Ran Windows Updates yesterday morning. It created several software problems (via Flash Player conflict) so I decided to do a system restore from the restore point created just before (I think?) the updates were installed. Big mistake.
When the computer rebooted, there was an error message from boot manager saying 'the boot selection failed because a required device is inaccessible'.
I booted from the Windows 7 install disc and ran the startup repair. It says it 'can't fix the problem automatically'.
Tried these solutions I found on various web sites:
Ran bootrec/fixboot with command prompt, said it was successful. Didn't help.
Tried to reboot with what I believe is the recovery drive (I'm no computer expert) and got this error message: The selected entry could not be loaded because the application is missing or corrupt - windows\system32\winload.exe
Went into diskpart via command prompt to make sure all (four) hard drives are active--it says all are 'healthy'
Noticed after rebooting from the install disc that the C drive with Windows on is now the F drive and one of the other internal hard drives (formerly F) is now C. I used command prompts to rename them correctly, tried to reboot, no change. Upon rebooting from the install disc, the letters are incorrect again. Not sure this makes any difference but does seem weird.
When I looked at the problem log from the unsuccessful startup repair, it mentioned an external device. Trying anything, I disconnected the external hard drive and ran startup repair again. This time it said it could find no problem, so I rebooted. No change. Booted from install disk again and tried startup repair again and it once again said it couldn't fix the problem automatically; I immediately ran it again just out of curiosity and this time it said it could find no problem. Tried to reboot, no change.
Gave up and attempted to re-install Windows, but shortly after starting it said the Windows 7 disc was running and I needed to restart the computer normally, then try to re-install (!!!).
I'm getting desperate. I make my living at home via this computer and have already lost a day and would greatly appreciate any help.