy and paste almost all files (system files as well as stored data) from the second backup. I need to know which system files I should NOT copy and paste so as to avoid the repeat of booting problem.


My one and a half year old nephew has a thing for switches. While I was away a few days back, he repeatedly pressed the UPS button to which the PC is connected. This led to the computer booting into startup repair, fixing the problem and booting up properly. It booted up once again the next day. But the day after, it just refused to boot and automatically going into startup repair which doesn't work. I've tried everything - booting from the original Windows 7 DVD and performing startup repair there (doesn't work), trying system restore to three older dates (doesn't work), safe mode (doesn't boot); Chkdsk /R all drives (found 8 kb in bad sector on the drive that has windows but still no effect on startup repair); memory diagnostic (no problem with memory); and finally, I tried repairing the boot record using bootrec.exe commands - that didn't work either.

I can just install from the image backup created 4 months ago but then I'd lose a LOT of data from the last four months. Plus I want to retain certain configuration settings related to a thin client connected with the system. I had the PC configured at the site of the thin client vendor and would have to take it there again if I lose those settings and I'm not sure if they will entertain me this time.

So, as I said, I'm going to do system image recovery from the first backup (old system image) and then copy paste data on all the drives from second backup (latest data copied after the crash). I need to know where does windows 7 store boot related files so that I don't copy paste them. Any other suggestions are also welcome.

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  1. Windows 7 stores all the "boot files" in a partition it creates upon install called "System Reserved."

    You can see this partition using Disk Management: start/computer/right-click/manage/disk management. BUt that is useless information if you can't even boot up.

    I think it is corrupt, since you can't do a "startup repair."

    Try using EasyBCD to repair your MBR. Then again, it's Windows based, and if you can't boot up....
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