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My Win7 computer will not boot. It never even gets to the user selection screen. It stays stuck on the logo screen that comes up before the user selection screen. Every few seconds the screen will flash. Sometimes, if I let it run for a while like this the screen will just go black and stay there. Other times it stays in that logo screen flickering every few seconds. It will also not boot into safe mode. It gets stuck in the same place, before the user screen comes up.

Multiple scans with chkdsk and sfc revealed no errors and startup repair found no errors. Tried last known good configuration and that did nothing. Full memory scan showed no errors. Tried system restore from a boot disk, but it could find no restore points, which seemed odd to me since I know I have several restore points. Tried running system restore both from the repair admin command prompt and from the install disc. I'm out of ideas.

It's an older system, Athlon X2, 2Gig Ram, The boot drive is a RAID 0 array of dual 500GB SATA drives.

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Since you checked and there are no hardware problems (apparently), it limits the possibilities to just a certain handful of stuff that could've gone wrong.

The one I suspect is either a corrupt boot module (like graphics or sound) that can be hanging and then killing other boot modules.
It could also be a virus (easiest to blame) or some tweaking that didn't go successfully.

Have you been going into C:\WINDOWS lately at all or any programs you run on it? That could be it.

Can you access the filesystem from a Linux disc?

Is there any reason you can't just back it all up and nuke the thing?

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Yea, my other guess is virus or root kit that my scanner didn't catch. Genius that I am my last backup of C: is a couple months old. Sounds like I'll probably spend tonight reinstalling. – BBlake Nov 20 '10 at 16:29
up vote 0 down vote accepted

I finally figured out what was happening. It was neither root kit nor virus. Instead it is a failing RAID controller on my motherboard, which was causing files all over the drive to become corrupted, causing more and more failing applications and services over time. And yet diagnostic after diagnostic, including the RAID controller's built in diagnostic, reported no problems. So, getting the parts together and building a new system from scratch.

I figured it out after I blasted the system and reinstalled Win7 and a couple apps such as office and started monitoring closely. Over the next couple weeks, one file after another became corrupted and boot was taking longer and longer as it kept running boot repair and checkdisk to repair corruption.

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