How to Repair Windows 7 Boot problems / Miami Lakes Computer Repair
This is one of the most common problems with Microsoft operating system. I’ve decided to uncover some of the fixes I apply to get Windows back on the Desktop.
Check your BIOS settings
Make sure to check the boot order in your Bios Settings. In many cases, having Windows 7 fail to boot may be as simple as having your BIOS set with an incorrect boot order sequence. It can be quite common if you have more than one hard drive installed in your computer and your BIOS gets reset. Usually you can access your BIOS seconds after your computer turns on by pressing the Delete button or by pressing a specific function key. Once in the BIOS, check to see that your system drive is listed appropriately in the boot order sequence; you may need to refer to your motherboard manual for help;
Another possible reason is to make sure all the cables are plugged in properly. If your hard drive is making an odd noise, such as a clicking sound, your hard drive may be broken. Finally, it is possible that the hard drive is having data corruption issues , which has damaged important system data, such as the Master Boot Record (MBR). If you suspect a faulty hard drive, it may be a good idea to backup and scan your hard drive for errors from another computer and possibly consider buying a replacement. Trying to repair a boot problem on a damaged drive can possibly lead to even more data loss, so backup your data before attempting anything.
The MBR and other important boot data can also be damaged by trying to install an earlier version of Windows, such as Windows XP, alongside Windows 7 and by third-party programs, such as viruses. In the case of a virus, it is recommended that you run a virus scan of the drive before attempting any repairs as otherwise it could lead to more data loss. It is further possible to achieve the appearance of damaged boot data by having the wrong drive partition set to active, which can be the outcome of an overly curious Windows user with administrative permissions.
Fixing the MBR and other start up problems in Windows 7 is most quickly accomplished by using the Windows 7 Installation DVD. If you do not have a Windows 7 Installation DVD however, you can alternatively use a Windows 7 System Recovery Disc, which we will show you how to create further down in this article. If you do not yet have either a Windows 7 Installation DVD or a recovery disc, do yourself a big favor and make a recovery disc right away to avoid any unnecessary headaches down the road.
Fixing the Master Boot Record (MBR)
Step 1: Turn your computer on, booting from either your Windows 7 Installation DVD or Windows 7 System Recovery Disc. Remember, you may need to change the boot order inside your BIOS to have the your DVD drive boot first.
Step 2: After the installation or recovery disc loads, if prompted, select your language settings and then continue. If you are using the installation DVD, when prompted by the following screen select Repair your computer.
Step 4: Once you have reached the System Recovery Options screen, as shown below, you will be faced with a list of choices that can aid you in repairing a damaged Windows 7 operating system. If you wish to try the Startup Repair option first, it is often successful in automatically fixing many different start up issues, but in this article we will be using the Command Prompt option to resolve our problems manually. So, clickCommand Prompt to continue.
Step five: Now sitting at the command prompt, enter the following command and then press enter: bootrec.exe /FixMbr
If successful, you should be greeted with the message The operation completed successfully. That’s it! Your Master Boot Record has been repaired.
While the above command does fix the MBR, and sometimes that is enough, there still might be an error with the system partition’s boot sector and Boot Configuration Data (BCD). This might occur if you have tried to install another operating system alongside Windows 7, such as Windows XP. To write a new boot sector, try the following command:
If you are still faced with your Windows 7 installation not being detected during start up, or if you wish to include more than one operating system choice to your system’s boot list, you can try the following command to rebuild your BCD:
The above command will scan all your disks for other operating systems compatible with Windows 7 and allow you to add them to your system’s boot list. If this fails, you may need to backup the old BCD folder* and create a new one in its place with the following commands:
*Some users also find simply deleting the boot folder and retrying the above steps effective at resolving boot issues, but it is not recommended.
How To Manually Troubleshoot and Repair Windows 7 Bootloader
Here are few tips you can try if the Windows 7 Install/Repair disk doesn’t find the problem and won’t able to fix the boot issue for you.
- Boot Windows 7 installation disc in the disc drive, and then start the computer.
- Press a key when you are prompted.
- Click Repair your computer.
- Click the operating system that you want to repair, and then click Next.
- In the System Recovery Options dialog box, click Command Prompt.
- Type Bootrec.exe, and then press ENTER.
The Bootrec.exe tool supports the following options. Use the option that is appropriate for your situation. (This works on all versions of Vista and Windows 7 Only)
You can Try the following combination:
The /FixMbr option writes a Windows 7 or Windows Vista-compatible MBR to the system partition. This option does not overwrite the existing partition table. Use this option when you must resolve MBR corruption issues, or when you have to remove non-standard code from the MBR.
The /FixBoot option writes a new boot sector to the system partition by using a boot sector that is compatible with Windows Vista or Windows 7. Use this option if one of the following conditions is true:
- The boot sector has been replaced with a non-standard Windows Vista or Windows 7 boot sector.
- The boot sector is damaged.
- An earlier Windows operating system has been installed after Windows Vista or Windows 7 was installed. In this scenario, the computer starts by using Windows NT Loader (NTLDR) instead of Windows Boot Manager (Bootmgr.exe).
The /ScanOs option scans all disks for installations that are compatible with Windows Vista or Windows 7. Additionally, this option displays the entries that are currently not in the BCD store. Use this option when there are Windows Vista or Windows 7 installations that the Boot Manager menu does not list.
The /RebuildBcd option scans all disks for installations that are compatible with Windows Vista or Windows 7 Additionally, this option lets you select the installations that you want to add to the BCD store. Use this option when you must completely rebuild the BCD.
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