Crazy Windows 7 startup issue

Hey guys, I have a confusing/crazy problem I've been trying to fix for a while now and I still have no success... basically, I have a Dell
computer i'm trying to fix. When I boot the computer and select the operating system, it gets to the "Starting Windows" screen. Once the 4 colored balls come in the picture, it freezes for a second and the computer restarts. I tried Startup Repair on the computer and the fixmbr commands and it make no difference. So, I decided to try putting the hard drive of a working computer inside that computer. To my complete confusion, the hard drive I pulled out of a working computer wasn't booting and giving me the same problem as the faulty hard drive! So my last option was to take the faulty hard drive and try it in the working computer. I booted, and instead of it freezing, it said the MBR was missing, press ctrl+alt+delete to restart. After a couple google searches, I inserted the Windows CD and opened up command prompt and used the rebuildmbr and fixmbr commands. I restarted, and it didn't give me the missing mbr message, but it froze at the "Starting Windows" screen just like
in the beginning! I am completely puzzled and have no idea what else to try... is there anyone who could possibly help? I would greatly appreciate it!
11 answers Last reply
More about crazy windows startup issue
  1. did you try the windows repair with the disc ?
  2. You mean startup repair? I tried it on both computers and it took 10-15 seconds and says it completed successfully. There's no difference on reboot, though.
  3. windows repair usualy load the files then ask what you what to do first install or repair, i would do a short test on the drive with the drive maker tool.
  4. bzlare said:
    You mean startup repair? I tried it on both computers and it took 10-15 seconds and says it completed successfully. There's no difference on reboot, though.

    Did you do a backup of your files?
    If you have to, re-install windows through the disc or re-install with a system image.
  5. Yes, they are backed up but at this point the computer isnt usable and I would greatly appreciate someone who could help me make the unit functional again
  6. do you have acces on the files on those drive if not you will have to do the drive maker test.
  7. Yes, I do
  8. Did you try starting in "Safe Mode"?
  9. It's possible its having a little PC time out during the boot, sometimes it can take a long time if something is wrong. How long did you let it wait on the "balls" screen?
  10. If your computer is hanging for a split second when the 4 colored windows start swirling and instantly reboots, it might be a blue screen. If you don't have the option check to not automatically restart on system failure, then the restart can happen quick enough to not see the blue screen. And, at the point that you say it happens, if it is a blue screen then it's about the right place for a 0x7B blue screen. 7B is a disk error that usually happens when your BIOS is set to use AHCI (for SATA drives) but Windows is configured to use IDE.

    Of course, this is all hypothetical but would be easy to diagnose by checking your settings in BIOS. Whatever your AHCI/SATA or hard drive settings are, I would just try the other options. You'll have the options of SATA, AHCI, IDE, Compatible or a combination of those as it's different with every BIOS. If none of those work, then I'd say your better off reinstalling Windows.

    Unless you have problems trying to copy data from the hard drive with it slaved into your working computer, it's probably not a faulty hard drive and just a corrupted install of Windows.
  11. nitrium said:
    Did you try starting in "Safe Mode"?

    @bzlare: Try this if you haven't already!

    It might be possible you might be having a hardware failure when you had the other PC's hard drive in there. If you can't get to safe mode then i would attempt to reinstall windows, reformat the hard drive then see if the system works. If you do have a spare hard drive that would be helpful as if your installation is not a success then you may want to try running a memtest.

    Another question, have you cleaned your PC at all since you got it? Depending on how much use it has, generally after a year you want to check your PC for dust. It isn't always a problem but in some cases dust has been known to create weird errors. I had that problem with one of my PC's before, the display was all messed up and it constantly froze.
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