Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/173828/what-to-do-when-windows-wont-boot/
You turn on your computer one day and Windows refuses to boot — what do you do? “Windows won’t boot” is a common symptom with a variety of causes, so you’ll need to perform some troubleshooting.
In the last couple of days I'd been experiencing boot-up and shutdown problems with my wife's Windows 7 computer. Getting blue screen memory dumps on shutdown, and hanging after seeing the "Starting Windows" screen on startup.
While I have some pretty good and basic knowledge, based mostly on experience and learning from places like this site -- I certainly do not consider myself a geek by HTG standards. -- So, after trying some usual troubleshooting steps (uninstalling new software, booting successfully to safe mode, removing startup entries, system restore, etc) to no avail, I called my local repair guy last night - who happens to live around the corner and told me to bring it right over.
I told him what was going on and - after checking to ensure the hard drive and motherboard were sound, he booted up and shut down the system a few times -- but this time everything worked perfectly and he could not replicate the problem as I had described it.
He then asked me about the hardware peripherals we have hooked up to the computer at home - which includes two HP printers, which my wife uses for her photography.
He asked me if the printers had card readers - which they both do - and asked if the printers are always on - which they are. The guy told me that sometimes the computer (Windows) will view those open card reader slots as an extra hard drive and will wait for a response of some sort. Receiving nothing, the system will hang as it can't resolve the conflict.
He also asked me about our power hook-ups, which consisted of everything being plugged into an old (and rather lame) power strip, with a faded and blinking power switch. He didn't like that at all - and suggested I plug the computer directly into the wall, until such time as I can go out and buy a higher-grade surge protector, which he said would be perfectly acceptable.
After replacing the CMOS battery (which was failing) and resetting the bios clock, he told me to take the computer home and start by connecting only the mouse, keyboard, monitor and ethernet cables - then, plug the computer directly into a wall socket - and see what happens.
I came home, followed his instructions, and the computer booted up normally. We were able to run all our usual programs and my wife was able to carry on with her normal evening PC activities.
When we were finished, the system shut down normally - and restarted and shutdown earlier this morning without any issues.
Our next step will be to re-connect the printers - however, now we will only turn them on after windows has started and will turn them off before shutdown. For now, the computer remains plugged into the wall - however, when we buy a good surge protector this weekend, we will go back to shutting down completely at the end of the day.
Since I had originally been able to boot into safe mode, I was leaning towards the problem being more software or driver-related -- but in this case, I would have never figured it out for myself.
Good article! The article stated,
If the hard drive doesn’t appear in the list at all, it’s possible your hard drive has failed and can no longer be booted from.
While this is true, a failed or failing SATA cable can also cause the same problem. A SATA cable that has become loose can also be the culprit.
The section entitled Recover Files When Windows Won’t Boot gives excellent advice that is well within the scope of the article but I feel the advice to have a good backup plan in place before failure can occur will ensure that one will not lose their data in the event of failure. Data recovery after the fact is usually iffy at best and may be expensive or impossible if the drive itself has gone south or the data corrupted beyond all recognition.
What to do when Windows won't boot for the 249089th time and you have backed up all your data:
Note that the microsoft recover/repair process may take a couple of hours, and it will look like it is sitting there doing nothing for very long periods, but give it time...
Mine goes to a windows desktop view, but without the shortcuts or start-menu for an hour or two. But eventually resumes the scanning/repair.
A few months ago, my computer wasn't able to boot, so I decided to run Startup Repair(advanced startup options F8), and then restart my computer. Then it said no operating system found. Startup repair somehow deleted all my boot partitions
the next thing I did was reinstall windows and run a partition recovery program
My disk volumes were okay though
Always backup your data before using startup repair
Why wait for Windows to fail to boot? Install Linux now! I recently wiped my HD and installed Linux alone (formerly a dual-boot set-up) with Win7 in a VM. I'm happy, my laptop is happy, all is well
good article, but I have aproblems since years with HP DC7800 desktop.
Inever found the solution and now, I live with it. I made all the firmware-bios upgrqde, and check man time the boot parameters. No success. I such elements as USB card reader is plugged when Iswitch on the computer, I see the standard HP blahblah on the screen, but when it shoul boot, I just see the underline cursor upleft, and nothing happens. Maybe the case was not in your article.
Try reinstalling Windows.