Windows won't start - continuous reboot cycle

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Thunderfudge

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Hi TSG, having a bit of a problem gaining access to my PC.

Here's the visual procedure my PC goes through after pressing the power button:

- POST screen
- Checking-for-bootable-drives screen
- Windows logo screen
- White text reading 'autochk not found - skipping autocheck' on an otherwise blank, black screen
- VERY brief flash of what looks like the same blue as a BSOD with very few words right at the top
- Automatic restart
- Back to the POST screen, etc, etc, etc...

I can still happily boot into the Windows 7 CD and GParted (they're the only bootable discs I have).

If you will, please take the time to read my final post (the other posts may be useful aswell) on this thread, as it contains useful information on what caused the cycle (and what I have already tried) and has some screenshots (this thread is more of a continuation of the aformentioned one).

Any help is greatly appreciated, thanks.

Edit: Also, I'm running Windows 7 Home Premuim SP1
 
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Peter
Have you tried booting and press F8 for the boot options?

1. Have you tried last known good configuration option?
2. Have you tried safe mode?
3. What repair options have you tried?
4. Is your hard disk healthy - any noises?
5. Would you try a re-install of Windows (w/o formatting it)?

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/666-advanced-boot-options.html
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/windows7/What-are-the-system-recovery-options-in-Windows-7
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/3413-repair-install.html
 

Thunderfudge

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1. and 2. I will go and try now.
3. is covered in the linked thread, mainly just in the last post.
4. It is healthy
5. I'de like to avoid this, but if I must I will.

Edit: The only difference when booting in to Safe Mode is that the autochk error is displayed again on the line below. Last known configuration doesn't change anything.
 
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If you try safe mode with command prompt then you might be able to run CHKDSK on C: drive and also see if AUTOCHK exists.
 

TerryNet

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DVOM's post # 24 in your original thread is a very good summary.

At this point I would format the partition and install Windows 7 fresh. (Actually I would have done that when the mysterious dual boot showed up and I couldn't discover the cause, but understand that lots of people--probably a majority--would rather find and fix the problems.)
 

Thunderfudge

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@peterh40: I've tried a chkdsk already via the Win7 Install Disc, as well as checked that autochk exists (both in the prev thread). It seems that the Windows 7 Install is all there and completely intact, is being recognised by the install disc, but not by the command prompt. I'm confused...

@TerryNet: I'de like to avoid a format if possible, there is a lot of data in there pretty valuable to me. Do you know if there is a way to do a full backup without actually accessing Windows?...(via a Linux install maybe? Ironic...)
I've seen people getting their computer to work after seeing that exact same autochk screen as I have (around the internet) so I don't see why I shouldn't at least try before giving up.

Edit: @peterh40: I'll try safe mode with cmd anyway to see if it can at least boot up.

Edit 2: Safe Mode with prompt has the same result as without (as expected). Maybe I should try the option to disable automatic shutdowns upon system failure. Then I might be able to read what's on the blue screen.
@Hughv: Good to know, but that's still a last resort. Do you know if I can back it up in a way so I won't have to reinstall programs or is that unavoidable?
 
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If you boot to a Linux disk you should be able to access the drive and copy the files.
 

Thunderfudge

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Okay, finally got a look at what the bluescreen says: http://i.imgur.com/w9KhN.jpg
Not really that useful but ok.

I also created a bootlog, here are screenshots of the 'interesting' bits (if there's anything I didn't show it's because it was either all failed to load or all successfully loaded. Which is most of it): http://imgur.com/a/Lzvi9

This one is the very end of the log file: http://imgur.com/a/Lzvi9

Edit: Do you know if it's possible to access msconfig using the command prompt via the Win7 Install disc? Will try in about 2 hrs or so, need to get something else done at the moment.
 
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I've seen people getting their computer to work after seeing that exact same autochk screen as I have (around the internet) so I don't see why I shouldn't at least try before giving up.
Yes, I've seen those too. However the only fixes I've seen have been reinstalls.

The 2 problems I remember from googling the problem have been GoBack was installed or moving/expanding/cloning the OS partition. With the moving/expanding/cloning the OS partition problem the only way they solved it was a reinstall.

A couple of possible courses of action are:
1) You've got over half of your drive with nothing on it. You've got about 931 Gigs on the drive with over 500 Gigs free. You could add another partition, move all your data to that partition then reinstall.

2) You could try a registry tweak from the startup repair environment. This registry tweak is something I've been doing routinely since dual-booting with XP. Before I'd move/clone my XP install to another partition I'd open the registry to "HKLM>SYSTEM>MountedDevices" and delete everything I could in the right pane. This is the part of the registry where the OS keeps track of all the partitions. If it tries to boot and those registry entries don't match up with the actual layout of the hard drive, then the OS won't boot.

However, if the registry entries aren't present, then it will rescan the drive, rebuild the registry and boot.

BTW, I just tried this with my Win 7 installation and it successfully rescanned and rebooted.

Anyway, I don't think you've got anything to lose at this point.

Basically, in the startup repair environment choose "command prompt" and type "regedit" hit enter and go to "HKLM>SYSTEM>MountedDevices" and delete everything you can in the right pane. I've attached this:

Edit: Everything highlighted in blue is to be deleted. Then reboot.
 

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Thunderfudge

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@DVOM: Going to go try the registry thingo now. Though if that fails, your reinstall plan sounds like a go (though I may need some help actually doing it).
@Elvandil: Yes I have*, again it's in the last post of the previous thread. Currently the only partition is the C: drive.

Edit: *I have to the extent I know how to use it. The link you provided gives me a 404 so I'm not sure if I've missed any of its capabilities.

Edit 2: Naw I went to the linked page and it looks like there aren't any more options than I've already tried.

Edit 3: Forgot to mention, the registry thing didn't work :(
 
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Link fixed (had a backward slash).

You could also try restoring an early copy of the registry in the RegBack folder (or even from a shadow copy if you could access the drive on a machine that read them, like Vista or 7, and provided they exist. If the drive was ever accessed by XP, then it was reverted to an earlier version of NTFS and all the shadow copies are gone). You may lose a lot of the changes made since the original installation, and you may still need to run bootrec.exe if the partitions have changed since the original installation, but it might get you booted up.
 

Thunderfudge

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Oct 10, 2011
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So there seems to be a registry theme going on here. Does that look like the cause or are they just some possible options? I'll try a registry restore in a little.
I'm just confused as to what would prevent so many drivers to not load properly upon startup, especially since all the files seem to be ok.

Edit: Also, from the previous thread, does this provide any useful information? It has some error numbers and something about external media. I've also gotten a 7 and a 10 on Sig 06.
 
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When you say "so many drivers", where is that from? Are you seeing something that indicates a failure of drivers to load?

(The image doesn't tell us much.)
 
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