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  1. #1
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    Wndows 7 system repair endless loop

    All, I am at a loss. I have an HP Pavillion Elite, m9340f, that originally came with Vista and was upgraded to Windows 7 (64bit) Home Premium. Now suddenly it won't boot correctly. Note: There have been no hardware changes for a couple of months. It now starts with the Windows Error Recovery screen.

    If I choose Start Windows Normally, it will get to the Starting Windows screen, stay there for a minute, the a Blue Screen flashes for a split second and then it reboots.

    If I choose Launch Startup Repair, it shows "Windows is loading files" and after a while with a blank screen, the "Startup Repair" screen comes up and says that "Startup Repair is checking your system for problems..." The screen also states that it is "Attemping Repairs ... Repairing disk errors. This might take over an hour to complete."

    After a while, it states "Your computer is unable to start" and a popup window asks "Do you want to restore your computer using System Restore? I select Restore, and the screen says that it is "Attempting repairs". After a while it asks if I want to Restore to a previous spot. It quickly reboots on its own and the cycle begins again. Sometimes, Startup Repair states that it cannot repair this computer automatically. On this popup window, I can have it show the problem details, which are:
    Problem Signature
    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: -1
    Problem Signature 05: AutoFailover
    Problem Signature 06: 1
    Problem Signature 07: NoRootCause
    OS Version: 6.1.7600.2.0.0.256.1
    Locale ID: 1033

    At this point I have clicked on the "View advanced options for systm recovery and support" link and the "System Recovey Options" screen comes up. I select "English" and "US" for the keyboard and select Next. The System Recovery Options screen comes up next.

    The choices are:
    Startup Repair
    System Restore
    System Image Recovery
    Wndows Memory Diagnostic
    Command Prompt
    If I choose Startup Repair, I fall into the loop described above.

    If I choose System Restore, the first of two choices is: "Use recovery tools that help fix problems starting Windows. Select an operating system to repair. If you operating system is not listed, click Load Drivers and then install drives for your hard disks." The second choice is "Restore your computer using a system image that you created earlier." The default choice is the second one.
    There is no operating system listed. If I choose to use the recovery tools and click Load Drivers, the "Add Drivers" window pops up, asking me to "Insert the installation media for the device and click OK to selet the driver." With the Windows 7 upgrade disk in the DVD drive, I click OK the files on the DVD show up, but I have no idea which of the "Setup Information" file type to choose. No matter which I try, I get the error "The Specified location does not contain information about your hardware."

    If I choose System Image Recovery, I get "An internal error occured. The following information might help you resolve the error: The system cannot find the path specified.(0x80070003).

    If I choose Windows Memory Diagnostic, and choose "Restart now and check for problems" it syas that "Windows cannot check for memory problems."

    If I choose Command Prompt, it defaults to the X:\windows\system32 directory. If I try to change to the C: drive or look at the C: directory, it get a "The system cannot find the path (or drive) specified" The only other drives that show up are E:, F:, G:, and H: (Note: This are the Smart Media etc. drives). The X: drive is the only hard drive that shows up. None of my files shows up on the X: drive.

    In trying to figure things out, I have also come across this repair log:
    Startup Repair diagnosis and repair log
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Number of repair attempts: 1

    Session details
    --------------------------------------
    System Disk =
    Windows directory =
    AutoChk Run = 0
    Number of root causes = 1

    Test Performed:
    ---------------------------------
    Name: Check for updates
    Result: Completed successfully. Error code = 0x0
    Time taken = 0ms

    Test Performed:
    -----------------------------------
    Name: System disk test
    Result: Completed successfully. Error code = 0x0
    Time taken = 16ms

    Root cause found:
    ------------------------------
    A hard disk could not be found. If a hard disk is installed, it is not responding.

    I used F8 at bootup to turn off the automatic reboot on errors and recieved the following error message when the machine tried to boot: PROCESS1_INITIALIZATION_FAILED and the Technical information is :*** STOP: 0x0000006B (0xFFFFFFFFC0000020, 0x000000000000003,0x0000000000000000, 0x0000000000000000)

    Hitting F10 at bootup and going into the BIOS screen, the physical C: drive is seen. Running a full SMART drive test (which took about 3 hours) returned no errors.

    Hitting F9 at bootup took me to the test area and the CPU, Memory, Hard Drive, DVD Drive, and Boot Path were also tested and passed.

    It will not boot in Safe Mode (goes to System Repair Screen).

    As I said initially, I am at a loss. The best I can figure is that Windows is not seeing my C: drive and therefore it cannot boot. Right now my biggest concern is getting my files (i.e. My Documents, My Pictures, My Videos) saved. Any suggestions to get this computer running again would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you.

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  3. The Following User Says Thank You to wchittenden For This Useful Post:

    HmS-PA (2013-03-21)

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  5. #3
    New Lounger
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    Thank you for the link. Unfortunately, it did not work. I booted from my Windows 7 upgrade disk. The Windows 7 install screen comes up (first choose My Language is English, etc) When I get to the Windows 7 Install now screen, I selected Repair your computer. Things looked promising when the System Recovery Options screen came up and this time the Windows 7 operating system is shown as an option with a partition size of 703808 MB (which is correct) and Location of (C HP. However, when I selected to Use recovery tools ... and clicked Next, it looked like things might work (kept showing Seaching for Windows installations), but then it comes up with the System Recovery Options screen. The only difference I see is that at the top it now shows Operating system Windows 7 on (C HP. However, if I choose System Restore, I get an error (The system cannot find the file specified. (0x80070002) Please close System Restore and try again." If I click on System Restore again, I get the same error. So I tried the advice in the link and opened the command prompt window and tried to delete the bootcat.cache file from the %SystemRoot%\system32\codeintegrity folder. However, I still can't access the C: drive and on the X: drive that folder is empty. Am I looking in the wrong place?

  6. #4
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    If "C:" is your System Root you need to be able to access it. Otherwise, I think you may be stuck with a reinstall.

    Joe

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    Quote Originally Posted by wchittenden View Post
    Right now my biggest concern is getting my files (i.e. My Documents, My Pictures, My Videos) saved. Any suggestions to get this computer running again would be greatly appreciated.Thank you.
    Your first concern at this point is to salvage your files. Several times I have successfully helped others by booting with a Live Boot CD, my favorite is to use Puppy Linux http://puppylinux.org
    /main/Download%20Latest%20Release.htm
    . If the file system is intact, you should be able to copy files to an external drive.

  8. #6
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    I think the best your going to be able to do at this point would be to get your data off the drive and attempt to salvage whatever else you need from it.

    You could accomplish this by disconnecting the current drive, reinstalling Windows on another internal drive, then reconnecting the original and pull whatever data you need off of it.
    ...
    Or you could remove the drive from your computer and connect it to another computer as a secondary drive and pull your data off.

    You have demonstrated one of the primary reasons why I do not like to rely on MS's recovery capabilities. A 3rd party solution might be something to think about in the near future.

  9. #7
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    Or if you had Acronis, you could boot to the CD, and do a data or image backup. Some of the freeware backup programs like Macruim Reflect may have the same capability but I'm not familiar with them.

    Jerry

  10. #8
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    An idea occurred to me, if your repair or restore failed from your HP OEM disk, you might have better luck doing so from a genuine Windows 7 disk. You can find a link to download an ISO from digital river. Just get you flavor and bitrate matched up to what your currently using.

    It's worth a shot and it might just work saving you from a clean install or OEM re-image.

  11. #9
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    Thank you for the suggestions. I downloaded an Ubuntu (Linux) ISO file and burned it to a CD. I booted from that CD into Ubuntu and was able to access all of the drives. I think I have all of the important files (mostly pictures and home videos) copied to an external WD drive. I navigated to the Bootcat.cache file and renamed it by adding a .bak extenstion (I always get nervous deleting a file). I rebooted with Windows and it went into System Repair mode. It did its thing for a while and then rebooted to the Login screen. I selected my icon and it looked like things were going o.k. until is suddenly had a blue screen with a ***STOP: 0x000000F4 error. I'll now search for that error, pray some more, and then update this thread with the result.
    Last edited by wchittenden; 2012-07-04 at 10:20.

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    You can try and use BlueScreenView to determine what is causing the BSOD.

  13. #11
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    Thank you for all of the suggestions. In the end, I was able to copy (usinig Ubuntu) all of the "important" files to an external drive and just started over from scratch. I had Windows re-format the drive and started clean. So far, so good.

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    5 Star Lounger Maudibe's Avatar
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    Next Time

    Maybe I missed it but you did not mention if you were able to boot to safe mode using the F8 key and doing a system restore from there. Once in safe mode, you could also access system properties by right clicking My Computer>Properties>Advanced System Properties>Advanced Tab>Startup and Recovery Settings button>Uncheck Automatically restart. Your computer will no longer reboot on error and will write a dump file which you can view for debugging. I would also reseat all components and do a thorough cleaning, memory test, fan inspection and reset the bios. Sounds like a hardware issue or a bad driver.


    SystemProperties2.jpg Startup Recovery2.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Maudibe; 2012-07-12 at 21:43.

  15. #13
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    Thank you for the suggestion, but no, I could not boot into Safe mode. Your tip is good to know for future reference though.

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    Test your hard Drive

    Earlier in one of the posts you said your hard drive is not recognized or not responding. That could be your problem. HPs have a self diagnosis utility - go into the BIOS (F10) and there should be a DIAGNOSIS tab. Run the Hard Drive Self Test; the Quick Test should be sufficient.

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    Arrow It's dead, Jim (well, maybe not quite yet...)

    Quote Originally Posted by wchittenden View Post
    All, I am at a loss. I have an HP Pavillion Elite, m9340f, that originally came with Vista and was upgraded to Windows 7 (64bit) Home Premium. Now suddenly it won't boot correctly. Note: There have been no hardware changes for a couple of months. It now starts with the Windows Error Recovery screen.

    If I choose Start Windows Normally, it will get to the Starting Windows screen, stay there for a minute, the a Blue Screen flashes for a split second and then it reboots.

    If I choose Launch Startup Repair, it shows "Windows is loading files" and after a while with a blank screen, the "Startup Repair" screen comes up and says that "Startup Repair is checking your system for problems..." The screen also states that it is "Attemping Repairs ... Repairing disk errors. This might take over an hour to complete."

    After a while, it states "Your computer is unable to start" and a popup window asks "Do you want to restore your computer using System Restore? I select Restore, and the screen says that it is "Attempting repairs". After a while it asks if I want to Restore to a previous spot. It quickly reboots on its own and the cycle begins again. Sometimes, Startup Repair states that it cannot repair this computer automatically...[and on and on and on and on]
    Woof!

    Given that you've tried the other solutions presented and nothing works, not even Safe Mode, then I'm betting that we're drifting into the realm of a HDD that's already failing and is about to completely crash. Even a reinstall isn't going to fix this problem.

    Forget the half-way measures of free diagnostic tools, at this point--go straight to Gibson Research (www.grc.com), buy a copy of SpinRite, and run it on your system. If SpinRite can't fix your system, it can't be fixed (though you may need to ask Steve Gibson for some tips before abandoning the attempt, if following the stock instructions don't succeed).

    Oh, and go ahead and order a new HDD (or a new system, if you're ready to move on).

    Assuming that you're able to boot again after using SpinRite, install the new HDD, do a new Win7 install on it (don't clone the old drive--Windows updates never run as well as clean installs), move over all your data from the old HDD, then decommission the old HDD.

    Have a happy computing life!

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