Saturday, May 21, 2011

Reparing Startup in Windows 7

The best and fastest way to repair startup in Windows 7 is to use the Startup Repair tool available on the install DVD. This tool automatically scans your system, finds the cause of the problem, and repairs the problem without user interaction. I've only ever had to run this tool once to repair a system, but I've read in some blogs that depending on the exact nature of the problem, it may take up to 3 Startup Repair attempts to completely fix the problem.

Generally speaking, if Windows 7 won't start, it is likely this tool will help. It can perform tasks such as:
  • replace missing boot files
  • update the master boot record
  • update the boot sector
  • repair the boot configuration database (BCD)
Things this tool will not do:
  • repair driver issues
  • remove invalid operating system files added by malware
  • remove faulty services
To access Startup Repair, you need to:
  1. Boot from the Windows 7 DVD
  2. Click Repair your computer.
  3. Click Use recovery tools that can help fix problems starting Windows.
  4. Click Startup Repair

You can manually perform some of the same repair tasks by using the Command Prompt option and the Bootrec.exe tool. You can use Bootrec.exe to:
  • Fix the MBR without losing the partition table (bootrec.exe /FixMbr)
  • Fix the boot sector to load bootmgr (bootrec.exe /FixBoot)
  • Scan disks for Windows installations (bootrec.exe /ScanOs)
  • Add all Windows installations to the BCD (bootrec.exe /RebuildBCD)
To perform tasks where you need to go back to a previous state, using System Restore is your best best. This tool restores Windows 7 system files (OS updates, registry, and drivers) and programs back to the time of the restore point that you select. It does not affect data such as documents. System restore points are created periodically and each time updates are installed. This tool can be useful for removing malware if you can identify the approximate date of installation.

You can perform a System Restore from inside Windows 7. Or, if the system is too unstable to perform a System Restore from inside Windows 7, you can boot from the Windows 7 installation DVD and perform a System Restore from the same menu as a Startup Repair.

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