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startup problem..can't startup unless I hit 'Esc'

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by mbradar2, Nov 7, 2011.

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  1. mbradar2

    mbradar2 Account Closed Thread Starter

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    Everything was going fine until I decided to try installing Linux Fedora after I had just attended a Linux seminar. The people helped me install it but it ended up not installing properly so I believe the guy who helped me got rid of it and just left my Windows 7 OS. However, I don't know a whole lot about computers. I mean, I know as much as a typical 21st-century college student does but not too much more. So, here's the issue now: my computer starts up like usual with the welcome screen that says things like 'Press F10 to blah blah, press F1 to blah blah, etc." If I just let it load by itself, after that screen it takes me to a black screen and it just stays frozen on that black screen. If I then restart my computer and again see the welcome screen and then hit 'Esc' as the welcome screen is on, and then let it load, my Windows 7 OS starts up normally.

    I've been told by my computer-knowledgeable friends that it wasn't Linux that caused the problem but that Linux just revealed a problem with my BIOS that was already originally there. I tried a hard reboot using my Windows 7 34-bit CD but when the message pops up saying 'Press any key to boot from CD,' nothing happens when I press any key. So I just logged onto Windows as normal and then opened up setup.exe from the Windows 7 Installation Disc folder. It rebooted but that didn't help the startup issues.

    Sorry if this is long. If anyone could offer me any suggestions, even if just to say I should give up on trying to fix it, I would be ever so grateful. Here is my computer information:

    Notebook Model HP Pavilion dv6700 Notebook PC (although a sticker on my laptop says 'dv6815nr')
    Product Number KN831UA#ABA
    System Board ID 30CF
    Service ID 0000
    Processor Type AMD Turion(tm) 64 x2 Mobile Technology TL-60
    Processor Speed 2000 MHz
    Total Memory 3072 MB

    BIOS Version F .2C
    Serial Number CNF8150YZ7
    UUID Number 434E463831353059-5A37001E684DE0BB
    Dedicated Video Memory up to 64 Mb
    Boot Options
    F10 and F12 Delay (sec) [0]
    CD-ROM Boot [enabled]
    Floppy Boot [enabled]
    Internal Network Adapter Boot [disabled]

    Also, the boot order has it so that Notebook Hard Drive is first on the list. And I ran a Primary Hard Disk Self-Test from the BIOS and it says it passed.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    It is not likely that you have any problem with your BIOS. Linux is most likely the culprit by changing the boot loader in some way.

    What happened when you used setup.exe? Did you choose an upgrade or what?

    Does Windows 7 load now (by any method at all)?

    Do you have a Windows 7 DVD that came with the machine, or did you buy it separately and install it? Does it boot from DVD? (What I'm wondering is the condition of the recovery partition on your drive. Was 7 the original OS?)

    (PS. I highly doubt that you have Windows 34-bit :D 32?).
     
  3. mbradar2

    mbradar2 Account Closed Thread Starter

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    I rebooted it twice, actually. The first time, I didn't do an Upgrade but did the other option instead, to wipe what was there before. I put the Windows 7 OS in Disk 0 Partition 1 (C:). For some reason, I thought that rebooting it again might make a difference, so the second time I chose 'Upgrade.' No difference either way.

    Yes, Windows 7 loads perfectly fine as long as I hit the 'Esc' key every time my computer starts up.
     
  4. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    Do you know what happened to the recovery partition? Do you have one? Is the DVD you have the one that came with the machine?

    This problem should be easy to fix, but I want to be sure that you don't have other partitins on that drive that would interfere with the process. Do you have any bootable CD's of Ubuntu or some other "live" linux that you could use to look at your partitions?

    Or, boot up 7 and open Disk Management. That will tell you, too.

    Right-click Computer > Manage > Disk Management

    or go to Start > Run, and type:

    diskmgmt.msc
     
  5. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    Make sure all your files are backed up. Any time you work on boot problems, data loss is a possibility.
     
  6. mbradar2

    mbradar2 Account Closed Thread Starter

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    I'm pretty paranoid about data loss so everything I have is saved in 3 different locations outside of my laptop, no worries.

    Yes, I have a recovery partition HP_RECOVERY (D: ) 1.99 GB free of 11.6 GB

    No, the computer didn't come with a recovery disc but it did suggest that I create one from the laptop right away, which I regrettably didn't do when I first got it. The laptop originally came with Windows Vista. I bought the Windows 7 disc last year. After (some time after) I installed Windows 7, I did make an HP Recovery Disc using the guide on my laptop.

    Regarding Disk Management, this is what info it gives me:
    Disk 0
    Basic
    149.05 GB
    Online
    .... It has 4 items under that name, 2 of which are unnamed.
    (C: ) 108.06 GB NTFS Healthy (System...)
    28.32 GB Healthy (Primary Partition)
    998 MB Healthy (Primary Partition)
    HP_RECOVERY (D: ) 11.69 GB NTFS Healthy (Primary Partition)

    CD-ROM 0
    DVD (E: )
    No Media
     
  7. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    OK. So what is the situation now? You installed 7 as an upgrade from HP or on your own from a retail copy?

    This is getting more complicated due to that partition. If you installed 7 yourself, you already destroyed any ability to access the recovery partition. Any installations or changes to partitions will do that since the MBR is one from HP and gets replaced by a new one when you partition.

    So I guess this is what I'm wondering about: Is the recovery that is there now still Vista, and if so, do you really want/need it since you are running 7 now? If not, you could add that space to your system partition (and then I'd suggest making an image of the entire drive for recovery). That may fix the boot problem in the process, but would certainly simplify it.
     
  8. mbradar2

    mbradar2 Account Closed Thread Starter

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    I installed Windows 7 on my own from a retail copy.

    How do I know if the recovery partition is still for Vista? I'm sorry, I don't know much about computers. I just learned what a partition is. I don't want anything on my computer that I don't need, just my Windows 7 so I can do schoolwork, that's all. If you could tell me how to find out if the recovery is still for Vista and if so, how to turn the space into more space for my system partition, that would be great.

    Thanks so much for replying :)
     
  9. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    If the disk you used was not an upgrade from HP, then the recovery partition is still Vista and almost certainly inaccessible, anyway. In other words, useless.

    You thought this was going to be easy, didn't you?

    OK. This is my idea for a plan. Tell me what you think.

    1. Create a bootable CD or USB key with a partitioning tool on it.

    2. Boot from the CD or USB key and delete the extra partitions. Expand the system partition to fill the empty space.

    3. Try to boot 7. If it won't boot, run Startup Repair, maybe more than once. If it still won't boot, boot from the 7 DVD and get a command prompt. From there run:

    bootrec /fixmbr
    bootrec /fixboot

    4. Make an image of the entire drive for later recovery.

    5. Boot up normally and live long and prosper.

    The one part you may have trouble with is making the CD or USB key. But it is a tool that you will someday be very glad to have (as well as those around you who can't get that thesis off their drives because their machines won't boot).

    This is the bootable thing we need:

    *******************************************
    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.
    *******************************************

    ============================================

    What do you think?
     
  10. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    Alternatively, for now, just run Startup Repair and see if that fixes your boot problem and save the rest for another day or when you get the CD made.

    It's hard to say what Linux did to your MBR and partition tables. I'm actually surprised you got 7 booted at all. How did you remove Linux? Did you use Startup Repair in 7 after that?

    (Hint: If you want to try Ubuntu, use WUBI. It will create a virtual drive inside Windows. Ubuntu will boot normally with a boot menu for 7 or Ubuntu, and you don't need to make any partition changes. It can be removed through Windows Add/Remove.)

    ============================================

    The Linux Live USB Creator is also the best way to try a Linux-based OS without messing up your partitions. You can install and run it from USB, either as a full booted OS, or in VirtualBox inside Windows.
     
  11. mbradar2

    mbradar2 Account Closed Thread Starter

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    Startup Repair doesn't show up as an option because, like I said, my computer doesn't do anything when I hit a key when it says 'Press any key to boot from CD.' When I open setup.exe from the Windows 7 disc folder while I'm already logged on to Windows, the only option besides Installing is 'What to know before installing.' How else can I get to Startup Repair if I can't get past 'Press any key to boot from CD?'
     
  12. mbradar2

    mbradar2 Account Closed Thread Starter

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    Unless I hear from you otherwise, I will plan on creating that CD tomorrow and post back my results. Thanks again for helping me through it!
     
  13. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    I don't suppose that you have a PS/2 connector for one of those mice with the round connector.

    You could take a look at BIOS options about USB to see if any "legacy settings", or even settings specific to the keyboard being enabled are there. There may be an option in some phrasing about USB.

    Do you have a lot of things installed that you don't want to lose? The very easiest way to do all of this would be to reinstall 7 from scratch, removing all the partitions during setup. But we can keep that as a last option if you prefer. The "Press Any Key" prompt should not appear if the drive is blank.


    (The reason Fedora did not "install properly" is because whoever tried to install it probably was not very up-to-date in how computers are set up these days and did not know about the extra partitions that are non-standard that existed on your drive. He probably also did not know that he would have destroyed the recovery partition in the process, something that you don't need but most other people do need. That would have left people with no way to recover unless they had also bought disks with their machines.)
     
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