Laptop cannot boot into Windows 7 or a Windows 7 repair environment.

Symptom started in the middle of data transfer to a USB device.

  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • Samsung NP-R580H Laptop

Attempts to boot

Startup options

  • Safe mode
    Fails or goes to blank GUI w/ cursor.
  • Disable automatic restart on system failure
    Reboots, no BSOD.
  • Enable boot logging
    No ntbtlog.txt created.

Hard Drive

  • Wiped with shred
    Single pass, all 0's
  • Reinstalled Windows 7
    From Samsung restore DVD's.
  • SMART diagnostics
    Claims it's healthy.


  • Reset defaults
  • Disabled CD drive
    Didn't help boot.
  • Outdated (08JB vs 11JB)
    Can't run update executable.


  • Windows Memory Test
  • Memtest86+

Boot Disks

  • Windows 7 Install (USB image)
    Reboots on "Starting Windows" screen.
  • 32-bit Windows 7 Recovery (USB image)
    • System Recovery
      Aborts with "incorrect Windows version"
    • Command prompt
    • Startup Repair
      Fails to fix, or shows 'Report Problem' dialog.
  • 64-bit Windows 7 Recovery (USB image)
    Shows "Windows is loading files", reboots
  • Ubuntu 10.04 (USB image)
    Runs without issues.

Command Line

  • bootrec

    • /fixmbr
    • /fixboot
    • /rebuildbcd
    • /scanos

      Successfully scanned Windows installations.
      Total identified Windows installations: 0 
  • chkdsk /r shows nothing.

  • sfc /scannow

    There is a system repair pending which requires reboot to continue. Restart
    Windows and run sfc again.
  • Few questions. When you boot from Ubuntu Live USB can you view the hard drive of your PC? Was the BIOS updated to the latest version? – Darius May 5 '11 at 0:18
  • View HD--yes. I browsed all 4 partitions. SMART diagnostics reported no issues. BIOS is 08JB, latest on appears to be 11JB. – Tim May 5 '11 at 1:10
  • And I downloaded the BIOS updater, but it doesn't work from the Windows 7 Recovery 32-bit environment (says it couldn't find a battery or it was too low--but it was 100% on AC). – Tim May 5 '11 at 4:54
  • Other then the restore DVD's, do you have an actual Windows 7 DVD to try? Does the laptop have a restore partition on the HDD that you can attempt the restore from there rather from the DVD's? Use the Linux CD to rename the \Windows & \Program* directories & try the install again? – therube May 5 '11 at 23:49
  • I used the partition first, then used the DVD's after I gave up. I have tried the install at least 4 different ways thus far. – Tim May 6 '11 at 0:26

Things to try.

  • Run a chkdsk /r

  • Reset bios to defaults, then check/set bios date and time, try recovery again. Be sure all external devices are disconnected from notebook during Install/Recovery, enable wireless Before recovery starts.

  • Try another hard drive if you can.

  • Wiped drive completely, reset BIOS, date/time looks good. Reinstalled from recovery. Not able to enable wireless. Would like to try a hard drive but do not have one. – Tim May 5 '11 at 17:14
  • See if there is a compatibility mode in the bios, or IDE mode, enable that, try the install again. – Moab May 5 '11 at 19:15

Try this...

During the Windows 7 installation when you come to the disk partition point hit Shift+F10 at the command prompt run through these commands.

  1. diskpart
  2. list disk
  3. select disk X
  4. clean
  5. create partition primary size=300
  6. select partition 1
  7. format fs=ntfs label="System"
  8. assign letter=S
  9. active
  10. create partition primary
  11. select partition 2
  12. format fs=ntfs label="Windows"
  13. assign letter=C
  14. exit

Replace X in select disk X with the number of the hard drive you are going to use found during list disk... these commands will wipe the drive and create two partitions the System at 300MB and the C:\ filling the rest of the space.

Then follow through with the installation as normal selecting the created C:\ partition.

Edit: Forgot to tell you that you need to click Refresh after you exit the DOS prompt so you can see the newly created partitions.

  • Thank you. Before I try this, would you mind explaining two things? (1) What is the intent here by creating them through diskpart; and (2) Did you purposefully leave out the ~100MB and additional ~220GB partitions Samsung wants me to create? I really have no idea what the small one is. The big one is probably the (unnecessary) Recovery partition. – Tim May 5 '11 at 22:27
  • the 100 mb partition is the 'boot' partition – Journeyman Geek May 5 '11 at 23:52
  • I generally put more than 100MB just in case.. its not that much space and the only way to do that is through the command line. Some technet documents recommend 300MB so I do that normally. Partitioning your drive manually and not letting the installer do it automatically solves some issues with installation that is why I am suggesting you do it yourself. – Riguez May 6 '11 at 0:31
  • Not sure what you mean by Samsung wanting you to create a 220GB partition that is way larger than any recovery partition should be... – Riguez May 6 '11 at 0:36

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