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I'm having a very puzzling problem with my PC. Recently I have not been able to boot very consistently. The boot will hang during the Windows 7 splash screen and will not go further. The same thing happens when trying to run Startup Repair. At this point in time, I cannot boot, period.

I've tried booting in safe mode. Safe mode boot hangs after loading disk.sys and will not go further. I've tried using LKGC, which also had no affect.

Normally in this situation, I would do some hardware testing (memtest, chkdsk, windows recovery), but for some reason I cannot boot to any disks whatsoever. The DVD drive I'm trying to boot with is only a few weeks old (my old one died recently), and I've used these disks to boot with before, so I know they are good.

At this point, I'm a bit stymied as to what I should do next. I'm downloading Ubuntu now to try and backup some stuff, but again, I doubt the boot will be successful. If anyone has any advice on what to try now, I would really appreciate the help.

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Sounds like the HD might be bad. But it is strange the optical drive is having problems. Is there any way to boot to an external CD/DVD drive? – jmreicha May 21 '12 at 20:34

Another option would be to boot from a usb stick, if your mobo supports it. Most major linux distributions support booting from usb. Also, several recovery tools are available and capable of usb booting.

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Try removing and reseating your memory modules one at a time with just your primary drive connected. It is also worth removing any expansion cards you might have too. If this gets you to the login screen, have a look through event viewer for any erroneous entries - you can then start shutting down, adding back hardware and starting up, one item at time until you find the offending piece of kit - assuming its hardware based.

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