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I have a Lenovo Thinkpad T510 which has been runing Windows 7 32bits for almost two years now.

For some reason, the system got dusty and slow so I backed-up my data intending to format my HDD and reinstall Windows 7 32bits to give my laptop a fresh new start.

I downloaded the iso image of Windows 7 32bits from Microsoft's website a week ago and have tried to install it eversince, without success. The installation process systematically freezes at the "Starting Windows" screen, after the screen "Windows is loading files".

From having googled the problem, I realize this seem to be a common issue. Yet I haven't found a solution so far from what I read on the google links.

What I have tried (based on what I have read from related problems)

  • Waiting for a long time (more than 30 minutes) on the --apparently -- frozen "Starting Windows" screen.
  • Updating my Bios.
  • Disabeling peripherics such as USB, Wifi, bluetooth,...
  • I have succesfully installed an old version of Windows XP and subsequently formated my HDD before trying to install Windows 7 again, without success.
  • Opening the CD player and closing it again when frozen on the "Starting Window" screen.
  • Boot from an USB stick instead of a DVD (in both cases I mounted the bootable DVD/USB with Microsoft utility's "Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel")

It might be worth to emphasize that this is not a computer I assembled myself, or a laptop which is new to Windows 7. This laptop used to run Windows 7 (slowly but surely) and the problem occured when trying to re-install it (which seems to rule out the possibility of a hardware issue right?).

Any clue on what could go wrong?


Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. I am currently downloading new iso images and I will check the SHA1 or MD5 for them. Unfortunately starting in Safe mode did not help. I'll try again disabeling peripherics once I am sure that my iso images are not corrupted. I'll keep you updated.


This has been a little nightmare. I tried multiple iso image from different webistes (http://www.raymond.cc/blog/links-for-windows-7-sp1-iso-from-microsofts-official-distributer/, http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-windows_install/where-can-i-download-windows-7-iso-i-have-a/7d964b05-2be9-4800-bc7f-3ca30356fc3d, http://www.shayatik.com/2013/03/download-windows-7-sp1-official-iso-from-digital-river/) verifying the SHA5 when available. Nothing works. I am going to stick to the XP version I installed which works great so far (why moving to windows 7 after all...). Thanks for you help anyways!

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Does your system have Lenovo's recovery partition? If yes, installing Windows through that would be a better solution.. –  Chethan S. Sep 22 '13 at 4:45
@Chethan : that would have been a great idea. I was not aware of this possibility. Unfortunately, I deleted the Lenovo recovery partition formating my HDD in my attempt to solve the problem :( –  Martin Van der Linden Sep 22 '13 at 5:00
Try booting into SafeMode? <F8>? Still might be a driver problem... Lenovo instructions for a clean isntall...with link for drivers. support.lenovo.com/en_US/detail.page?LegacyDocID=MIGR-74108 –  Logman Sep 22 '13 at 5:14
It's possible that the image you downloaded, got corrupted during transfer (believe it or not, I have had this happen...). I'm not sure exactly where you downloaded the ISO from, but usually there is a MD5 or SHA1 hash. Try comparing it with the ISO you downloaded. –  druciferre Sep 22 '13 at 5:45
This is a wild shot, but can you boot your laptop from a live CD (or pen drive) and check the drives S.M.A.R.T. values? I bad part of disk might just be used with your new partitioning scheme and bad disk sectors can cause a hang or a very long timeout. –  Hennes Sep 23 '13 at 18:37
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1 Answer

Try disabling EFI boot. Installing Windows 7 on UEFI based computer needs special treatment.

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