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Solved Windows 7 startup issue

Discussion in 'Windows 7' started by jwith68, Jan 20, 2017.

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  1. jwith68

    jwith68 Thread Starter

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    I just set up a new-to-me (certified refurbished) SFF desktop. It's an HP Elite 6000 with 8Gb of ram, and came with a new installation of Win 7 Pro. It fired right up out of the box, and the provided install key worked fine first time out. I've since installed a few new applications, including Office, and a few other miscellaneous utilities.

    The issue comes in on a start-from-cold or restart. Windows (seems to) shut down perfectly normally, but I get the "Windows did not shut down normally" screen every time. No matter which option I choose, normal start or one of the safe modes, it will not start, just loop back to the same screen. If I hit F9 on startup to choose a boot, and select "hard drive" and "windows 7", it will start right up in normal mode without issue.

    What are your thoughts? Is this a BIOS level thing, or something with my installation of Win 7?
     
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  3. flavallee

    flavallee Frank Trusted Advisor

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    What "miscellaneous utilities" are you referring to?
    I'm guessing the issue has to do with something that you installed and used and which may have damaged Windows 7 Pro.

    If your HP Elite 6000 Pro Small Form Factor is from a certified refurbisher, it should have a refurbished COA sticker on it for Windows 7 Pro.
    Cover it with a piece of clear tape so it doesn't get damaged or rubbed off and its 25-character product key becomes unreadable.
    If yours came with a Windows 7 Pro install disc(like most of my refurbished computers did), that's good.
    But if yours came with a built-in system restore partition, you should obtain or create a bootable Windows 7 Pro disc for it.
    If Windows 7 Pro crashes for some reason, or if the hard drive dies and needs replacing, you want to have the ability to reinstall it.

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  4. jwith68

    jwith68 Thread Starter

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    Miscellaneous utilities at this point are minimal, and include AVAST, Malwarebytes, and PDFCreator. Applications beyond Office include DraftSight 2017, and a couple of media players (VLC and GOM). Browsers (other than Explorer that came with Win 7 ) are Chrome, Firefox, and the Safezone browser that AVAST installs. That's really about it.

    The PC does have the refurbished COA sticker, and I have it protected. It did not come with an install disc. My first thing to do upon setup was going to be create a recovery disk, however it shipped with a DVD-ROM instead of a DVD-RW. The seller has made good on that with a refund, but I have yet to get a writable drive installed in it. We have a Win 7 laptop as well (with a writable drive), but at this point it refuses to make a recovery disk - gives an error that there is not enough space on the disk, regardless of whether I give it a blank CD or DVD.
     
  5. flavallee

    flavallee Frank Trusted Advisor

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    I'm going to assume that refurbished HP came with Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit.
    Go HERE to download and save the Windows ISO Downloader.exe file.
    If you get a warning that the file is unsafe, ignore it.
    Once that's done, load its main window and then select Windows 7.
    Capture.JPG
    Follow the instructions from there to obtain and download the ISO file for Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit.
    Once that's done, use your disc burning app to create a bootable DVD.
    If you need to do a reinstall in the future, you can activate it afterwards with the refurbished COA key. (y)
    VLC Media Player and Mozilla Firefox and the old version of Malwarebytes are the only apps in your list that I'm familiar with and use, so I don't know if any of the others are part of your issue.
    I don't know what entries are enabled in your startup list and are set on automatic in your services list, but it's my guess that several of them don't need to be.
    Disabled them or changing them to manual may resolve your issue.

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  6. jwith68

    jwith68 Thread Starter

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    May have this one figured out. A combination of two things that I didn't initially think of. First, I have a 500Gb Western Digital HD out of an old Win XP machine docked in an Orico SATA-USB drive enclosure/adapter. This drive was plugged into a rear USB port on the refurb machine, where it was not visually apparent. Second, the boot order in the refurb machine's BIOS was set to DVD>USB>HD. I had not considered that it might be looking at this XP drive, and attempting to boot from it, but apparently it was.

    With the external USB drive disconnected, Win 7 booted normally. Plug it back in, same problem as before. I then set the BIOS boot order to DVD>HD>USB, and it now appears to boot normally, regardless of whether the USB drive is connected or not. If this holds true over the weekend and installation of some additional software, I'll click the green button on this thread.

    Also, thanks for the tip on the Win 7 ISO download, Frank!
     
  7. flavallee

    flavallee Frank Trusted Advisor

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    I've never had a need for or used an external hard drive.
    Thanks for the update.
    And you're welcome. (y)

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  8. jwith68

    jwith68 Thread Starter

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    Going to mark this one solved, as described in #5 above. Multiple restarts over the last couple days, and no issues. Several of those restarts were because of the rather huge number of Windows updates that my installation needed. Thought it was odd at first that automatic updates didn't produce any results, neither did clicking the "Check for Updates" button, or stopping and restarting updates in Services.

    A bit of searching turned up a manual update, that fixes automatic updates. Did the manual update, then checked again, and crikey, here the updates came! 224 on the first pass, and probably another 20 or so since then in 3 or so batches. It spent a good 8 hours grinding on downloading/installing updates yesterday and today. Think I'm finally there now, though - might get to start actually using it soon!
     
  9. flavallee

    flavallee Frank Trusted Advisor

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  10. jwith68

    jwith68 Thread Starter

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    Thanks, that probably would have saved a few hours - bookmarked for future reference! Oh well, I had plenty of other things to keep me occupied - not many sunny, 65° days in January for Missouri. Looked in on the updates from time to time and restarted when called for. Just enjoying the upgrade from my old antique at this point!
     
  11. flavallee

    flavallee Frank Trusted Advisor

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