Windows 7 won't boot past 'Starting Windows' Screen

  davepatrickl 21 Apr 13


I was using the computer today and it crashed. Not a very unusual occurence as was playing Fallout New Vegas which is very buggy. However, this time, when I re-started the pc, the screen went black (with a white pointer) after the 'Starting WIndows' Screen and nothing else happened.

Have spent the day googling websites and have tried a lot of different things but still can't get to the bottom of it. I have a 64 bit installation of 7 home.

So, onto diagnosis:

I have dual monitors and both are working. I can see the 'starting windows' screen on both and have also connected them to my laptop and tested - they were fine.

I have the OS installed on an SSD which is picked up when looking at the BIOS. It was also picked up with a version of Windows 7 when I ran the Windows boot disk.

When I turn on the computer, the POST runs fine, no issues are detected and it then alerts me that it failed to shut down properly the last time. When I select to continue as normal, the 'Starting Windows' screen comes on and then I get a black screen with a white cursor. I have left this for nearly three hours and it went no further. I have rebooted a number of times and had the exact same issue each time. I have also tried to boot in safe mode and again, exact same problem.

I ran the Windows recovery disk. It identified the OS but no issues. I then tried Restore to a previous version. This ran, but when it restarted my pc, back to the original issue again. I have tried to fix the boot drive using the command prompt along with a number of other suggested fixes. I've tried 'Using Last Known Good Configuration' - again, it started running and hung for half an hour. Restarted the pc and again, same issue.

Now, i'm not quite sure what else to try. I have tried to upgrade the version of Windows (so I can keep the files) but it tells me to restart the pc withouth the cd as normal and then insert the cd and run it. This obviously doesn't work as I can't run the pc as normal. The final step I guess is to completely re-install windows and lose whatever is on the drive but I haven't backed up everything.

Any ideas? I'm assuming this is a Windows issue rather than a hard drive issue but amn't too sure.


  EARLR 21 Apr 13

Not familiar with SSD's but it sounds like it's having difficulty accessing the hard drive. Good luck

  davepatrickl 21 Apr 13

I have four memory components and just tried removing two of them and same problem. However, I put them back in and replaced the other two...and I am not getting anything in either of my screens. I have now put all four back in and am getting no display at all.

  Secret-Squirrel 22 Apr 13

"I was using the computer today and it crashed. Not a very unusual occurence............"

File corruption is the most likely culprit. Run a disk check from a Command Prompt window using the command chkdsk /f

Note: Because the boot/system drive is an SSD, don't use the chkdsk /r command (which is used to locate bad sectors and recover readable information on regular hard drives).

  davepatrickl 22 Apr 13

Cheers for the comments. I put the memory back in again one at a time and at least it is showing something on load now, up until after 'Windows Starting' as was orginally the case.

I don't have onboard graphics on my motherboard so can't use that to check the graphics card.

I can only run command prompt via the windows recovery disk. I don't make it that far if trying safe mode with command prompt.

I have run a few checks in cmd prompt as above. Assuming I run this on the d: (where hard drive is located).

sfc /scan just gives me a load of optoins. Is there any specific scenarios I am supposed to use for this?

chkdsk /f tells me that the type of the file system is NTFS. It also says that it Cannot lock the current drive and that Chkdsk cannot run because the volume is in use by another process.

I get asked to force a dismount on this volume. When I said N, I then get asked whether I would like to schedule the volume to be checked the next time system restarts. Tried this and re-started but didn't see anything running and got the same issue as per usual.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 22 Apr 13

Have you tried running startup repair at least 5 times or until it solves the problem.

  davepatrickl 22 Apr 13

Yes, it says Startup Repair could not detect a problem every time

  Secret-Squirrel 23 Apr 13

"I can only run command prompt via the windows recovery disk. I don't make it that far if trying safe mode with command prompt............."

When you use F8 at startup, do you get the "Repair your computer" option like this? If you do then choosing that option should give you access to another Command Prompt window that may allow chkdsk to start - see here. If you've got more than one disk then specify which one you want to check - for example chkdsk C: /f

"sfc /scan just gives me a load of optoins. Is there any specific scenarios I am supposed to use for this?"

The correct command is sfc /scannow - see here for full details on using SFC from a recovery disk.


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