HP laptop startup messed up.. won't boot into OS

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mbradar2

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The trouble with my HP Pavilion Entertainment laptop started when I installed a Linux distro called Fedora onto it a few months back. It didn't install properly or something so I had one of the guys I know uninstall it but now there's something wrong when I start it up. If I don't hit 'Esc' as it's starting up, it just goes to a black screen and freezes. When I hit 'Esc,' it would usually start up Windows 7 normally. However, today I turned it on and it won't even do that. After I hit 'Esc,' it says something along the lines of it not shutting down properly and if I'd like to resume Windows or do a reboot but when I click the up and down arrows on my keyboard or push Enter to choose an option, nothing happens. It just gets to that option screen and freezes.

I used my old HP recovery disk and set the Boot Order so it would boot from the CD but when the 'Press any key to boot from CD' screen pops up and I press a key, it freezes on that screen. If I don't press any key when it says that, it'll go to that 'options' screen again and freeze there. No matter what I do, it freezes SOMEWHERE before it gets to the OS, so I can't even get into anything besides the BIOS menu.

Any suggestions? I think Linux ruined something. I've been told the partition for my Recovery drive somehow got deleted in the process of removing Linux so... I feel like I'm SOL. If there's absolutely any tiny little thing I could attempt to try, please let me know!
 
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Your MBR has been replaced so your recovery partition, if any, is no longer accessible. It may be difficult to replce the MBR even with recovery disks since the hidden partitions may not be visible to Windows tools, either.

When you say your "old" HP recovery disk, do you mean one that came with that machine and has the same OS? If not, that will do further damage.

You may want to boot up with a partitioning tool to find out exactly what partitions are presently on the drive and where they are.

Do you have the recovery disks that belong to this machine? You had the opportunity to create them when you got it.

*******************************************
Parted Magic disk partitoning tool (Bootable CD image)
If you prefer a bootable USB key, download and run Linux Live USB Creator. Choose the Parted Magic distro, and it will download it and automatically create a bootable USB key.

This CD (or key) contains many useful tools. You can partition, recover files, recover lost partitions, make disk images (by several different methods), transfer files between media, scan for viruses (It can serve as an Alternative Trusted Platform for search and elimination of rootkits and bootkits), examine and benchmark hardware, access the internet, and much more.
*******************************************
 

mbradar2

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Yes, grub was the boot loader when Linux was installed but it isn't now.
Sorry, by 'old' I did not mean the original. I was dumb enough to not think about creating a recovery disk when I first got the laptop. Yeah, hindsight. It was a recovery disk I finally ended up making a couple of years in so it is not for the original Windows Vista that came with the computer but for the Windows 7 that I had installed on it.

Well if I create that bootable CD or key, will it start up? Like I just said, my screen freezes on the 'Press any key to boot from CD.' If I create that then how would I start it if my laptop won't put me past that screen?
 
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Is it actually a "freeze" or is it that the USB keyboard doesn't work on that screen? Does it stop and stay there?
 

mbradar2

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Yes, it stops and stays there on the 'Press any key to boot from CD.' Whether I press anything or not, the screen stays like that and nothing happens unless I do a hard reboot. Normally when that screen comes up and if I don't press anything it will just keep going and get on to my Windows 7 OS. Since it does not do that for me now, I assume that is what is called a 'real' freeze. Is there anything I might be able to do?
 
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Something obviously changed to make your system stop booting. That it freezes on that particular screen is not good since very little is going on in the machine at that point. I would definitely recommend a RAM test if that is even possible. Try the bootable memtest86 CD since that test can relocate itself to different parts of RAM. It may be able to run even if nothing else will boot if you have a bad stick of RAM.

I would agree that it is a "real freeze".

MemScope (Floppy and CD images.)
Roadkil's RAM Test
Microsoft Memory Test (floppy or CD ISO image)
Memtest86

If you have enough memory sticks, you can test them by removing one at a time and see if the problem disappears.

If you are running Vista or 7, tap F8 on boot and choose the memory diagnostic, or if you can boot up, go to Start > Search and type:

mdsched.exe

Choose to run a memory diagnostic on next boot. Or, you can boot from the DVD and run it from there.
 

mbradar2

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The first thing I did was run the tests shown on the BIOS screen and my computer 'passed.' I'll try those bootable disks and see where I can go with it. Thank you for helping :)
 
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That's good, but memtest does a much more complete test, for longer, than the built-in tests do. You should let it run an hour or so, anyway, so that it can pick up any intermittent errors, too.

But removing sticks one at a time is faster if you have enough sticks.

Once you make sure that RAM is OK, you could also then test the hard drive. But no tests are valid if RAM is bad, so that is a start.

You could check your hardware by trying to boot from another OS, too. This will also give you the chance to recover anything you may want to keep if you lose the OS and files:

*******************************************
Parted Magic disk partitoning tool (Bootable CD image)
If you prefer a bootable USB key, download and run Linux Live USB Creator. Choose the Parted Magic distro, and it will download it and automatically create a bootable USB key.

This CD (or key) contains many useful tools. You can partition, recover files, recover lost partitions, make disk images (by several different methods), transfer files between media, scan for viruses (It can serve as an Alternative Trusted Platform for search and elimination of rootkits and bootkits), examine and benchmark hardware, access the internet, and much more.
*******************************************
 

mbradar2

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Joined
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Thank you for replying. It's been hectic times so I haven't had time to get back to this problem -- sorry. I downloaded the latest free version of memtest86 bootable CD. It is a .zip file. I'm currently (obviously) using a different computer now. Do I just stick a CD in, put that .zip file on the CD, and then stick the CD into my handicapped HP laptop? Then tap F8 and follow what you said, letting it run for an hour? . . . Just want to make sure I have it clear. Do I have to open the .zip file before I record it to the CD or anything?

Also, what do you mean by removing sticks? Should I be putting the .zip file on a USB stick instead of a CD? If so, why would I need more than one?

Thanks, again, so much for taking the time to put up with me. I've already gotten a new laptop so it's not top priority to get this laptop fixed (there was nothing important on it that I didn't already have backed up in 3 other places). I know it's a 4-year-old PC so it's not meant to last forever but I just don't want to give up without having tried absolutely everything.

If you could answer the questions when you have time, I can go through with the RAM test and post back results.


Oh, one more thing . . . there is a list of several Motherboard 'resource conflict' errors that show up on the black screen when I do various things like hit Esc at startup or go through System Information. Would that list help solve any mysteries? Is my motherboard just shot? Here is the list:

ERROR
Resource Conflict - PCI Serial Bus Controller on Motherboard
Bus: 02, Device: 05, Function: 00

ERROR
Resource Conflict - PCI on Motherboard
Bus: 02, Device: 05, Function: 01

ERROR
Resource Conflict - PCI on Motherboard
Bus: 02, Device: 05, Function: 02

ERROR
Resource Conflict - PCI on Motherboard
Bus: 02, Device: 05, Function: 03

ERROR
Resource Conflict - PCI on Motherboard
Bus: 02, Device: 05, Function: 04

Thank you!
 
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