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Vista Won't Finish Booting


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#1 nickq2

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 04:01 PM

This is my first post so apologies for any errors.
My computer froze when running a spyware scan and I had to restart. On doing so I got an error message saying that I didn't have an OS so I attempted a repair using the recovery disk. This now says that all is ok but on attempting to boot I can get no further than just before the Windows logo (that is followed by the logon screen) should appear. The screen remains blank and the hard drive stops. This also happens in safe mode. None of the other options in Startup repair work - restore points (which did exist) can't be found and, although my data is backed up, I haven't got a back up of the whole system. I've also tried the various options under Bootrec.exe as suggested by the MS knowlegebase. I'm running Vista Home Premium with 4Gb RAM.
Is a re-install my best hope?
Thanks

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#2 usasma

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 06:15 PM

Did your system come with 4gB of RAM installed? If not, try booting with only 2 gB to see if that helps.
Just guessing here, but if Startup Repair hasn't fixed it, I'd try testing your hard drive with a bootable diagnostic utility from the manufacturer of your hard drive. I'm not all that familiar with the boot sequence of Vista - but with most issues of this sort it's usually one of 3 things:
1) video drivers (but you haven't gotten far enough in the boot sequence for this to be an issue (IMO)
2) hardware failure in the boot sequence (the hard drive diagnostic)
3) software failure of the boot sequence (most often to do with the file system). To fix this you've got to run chkdsk /r - either from the Startup Repair disk Command Prompt option ( figure 9 here: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/repair-windows-with-windows-startup-repair/ ). More info on using the tool here: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/command-prompt-in-windows-recovery-environment/
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#3 nickq2

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 01:33 AM

Yes, the system came with 4 gb of RAM installed and has worked fine for some months.
I've used the hard drive diagnostic (from Seagate) which passed the drive on both its short & long tests. I've also run chkdisk which reported no problems but I still can't get any further than before.
To run those tests I moved the machine and connected it to an old crt and, when the boot problem happens, this monitor behaves as though it isn't receiving a signal - instantly goes into power saving mode, so could this be a video card or driver issue after all? If so, how do I install new drivers?
Thanks for your help, it is very much appreciated!

#4 usasma

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 07:37 AM

In general the "no OS installed" error happens during the period when the boot process tries to read the MBR

Here's a "down and dirty" about the Vista boot sequence (from wikipedia)
Bios
MBR (Master Boot Record) (where the missing OS message comes from)
Boot Sector
Windows Boot Manager
Read from BCD (Boot Configuration Data)
Search for hibernation file
Start winload.exe
Start ntoskrnl.exe (I think that the splash screen appears here)
Start smss.exe
Start winlogon.exe
start services and login interface

During the period between the MBR and ntoskrnl.exe, one of the things that happens is that some drivers are loaded (the video drivers in particular). But several things could happen at this point...
The video drivers could be corrupt and fail to load (but this also happens in Safe Mode - so it's not likely to be that).
The hard drive could be corrupt, causing issues with the video drivers (but the Seagate test and chkdsk say that's not likely)
Or the video card could be having problems (but it works before Windows get around to messing things up).

So, in short, nothing's wrong and your system is working just fine! :huh: (just kidding)

Try this link to check your boot performance: http://content.zdnet.com/2346-12354_22-64715-2.html and look for the errors to see what they point at. Let us know what errors you find and we'll work from there.
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#5 nickq2

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 09:03 AM

Forgive me if I'm being thick, but as all I'm getting is a completely blank screen instead of Windows, I don't see how I can use the event viewer (interesting though it undoubtedly looks and, should I ever get Vista working again........)

Thank you again for your help.

#6 usasma

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 09:27 AM

Sorry, but I'm a bit thick and get distracted at times. The searching that I did lead me to a thread about the Event Viewer, and I'm working another problem where the user can access Event Viewer - so I got a bit confused and posted the wrong info. Sorry!

Have you tried booting with just 2 gB? It may be that a Windows update or another program has brought a bug to the surface - and this may tell us something.

Were you able to try the Command Prompt thing in my first post?

I'd also have to suggest trying another video card (if this is a desktop). If it's a laptop, I'd suggest slaving the hard drive to another computer to save your data - then restore the computer to factory state to see if it's hardware or software.
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#7 Jacee

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 01:44 PM

I also have a question for you nickq2......how long have you let the blank/black screen sit, before you push the 'button'?

The reason I ask you this, is because, I've experienced the same problem a couple of times. With my computer (it's custom built), I let it sit with seemingly no activity, but! just when you least expect it...it's up and running again.

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#8 nickq2

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 02:35 AM

Hi All,

In the end, I decided to re-install Vista because I had to be able to access some files for tomorrow. The re-install went fine (I'm using the machine now :huh: so I think it must have been software related) and it's now just a matter of installing everything else - a pain but at least it does all work!
Thanks for all your help - I've learnt a lot about my computer and am in awe of the extent of your knowledge.
Thanks again
Nickq2




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