So the computer came in with an Audio issue (Sound no longer showing up), Windows Activation Error, and a Black screen hang before the Windows login but after the "Welcome" screen. It usually took about 2-3 minutes to load. I built the computer myself for the customer with a genuine copy of Win7 Professional, so I dealt with that issue first, input the activation, it activated fine and I moved on.
What it came down do is the hanging was caused by the Plug and Play service failing to load on boot. I originally found this out through the Event Viewer, which no longer works at all - along with all of the Microsoft Management Console, and the Device Manager (which is blank). The audio services are also linked to the Plug and Play Service so I can only assume that that error was caused by the failing of PnP to start. So I did some investigation and once the computer finally started each time, the PnP service was eternal stuck in the "Starting" phase. Nothing could be done to it to restart, change the start settings, ect.
Tried System File Checker on multiple occasions, everything checks out. Tried System Restore, apparently the kid who got the computer disabled it right out the door or something because A. It is disabled and cannot be activated and B. There are apparently no restore points on the PC. I also ran Malware Bytes full scan and it didn't find a single thing.
I eventually tried a tool someone recommended called MBR Regenerator. The program fails to run giving me an error. Some people said that fixed the problem so that was a no go.
Finally, I copied the registry entry for Plug and Play from another Windows 7 PC as well as the system .dll. Deleted the old entries first and foremost and started without Plug and Play - the computer booted fine, nice and fast - no hanging. Added the new file and registry entry, did the same - but plug and play didn't start automatically. Upon attempted to start it myself once the system booted, I was given "Could not start service on Local Computer. Error 193". After messing with that for 30 minutes to no avail and trying SFC yet again, no luck - I replace the old plug and play .dll in the system files and all went back to normal with Plug and Play STILL hanging at "Starting" and never getting any farther.
I should also note that Windows has once again become "Ungenuine" during all this work - how? I have no idea.
I'm not sure if this could be the work of some bootsector virus or if it is just some unfixable corrupt Windows issue - or if someone has some experience with the issue. I am at the end of my rope with this but there is a lot of personal data on this 1 TB drive and I would do anything to fix this without a backup and reinstall.
My fate rests in the hands of the brilliant. Thank you ahead of time.
Edited by Gwydion Black, 12 September 2012 - 01:57 PM.