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Wiped HD: why won't Factory Reset work? Windows Recovery Error loop..


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#1 speedyalice

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 12:32 PM

Hi,

 

So frustrated and baffled by what shouldn't be a big deal... after a week of searching online/trying things, I'm ready to pitch laptop out the window. :/ I'm hoping someone recognizes this situation and what might be necessary to fix it.  I'll try to make this as brief as possible.

 

This is an HP Envy 14, originally bought w W7. A month ago i accidentally "upgraded" to W10 and didn't revert back to W7 in the 30 day window.  So last week I was trying to get rid of W10, which I didn't like and had multiple issues.  Eventually I booted off the recovery discs I made when I got the laptop years ago, all 4 discs used, and it seemed to be installing fine.  Messages on laptop that it was setting computer up for first time use, etc.

 

Then when the "Starting Windows" message comes up w the W7 logo, it's followed by the Windows Recovery error message (Windows didn't shut down correctly last time; start in Safe Mode, etc) and is in a loop. Going into Safe Mode results in an error message that Windows can't complete installation in Safe Mode and to restart the computer.  This leads to the HP screen, which automatically starts up W7, which results in the error message.

 

This happened both when I ran Factory Reset and I think the other option was System Restore.

 

Also tried using a repair disc, which didn't fix the problem.

 

My son (who's helping me in this) thought maybe there was leftover stuff from W10 that was causing the problem, despite the fact that there's an admonition that the hard drive will be erased and all data lost. So last night I erased everything using DBAN. This morning I again used the recovery discs and it seemed like it made more progress in that it turned off and on and eventually gave me the message that "Set up is preparing your computer for first use", which I don't think I'd gotten before in the 4-5 different times I ran the recovery discs.

 

But no - still getting the Windows Recovery message that it wasn't shut down correctly and it's still stuck in an infinite reboot loop. How is that possible, starting from a clean slate?

 

The battery doesn't charge much and didn't pass the battery test, but I was told that the battery didn't make a difference in whether or not Windows is successfully installed.

Thank you for any insight/help you can give!

 

 

 



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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 01:11 PM

Is there a sticker on the bottom of the computer with a Windows 7 key? Is so you can install Windows 7 using any Windows 7 install disk with the same version but you would need to do a phone activation. Is there anyone you or your son knows who has a Windows 7 install disk?

 

One or more of your DVDs may be defective. 

 

What is the main use of the computer, general browsing and email?



#3 speedyalice

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 01:28 PM

Is there a sticker on the bottom of the computer with a Windows 7 key? Is so you can install Windows 7 using any Windows 7 install disk with the same version but you would need to do a phone activation. Is there anyone you or your son knows who has a Windows 7 install disk?

 

One or more of your DVDs may be defective. 

 

What is the main use of the computer, general browsing and email?

 

Yes, there's a sticker on the bottom with an activation code.  When I went to Microsoft to download a Windows 7 ISO though, it told me that I couldn't do so because my activation code was "for software pre-installed by the manufacturer."  Do you know anywhere else I can download Windows 7?

 

It just seems strange to me that if one of the DVDs was defective, that my computer would go all the way through the process of installing and getting to the "Setting up Windows for the first time" screen without any problems.  I guess it's a possibility, though.



#4 JohnC_21

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 01:38 PM

There is a way to test your hard drive using a bootable disk. It will also test your memory. You would need to burn the UBCD iso to disk. Boot the disk and under HDD > Diagnosis run Seatools for DOS. If the drive is not detected you can start Parted Magic from the UBCD menu and at the desktop select DiskHealth or it may be called GSmartControl. Do the short and long generic tests. 

 

If the hard drive passes test your memory with Memtest86+. Let it run for at least six passes and preferably overnight.

 

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/



#5 saw101

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 02:40 PM

 

Yes, there's a sticker on the bottom with an activation code.  When I went to Microsoft to download a Windows 7 ISO though, it told me that I couldn't do so because my activation code was "for software pre-installed by the manufacturer."  Do you know anywhere else I can download Windows 7?

 

You can use a 3rd party tool to download Windows. See the following article: http://www.howtogeek.com/186775/how-to-download-windows-7-8-and-8.1-installation-media-legally/


I never make the same mistake twice....I always make it 5 or 6 times just to be sure!


#6 JohnC_21

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 02:46 PM

 

 

Yes, there's a sticker on the bottom with an activation code.  When I went to Microsoft to download a Windows 7 ISO though, it told me that I couldn't do so because my activation code was "for software pre-installed by the manufacturer."  Do you know anywhere else I can download Windows 7?

 

You can use a 3rd party tool to download Windows. See the following article: http://www.howtogeek.com/186775/how-to-download-windows-7-8-and-8.1-installation-media-legally/

 

Nice find on the third party iso download tool.



#7 speedyalice

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Posted 08 August 2016 - 10:26 AM

Thanks, JohnC and saw101 for your help and the links!  I wanted to update on what happened (sorry it's taken so long for me to do it).

 

It turns out that that there must have been some kind of corruption in my Recovery Disks, because installing Windows 7 using the ISO download worked - thank you so very much! Ugh, I feel like I was trying to fix a lamp when all the time it was the lightbulb that was burned out. :/  So glad to have this issue resolved - thank you again!






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