Boot problems WIN 7

#1
This is my first post. I've found the forum while searching the web to find solution to my PC boot problems.
It should be noted that I'm a domestic user and not at all a computer expert. My low knowledge is based on trial/error experiments, web search and some contacts with true professionals.
Below I describe two problems that I have had. I suspect somehow those 2 problems are related.

First problem (on a 6/7 years old Seagate HD)
This HD was divided in 3 partitions. First two for SO's the third for data. At begining the first partition had WIN XP and the second was empty. Then I installed WIN 7 on second partition and both XP and 7 could be booted with no problem. Later the 7 started running out of space and XP was not used. I decided to increase space for 7 and get rid of XP. To make description shorter after some messing I completely lost access to the HD.
I took it the to a computer workshop where it was confirmed the HD was dead.
I purchased a new HD.

Second problem (on a brand new WDigital HD)
Again I divided it into 3 partitions. First, a larger one, for WIN 7, second-smaller-empty, third for data. I installed again WIN 7 and other programs I want. Everythin was OK. Some days ago I left PC running during the night and in the morning it was stuck. No key made it move, neither Ctrl+Alt+Delete, nor key Windows, nothing. I pressed the reset button and this message appeared "Missing or corrupt Windows root\system32\hal.dll. Please install it".

All below mentioned attempts made to repair boot were replicated with "Boot-Repair WIN 7 CD" and "WIN 7 installation DVD, on repair PC function".

The automatic repair do not identify the SO. It reports error 0x3bc3.

With the command prompt I tried:

1.
bootrec.exe /fixmbr
OK
bootrec.exe /fixboot
OK
bootrec.exe /scanos
Scanning all disks for Windows installations.
This may take a while...
Successfully scanned Windows installations.
Total identified Wind. inst.: 1
[1] C:\Windows
Operation completed.
bootrec.exe /RebuildBCD
Scanning, successfuly, etc
Total identified Windows installations: 1
[1] C:\Windows
Add installation to boot list? Yes(Y),No(N),All(A)? Pressed Y, Reply - The requested system device cannot be found.

2. as per the forum link Recovering the Windows Bootloader from the DVD - EasyBCD - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki
Option two
bootrec.exe /fixmbr
OK
bootsect.exe /nt60 all /force
Target volumes will be updated with BOOTMGR compatible bootcode.
Sucessfuly updated NTFS filesystem boot code for C: D: E: (the 3 partitions of the HD)
attrib -h -s C:\boot\BCD
Path not found C:\boot

Diskpart identifies the HD, and with it Partition with C: was marked as Active.

Command C:\>dir shows the complete directory with the programs I need contained on the partition.

Command copy X:\windows\system32\hal.dll C:\windows\system32 copied and replaced existing hal.dll on C:\, but it didn't fix it.

Pressing F8 key at the begining of start shows the list of commands Security Mode, Security Mode with Net, etc. Pressing any command shows WIN XP as the available SO. The XP was not installed in this new HP and it is not there. And this is what I suspect is related to the first problem with Seagate HD. I don't know how to confirm or deny this.

I also installed Unbuntu on the free partition to try with EasyBCD to solve the problem but could not boot. Also attempted installation of WIN 7 on empty partition but this could not be achieved.

There is the last radical solution, format C: partition and install again WIN 7 with the programs I need, but the WIN XP appearance leads me to believe I'll have the problem again.

I do hope there will be here in the forum answer to my problem and doubt, and I very much appreciate your help.
 
#2
ADDEDUM

I have run this command: "sfc /scannow /offbootdir=c:\ /offwindir=c:\windows".

Result, some errors were found and corrected, to be seen in a log file. I tried to access this file in Command Prompt but access was denied.

After this scan I've run again:

bootrec.exe /fixmbr
Operation completed successfuly

bootrec.exe /fixboot
Operation completed successfuly

bootrec.exe /scanos
Scanning all disks for Windows installations.
This may take a while...
Successfully scanned Windows installations.
Total identified Windows installations: 1
[1] C:\Windows
Operation completed.

bootrec.exe /RebuildBCD
Scanning, successfuly, etc
Total identified Windows installations: 1
[1] C:\Windows

Add installation to boot list? Yes(Y),No(N),All(A)? Pressed Y,
Reply - The requested system device cannot be found.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#3
You don't have an active partition. Use diskpart from the command line.
 
#4
Thanks for reply Computer Guru.
I'm sorry, but failed to mention. I've set partition as ACTIVE and every time I made some change I went back to DISKPART to ensure partition remained ACTIVE.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#5
I think you need to restart for active partition changes to take.
 
#6
Thanks for quick comment Computer Guru.
I understand you mean reboot PC after setting partition as ACTIVE.
I thought partition remained ACTIVE as long as it is marked with an *. Isn't that so?
Please comment.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#7
The * means that it's set as the boot partition. Doesn't necessarily mean that Windows recognizes it as such.
 
#8
Hi guys, I need help. I was trying to save space in my hard drive, and I did something, marked something in compressing, so, after rebooting my computer I see the message "bootmgr compressed" "press ctrl- alt- del to reboot" I went online in another computer and found your repair disc, downloaded it and used it in the broken computer but it doesnt read the disc , even when I press F12 key, what should I do now?
 
Last edited:
#9
I've marked partition as ACTIVE with DISKPART, rebooted PC, repeated operations with bootrec and still got this:

bootrec.exe /RebuildBCD
Scanning, successfuly, etc
Total identified Windows installations: 1
[1] C:\Windows

Add installation to boot list? Yes(Y),No(N),All(A)? Pressed Y,
Reply - The requested system device cannot be found.

Tried it 3 times. Always the same.


While searching the web I've found other information that leave me wondering. They are:
- It is said that during installation of WIN 7 an hiden partition is created of about 100 to 200MB to store WINRE. This partition can not be accessed.
- Also some say this is the partition which should be marked as ACTIVE. Otherwise BOOT can not be recovered.
Is this so?


After tried above tentative I did run again this scan:
sfc /scannow /offbootdir=c:\ /offwindir=c:\windows
This is the result: "Windows Resource Proctection found corrupt files and successfully repaired them. Details are included in the CBS.log windir\logs\CBS\CBS.log where the access is denied."
So the above operations apparently corrupted files again.

It seems I have no other alternative than format partition and install WIN 7.
Please comment.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#10
Have you done a chkdsk?
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#12
On all partitions, the 100mb partition included?
 
#13
CHKSDSK was run only on C: partition. I did not run it on the other 2 partitions I've mentioned before. I'll do that now.
Concerning the 100MB partition I don't see it. It is said to be hiden. Therefore I don't know how to run CHKDSK there. Probably it does not exist.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#14
It only exists if you installed Windows 7 on a fresh PC (i.e. not as a second OS), and let the Windows setup do the disk partitioning for you.
 
#15
CHKDSK done on the 3 visible partitions of the HD. No errors found.
DISKPART shows only these 3 partitions.
Please let me know what's your opinion about nexr step I should take.
Many thanks.
 
#16
PROBLEM SOLVED

Before going through solving steps let me refer a detail not mentioned before.
The PC has also mounted an IDE HD used for storing data. The HD with the installed SO is SATA. The IDE HD is not seen under command prompt WIN 7 recovery CD.

What I did:
- Via BIOS gave priority boot to IDE HD. Of course it could not boot.
- Via BIOS gave priority boot to SATA HD. This time the error message was "no boot due to hardware problem". This time the message was not "Missing or corrupt Windows root\system32\hal.dll. Please install it".
- Inserted WIN 7 DVD installation and tried to automatically repair PC. It did not repair after 3 attempts but identified the SO (this never happened before).
- Started manually repair as per "Nuclear Holocaust" instructions of this forum. This time they were successful on every step. After finishing them PC could not yet boot.
- WIN 7 DVD inserted again and after two automatic repair attempts problem was finally solved.
- Pressing F8 key at PC start no longer shows WIN XP.

Many thanks for your replies and all useful information available in the forum.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#17
Glad to hear you got it working.

Thank you for sharing your steps.
 

Kagnew

New Member
#18
Win7 Boot problem

I think that at this point I would be suspecting a virus or malware of some sort particularly if the system was connected to the internet while it was inactive during the night. I would try to get online with Ubuntu or another Windows drive and run a good malware finder/remover, there are several. As far as references to Xp in the new setup the only explanation I can think of is that the malware is assuming you are running XP and reporting the error accordingly. Of course my assumptions may be full of "IT" but it won't hurt anything to try. Good luck!
 
#19
Thanks Kagnew for your suggestion.
I have a malware and anti-virus programs installed and they have not detected any threat.
At begininig I also suspected of this sort of problem. It won't hurt to install another anti-malware and run it. I'll do that.