Solved Windows can't start, system recovery fail

Dell Inspiron 1545 notebook
September 15, 2013 at 08:39:06
Specs: Windows 7, 4GB
I was trying to do a system restore to get rid of an update which I think was affecting video playback on my machine but an error or something occurred and it couldn't complete it.

Now Windows cannot start.

It goes straight to a black screen with the header Windows Error Recovery. It says Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause.

I then have two options:

If I choose option 1: Launch Start up Repair (recommended) - Nothing happens, it returns to the same screen.

If I choose option 2: Start Windows normally - It goes to the Windows Start up screen and hangs there for a few minutes before going to a blue screen which is up for mere seconds. All I catch is it says something at the top like Process1 Initialization Failed and at the bottom something about a memory dump that is over in like 3 seconds. Then it returns to the Windows Error Recovery screen.

It just does that in a loop.

Please can someone help! I don't know what to do and I don't want to lose everything that's on my machine. Thanks in advance.


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✔ Best Answer
September 18, 2013 at 14:41:22
"It first wants me to select an application to open it"
What is IT - do you mean the Knoppix or the setup.exe on the hard drive?

The setup.exe you are referring to on the external drive is almost certainly software to enable automatic backups from a normally working computer. For what you are wanting to do it would best to erase all the files and folders from the external drive. You just want a place to put your old folders and files without it automating anything. If you think you might want to use the automated software on the portable at some later time then first copy all of it's files and folders over to a flash drive.

As for Knoppix, first be "absolutely sure" that this is a Live CD/DVD, NOT a full installation of Knoppix onto your HD - you don't want the latter that as it won't help you. Assuming it is a Live CD/DVD then you have to boot with it in the drive. This is fine so long as your CD/DVD drive is set ahead of your hard drive. If not it will ignore the CD and attempt to start Windows. Setting the CD/DVD drive ahead of the hard drive is done in BIOS. The idea behind a Live CD/DVD is that it does nothing to your Windows installation and just temporarily runs using your CD/DVD drive and RAM. When you restart without the disk it is back to Windows (in whatever state it is).

Depending on your answers we can help further as necessary. If you are not sure whether you purchased a Live CD/DVD or an Installation CD/DVD then give us a link to where you got it from. Personally I just download and create them for free.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

message edited by Derek



#1
September 15, 2013 at 10:23:50
If you can access ANY Windows 7 install disc, you can use that to do a repair on your system.

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#2
September 15, 2013 at 10:40:07
The only disc I have access to is the Windows reinstallation disk that Dell provided. It isn't a full Windows installation disk. I don't know if it has theoption to repair Windows. I could reinstall it but that would mean losing a lot of stuff.

Is there nothing I can try?

I can't believe I'm going to have to consider losing all my stuff because of an update from Microsoft...

message edited by 31M4


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#3
September 15, 2013 at 14:01:33
Hmmm ....not too sure on the re-installation disc...i have only used installation discs such as Win 7 pro and win 7 ultimate and i know they work fine.

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Related Solutions

#4
September 15, 2013 at 14:25:13
How far did you get before you detected that the restore had failed?

You might get it out of the loop by first holding the power off button down for about 5 or so seconds to stop the computer. Next unplug from domestic power and remove the battery. Hold the power off button in for about 20 seconds. Put it back together and see if it helps - it can sometimes but not always.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

message edited by Derek


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#5
September 15, 2013 at 16:04:51
@Derek

I don't know, I knew it would take a while so I left the room for a bit and when I returned I noticed a message was on the screen but I only got a brief glance at it before it vanished and missed what it said.

I just tried what you suggested and it is still stuck in the loop.

I've purchased a CD with knoppix on it to see if that can help me rescue all the documents on my laptop because I think I am going to have to do a clean reinstall to fix things unless anyone has any other suggestions? (still rather hoping) xD


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#6
September 15, 2013 at 16:32:05
Can you get to Safe Mode by tapping F8 during boot? If so you could try another restore point if available.

Any chance you can beg or borrow a Win 7 install disk from someone and proceed as per #1? Could be one on eBay if you care to take that chance with your money.

Booting with Knoppix should rescue your stuff provided you set the CD drive before the HD in BIOS (if necessary).

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#7
September 15, 2013 at 17:15:16
I can get to safe mode but Windows cannot boot in safe mode.

No one I can borrow win7 from unfortunately... might resort to buying it if the reinstallation dvd that came with the laptop fails to get the job done. But I'll have to wait for my CD w with knoppix on it to arrive first.


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#8
September 15, 2013 at 17:35:06
This might be of interest:
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/...

EDIT:
Accepted that you might prefer to wait until you've got your important stuff off before you do anything else.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

message edited by Derek


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#9
September 15, 2013 at 18:31:45
Had a go at it. No good.

Whenever I try to boot Windows in safe mode, it starts loading Windows files but then gets to a stage where it cannot continue and it ends up looping through the aforementioned steps again.

It can never get any further than Windows/System32/Drivers/aswRvrt.sys


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#10
September 16, 2013 at 11:39:29
Re #9

So is it the same when you select the Command Prompt option? Sounds like that's what you are saying but just wanted to make quite sure.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

message edited by Derek


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#11
September 16, 2013 at 14:21:03
That is correct. All of the safe mode options get stuck in the same place.

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#12
September 16, 2013 at 14:47:38
Taking all things into account it does look like you are stuck with getting your personal files off and then doing a clean install. Keep watching on here to the last minute just in case someone comes along with a better idea.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#13
September 17, 2013 at 03:43:15
Do you think there is a way I could find what sort of error occurred before I do the reinstallation? It would be nice to avoid it happening again.

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#14
September 17, 2013 at 05:43:24
You may want to slave your drive to another PC in order to remove all the important files.

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#15
September 17, 2013 at 10:10:52
Re #13

Nothing that I can think of because we can't access the computer. Although it looks like a software issue we have no definite proof it is not down to hardware - the fact it was during an update could be coincidence. Even a virus is not totally out of the question.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#16
September 17, 2013 at 20:39:09
1- Boot to a CD you can prepare on another computer with Memtest on it to test your system's memory for errors. Let it run through all tests to be sure. No errors are acceptable.
If memory tests clean:
2- Boot to a CD with Seatools on it from Seagate to test your hard drive. Run the short test, if it passes it, run the long test. It will tell you about problems like bad sectors, a few minor problems it will fix for you, but too many or major problems will require replacing the hard drive.
If the hard drive tests OK:
3- Boot to a Windows 7 Repair Disk. If you did not make one when the machine was new, you can make one from another Windows 7 machine (back up section) as long as both are 64bit or 32bit. Run your System Restore (and if needed, a Start Up Repair) from the Repair Disk. The repair disk will contain the proper files to do the repair and use your restore points from your hard drive, but make sure that you use a restore point that is older (from before) than the one you used last time. Check the box 'show more restore points' if you do not see them all.
Report results.
Though these should not effect your personal files in any way, you may want to back up your personal files before you begin. About the only things that might effect your files, is if the hard drive is dying (and gets worse), or possibly a really nasty root infection. As mentioned above, you can take out the hard drive and install it as a secondary drive in another computer and save the files that way. You can use the bootable disk you ordered to do this, or you can burn a CD/DVD with Puppy Linux on it and access your hard drive that way and save the files without waiting for the disk to arrive or having to take it out. If you have a lot of files, the direct transfer from hard drive to hard drive (internal) is the fastest by far though.
Please keep us up on the progress.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#17
September 18, 2013 at 12:08:21
I bought a seagate expansion portable hard drive and noticed it has a setup.exe file, do I need to set it up before I start copying my files over? How do I do that with knoppix? It first wants me to select an application to open it with and I don't know which to use.

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#18
September 18, 2013 at 14:41:22
✔ Best Answer
"It first wants me to select an application to open it"
What is IT - do you mean the Knoppix or the setup.exe on the hard drive?

The setup.exe you are referring to on the external drive is almost certainly software to enable automatic backups from a normally working computer. For what you are wanting to do it would best to erase all the files and folders from the external drive. You just want a place to put your old folders and files without it automating anything. If you think you might want to use the automated software on the portable at some later time then first copy all of it's files and folders over to a flash drive.

As for Knoppix, first be "absolutely sure" that this is a Live CD/DVD, NOT a full installation of Knoppix onto your HD - you don't want the latter that as it won't help you. Assuming it is a Live CD/DVD then you have to boot with it in the drive. This is fine so long as your CD/DVD drive is set ahead of your hard drive. If not it will ignore the CD and attempt to start Windows. Setting the CD/DVD drive ahead of the hard drive is done in BIOS. The idea behind a Live CD/DVD is that it does nothing to your Windows installation and just temporarily runs using your CD/DVD drive and RAM. When you restart without the disk it is back to Windows (in whatever state it is).

Depending on your answers we can help further as necessary. If you are not sure whether you purchased a Live CD/DVD or an Installation CD/DVD then give us a link to where you got it from. Personally I just download and create them for free.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

message edited by Derek


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#19
September 18, 2013 at 15:58:33
Nevermind, just me being overly cautious. I searched around and discovered you don't need to set anything up unless perhaps the hard drive isn't recognized, you can just drag and drop your files as I'd first assumed. I'm still in the process of copying everything over.

I'm using a live CD/DVD. It also had the option to install knoppix to the hard drive but I decided against it when I learned there was a risk of me losing all my files while it tried to create a partition in the drive.


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#20
September 18, 2013 at 16:21:55
Exactly, you are doing fine. Since you are working now, I think that we can assume that your hardware is fine so if you reread #16, you can skip the first two steps I laid out and go directly to the repair. This most likely will be easier than a full reinstall or factory restore since all of your personal settings will not need to be reset and your added programs will also be restored. Your choice of course, but I think it is worth the try.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#21
September 19, 2013 at 11:27:21
I decided to do a full reinstallation after all because say for certain what caused the problem to begin with, could've been the update, could've been a virus.

When I was going through the installation steps, it asked me to choose a partition to put the OS on and I choose the one which previously had Windows on it.

After completion, I let Windows download and install all of its updates - minus the one I initially believed to be the start of my problems.

Next I clicked on Computer and looked at my C: drive and was stunned to discover I only had 50 GB of space left.

Turns out I have a new folder called Windows.old and everything that was on my laptop is in there so I guess I didn't need the external hard drive after all.

Can I just move everything I want out of that folder and then delete it?


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#22
September 19, 2013 at 12:09:58
See this:
http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/...

"I guess I didn't need the external hard drive"
As it turns out no but had you formatted it would have been a different story. It was also best to backup because things could have gone wrong and sometimes do.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#23
September 19, 2013 at 13:14:50
Thanks for the link and advice throughout :)

I now just have to get things back the way I like them.


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#24
September 19, 2013 at 13:23:17
Yeah, and we all know how long that can take. Once you are sure all is OK if you choose a Best Answer this thread will be marked as Solved. It still stays open for months tho.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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