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Windows 7 Ultimate x64 infinite startup loop


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#1 billybong001

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 12:39 PM

Hi guys,

 

I have a mysterious and serious problem with my computer, relevant details as follows:

 

MSI H77MA-G43 UEFI BIOS
i5-3570K HD7850
Windows 7 Ultimate x64 single boot
3 HDD 2 exHDD
Windows Installation disc burned to bootable flash drive
All secondary drives have been temporarily disconnected

 

Yesterday after a normal restart I encountered what appeared to be an issue with the boot sector. Spent 4 hours figuring it out and finally had to rebuild the bootloader from scratch. Right now the situation is, first hard drive has 100MB System Reserved partition set to Active, Windows on C:\ and no other drives connected. It appears to be a Windows issue rather than a boot issue now.

 

I can consistently get to the Windows startup screen (or safe mode options if F8 is pressed) but it crashes and reboots halfway through the logo animation.

 

Reinstalling Windows is not a feasible option as there are various complex software and configurations on the computer which I am using for an ongoing project.

 

Thank your for your time, your advice is much appreciated.

 

Regards,

Nicholas



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#2 dc3

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 12:55 PM

Try doing a repair installation.

 

Instructions for a Windows 7 Repair installation.
 
A Windows 7 Repair Installation will require a installation disc.
 
If you do not have a Windows 7 installation disc you can download a free legal ISO image of Windows 7 SP1 at  Windows 7 Forums.  You will need to download the same version of Windows 7 that you have installed,  This image is hosted by the Digital River store which is an official distribution partner of Microsoft.  This is a genuine untouched image which is safe to download. 
 
 
Attention:  If you do have a Windows installation disc, skip Part A and go to Part B, Step 1b.
 
 
Part A, Steps 1a - 6a
 
The ISO image will need to be burned to a DVD in order to create a bootable installation disc.
 
1a)  To burn a ISO file to a DVD please download ImgBurn and install it.
 
2a)  Insert a blank DVD into your CD/DVD drive tray, and then close the tray.
 
3a)  Open ImgBurn, and click on Write image file to disc.
 
ImgBurn1_zps715cb1c2.png
 
4a)  Click on the Browse for a file icon:
 
ImgBurn2_zpsaea72ba9.png
 
5a)  Locate the ISO file you want to burn, and click on the Open button.
 
6a)  Click on the blue arrow to start burning the bootable DVD.
 
imageburn11_zpse44f577b.png
 
 
Please note:  In order to boot from this DVD you may need to change the boot order in the BIOS so that the CD/DVD-ROM is the first device in the boot order, and the hdd is the second device.
 
 
Part B, Steps 1b - 10b
 
1b)  Place the installation disc in the tray of the CD/DVD drive, close the tray and restart the computer.
 
2b)  You will be prompted to press any key to start the installation, I find the space bar handy.
 
At this point the setup process will load files, this will take several minutes.
 
3b)  You will now need to choose the  Language, Time, currency format, and Keyboard or input method that you'd like to use.
 
After this is done click on Next.
 
w71_zps6dbda47e.png
 
4b)  Click on the Repair your computer link at the bottom-left of the Install Windows window.
 
This link will begin the Windows 7 System Recovery Options.
 
w72_zps2a656a0c.png
 
5b)  System Recovery Options will now search your hard drive(s) for any Windows 7 installations.  This will take several minutes.
 
No participation is required on your part at this time, wait till it has finished and the next window opens.
 
w73_zpsd5483f05.png
 
6b)  Choose the Windows 7 installation that you'd like to perform the Startup Repair on, then click on Next
 
w74_zps490f9a17.png
 
7b)  Click on the Startup Repair link from list of recovery tools in System Recovery Options.
 
w75_zps9941e858.png
 
For a future reference, there are several other diagnostic and recovery tools available in the Windows 7 System Recovery Options including System Restore, System Image Recovery, Windows Memory Diagnostic, and Command Prompt.
 
8b)  The Startup Repair tool will now search for problems in the system files.
 
If Startup Repair finds a problem with any system files the tool may suggest a solution which you will need to confirm, or may solve the problem automatically.
 
w76_zps3dd75d83.png
 
9b)  Startup Repair will now attempt to repair whatever problems it found with system files.  
 
Note:  If Startup Repair did not find any problems with system files you won't see this step.
 
w77_zpsd8be95eb.png
 
Important: Your computer may or may not restart several times during this repair process.  This is normal, you should allow it to continue until you see the Restart your computer to complete the repairs window. 
 
10b)  Click on Finish, this will restart your computer.
 
w78_zpsd49257fb.png
 
It is possible that the Startup Repair will not be able to fix the problem.  If the Startup Repair tool determines this, it may automatically run the the repair after your computer restarts.  If it does not automatically run the repair but you are still having problems with Windows 7 repeat these steps to run Startup Repair again manually.

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#3 billybong001

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 01:47 PM

Hi dc3,

 

I have done so inumerable times while troubleshooting the boot sector issue. Automatic recovery has not worked for me thus far, failing with error messages "Startup Repair could not repair this computer automatically" or reporting successful, but going back to the same crash at startup logo animation.

 

Nicholas



#4 JohnC_21

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 04:23 PM

Press F8 and select "Disable Automatic Restart on System failure". Does it throw a BSOD? If so post the error shown.

#5 billybong001

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 03:06 AM

It does produce a BSOD. (Sorry I took this long to reply as a member from another forum suggested I scan the entire drive using MBAM, which took a very long time.)

Technical information:
*** STOP: 0X0000007B (0XFFFF880009A98E8, 0XFFFFFFFFC000034, 0X000...000, 0X000...000)



#6 dc3

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 09:04 AM

Since this is the only topic you have at Bleeping Computer I have to assume that this other forum is at a different website?

 

If this is the case you should choose one website and stick with it.  It isn't fair to those at either website who are trying to help you.  This is not in your best interest, neither website will know of the suggestions being made at the other website and what you have tried to resolve this issue.


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#7 OldPhil

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 09:37 AM

This option may be an out, do you have a spare drive to load windows on?  If so disconnect the current and do a fresh load on the new drive, once done put the troubled drive in as a slave.  That will allow you to retrieve the files you have on that drive, I have pulled that of a couple of times when all else failed.


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#8 billybong001

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 10:52 AM

Hi dc3,

 

I have posted to 4 different tech forums in hope of receiving more (or any, if at all) replies and more perspectives in the same timeframe. For example in this thread I have received two responses both of which have not helped the situation so far. In another forum I have not received a reply at all. However on SevenForums I was fortunate to receive assistance from two highly experienced members one of whom is a Microsoft MVP and that thread is on page 4 now. The "OS not found"/"bootmgr not found" errors have been resolved and now it looks like a Windows issue. Had I just stuck to one forum I'd still be sitting around twiddling my thumbs and not gotten any closer to fixing the problem.

 

I hope you can understand things from my perspective; I have a large project that the client is seeing on Tuesday, it is incomplete and a sudden inexplicable catastrophe has befallen my workstation. My number one priority is to assess whether or not the problem can be fixed and/or a reinstall and restore is required. Since a number of complex software and their configuration are present, I am trying my best to avoid reinstalling Windows. I am not a techie. Basic troubleshooting and repair is no problem, but for a serious problem such as the one I've encountered, I need all the help I can get - that is why I posted to multiple forums.

 

This other thread is at http://www.sevenforums.com/general-discussion/321035-serious-boot-catastrophe.html.

 

 

Hi Phil,

 

Thank you for your response. I have a spare drive lying around. However as outlined in the SevenForums I am thinking of using this drive to backup and subsequently restore files and the registry. Recovering files is a non-issue; I am able to connect it as slave to a laptop via SATA>USB and have already made a complete backup.

 

Regards,

Nicholas



#9 Anshad Edavana

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 11:34 AM

Hi

 

I just read your entire thread in "Sevenforum". Form my understanding, "Active" partition and "Boot Sector" are correct in your case. Otherwise you won't see the Windows boot logo screen.

 

I would suggest checking the following possibilities.

 

1. Corrupted file system.

 

You can run check disk on the Windows partition to fix any potential file system corruption.

 

2. SATA mode changed accidentally.

 

I suspect that during the troubleshooting process, you entered BIOS setup and loaded "default values". This may change the SATA mode which might result in 0x07B BSOD. So please enter BIOS setup and try switching the SATA mode ( if it is IDE, set to AHCI or vice versa ).


Edited by Anshad Edavana, 07 February 2014 - 11:36 AM.


#10 billybong001

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 12:03 PM

2. SATA mode changed accidentally.

 

I suspect that during the troubleshooting process, you entered BIOS setup and loaded "default values". This may change the SATA mode which might result in 0x07B BSOD. So please enter BIOS setup and try switching the SATA mode ( if it is IDE, set to AHCI or vice versa ).

 

OH. MY. GOD.

I have no bloody idea how that switch got thrown to AHCI but putting it back to IDE absolutely and completely solved my problem. And to think I have trawled the bowels of the internet trying out hundreds of suggestions from "don't use usb to repair" to "nuclear holocaust". You have been of greatest help. Please send me a private message Anshad, I would like to buy you a beer. :thumbsup:

 

Cheerio,

Nicholas



#11 Anshad Edavana

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 12:18 PM

Glad to hear that mate. You are most welcome  :thumbup2: .






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