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Windows boot stuck on blinking cursor


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#1 VultureX

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 01:13 PM

Hello all,

 

I had a hard disk with 2 partitions.
On the first partition there was a clean Windows 7 install.
The second partition was empty but formatted to NTFS.

I tried to install Ubuntu, using the Along side Windows 7 option, leaving everything at default.
At reboot the GRUB bootloader showed up. It would let me boot into Ubuntu, but when I chose to boot Windows 7 it just returned me to the bootloader menu.

I tried reverting back to the Windows bootloader by loading a Windows8 DVD and using the command prompt with:
bootrec.exe /fixboot
bootrec.exe /fixmbr

This broke everything. The bootloader doesn't show up and there is only a black screen with a flashing cursor. All I can do is Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart.

 

After this I've deleted all the Ubuntu partitions and grew the Windows partition back to full disk size.

The Windows 7 automatic repair tells  me there is nothing wrong.

I've executed all the steps on this site: https://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/Recovering+the+Windows+Bootloader+from+the+DVD with no effect.

 

All my files on the disk are intact, I just cannot get into Windows. I think I've tried everything there is, but I get no results except a blinking cursor.

 

What causes this and how can it be fixed?

 

Thanks,

VultureX

 

 

 

 



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#2 ratchet48

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 08:22 AM

VultureX,

Welcome to Bleeping Coumpter.

 

You are trying to rebuild Windows 7 MBR with Windows 8 install disk? Not sure if that works to well. Have you tried with Windows 7 installs disk?

 

 

I tried reverting back to the Windows bootloader by loading a Windows8 DVD

 

 



#3 VultureX

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 05:33 PM

Hi ratchet48,

Thank you for your reply.

 

I started with using the Windows 7 DVD, but for some reason it takes 5 minutes for the first screen to appear. Then I tried it with the Windows 8 DVD which loaded faster, but also hangs for a significant time on the blue start up screen.

Anyways, I'm using the Windows 7 DVD now. When I try an automatic repair it tells me that everything is alright and I should be able to boot into Windows 7 without problems.

It looks like it is not a boot loader issue, there is something going wrong when Windows is trying to boot.



#4 ratchet48

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 08:23 AM

VultureX,

I think I have seen Startup Repair work maybe twice out of the hundred or so times I have run it. I think we can agree this is definitely a MBR problem. I would try the bootrec.exe again with your windows 7 DVD following the instructions here;

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927392

 

 



#5 VultureX

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 12:25 PM

Thank you for the suggesion.

 

I've tried this multiple times, but it comes no further than the blinking cursor :(

Don't you think it might be that some other windows start files are damaged? I've tried running sfc.exe /scannow, but the command prompt won't let me, because it says that windows has to be restarted first because of pending repairs.


Edited by VultureX, 08 July 2013 - 12:27 PM.


#6 ratchet48

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 01:40 PM

This sounds logical;

 

dism.exe /image:C:\ /cleanup-image /revertpendingactions

 

then,

sfc /SCANNOW /OFFBOOTDIR=c:\ /OFFWINDIR=d:\Windows

 

Read all about it here;

http://blog.crosbydrive.com/?p=339



#7 VultureX

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 06:12 PM

Nice find.

 

However, the dism command needs a reboot itself. I tried this on my Windows 7 DVD, but it didn't work and sfc would still tell me to restart Windows.

What was weird is that the Windows 8 DVD executed sfc perfectly using the second command (but both drive letters set to C:).

There were no integrity violations.

 

Every tool tells me everything is fine, but obviously it's not. I never had such a frustrating boot problem.



#8 ratchet48

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 07:45 PM

Have you trided booting to Safe Mode? I have seen drivers get screwed up by failed updates. But since this began after you loaded Ubuntu I assumed the MBR. The blinking cursor would normally make me think a video driver. If a signed video driver update fails, windows will think all is good but you get no display.



#9 Zestypanda

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 11:31 PM

1.) popin USB or DVD that has the Ubuntu install..
2.) when it comes to installing, chose "replace Ubuntu (version number) with Ubuntu (version number)"
3.) it should detect windows partition.
Install on Ubuntu partition.
Reboot.
Select windows partition.
~Zestypanda.

Edited by Zestypanda, 08 July 2013 - 11:32 PM.

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#10 VultureX

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 01:51 PM

1.) popin USB or DVD that has the Ubuntu install..
2.) when it comes to installing, chose "replace Ubuntu (version number) with Ubuntu (version number)"
3.) it should detect windows partition.
Install on Ubuntu partition.
Reboot.
Select windows partition.
~Zestypanda.

 

This is where I'm at right now. Ubuntu boots fine. When I select Windows 7 from the bootloader menu I get a blinking cursor.

When I remove Ubuntu it boots straight to the blinking cursor.

 

@ratchet48. All I can do is press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to reboot the pc. Windows has not even initialized so far to recognize F8. There is just a black screen with a blinking cursor on top. I can't do anything.

Repair tools tell me everything is fine, but it's stuck on the damn blinking cursor.

 

When Windows 7 was still working, I decided to install Ubuntu. When this was done and I would select Windows 7 from the GRUB bootloader it would return me right back to GRUB again.

Then I did the

bootrec.exe /fixboot
bootrec.exe /fixmbr

commands and this has led to the blinking cursor situation and I can't come out of it anymore...

All the files are there, MBR and partition tables should be fine, but Windows just doesn't want to boot. I get no feedback, no error messages, it hangs on blinking cursor screen. It makes you want to throw the whole thing through the window.


Edited by VultureX, 09 July 2013 - 01:57 PM.


#11 Zestypanda

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 02:13 PM

Did you make sure you didn't do anything silly Ike delete the windows partition? When you go into advenced view on the install/partition manager, what do you see? Do you see your windows volume?

Have a question, or just wanna chat? Send me a message. Or add me as a friend.

 


#12 sikntired

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 06:20 PM

Try inserting windows 7 installation cd  again.

 

On the Command Prompt enter: bootrec /fixmbr

 

                                                    bootrec /fixboot

 

Reboot ........ grub should fail and windows bootloader should takeover

 

Then put in ubuntu cd and install grub again.

 

If I read correctly you did this with windows 8 but not with windows 7. Hope it helps. Regards...........


Edited by sikntired, 09 July 2013 - 06:22 PM.


#13 VultureX

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 06:07 AM

Thank you for the suggestions, everyone. I really appreciate it.

 

@Zestypanda:

Yes, it's there.

 

@sikntired:

Results in a blinking command line cursor.

 

I think the problem is more fundamental. I can access the Windows filesystem through Linux and rename all the files that are essential to booting Windows (e.g. Boot folder, bootmgr), but the result when trying to boot Windows will still be the same. Maybe it has to do with the partition format? The Windows partition is formatted as NTFS and Linux as FAT32. There might be going something wrong when trying to access the hard disk?


Edited by VultureX, 10 July 2013 - 06:08 AM.





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