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Windows Fails To Boot, Fails to Install


udaynatt

New Member
Posts
9
#1
Laptop: Dell Inspiron 17RSE 7720 | 3rdGEn i7 3610QM CPU | DDR3 2x4GB RAM 1600MHz | nVidia 3DVision Enabled 17-inch screen running on 2GB GDDR5 nVidia 650M GT (3D enabled with NO optimus)
SATA Mode: AHCI
Hard Disks:
1. 32GB mSATA boot drive (Only windows core files and programs installed on it)
2. 1TB Toshiba 5400rpm (for Programs and Games)
3. 1TB Toshiba 5400rpm (for Movies, songs etc)


This laptop had Windows 7 installed in it with Intel Rapid Storage technology enabled. Few months ago, I changed the SATA mode to AHCI and installed windows 7 on 32GB mSATA drive. I kept the C drive only for windows and didn't install anything else on it. I created an MKLINK for some folders such as Common Files/Adobe and Appdata/Adobe so that heavy applications won't eat space on the little drive.
It was working fine for about 4-5 months, till one day the Windows 7 simply failed to boot. It was stuck on the Starting Windows screen forever. I searched on the sevenforums website and tried a lot of things such as cleaning the RAM, disabling startup programs and services etc. But it didn't help. neither did sfc /scannow nor windows repair using installation disc.
I could boot in safe mode but not normal mode.

So, I decided to reinstall Win7 from DVD that came with dell.
But the installation was stuck at final step of install after first reboot.
Again i tried several tricks described in forums, like checking for Legacy Boot in BIOS, making sure SATA is in AHCI, unplugging all USB drives as well as other two Hard Drives, and running laptop on single RAM chip. Nothing helped.
I even tried installing Win7 from USB stick, but results were same.

Then I decided to try Win8 Pro. I created a bootable USB from ISO and tried installing Win8. But again, after the first reboot, it was stuck at Getting Devices Ready (5%, sometimes at 2%, sometimes even before the Getting Devices Ready msg appeared)

Here is what I have already tried:

  • Booting from DVD/USB both
  • Cleaning the SSD for install (using Diskpart before beginning the install)
  • Unplugging all USB devices (removing bootable USB / DVD at first reboot as well during the 10-second timer before auto-restart)
  • Removing both HDDs, keeping only mSATA SSD inside to install (Sometimes, I had to put in primary HDD coz removing both HDD resulted in failure of detection of any Hard Disks)
  • Keeping only one RAM chip inside
  • Updating BIOS by downloading from Dell website and flashing with bootable FreeDos USB
  • Trying both AHCI and ATA modes of SATA operation (choosing Intel RST mode was unusable coz in that mode, no drives were detected and it asked to Load Drivers. I even tried downloading SATA drivers, firmware drivers etc from Dell and Toshiba sites but they didnt work)
  • Trying both Legacy and UEFI boot modes
  • Cleaning RAM chips and putting them back in
  • Installing windows on one of the HDD instead of SSD
  • Simply waiting for 8 hours straight

And here is what I already tried during windows 7 install:
  • Disabling all unknown and yellow-icon devices by booting in safe mode at first reboot.
  • Uninstalling all unknown and yellow-icon devices at first reboot
  • opening explorer.exe using cmd window when installation was stuck at final step. Doing so caused in occurrence of a box displaying some actions such updating destop or somethin, which disappeared after sometime. but results were same again.
  • Waiting for 10 hours. Doing so got me past the final step of install and windows rebooted for second time. But it was again stuck at "preparing computer for first use"

I checked that everything shows up fine in BIOS. HDDs, ODD, RAM, CPU etc. and they do.

I also ran Dell Pre-Boot Diagnostics to check for any hardware malfunction. But everything works just fine.


Is there anything i have not tried?

I think that the problem which caused the boot failure of my Windows 7 in first place is the same one causing installation failures of other OSes too.

But what it is, I do not know :(
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Dell Inspiron 7720 17R SE
    CPU
    3rd Gen Intel Core i7 3610QM
    Motherboard
    Dell
    Memory
    DDR3 8GB (2x4 GB)
    Graphics Card(s)
    nVidia 3D enabled (without optimus) 650M GT | 2GB GDDR5
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17-inch 120Hz LCD 3D display
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    2x 1TB 5400rpm Toshiba HDD (without RAID array)
    1 Samsung mSATA SSD 32GB

my2cents

Veni, Vidi, Vici
VIP Member
Guru
Posts
2,191
#2
Your post is quite interesting but too much for me to absorb at one sitting. With that said I will voice a single concern and then ask a follow-up question:

My concern is this:
I changed the SATA mode to AHCI and installed windows 7 on 32GB mSATA drive
Above seems too small for extended growth.

Now, are you trying to do a clean install or reinstall? If that latter, could there be an issue related to the above (eg, not enough room)? I apologize for not try to absorb everything you stated; however, I made it all the way through high school using Cliff's Notes and I never had to read a single book! Guess I'm just lazy...
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    Intel G2020
    Motherboard
    ASRock B75M-DGS R2.0
    Memory
    8GBs @ 1333 MHz
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 840 EVO
    PSU
    400w
    Internet Speed
    57/11

theog

VIP Member
VIP Member
Gold Member
Posts
5,591
#3
•Trying both AHCI and ATA modes of SATA operation (choosing Intel RST mode was unusable coz in that mode, no drives were detected and it asked to Load Drivers. I even tried downloading SATA drivers, firmware drivers etc from Dell and Toshiba sites but they didnt work)
SATA controller drivers not need, you need the Intel RST mode drivers.


Dell tutorial links:
http://dell.to/15Cz2AS
http://dell.to/13EbJpn

Forum tutorial link:
Install Windows on MSATA (SSD) Drive - Windows 7 Help Forums
Install Windows on System with MSATA and ISRT - Windows 7 Help Forums
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Other Info
    Notebooks x 3

    Desktops x 5

    Towers x 4

Saltgrass

New Member
Pro User
Posts
1,121
#4
A 32 GB mSATA drive is not put there to install an OS on. It is normally used to speed up a HDD or as a Hibernation file storage for a faster boot.

But however you decide to use it, I will assume an mSATA drive might be referenced as a PCI type device in your bios.

If it had been set up to use Intel Smart response technology, it might be part of a RAID array. If you have the Intel Rapid Storage Utility, you might check to see how it is described in that utility.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 x64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Home Grown
    CPU
    i7 3770K
    Motherboard
    ASUS P8Z77 -v Pro, Z87-Expert
    Memory
    16 G
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA GTX 680 Classified (2)
    Hard Drives
    Kingston SSD 240 GB

udaynatt

New Member
Posts
9
#5
Now, are you trying to do a clean install or reinstall? If that latter, could there be an issue related to the above (eg, not enough room)? I apologize for not try to absorb everything you stated; however, I made it all the way through high school using Cliff's Notes and I never had to read a single book! Guess I'm just lazy...
I'm trying to do clean install. Read my post completely.

As for enough room issue, I've had this thing going for months and didn't face any problem. So space is not an issue.
Besides, i had installed Windows on mSATA device before. And right now i'm just repeating same thing i did back then. Only that its not working this time.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Dell Inspiron 7720 17R SE
    CPU
    3rd Gen Intel Core i7 3610QM
    Motherboard
    Dell
    Memory
    DDR3 8GB (2x4 GB)
    Graphics Card(s)
    nVidia 3D enabled (without optimus) 650M GT | 2GB GDDR5
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17-inch 120Hz LCD 3D display
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    2x 1TB 5400rpm Toshiba HDD (without RAID array)
    1 Samsung mSATA SSD 32GB

my2cents

Veni, Vidi, Vici
VIP Member
Guru
Posts
2,191
#6
Read my post completely
Thanks for your advisement. OK, now I see...

So you ran the Dell pre-boot diagnostics after you wiped the hard drive clean; eh? Sounds like you covered all the bases and then some so good luck.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    Intel G2020
    Motherboard
    ASRock B75M-DGS R2.0
    Memory
    8GBs @ 1333 MHz
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 840 EVO
    PSU
    400w
    Internet Speed
    57/11

udaynatt

New Member
Posts
9
#7
•Trying both AHCI and ATA modes of SATA operation (choosing Intel RST mode was unusable coz in that mode, no drives were detected and it asked to Load Drivers. I even tried downloading SATA drivers, firmware drivers etc from Dell and Toshiba sites but they didnt work)
SATA controller drivers not need, you need the Intel RST mode drivers.


Dell tutorial links:
http://dell.to/15Cz2AS
http://dell.to/13EbJpn

Forum tutorial link:
Install Windows on MSATA (SSD) Drive - Windows 7 Help Forums
Install Windows on System with MSATA and ISRT - Windows 7 Help Forums
Thanks dude. I tried both options... installing on MSATA (ACHI mode) and on HDD (IRST mode).
But they didn't work. Install is again stuck at final step. I tried Windows 7 Home premium using both DVD and USB.

Then I tried installing Windows 8 Pro from USB but that too is stuck at same step. "Getting Devices Ready 11%" this time.
Please dont ask me to try installing Windows from DVD coz i know thats not gonna solve the issue.

But thanks a lot dude.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Dell Inspiron 7720 17R SE
    CPU
    3rd Gen Intel Core i7 3610QM
    Motherboard
    Dell
    Memory
    DDR3 8GB (2x4 GB)
    Graphics Card(s)
    nVidia 3D enabled (without optimus) 650M GT | 2GB GDDR5
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17-inch 120Hz LCD 3D display
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    2x 1TB 5400rpm Toshiba HDD (without RAID array)
    1 Samsung mSATA SSD 32GB

udaynatt

New Member
Posts
9
#8
So you ran the Dell pre-boot diagnostics after you wiped the hard drive clean; eh? Sounds like you covered all the bases and then some so good luck.
When the problem occured at first, I mean when windows 7 simply got stuck at boot screen, I tried every option at that time: chkdsk, sfc /scannow, dell diagnostics, disabling devices/startup programs.. nothing helped. Only then i decided to do a reinstall of windows 7, and later windows 8.

Both my 1TB HDDs are half full of important files. So there's no way i was gonna wipe them. I only 'cleaned' the 32GB SSD in AHCI mode.
But after reading ur msg, and 'theog's message, I copied all the data into single 1TB HDD and took it out.
Now my lappy has only 1TB HDD + 32GB SSD. (Thats stock configuration. I had installed another 1TB HDD later myself)
And then restored the BIOS to default settings (which changed SATA mode to IRST). So everything went back to the way it was before, when i had purchased it.

Then I cleaned both HDD and SSD and tried intalling windows on HDD, but same results again :(
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Dell Inspiron 7720 17R SE
    CPU
    3rd Gen Intel Core i7 3610QM
    Motherboard
    Dell
    Memory
    DDR3 8GB (2x4 GB)
    Graphics Card(s)
    nVidia 3D enabled (without optimus) 650M GT | 2GB GDDR5
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17-inch 120Hz LCD 3D display
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    2x 1TB 5400rpm Toshiba HDD (without RAID array)
    1 Samsung mSATA SSD 32GB

udaynatt

New Member
Posts
9
#9
I have even tried keeping only SSD inside and taking everything else out. But that doesn't work because the laptop wont recognize the SSD alone after installation reboot without the HDD. So I had to keep one HDD inside.

Also, even in AHCI mode i tried installing windows on the HDD alone. But was met with same results. I cleaned the RAM chips, SSD, HDDs and pretty much every visible circuit on motherboard, removed dust etc. but nothing solves it.

Dont know what the hell is causing this :(
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Dell Inspiron 7720 17R SE
    CPU
    3rd Gen Intel Core i7 3610QM
    Motherboard
    Dell
    Memory
    DDR3 8GB (2x4 GB)
    Graphics Card(s)
    nVidia 3D enabled (without optimus) 650M GT | 2GB GDDR5
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17-inch 120Hz LCD 3D display
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    2x 1TB 5400rpm Toshiba HDD (without RAID array)
    1 Samsung mSATA SSD 32GB

theog

VIP Member
VIP Member
Gold Member
Posts
5,591
#10
Try running the Dell diagnostic tools to see if have hardware problem.
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Other Info
    Notebooks x 3

    Desktops x 5

    Towers x 4

gavanid

Member
Member
Posts
79
#11
Laptop: Dell Inspiron 17RSE 7720 | 3rdGEn i7 3610QM CPU | DDR3 2x4GB RAM 1600MHz | nVidia 3DVision Enabled 17-inch screen running on 2GB GDDR5 nVidia 650M GT (3D enabled with NO optimus)
SATA Mode: AHCI
Hard Disks:
1. 32GB mSATA boot drive (Only windows core files and programs installed on it)
2. 1TB Toshiba 5400rpm (for Programs and Games)
3. 1TB Toshiba 5400rpm (for Movies, songs etc)


This laptop had Windows 7 installed in it with Intel Rapid Storage technology enabled. Few months ago, I changed the SATA mode to AHCI and installed windows 7 on 32GB mSATA drive. I kept the C drive only for windows and didn't install anything else on it. I created an MKLINK for some folders such as Common Files/Adobe and Appdata/Adobe so that heavy applications won't eat space on the little drive.
It was working fine for about 4-5 months, till one day the Windows 7 simply failed to boot. It was stuck on the Starting Windows screen forever. I searched on the sevenforums website and tried a lot of things such as cleaning the RAM, disabling startup programs and services etc. But it didn't help. neither did sfc /scannow nor windows repair using installation disc.
I could boot in safe mode but not normal mode.

So, I decided to reinstall Win7 from DVD that came with dell.
But the installation was stuck at final step of install after first reboot.
Again i tried several tricks described in forums, like checking for Legacy Boot in BIOS, making sure SATA is in AHCI, unplugging all USB drives as well as other two Hard Drives, and running laptop on single RAM chip. Nothing helped.
I even tried installing Win7 from USB stick, but results were same.

Then I decided to try Win8 Pro. I created a bootable USB from ISO and tried installing Win8. But again, after the first reboot, it was stuck at Getting Devices Ready (5%, sometimes at 2%, sometimes even before the Getting Devices Ready msg appeared)

Here is what I have already tried:

  • Booting from DVD/USB both
  • Cleaning the SSD for install (using Diskpart before beginning the install)
  • Unplugging all USB devices (removing bootable USB / DVD at first reboot as well during the 10-second timer before auto-restart)
  • Removing both HDDs, keeping only mSATA SSD inside to install (Sometimes, I had to put in primary HDD coz removing both HDD resulted in failure of detection of any Hard Disks)
  • Keeping only one RAM chip inside
  • Updating BIOS by downloading from Dell website and flashing with bootable FreeDos USB
  • Trying both AHCI and ATA modes of SATA operation (choosing Intel RST mode was unusable coz in that mode, no drives were detected and it asked to Load Drivers. I even tried downloading SATA drivers, firmware drivers etc from Dell and Toshiba sites but they didnt work)
  • Trying both Legacy and UEFI boot modes
  • Cleaning RAM chips and putting them back in
  • Installing windows on one of the HDD instead of SSD
  • Simply waiting for 8 hours straight

And here is what I already tried during windows 7 install:
  • Disabling all unknown and yellow-icon devices by booting in safe mode at first reboot.
  • Uninstalling all unknown and yellow-icon devices at first reboot
  • opening explorer.exe using cmd window when installation was stuck at final step. Doing so caused in occurrence of a box displaying some actions such updating destop or somethin, which disappeared after sometime. but results were same again.
  • Waiting for 10 hours. Doing so got me past the final step of install and windows rebooted for second time. But it was again stuck at "preparing computer for first use"

I checked that everything shows up fine in BIOS. HDDs, ODD, RAM, CPU etc. and they do.

I also ran Dell Pre-Boot Diagnostics to check for any hardware malfunction. But everything works just fine.


Is there anything i have not tried?

I think that the problem which caused the boot failure of my Windows 7 in first place is the same one causing installation failures of other OSes too.

But what it is, I do not know :(
Did you re-assign letters in cmd prompt???

Bios and disk management see them in different order?? (Asus Z87 Sabertooth)

I restored a backup with paragon but when it came to boot there was no operating system found??

disk 0 is D and disk 1 is C

boot into your disk/usb and check with diskpart=disks and volumes

I also found the easiest way to install to SSD is to detach all other HD's/SSD's
See if you can change your Master/Slave options

Just a thought, could be useless :[
 

Attachments

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro x64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    My 1st Build
    CPU
    Intel(R) Core(TM)i7-4770K CPU @ 3.50GHz (Running @ 4.1GHz)
    Motherboard
    Asus Sabertooth Z87
    Memory
    32 GB Ram (4x8 Corsair Vengeance)
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX780 ACX
    Sound Card
    Asus Xonar DX
    Monitor(s) Displays
    LG E24A53
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    Samsung SSD 840 PRO 256GB



    Western Digital 1TB
    PSU
    Corsair CX 750
    Case
    Corsair 200R
    Cooling
    Corsiair H80i (Liquid)
    Keyboard
    Microsoft
    Mouse
    Microsoft
    Internet Speed
    (9-10/Mbs) 1 .5/7 Mbs
    Browser
    Firefox/Chrome
    Antivirus
    Avast (Windows Defender keeps wanting me to scan every boot)

udaynatt

New Member
Posts
9
#12

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Dell Inspiron 7720 17R SE
    CPU
    3rd Gen Intel Core i7 3610QM
    Motherboard
    Dell
    Memory
    DDR3 8GB (2x4 GB)
    Graphics Card(s)
    nVidia 3D enabled (without optimus) 650M GT | 2GB GDDR5
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17-inch 120Hz LCD 3D display
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    2x 1TB 5400rpm Toshiba HDD (without RAID array)
    1 Samsung mSATA SSD 32GB

Ztruker

Well-Known Member
VIP Member
Guru
#13
Do you have another drive you could try installing to. If that works then the problem is this drive.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro X64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Lenovo IdeaCenter K450
    CPU
    Intel Quad Core i7-4770 @ 3.4Ghz
    Motherboard
    Lenovo
    Memory
    16.0GB PC3-12800 DDR3 SDRAM 1600 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel Integrated HD Graphics
    Sound Card
    Realtek HD Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    HP h2207
    Screen Resolution
    [email protected]
    Hard Drives
    250GB Samsung EVO SATA-3 SSD;
    2TB Seagate ST2000DM001 SATA-2;
    1.5TB Seagate ST3150041AS SATA
    PSU
    500W
    Keyboard
    Wired USB
    Mouse
    Wired USB
    Internet Speed
    3GB Up, 30GB Down
    Browser
    SeaMonkey
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender; MBAM Pro
    Other Info
    UEFI/GPT
    PLDS DVD-RW DH16AERSH

udaynatt

New Member
Posts
9
#14
I have tried installing windows using only SSD inside,
I have also tried installing windows using only one HDD inside and one RAM chip, using both slots one by one.
There are over a dozen ways i've tried till now to get it done. But nothing works.

Really. Nothing works!
If it's a hardware problem, it should get detected in the Dell Pre-Boot Diagnostic Scan
I tried running even the deep memory scans which take about 45 minutes to complete. Still cannot find any problem.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Dell Inspiron 7720 17R SE
    CPU
    3rd Gen Intel Core i7 3610QM
    Motherboard
    Dell
    Memory
    DDR3 8GB (2x4 GB)
    Graphics Card(s)
    nVidia 3D enabled (without optimus) 650M GT | 2GB GDDR5
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17-inch 120Hz LCD 3D display
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    2x 1TB 5400rpm Toshiba HDD (without RAID array)
    1 Samsung mSATA SSD 32GB

udaynatt

New Member
Posts
9
#15
Do you have another drive you could try installing to. If that works then the problem is this drive.
Hey Vivian
I have 2 TB HDDs, and both of them work just fine when i'm copying data from one drive to another. As you said problem could be drive, i took out the 320GB HDD from my brother's laptop and put it inside mine. It was not detected at all. Then i switched the SATA mode to ATA, and the drive was detetced and guess what? The windows got stuck at the boot screen "starting windows" just like it did before.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Dell Inspiron 7720 17R SE
    CPU
    3rd Gen Intel Core i7 3610QM
    Motherboard
    Dell
    Memory
    DDR3 8GB (2x4 GB)
    Graphics Card(s)
    nVidia 3D enabled (without optimus) 650M GT | 2GB GDDR5
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17-inch 120Hz LCD 3D display
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    2x 1TB 5400rpm Toshiba HDD (without RAID array)
    1 Samsung mSATA SSD 32GB

udaynatt

New Member
Posts
9
#16
One of the Dell helper told me to enable IRST, clean both HDD and SSD using diskpart, reboot and then press ctrl+I on the Option Rom screen.

Well, I dont know what an Option ROM is, and i've never seen it before since the day i purchased this laptop. (Its been almost a year).

I tried enabling Legacy ROM in UEFI boot settings, and tried booting in both Secure and Non Secured modes, but option rom does not show up.
Only ROM screen i see is the Network ROM screen (when network boot is enabled) and during that screen, pressing ctrl+I does not do anything.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Dell Inspiron 7720 17R SE
    CPU
    3rd Gen Intel Core i7 3610QM
    Motherboard
    Dell
    Memory
    DDR3 8GB (2x4 GB)
    Graphics Card(s)
    nVidia 3D enabled (without optimus) 650M GT | 2GB GDDR5
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17-inch 120Hz LCD 3D display
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    2x 1TB 5400rpm Toshiba HDD (without RAID array)
    1 Samsung mSATA SSD 32GB
Posts
2
#17
It booted to windows in safe mode so the msata controller is working. What is your bios version? Try doing an upgrade. I prefer UEFI mode over legacy due to the accessibility and comfort of uprading the BIOS booted into windows. Leave secure boot on!
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8 and 8.1 pro/enterprise