On a friend's quite old PC, which was running Windows XP, he said to me that sometimes it was very slow and needed multiple reboots, so I thought there was a problem with the HDD. I found 1 bad sector, I installed Windows 7 Ultimate and on the first reboot it stuck in "Starting Windows" screen, freezing with the Windows flag showing. We tried to boot it a few times, cutting the power, and after 5-6 tries it booted on Windows. So, I was sure it was the HDD and told him to buy a new one.

New disk, new installation of Windows 7 Ultimate, all updates done and on the 2nd reboot it stuck again in "Starting Windows", the same thing. After 5-6 power cuts it then boots.

So, it's not the HDD. Is it a driver? But if it's a driver, why does it boot after some tries? Is it a hardware error? It never happened before I installed Windows 7. So is it an incompatibility with Windows 7 and the old PC?

I don't know what to do now.

  • is your legacy boot up option in bios disabled? Jul 23, 2017 at 15:31

2 Answers 2


To rule out the HDD as the cause of the issue, make a boot USB device (2 GB or larger) for another OS, e.g. Ubuntu Linux.

If the PC runs well, each time you boot from the USB drive, you could then install Linux dual-boot on the PC -- if that works, then the cause is probably not an HDD issue.

Also check the CMOS/clock battery, which, if weak or dead, might cause the issue.

BTW, your friend might prefer Linux to Windows XP and 7, both of which Microsoft has deprecated.


You can try these, if it's a software error this might work!

Try Running 'Startup Repair' from a Windows recovery disc.

If it fails, open command prompt in the recovery disc. Try these command's there:

bootrec /fixmbr bootrec /fixboot bootrec /rebuildbcd

BTW also try changing from ACHI to IDE in your motherboard bios settings.

  • These commands cannot solve the author's described problem
    – Ramhound
    Jul 23, 2017 at 20:23

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.