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Have this computer for about 2 years now. Originally had Vista installed, now have Windows 7 installed. Both on separate hard drives. Also have another drive used strictly for media.

About a week ago, the Vista hard drive started going on its way out. Was getting problems on startup. After a few BIOS settings, I was able to get into Windows 7 and everything was fine.

However, I started remembering the startup issues, so I deleted the bootup for Vista under msconfig. Didn't restart the computer at that time, though. For a few days, everything was ok.

Last night I play a little poker, then hit the hay. I wake up to a good ole "Error loading operating system" on the screen. Just wonderful. Looks like the computer restarted overnight (auto updates, anyone?).

So, after a big of finagling and half hearted tries, I can't get past the "Error loading operating system" screen. FWIW, in the BIOS it can see my hard drives fine.

So I move on. I get my Windows 7 installation disk to try and do a repair. Go in the BIOS, change boot priority to DVD drive, and we're on our merry way.

After loading from the disc, I first try jumping into the "Repair your computer" section. That opens up the System Recovery Options. However, this is where the problem comes into play.

I don't see any operating systems here. Nada. What's odd though is if I click on the Load Drivers button, I can see my Windows 7 partition (C:), and can go through the files and folders without issue.

What do I do at this point? I can't repair it. It seems like I can traverse the hard drive without issue when in an open dialog in the System Recovery Options, but I'm getting the good ole "Error loading computer" on bootup.


Thanks all!!

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Try loading the sata driver for that hardware using load drivers. – Moab Dec 27 '10 at 17:13

Are you sure that you didn't accidently delete the boot for the Windows 7? That's what sounds like may have happened to you.

No matter how this happened you are more than likely going to have to reinstall Windows instead of repairing it, which means data loss. If you have a spare drive, install an OS onto it and then try to backup your data from it. Another option is to use a Linux distro live disk to get the data off of the drives.

What I personally would've done in your situation (if you ever run into this again) is backup all of the data from the Vista drive and then wiped it clean instead of deleting the boot from msconfig.

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Yeah, it's beginning to feel like I deleted the Win7 boot, although I didn't think it allowed you to do that from within msconfig if you're logged in to that OS. – StephenPAdams Oct 14 '10 at 7:14
With that said..I'll probably go the Live CD route with Ubuntu. There aren't utilities to fix the boot for Win7 is there? – StephenPAdams Oct 14 '10 at 7:21

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