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Windows 7 won't start after it's update crashed


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#1 Calyssa

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 05:20 PM

Well, this is a long story that can be found here http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/596309/laptop-runs-very-slow-high-cpu-usage/ , and now I've been directed to the Hardware forum.

 

Basically, I now have an old laptop that recently shut down after Windows 7 attempted to update itself for...probably about the 5th time in as many days. The laptop shut itself down during the middle of the update (I believe it said around 41 of 90 or something like that, but I can't remember.) Anyway, now it won't load Windows at all. I get the windows screen and then nothing after that but a black screen with a mouse.

 

I can sometimes get the esc key to work, or F2. I don't know what the other F#'s do so I've refrained from pushing buttons. I only have a second or two for them to work, if I don't get to it very quickly the keyboard seems to become unusable and I can't even toggle between options in the safe/normal mode selection screen.  I suspect a corrupt file(s) somewhere and not an actual hardware malfunction, but if this is where I'm directed to then this is where I'll post.

 

Any ideas on where I should begin? I believe we can probably re-install Windows, but I think that would wipe the hard drive as well, correct...we would lose any photos or games on the laptop? I would like to avoid that if I can.

 

The laptop says HP, G62, Altec. There doesn't seem to be any known restore points on the pc currently, nor does it work properly if I restore to a safe mode or last known good configuration. :smash:



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#2 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 07:07 PM

A re-install will wipe the hard drive of every thing and I agree - your first priority is the data on this computer. I can think of at least two ways to do this. The simplest is to remove the HD and slave it into another computer using a USB caddy. You should then be able to read this drive and copy any and all the data to either the other computer or to external storage. The other is to use a self booting Linux disc like Puppy. I hope the folowing does not insult your knowledge level !

 

There is a very good and clear tutorial here on how to create a self booting copy of Puppy Linux -

 

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/561869/how-to-create-a-secure-multi-session-puppy-cd-with-updatable-firefox-browser/

 

This will not turn the computer into a Linux machine - running Puppy by itself makes no change to the computer at all as it runs entirely in RAM. When it has booted you will see icons for the hard drives and partitions. They will have names like sda1, sda 2 and so on. You need to click on these to 'mount' them (ie make them active) then you can use Puppy's file manager to look for your data and move it to somewhere safe - USB memory stick, external HD, wherever.

 

Once your data is safe further steps to repair this computer can be considered.

 

Chris Cosgrove


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#3 Calyssa

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 11:37 PM

Ah! Thank you. I didn't know I could get files off the hard drive without the laptop working. A trip a large electronics chain store tonight was fairly confusing, but I think the sales person finally has me mostly sorted. They had no 'caddy', but an IDE / SATA to USB ...thingy...is now being shipped to my home, as none were in stock. It's supposed to allow me to transfer her files directly from her old hard drive to her newer laptop - and we can transfer them back later via CD if we get the old laptop working. Hopefully this sounds correct. I'm sure it will take a few days to get here though, so if this thread has to be closed due to time restraints, I understand.

 

Thank you for the link to the lovely tutorial (which did seem very clear), however it also looks like more work than the USB method, and as you can probably tell now, my knowledge of computer related things is just a shade above zero, so the simpler method looked best. LOL!



#4 Captain_Chicken

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 11:18 AM

Publish a Snapshot using Speccy - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic323892.html/page__p__1797792#entry1797792 , taking care to post the link of the snapshot in your next post.

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#5 Calyssa

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Posted 21 November 2015 - 08:39 PM

Ok. The cord thingy has arrived sooner than promised, and I think I've saved what I can to the newer laptop. The hard drive is now back in place in the old laptop.

 

Captain_Chicken, I'm unsure of how I'm going to download anything to the old laptop. It can't get past the first screen. I get a black screen of death, with a mouse cursor visible. Sometimes the mouse cursor is moveable, but usually not. Do you need a specification I can find elsewhere...maybe inside the pc somewhere?

 

I have assumed that it was running Windows 7 in the 64 bit version. At this point I'm not sure what to do next. I don't have the recovery disc that might have come with this pc. It'd been dead for so long that it appears we may not have packed them up in the move...or if we did pack them I haven't been able to find them - and I've looked everywhere I could think of in the past couple of days.  Her newer laptop runs Windows 7, 64 bit - and it has a recovery CD. My inclination is to throw that in and see what happens, now that I've hopefully saved the files we'd wanted elsewhere. But maybe I need to be doing something else instead...especially if the recovery CDs aren't interchangable like that. The laptops are different models. Thoughts?



#6 Captain_Chicken

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Posted 22 November 2015 - 02:27 PM

Follow Chris Cosgrove's instructions.

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#7 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 22 November 2015 - 06:49 PM

My earlier advice won't help you get this laptop running !  It was aimed entirely at rescuing your data.

 

Your description "A black screen with a blinking cursor" suggests that the problem is the moot record has got scrambled - this screen normally means that the BIOS cannot find anything to boot from. The good news is that you can use your wife's laptop to create what is called a 'Windows Repair Disk'. Here's another tutorial for you !

 

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/create-a-windows-system-repair-disc/

 

Just a word of warning. These discs come in two flavours - 32 bit and 64 bit, and they are not interchangeable as far as I know. If both laptops use the 64 bit system then you will have no problems using one made on the second computer. If it doesn't work, you will need to find a friend's laptop running the 32 bit system to make the disc. There are a lot of 32 bit Win 7 systems around.

 

Once you have made the disc you will need to power up the laptop to open the CD/DVD drive, insert the disc, shut down the computer and re-boot. It should then boot from the CD and give you a range of options to repair this computer.

 

Let us know how you get on.

 

Chris Cosgrove


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#8 Calyssa

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Posted 23 November 2015 - 09:11 PM

Well, the recovery CD is in the old laptop. However it doesn't even attempt to load it. The pc doesn't even spin the CD, as far as we can hear, so the problem isn't that it's the wrong version - it's that the computer doesn't go far enough into it's loading process to do want to read any CD, I think?

 

I still have the cord for transfering files from the hard drive to another computer. Does it work both ways? I assume it might. Can I transfer new boot files to the hard drive instead?  I would think I could pull files from the recovery CD and put them directly on the hard drive, then put the hard drive back in the old laptop. I've no idea which ones I'd copy though, or where to put them, exactly.

 

Or, maybe I can delete ALL files on the old hard drive? Would that force it to create a new boot file thing?



#9 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 24 November 2015 - 07:45 PM

The Windows repair disc is a 'self-booter'. In other words it contains everything necessary to start up the computer to the stage where it can start repairs.

 

It may be that the BIOS in you laptop is set to boot from the HD only. This is fairly simple to change. Switch on the computer and while the BIOS screen is showing - the one with the makers name all over it - press whichever key takes you into the BIOS (sometimes it is called 'Set-up') - usually either the 'Delete' or 'F2' key and wait for it to switch to the BIOS set-up screens.

 

If you look along the top of the first screen you should see a label 'Boot priority' or some similar wording. Select this (you may need to use the L and R arrow keys) and on the screen that opens you should see entries for HD and optical/CD/DVD drive and possibly, depending on the age of the computer, USB as well.

 

Using the various controls on the screen, set it so that the optical drive is set as choice 1, USB as 2 and HD as 3 (if USB is included), but set the optical drive as first choice. Then put the repair disc back in the drive, shut down and try again.

 

If it still doesn't run let me know, I may need to get a second opinion !

 

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#10 Calyssa

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Posted 26 November 2015 - 12:10 AM

You were correct, it was set to pull from the hard drive only. (And resets to that after every shut-down, by the way.) Pressing F9 eventually brought me to a screen that pulled from the CD. However, I'm unable to fix anything - because the keyboard and mouse stop working after a few seconds - and this hasn't changed even with the CD in. So it loads files and gets to a screen that says System Recovery Options and asks for language and keyboard input method (which has automatically chosen US as the country), BUT....I can't hit the 'next' button. I can't mouse to it. I can't tab to it. I can't press enter. Arrows don't work. CTR/ALT/DEL doesn't work. Esc doesn't work. Even the wi-fi on/off button and screen dim/brightness buttons aren't working.

 

I've tried plugging in a new external mouse that we know works. And a spare keyboard. Nothing. It's like it doesn't recognize there's anything there at all. At best it will use them for a few seconds when we first start the pc, then...nada. I was so excited to finally hear the CD spin, but I guess that was a bit premature of me. :( Saving this laptop is turning out to be harder than I'd assumed it would be.

 

Do you have any other ideas?



#11 Calyssa

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Posted 26 November 2015 - 01:17 AM

Ok, another update. We sometimes get a few more seconds of use from the mouse/keyboard than on other tries - so I just kept rebooting until I got one of the times it recognizes them for longer. I was able to get past the selection screens. The pc is now set to factory image. Yay!!! I thought we'd be all set, but the mouse/keyboard issue still remains, which makes getting anywhere in setting up the pc for use hopeless.

 

Should I take it apart again and try to re-seat all the connections, or is there something else I should be trying first?



#12 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 26 November 2015 - 07:38 PM

 

And resets to that after every shut-down, by the way.

 

Normally when exiting the BIOS you get a pop-up saying 'Save changes and exit - Yes / No? (Normally just press the 'Y' key for yes and the 'N' key for no, then press 'Enter') - You should click 'Yes' to save your changes.

 

This computer is a laptop isn't it ?  Why are you using a mouse and keyboard, is the track pad faulty ?  If the track pad works I would try using that. While I do not at the moment have any idea why the keyboard and mouse should work for a few seconds then stop a great number of laptops have a switch on the keyboard to disable the track pad, usually the 'Fn' key and one of the 'F' keys - look for one with what might be taken for a symbol of a track pad or a mouse - and make sure the track pad is enabled.

 

The first screen on the repair disc system asks you to set your language and keyboard, the USA is the default but it is easy to pick a more appropriate one. I missed this once and had to start again. UK keyboards do not work very well when mapped to a US layout !

 

If this doesn't get the repair disc to work I think it is time for a second opinion.

 

Chris Cosgrove


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#13 JohnC_21

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Posted 26 November 2015 - 10:22 PM

You posted the computer is now back to factory settings. The keyboard and trackpad no longer function correctly, correct?

 

Can you download Puppy linux as Chris posted? Boot the disk to the Puppy Desktop. Does your keyboard and trackpad function?

 

You can download Puppy linux here. Right click the iso and select Burn Disk Image. This would work on any computer Windows 7 and later. 


Edited by JohnC_21, 26 November 2015 - 10:23 PM.


#14 Calyssa

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Posted 27 November 2015 - 08:12 PM

Chris - the pc is a laptop. I don't use the track pad on them because I find them very much more difficult than an external mouse. However the touchpad DOES work - UNTIL the keyboard and external mouse stop working. Then nothing works.

 

The repair disk did work, the laptop is now set back to factory settings. However, our problems with the mouse/keyboard shutting down shortly after power-up still remain.

 

 

JohnC_21 - At this time we're unable to download anything to the computer. I have (maybe) 30 seconds, tops, before it becomes unresponsive, and this is from the time I hit the power on button so you have to figure in the time it takes the pc to load everything, too. And lately at times we don't ever get power going to the USBs or keyboard, even at first. So I think downloading puppy to it is not an option.

 

I guess I'll take apart the laptop again and re-seat everything. It was already taken apart once to fix a CMOS error (turned out the small battery on the mother board was completely loose.) So maybe I wasn't careful enough putting it all back together. At this point the laptop is looking like it's destined for the trash pile, so it can't hurt to try.



#15 RolandJS

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Posted 27 November 2015 - 08:36 PM

Be careful with the cabling inside; it cost me $140.00 [keyboard assembly] once when I accidentally broke a connection inside a laptop.


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