Can't boot even with Repair Disks!


R

Roy Fenimore

I am so frustrated! I have a dual-boot system with Ubuntu 10 (I think)
and Windows 7. I don't know why--I hardly ever use Ubuntu. Yesterday, I
decided to visit Ubuntu just for a change of pace. I installed some
updates, and Ubuntu changed the Bootloader to GRUB! Windows 7 bootloader
called GRUB when it needed it. Started them both just fine.

Windows won't boot now. It looks like the Vista Bootloader is trying to
start, so I presume my computer is trying to run it's original recovery
software. It's an HP a6720f that came with Vista installed, and it has a
"Factory Image" partition on the HD. It says "Windows is loading files",
then a progress indicator, then a blank screen (with lots of flashing
from the HD activity light), then a blank screen with a mouse cursor in
the middle. After that, no further progress.

I've tried to boot into Safe Mode, Last Known Good, Repair, everything.
I've tried to boot from both my Windows 7 Repair Disk and my Vista
Recovery Disk. Always hangs at the same spot.

I'm using Ubuntu now, but I miss Windows! Everything is so hard in Linux!

Can anyone help?
 
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P

Paul

Roy said:
I am so frustrated! I have a dual-boot system with Ubuntu 10 (I think)
and Windows 7. I don't know why--I hardly ever use Ubuntu. Yesterday, I
decided to visit Ubuntu just for a change of pace. I installed some
updates, and Ubuntu changed the Bootloader to GRUB! Windows 7 bootloader
called GRUB when it needed it. Started them both just fine.

Windows won't boot now. It looks like the Vista Bootloader is trying to
start, so I presume my computer is trying to run it's original recovery
software. It's an HP a6720f that came with Vista installed, and it has a
"Factory Image" partition on the HD. It says "Windows is loading files",
then a progress indicator, then a blank screen (with lots of flashing
from the HD activity light), then a blank screen with a mouse cursor in
the middle. After that, no further progress.

I've tried to boot into Safe Mode, Last Known Good, Repair, everything.
I've tried to boot from both my Windows 7 Repair Disk and my Vista
Recovery Disk. Always hangs at the same spot.

I'm using Ubuntu now, but I miss Windows! Everything is so hard in Linux!

Can anyone help?
Is the Windows 7 partition still visible ? When you're in Ubuntu,
can you access it ? First I'd want to prove the partition itself
isn't damaged.

You can get a Windows 7 recovery console disc here. This will ask you
to log into the partition to be repaired. There is the equivalent of
fixmbr and fixboot on here. The download is a torrent. You can set up
a torrent downloader in Ubuntu (that may be how I got this image
for my own collection). Check the Synaptic Package Manager if it isn't
installed. It's the only torrent I've had to do, to get software.
(I'm only mentioning this, in case your existing CDs aren't
real Recovery Consoles or don't offer a Command Prompt.)
These are not installer CDs, they're just a Recovery Console.
And Command Prompt, is one of the useful functions, for OSes
other than Windows 7.

http://neosmart.net/blog/2009/windows-7-system-repair-discs/

Information on the "bootrec" program on the recovery CD.

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

There is also some program called "bootsect".

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744577(WS.10).aspx

Now, say you were to boot that CD, and you're still seeing the
black screen. If that were to happen to me, I'd -

1) Verify in the BIOS, that the disk controller was running AHCI.
AHCI gives hot plug. (You'd need hot plug, to support the ability
to plug in the SATA cable for the hard drive, after the
system is booted.)
2) I'm assuming both IDE and AHCI drivers are available in the
recovery console. It would be pretty stupid if they both
weren't available.
3) If this is a desktop, I'd disconnect the SATA cable to the
original hard drive, boot the recovery CD, then plug in the
SATA data cable for the hard drive again. Doing so, will likely
miss the opportunity to "log into" the broken install. But
you'd still have the opportunity to open a command prompt, and
from there you could do some bootrec work.

System Recovery Options

Startup Repair
System Restore
Windows Complete PC Restore
Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool
Command Prompt <----

The trick would then be, to try to "change directory" in the
Command Prompt, to the newly plugged in disk (as proof it has
been detected), and if you can see it, perhaps you can repair the MBR.

And if this is a laptop, um, what a mess... You'll probably
need to pull the hard drive, put it in a USB2 to 2.5" enclosure,
and work on the disk on some other computer. One that boots
the above CD or equivalent, so you can do the same kind of
repair to it.

HTH,
Paul
 
B

B. Al. Zeebub

I am so frustrated! I have a dual-boot system with Ubuntu 10 (I think)
and Windows 7. I don't know why--I hardly ever use Ubuntu. Yesterday, I
decided to visit Ubuntu just for a change of pace. I installed some
updates, and Ubuntu changed the Bootloader to GRUB! Windows 7 bootloader
called GRUB when it needed it. Started them both just fine.

Windows won't boot now. It looks like the Vista Bootloader is trying to
start, so I presume my computer is trying to run it's original recovery
software. It's an HP a6720f that came with Vista installed, and it has a
"Factory Image" partition on the HD. It says "Windows is loading files",
then a progress indicator, then a blank screen (with lots of flashing
from the HD activity light), then a blank screen with a mouse cursor in
the middle. After that, no further progress.

I've tried to boot into Safe Mode, Last Known Good, Repair, everything.
I've tried to boot from both my Windows 7 Repair Disk and my Vista
Recovery Disk. Always hangs at the same spot.

I'm using Ubuntu now, but I miss Windows! Everything is so hard in
Linux!

Can anyone help?
Use Dolphin/Nautilus to confirm your Windows boot files are still there.
file:///media/disk/$Recycle.Bin
file:///media/disk/BOOTSECT.BAK
file:///media/disk/Boot
file:///media/disk/Boot.BAK
file:///media/disk/Boot.ini.saved
file:///media/disk/Config.Msi
file:///media/disk/Documents and Settings
file:///media/disk/IO.SYS
file:///media/disk/Intel
file:///media/disk/MSDOS.SYS
file:///media/disk/MSOCache
file:///media/disk/My Documents
file:///media/disk/NTDETECT.COM
file:///media/disk/NVIDIA
file:///media/disk/PerfLogs
file:///media/disk/Program Files
file:///media/disk/Program Files (x86)
file:///media/disk/ProgramData
file:///media/disk/Python31
file:///media/disk/RECYCLER
file:///media/disk/Recovery
file:///media/disk/System Volume Information
file:///media/disk/Temp
file:///media/disk/Users
file:///media/disk/VritualRoot
file:///media/disk/Windows
file:///media/disk/autoexec.bat
file:///media/disk/bootmgr
file:///media/disk/config.sys
file:///media/disk/globdata.ini
file:///media/disk/hiberfil.sys
file:///media/disk/ntldr
file:///media/disk/pagefile.sys

Then try reinstalling Grub from your Ubuntu installation media, and pay
more attention to what your update manager is doing next time, OK. The
following articles should give you a heads up.

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/GrubHowto
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WindowsDualBoot

You can use startup-manager later to return Windows to the default OS to
load.
 
R

Roy Fenimore

Use Dolphin/Nautilus to confirm your Windows boot files are still there.
file:///media/disk/$Recycle.Bin
file:///media/disk/BOOTSECT.BAK
file:///media/disk/Boot
file:///media/disk/Boot.BAK
 
B

B. Al. Zeebub

I'll try...but the problem is that before this, my boot loader was the
Windows 7 loader, which chained to Grub when I selected Windows. I
wonder if the old Grub would do any better than the new one at launching
Windows 7....
I use Grub2 and it works fine with Win7. At worst you may need to run
'sudo grub-update' after the reinstall.
 
R

Roy Fenimore

I use Grub2 and it works fine with Win7. At worst you may need to run
'sudo grub-update' after the reinstall.
Okie, dokie, I'll give it a try!
 
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R

Roy Fenimore

I am so frustrated! I have a dual-boot system with Ubuntu 10 (I think)
and Windows 7. I don't know why--I hardly ever use Ubuntu. Yesterday, I
decided to visit Ubuntu just for a change of pace. I installed some
updates, and Ubuntu changed the Bootloader to GRUB! Windows 7 bootloader
called GRUB when it needed it. Started them both just fine.

Windows won't boot now. It looks like the Vista Bootloader is trying to
start, so I presume my computer is trying to run it's original recovery
software. It's an HP a6720f that came with Vista installed, and it has a
"Factory Image" partition on the HD. It says "Windows is loading files",
then a progress indicator, then a blank screen (with lots of flashing
from the HD activity light), then a blank screen with a mouse cursor in
the middle. After that, no further progress.

I've tried to boot into Safe Mode, Last Known Good, Repair, everything.
I've tried to boot from both my Windows 7 Repair Disk and my Vista
Recovery Disk. Always hangs at the same spot.

I'm using Ubuntu now, but I miss Windows! Everything is so hard in
Linux!

Can anyone help?
Oh, wow. I think I just realized something: a few months ago, I had to
replace the motherboard on this computer. Even though the motherboard was
sold as an HP Violet-gl8e motherboard, and it looks identical, the BIOS
is different from the old one. That might be why HP's startup repair
won't work--it checks the motherboard to make sure it's an HP product,
and maybe this motherboard doesn't quite measure up.
 

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