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ChrisC
ChrisC, Computer Enthusiast
Category: Computer
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Experience:  Over 15 years experience as a computer technician.
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After installing a new router (Linksys/Cisco EA4500) and the

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Windows won't start

After installing a new router (Linksys/Cisco EA4500) and the Cisco Connect router software, I cannot boot into Windows. After the POST screen, just as the computer re;ports "Starting Windows ...", the screen goes blank.

I tried to boot with the MS Windows 7 installation disk, but it reports it could not find a problem.

My next step would be to go into Safe Mode and remove the router, but Safe Mode just brings me back to the blank screen.

I've never run into this before. Any possible theories?

Cheers, XXXXX XXXXX
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. I look forward to assisting you today with your question and providing the best answer possible.

As you probably know, Safe Mode only starts the most necessary drivers and background programs, so if you are unable even to get into Safe Mode, I'm afraid that indicates a corruption of some sort of the Windows OS (despite what the disk says). Anytime you are having problems in regular mode but are able to get into Safe Mode, then that indicates a problem with a program or driver that's starting int he background. But anytime you are also having issues with Safe Mode then that indicates a problem with Windows itself.

Also, unfortunately, if you can't get into Safe Mode then your options will be fairly limited as that takes away most of your troubleshooting tools.

The first thing you'll want to do is attempt to get into the Advanced Boot Menu (which may be how you attempted to get into Safe Mode earlier). To do so, reboot your computer as soon as it starts coming up--BEFORE you get to the Windows logo--repeatedly tap the F8 key.

There are two things we want to look for in the menu that, if available, you will want to try:

1. Last Known Good Configuration
2. Start Up Repair (which may be listed as Repair Your Computer)

If these options are not available, or if they are not successful in resolving your issue, then your only other option would be to back up your data by connecting the hard drive to a different computer and then reinstalling Windows via your OS disc.

I wish I had better news for you, but when most of the troubleshooting tools are not available, reinstalling is the only thing you can do. If you have any other questions on this, just let me know. And please remember to click the ACCEPT button for me before you run so that I am credited for assisting you.

Remember, if for any reason you are unsatisfied with my answer, we can continue the conversation until you’re satisfied and Accept my answer. I can address follow up questions at no extra charge and I’m always here to help. Thank you for using JustAnswer!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi ChrisC --

Thanks for your thoughtful answer.

I tried the Last Known Good Configuration, and it didn't work; there is no option for either Startup repair or Repair your computer.

I tried several data-recovery programs (Search and Recover, Prosoft Data Rescue and a partition-recovery tool that I mugged a local techie for) and they didn't work, though I have not exhausted all the possibilities.

Would that sound like bad news for your idea of backing up my data by connecting the hard drive to a different computer and then reinstalling Windows via my OS disc?

Cheers,
J.
That's strange regarding the data-recovery programs and could indicate a problem with the hard drive. If in fact the hard drive is failing then recovering your data could prove to be difficult. However, the only way to know that would be to connect the hard drive to a separate computer and see if it shows up in the drive list under Computer. If it does, then you should able to copy over all your files that you want to keep, put the drive back into the original machine, and then reinstall Windows.

If in fact the data is irretrievable due to a hardware issue with the drive then I'm afraid your only solution there will be to replace the drive and then reinstall Windows via your installation disc (I'll keep my fingers crossed that this isn't the case!).

One other thing: Just an FYI, if you can't get your data off but there are files on there that you absolutely, positively can't afford to lose then there are services that specialize in retrieving data from "dead" drives, though it often costs $200 or more to have the process done.

If you have any other questions on this, just let me know. And please remember to click ACCEPT for me before you run.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Sigh.

What I don't understand is that this all happened because (or as a coincidence to) installing a new router.

Since I last chatted with you, I ran another tool with one of my recovery disks, and it started reporting a series of problems:

Error 187 reading sector 54540112

and every time I chicked "ignore" ("retry" didn't work), it skmply m oved to the n ext sector up, so it went

Error 187 reading sector 54540112 to 117

and so on.

It makes me think I should run CHKDSK., but alas, I can't even get a system prompt.

J

Hmm, that indicates that there is indeed a problem with the hard drive. As you probably know, the hard drive platters are made broken down into thousands of "sectors" that hold information.

Based upon the info you've given, I have to believe that this issue is coincidental and wasn't caused by any kind of software install. Though it is possible that somehow the software install "exposed" a problem that has been on the verge of coming to light.

Remember that hard drives are mechanical objects that include a fair number of moving parts. It's always an issue of when--not if--they will fail.

I do hate to hear that your having this issue, though. I know it's a major bummer.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Well, ChrisC, thanks for your help, dispiriting as it was.

I'll see what I can do. But there are a hell of a lot of important files on that disk ... And I was changing the router because my backup service was having problems getting access to the computer in the first place. So the cure just made the matter worse, not better.

Thanks everso.

Cheers,
J

Good luck with it, J.

As I mentioned before, if necessary, there are data recovery services that may be able to get files off the drive even in a dying state, but they'll charge you for it.

Have a good day and sorry this happened!
Hi again, J.

If you don't mind, please remember to click the ACCEPT ANSWER button to close out our session. If you have any other questions on this, we can continue to correspond after you accept.

Remember, if for any reason you are unsatisfied with my answer, we can continue the conversation until you’re satisfied and Accept my answer. I can address follow up questions at no extra charge and I’m always here to help. Thank you for using JustAnswer!
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