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Win7 won't boot

Last response: in Windows 7
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November 14, 2012 12:48:35 PM

Hello,
I had started my PC yesterday and got a windows screen telling me that windows was unable to start. I let it try to repair itself, but got impatient and forced the computer off during repair. I took the opportunity to swap out my small SSD for a larger one and also add a HDD for a total of 4 HDD's with still only 1 SSD for a total of 5 drives. Now I get black screen on boot that says it cannot find windows boot manager. I inserted the windows install disc and tried to repair with no success. I used the disc to find the windows OS and it was unable to find it. However, still using the install disc, I searched for a HDD driver on my main C:/ and was able to see everything on my HDD (which tells me the HDD isn't bad). What is my next step?
(By the way I will be moving my OS and programs to my new SSD, so should I just install a fresh copy of Window's on it and move everything and not worry about this?)

tinkeringtj

More about : win7 boot

November 14, 2012 1:04:41 PM

"got a windows screen telling me that windows was unable to start"

Sounds like a virus or Malware... Never seen or heard of such a screen. I would attempt to boot up with your original hardware set-up and get Windows into safe-mode (hold F8 during boot process to choose from boot option list).

If you are able to boot successfully into safe mode, I would assume it is a virus and take steps to clean it. Avast is free and has a DoS-mode 'boot-time scan'. Be sure to download the latest definitions.
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November 14, 2012 5:04:44 PM

wysir said:
"got a windows screen telling me that windows was unable to start"

Sounds like a virus or Malware... Never seen or heard of such a screen. I would attempt to boot up with your original hardware set-up and get Windows into safe-mode (hold F8 during boot process to choose from boot option list).

If you are able to boot successfully into safe mode, I would assume it is a virus and take steps to clean it. Avast is free and has a DoS-mode 'boot-time scan'. Be sure to download the latest definitions.


Well I just asked my wife and she reminded me that it didn't display "windows was unable to start" but a dialog box was asking to restore to an earlier date or cancel. When I pressed cancel it tried to repair itself. That is when I force shut if off because it kept going past 5 minutes. To quote what I had earlier: "Now I get black screen on boot that says it cannot find windows boot manager." Besides, I have Norton 360 and have never had a problem. I don't believe it was a virus or Malware, but maybe I'm in denial.
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a b $ Windows 7
November 14, 2012 5:31:15 PM

Since you didn't let the repair finish, it is possible that you corrupted the installation that you were trying to repair. At this point, you might have to do a fresh install to the SSD, then re-install all of your applications.
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November 14, 2012 5:53:04 PM

it's possible with all the drive swapping and moving around, your bios may be confused. check your boot sequence and which drive it's set for SSD/HDD boot. Ran into this problem when I swapped my SSD last week - it defaulted to the secondary HDD as the boot up drive, and once I set it back to the SSD, problem solved.
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November 14, 2012 6:22:54 PM

I agree with both @jjhuang42 and @clarkjd. Your bios is probably trying to boot from the wrong disk so it isn't finding the boot loader. Then, since you interrupted the repair your Windows O/S is very likely corrupted. You might want to note that some Windows operations take substantially longer than 5 minutes. An install can take an hour or more, which means that a repair can as well.

I recommend:
1) correcting your BIOS settings so that you are sure you are booting from the intended boot drive (which may or may not be the same as your O/S drive!)
2) using your O/S install disk to repair Windows. Even this won't be perfect, and if it were me I would always wonder if there were lingering problems with installed drivers and/or programs. You can also try to repair all of the installed programs, but at that point it might simply be better to proceed with step 3
3) do a fresh install to your SSD. Again, watch out for which disk your BIOS points to as the boot disk (to avoid double-boot menus, make sure it' the SSD this time). Re-install your software, re-configure your settings, and copy over your data.
4) In the future, DO NOT interrupt an install, Windows Update, Service Pack Install, Upgrade, System Restore, or other O/S modifying operation. Or if you do, be aware that you will have to repeat step 3 all over again... possibly with inaccessible data this time. Installs are a lot more complicated than simply copying files from one location to another. The Windows registry includes thousands of pointers that tell one piece of software how to find another piece, and if you interrupt an install then (a) the pointers can become invalid, or worse (b) the registry file can become corrupted (such as if you do a hard reset or shutdown). There are no utilities designed to handle all types of damages caused by such actions. There is only the option to reinstall (or restore from a backup).
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November 14, 2012 7:33:08 PM

I will install a fresh copy tonight. Is there a way to MoVe my programs over to my SSD (which will be my new C drive) without "installing" them? I'd love to simply move all that's there over to the SSD. But maybe I want clean versions of everything? Any thoughts here?

THANKS for all of your insight already! This has been great.
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a b $ Windows 7
November 14, 2012 7:41:42 PM

You cannot move programs from one copy of Windows to another, you must install them. During installation, files are written to various places on the hard drive (C:\Windows, C:\Program Files, etc.), entries are made to the Windows configuration database (Windows Registry), etc. The days of just copying over directories ended with DOS.

If your original install of Windows is not corrupt, you could image the hard drive to the SSD, but it doesn't sound like that is your situation.
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