Cannot boot Windows 7 - startup repair not working


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Hi anyone and everyone,

To cut straight to the chase, my computer will no longer boot into Windows 7. I don't specifically know exactly what's caused it, however I would very much like it if I could resolve the issue quickly. I'm not exactly sure where to begin on this sort of issue, as I've fortunately never had to directly deal with any problems like this ever - my brother was always on hand to do that, as he was/is the 'tech support' in our family. Unfortunately for me, this time it looks as though I'm going to have to strike out on my own, so I've come to these forums looking for some assistance if possible.

Seeing as I'm not sure where to begin, I'm not sure what's important to include and I'm paranoid about not including something that could be vital to assisting me, I'll state every piece of information that I think could be involved with this.

So: Approximately 4 hours ago, I'm randomly surfing the web (have both Firefox [Version 3.6, or thereabouts. Haven't upgraded to v4] and IE open, with each browser having numerous tabs [30-50] open at the time), decide to go to google and look up some less-than-healthy sites (this is on Firefox). Open many (~5) of them in new tabs, causing my computer to lag slightly - as my computer loads each page one-by-one, a new firefox window opens as each one loads showing ads to some explicit sites or something. I don't look too much at the new windows - I just close them as they appear. One of the windows, upon opening, initiates a Microsoft Security Essentials red alert on the right side of my screen - I click 'Clean computer', and about a second later, the Microsoft Security Essentials bubble pops up again, only this time it's green, and saying 'Computer status-protected', or words to that effect. Less than maybe 5 seconds later, my computer just suddenly switches off - as if someone had pulled out the power cable.

I should mention by this stage that the last time I had turned off this computer was about April the 28th, and that for the past 2 days of so, Microsoft updates had been saying that new updates were available that I hadn't yet downloaded.

I turn on my computer, and in the process of turning it on (thinking that maybe there was something in the DVD drive), I open the drive, find a DVD in there, and then close the drive. Meanwhile, I've noticed that my computer hasn't one through the normal turning-on procedure, and has gone into 'Startup repair'.

Startup repair runs, and it can't find out what the problem is. I run it again, and at the end of the process, a new window opens saying "Startup repair cannot repair the computer automatically". In this same window, it lists 'problem details', which are as follows:

Problem Event Name: StartupRepairOffline
Problem Signature 01: 6.1.7600.16385
Problem Signature 02: 6.1.7600.16385
Problem Signature 03: unknown
Problem Signature 04: 21201050
Problem Signature 05: AutoFailover
Problem Signature 06: 7 (EDIT by me: I believe this value may have changed since the last startup repair; since the first startup repair, I've done it numerous times, out of desparation)
Problem Signature 07: CorruptFile
OS Version: 6.1.7600.2.0.0.256.1
Locale ID: 1033
I then click 'Send report', which then causes a smaller window to pop-up, saying it's searching online for a solution for the problem. That closes, evidently meaning that my computer can't find a solution to the problem online.

I try a couple more Startup repairs, getting pretty much the exact same results as what I've described here. I then try "View advanced options for system recovery and support", and try System restore a couple of times - each time fails, however even then, only if I use the latest system restore point does the process even manage to complete (and even then, only sometimes).

Finally, I look at "View diagnostic and repair details". This is a quite a big section, so so that I don't have to copy out the entire thing word for word onto here, I'll reference a similar post which states the entire diagnostic and repair details for their problem - mine looks pretty similar:

http://www.sevenforums.com/crashes-debugging/116630-cannot-boot-windows-7-first-ntoskrnl-exe-now-startuprepairoffline.html (refer to the second 'Code' quote)

As I said above, my diagnostic and repair details window looks virtually exactly the same (minus dates etc.), however a couple of System restores ago, my window was saying that the file D:\ CI.dll had stuffed up somehow (much like https://www.w7forums.com/computer-wont-restart-root-cause-found-boot-critical-file-d-ci-dll-corrupt-t10903.html). For some reason, it's not showing it after the System restores/Startup repairs now.

And this leaves me here, writing this message (lessons learned btw - never get angry at the computer and decide to open loads of tabs at once, let alone when they're containing content you shouldn't even be looking at in the first place :S ).

Final point: I am not really technically minded at all - perhaps due to the 'bubble' generated at home by my brother constantly being on hand to help me with my copmuter issues - and as such, have virtually no idea what exact operating system I'm running (beyond it being 'Windows 7'), what my video card specs are, how much RAM my computer has, etc. My apologies in advance.

I'm really distraught :( by this situation that I'm in, and I'd gladly welcome any and all help that ANYONE could provide. Thanks.
 
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Bump.

...anyone? Anyone at all? Please, if you think you might know anything that could help - I'd be incredibly grateful if you'd reply. As of today, it's now almost 4 days since my computer crashed, and I'm starting to get nervous/wondering what's happened. Whilst I can find _relatively_ similar scenarios of others on the internet, none are exactly similar, and so I really do feel as if I'm stuck and without a clue of how I'd go about getting out of this situation.
 

Elmer BeFuddled

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Can you run Safe Mode? If so try a system restore point prior to this problem starting. Sys restore works in Safe Mode when (in my experience) the majority will fail in Normal Mode. The only downer (I believe, and willing to be corrected!) is that a Safe Mode System Restore is non-reversible. But I don't think you'll be worrying about that at the moment.

Also run Safe Mode with Command prompt and run sfc /scannow.

I also suggest you download TDSSKiller and run it in Safe Mode to rule out a prevalent RootKit.

Then download, install and update Malwarebytes' Free. Run a full scan in Safe Mode.

That, of course is presuming you can get that far!!
 
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yodap

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Hi and welcome to the forum.

Yeah, more info about hardware would be helpful. Could you tell us what brand and model # you have? We may be able to gather some info from that.

Have you tried booting into safe mode?

Dang Elmo!
 
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Can you run Safe Mode?
Hmm, I'm not too sure. I did eventually work out how to run my computer in safe mode (which apparently is not just spamming F8 once the computer restarts, as I read one official windows 7 support engineer say, but rather waiting until the motherboard screen [I suppose you'd call it?] goes away), however, it unfortunately went right back to into 'system repair' and displayed the same old window I've seen every restart since my computer crashed.

I will however try again, once I've finished vacuuming my computer of all the dust within it - because I so rarely turn it off (something my brother's chastised me about...and after this incident, I may be inclined to agree with him :S ) and the fans are constantly turning, loads of dust gets inside it. Sometimes my computer's fans make weird sounds in the couple of minutes after turning the machine on (when I do do that, that is), which I am hoping is accounted for by my dust problem.

If so try a system restore point prior to this problem starting. Sys restore works in Safe Mode when (in my experience) the majority will fail in Normal Mode. The only downer (I believe, and willing to be corrected!) is that a Safe Mode System Restore is non-reversible. But I don't think you'll be worrying about that at the moment.

Also run Safe Mode with Command prompt and run sfc /scannow.
Hmm. Not too sure if I've done this though - I'll try a safe mode reboot again (that is, after I've finished the internal vacuuming) and try system restoring + running Command Prompt afterwards, and see what effect that has on the situation.

I also suggest you download TDSSKiller and run it in Safe Mode to rule out a prevalent RootKit.

Then download, install and update Malwarebytes' Free. Run a full scan in Safe Mode.

That, of course is presuming you can get that far!!
Will certainly do this once I get my compter back into working order to some degree :)

Hi and welcome to the forum.

Yeah, more info about hardware would be helpful. Could you tell us what brand and model # you have? We may be able to gather some info from that.

Have you tried booting into safe mode?

Dang Elmo!
Hmm...well, thanks to a certain Blizzard beta System Checker, I've thankfully been able to find (some? all? all of the ones normally used?) [of] my computer's specs.

Bear in mind though that these specs were as of maybe ~6 months ago, and whilst I haven't added or taken away anything major from my computer, the information regarding Hard Disk Free Space might be slightly off - no more than maybe 5-10 GBs though.

Operating System: Windows 2.6.1.7600
CPU Type: Intel® Core™2 Duo CPU E6750 @ 2.66GHz
CPU Speed (GHz): 2.68
System Memory (GB): 5.99
Video Card Model: Intel(R) G33/G31 Express Chipset Family
Video Card Driver: igdumdx32.dll
Desktop Resolution: 1024x768
Hard Disk Size (GB): 931.41
Hard Disk Free Space (GB): 890.57
Thanks SO much for both of you guys' help! Whilst I can't test all of the things you've suggested out at the moment, I certainly will ASAP - even if they don't work, it'll at least give me some more information to work with if I need to go further. And of course, it's always nice to know that people are trying to help you :)
 
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I'd dearly love to know whether this problem has been resolved. With the exception of "less-than-healthy sites," I've experienced the exact same sequence of problems and attempted many of the same approaches to solving them, all without success.

I cannot boot Windows 7 (Pro, x86-64) normally or in Safe Mode (with or without Networking). Windows Repair fails, and Windows Restore (to a configuration several days old, a point I believe to be untainted) does not seem to have any affect.

I can launch a command prompt but am not sure what good that will do.

I believe this is in connection with the Open Cloud malware application.

The machine has been stable for the past six months or so. Intel Core2 Q9550, Win7 64-bit, NVIDIA GF8800GTS, ... no recent hardware or software installations. Was running Firefox.

Thanks for any help.
 

TrainableMan

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kermudgeon, it's a virus and if you cannot even boot to safe mode then your best and safest solution is to wipe (format) the harddrive and perform a fresh install (or restore from a system back-up if you are one of the small percentage of users that have made one).
 
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Thanks for your response. I have actually already installed Windows on a new partition and transferred the data over. That's usually the safest bet, just cumbersome to reinstall all of my applications.

Anyone out there should feel free to point out alternative solutions if they have them; I found this thread useful even though it is several months old.
 

TrainableMan

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Data can hold virus code as well. Be sure to run a complete scan.
 
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So hello again guys!

Unfortunately, however, it is not with joy in my heart that I'm bidding you all welcome again. My computer is still in the sad, sorry state it was in when I first posted here.

So essentially, after my last response in this thread some 8 months ago, I didn't really do much in terms of fixing my computer - whilst I thought it was urgent at the time, I managed to go a week - a month - 2 months - and so and on so on without my personal computer, and as I was rather busy during this time, I never really had much time to go back to it. I managed to sequester my dad's laptop some 4-5 months ago, and I've been able to use that since; now however, that I'm on holidays, and with uni coming back for me this year, I'm seeing a renewed vigour to fix this, but also a renewed sense of urgency.

So, to respond to kurmudgeon first up - no, my issue is not resolved, and as I said above, I haven't really been able to do much about that. Until now, that is (hopefully!).

To the guys posting after him - As above.

Now to the new stuff of this post.

After I made my last post here, I tried all of the suggestions mentioned, and although I didn't have access to a computer at the time, I wrote down the results of what happened, and also some follow up questions that I thought I might want answering.

So here goes:

Can I get into safe mode - no, I can't. Or rather, I can get into the boot prompt before Windows loads (that is, *attempts* to load), but booting in safe mode reverts to system repair, within which system restore does not work. Same problem as before, essentially.

Can I get into safe mode with command prompt - errr...I don't think so. Having cleaned my computer's insides (can of air) and tried multiple ways of booting up the system, I either don't know how to/can't get much further, or my computer reverts back to the sae old problem I've been having. System repair loads, fails, and system restore doesn't work either.

With that being said, when I did my most recent boot-up, in the blind hope that things might have magically fixed somehow or other, I was able to click on "Show details" (or whatever the thing is called) after the failed system repair when the prompt came up. Important note - whilst sometimes, this shows nothing at all, or "Windows cannot diagnose the problem", sometimes, things do show up, and this was one of those times. A message came up, mentioning these following locations as being problems:

X:\Windows\Temp\StartupRepair.etl
D:\Windows\System32\LogFiles\Srt\SrtTrail.txt
D:\Windows\System32\LogFiles\Srt\disklayout.txt
D:\Windows\System32\LogFiles\Srt\bcdinfo.txt
D:\Windows\System32\LogFiles\Srt\bootstat.dat
D:\Windows\System32\LogFiles\Srt\bootfailure.txt

I don't know what this means - but perhaps one of you does, hopefully.

I'm now in a state, however, where I'm pretty much resigned to the fact that my compter is really screwed up, that it's not going to magically fix itself, and that I can't just wish away the problem. With that in mind, I come to my final set of questions:

1) In one of my recent google forays of trying (and failing) to work out how to fix my computer, I came across a thread...somewhere (can't find the link :( ) with a response by an official microsoft repair person (so I think it was maybe on microsoft.com, maybe?) responding to a person with, admittedly a slightly different problem to mine, but one that featured similar symptoms - startup repair not working, etc etc etc. The notion of something called a 'repair install' was mentioned. That's a term I've never heard of before, and from the way it was described, I liked it very much. Apparently, if you have your installation DVD of Windows 7, you can put that in to your computer, turn it on, and then tell your computer to repair all system files inside it by rewriting them with the material on the disc. This apparently doesn't affect your documents at all, nor your installed programs. As I've mentioned numerous times in this thread - if it can all be avoided, I'd like to not have to format my computer, lose my documents, and have to reinstall all of my programs. Not only would that take ages, but most fearfully for me, I wouldn't know where to start. So with all of that being said - Is the notion of a 'repair install' possible? And if yes, does it fit the bill - somewhat - to how I've described it?

2) Assuming that the answer to the above two questions is 'yes' and 'yes', I'm assuming that I'd have to have an installation DVD that was the EXACT version of the version of Windows 7 I have installed. As I described in earlier posts, I don't have access to the DVD of installation. Furthermore - and I begrudgingly admit this - I don't know what version of Windows 7 I have installed. Coming to my question then - Is there anyway anyone of you, particularly from looking at the bottom part of post #6 here, could tell me exactly what version of Windows 7 I currently have installed? And if not - how would I go about doing that myself?

3) Assuming the answer to the above question is true, then - What should I buy?

4) FINALLY - I don't have access, as I've already said, to the DVD of installation. Assuming that the 'repair install' is possible - If I were to buy another copy of Windows 7, even an exact replica of the version I have installed, would a 'repair install' still work even though I do not have the DVD of actual installation? Would a repair install still even work then?

...and that's it. Thankyou OH SO VERY MUCH to all of you who've already responded, and helped me out. Thankyou in advance to any who reply to this with assistance. Happy new year :)

-----------------------
PS: Apologies in advance if there are any spelling/grammatical errors in this. This was made in a hurry, as I'm heading off for about a week and won't have access to technology there - it'd be great if I could have a response by the time I get back (5-6 days) though :)
 
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TrainableMan

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Obviously you can do without what's on the computer for 8 months so the best thing to do would be to boot to the W7 DVD, format the harddrive and install W7 fresh.

To get a W7 DVD simply download and burn it, but you will need your product code. Be sure to download Home Premium if you have a Home Prem key, Professional if you have Pro, etc and then get 32 or 64 bit whichever you prefer. Links to download it can found HERE and you should burn the image with software like IMGBurn which you can find HERE. Download & burn on a clean working machine.
 
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