How to fix Windows 7 boot loop?

Hi everyone.

I used to think I was pretty decent at computer stuffs until a couple of days ago.
I sold my old ATX mobo and replaced it with an ASRock M-ITX motherboard because I wanted a smaller system.
However, I didn't really know that I had to delete the old mobo drivers before setting up a new rig. Upon pushing the power button, I am greeted with a black screen stating that W7 can't boot properly. If I press "Start Windows normally" it bootloops.
Thus, I downloaded Hiren's boot cd and followed the instructions from this thread:

http://www.daniweb.com/hardware-and-software/microsoft-windows/windows-vista-and-windows-7-8/threads/281576/using-a-new-motherboard-with-windows-7-on-an-old-hard-drive#

(Please look at the post by dcoetzee, #8)

I've found the Fix HDD controller program, but my 500GB HDD (which stores my W7) is not recognized. It is recognized in the UEFI BIOS, but not in miniXP.

******NOTE: I am booting hirens from a USB flash drive, not a CD, since I do not have any spare CDs lying around!!!


If anyone could help me with this issue, I'd greatly appreciate it.

Thank you in advance!
9 answers Last reply
More about windows boot loop
  1. What kind of windows 7 license do you own? I know OEM licenses link the motherboard's ID to itself.

    Any reason why you can't do a clean install?
  2. I have W7 Pro, since my school gives it to us for free :/
    I'd rather not do a clean install if the issue can be fixed with Hiren's BCD :/
    It's just too much of a hassle and I have some documents that I need to recover.
    Furthermore, since I downloaded it through the school servers, I don't have an actual physical CD available.

    Thanks for the response!
  3. I understand, although I don't know how much quicker that route will be.

    A fresh install of W7 Pro with SP1 isn't that time consuming or a hassle. Once the image is loaded up you basically follow the prompts and it does all the work, no hassle really =/.

    You don't need a physical CD. If you downloaded the ISO that's all you need. You can burn it to a flash drive and boot it up.

    EDIT: Also I was wondering on what type of license you had, not the edition.
  4. I don't know the license :0

    And the .iso is on my HDD, which is refusing to boot properly and is unrecognized by MiniXP.
    All I really need to do is figure out how to get miniXP to find my hard drive and I can do a backup / clran install from there.
  5. Okay, well be careful, some school software programs have keys that are only good for one install. Is your school part of dreamspark (formerly msdnaa)?
  6. Motherboard transplants are not really recommended and can lead to a lot of problems even if it seems to be working at first. Your best bet would be a format and re-install of the OS. There is a lot more than the HDD controllers that are going to cause problems with when replacing a component like a mainboard. I have even seen problems when replacing a mainboard of the same model because a newer revision is not always the exact same.
  7. josiebro said:
    Hi everyone.

    I used to think I was pretty decent at computer stuffs until a couple of days ago.
    I sold my old ATX mobo and replaced it with an ASRock M-ITX motherboard because I wanted a smaller system.
    However, I didn't really know that I had to delete the old mobo drivers before setting up a new rig. Upon pushing the power button, I am greeted with a black screen stating that W7 can't boot properly. If I press "Start Windows normally" it bootloops.
    Thus, I downloaded Hiren's boot cd and followed the instructions from this thread:

    http://www.daniweb.com/hardware-and-software/microsoft-windows/windows-vista-and-windows-7-8/threads/281576/using-a-new-motherboard-with-windows-7-on-an-old-hard-drive#

    (Please look at the post by dcoetzee, #8)

    I've found the Fix HDD controller program, but my 500GB HDD (which stores my W7) is not recognized. It is recognized in the UEFI BIOS, but not in miniXP.

    ******NOTE: I am booting hirens from a USB flash drive, not a CD, since I do not have any spare CDs lying around!!!


    If anyone could help me with this issue, I'd greatly appreciate it.

    Thank you in advance!



    The reason could be like, the RAM is not enough to load Win 7 or the installation Disc has some boot file missing. Have you tried booting using any other disc ?
  8. second byronhowley and skaz. Standard practise for such changes are to re-install the OS. Otherwise you have old drivers hanging around in the system, which have the potential to cause problems once the system is up and running. Perosnally, I do a clean install one or twice a year, as I don't have anything other than games on my PC. it can be cumbersome sometimes, to re-install a load of games/applications etc, but a little bit of preping as another poster has testified, can really help. :)
  9. Check with you school to see about a new license(or your ability to use the old one). Get a linux distro on your flash drive and boot with it to access your
    files on the hdd. Backup your files to other media(you may have to get yourself some more blank optical media). One you've done that(and verified the
    data is intact), format the hdd and reinstall windows. You can put your files back on the hdd(or leave them where they are and have more free space).

    In fact, maybe you could download knoppix from the link in that thread you posted. Another option may be to use linux to add a partition to your hdd
    beyond the used space to make a second installation of windows. You should get the option of which partition to boot from. boot from the new partition
    and you should be able to access your files on the old partition. you'd have to reinstall any apps, though. If your case is similar to that of the op in the
    thread you linked, I'm not quite sure what your best recourse might be.
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