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I've had a PC running Windows 7 in my office which I'm not using at the moment (cause I'm working elsewhere as a consultant atm). I access the PC using Team Viewer which means the PC has been running for quite some time now. I've restarted it maybe twice a week though. A few days ago I couldn't access it using Team Viewer and when I got to the office the screen was black with only the mouse pointer showing.

The PC has four hard disks, three of them (all 1TB) is using RAID 5. This is what I've done so far:

I reboot and everything seems to load correctly. I get to a screen that gives me two choices - boot Windows normally or perform a startup repair. Choosing to boot Windows only gets me to the Windows 7 logo screen which only animates over and over again. Choosing to repair gets me to the repair screen that "checks for problems" and then it gets stuck on the "Attempting repairs..."-screen (I let it run for about 24 hours before giving up).

What is the next step to take? I don't have any backups and no system restore points saved. I can access files and folders through a terminal window using a Windows 7 DVD so I guess nothing is lost yet.

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How much memory do you have installed in this computer? I am having the same problem and wondering if I need more memory. – user108753 Dec 8 '11 at 17:41
@Dave - It cannot be a memory problem if problem wasn't there before. – Ramhound Dec 8 '11 at 18:46

This can either be hardware or software.

Boot in Safe mode, and if this works go backward and restore to before the problem happened. Else try to boot to The Last Known Good Configuration.

Next try is with How to Do a Repair Install to Fix Windows 7.
This will refresh Windows without erasing the installed applications.

If this doesn't work, try the Windows Memory Diagnostic from the Windows 7 boot CD or Memtest86+. A disk-test product may be found on your manufacturer's website.

If nothing is found, format all disks with slow format (not quick) and install Windows from scratch.

If this doesn't work, next stop is at the tech-shop.

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Thanks Harry! But how do I boot into safe mode? I never get to the screen where I can choose to do that... – Richard B Dec 29 '10 at 16:41
Ok, I finally managed to get to the screen where I can choose safe mode boot (after some heavy F8:ing -> rebooting -> F8 etc). Choosing safe mode loads a bunch of stuff but the it seems to get stuck when loading the drivers, suddenly I get to a black screen with only the mouse arrow (which I can't move). Any ideas? – Richard B Dec 29 '10 at 17:11
In the same screen where you found Safe mode you will find The Last Known Good Configuration. Just go on thru my list. – harrymc Dec 29 '10 at 17:21
@harrymc: I know, I was just giving you a hard time. No hard feeling. – Sponge Bob Aug 23 '12 at 18:02

I realize this is almost two years old now, but here's some things for people who have this problem in the future.

Do you have a Windows 7 disc? If you do you should boot to that and try to run the start-up repair from the disk so any problems on the HDD will be isolated.

If you don't have the Windows disc you could download an iso, it doesn't need to be the same disc that you used to install windows from (just the same version and architecture).

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Have you tried booting into safe mode? Whether or not you can boot into safe mode may tell you something. Also, if you can boot into safe mode, you can start pinpointing the issue.

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Thanks for your answer! I'm never seeing the screen where I can choose booting into safe mode, is there a way to accomplish that anyways? I remember seeing that screen the first time I tried rebooting but then I chose to reboot normally only to get stuck on the logo screen and from then on the only options is either booting Windows or do a startup repair. – Richard B Dec 29 '10 at 16:24
Press F8 (it may be another F key, my memory is hazy) while you are booting and you should get the screen to select safe mode. – th3dude Dec 29 '10 at 18:19

I've had this problem and when I booted into safe mode and it would hang on classys.PNP or something of that nature, it would also hang at the formation of the windows logo. WHAT I DID TO FIX: seems simple enough but after multiple hours of trouble shooting I found out that a simple switch of monitors solved my problem! Give it a shot and let me know

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