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Windows failed to Start on Installing Windows 7 RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have a developer machine with a removable hard-drive so I can change OS.

    After attempting to get windows 7 installed because the key was rejected (I'm using a volume licensed version from MSDN), I replaced the OS Drive with my previoius Vista 32 and could not boot with the windows failed to start ... missing the file: \windows\system32\winload.exe.

    What can I do to restore the Vista to operating condition? What does Windows 7 do that makes it impossible to replace the OS drive?

    Any help will be appreciated.
    Monday, August 24, 2009 2:03 AM

Answers

  • Hi,

     

    Thank you for posting.

     

    Regarding the error message “missing the file: \windows\system32\winload.exe”, I would like to suggest the following:

     

    1.    Insert the Windows Vista installation DVD and restart the computer. Choose your language settings, and then click "Next". Click "Repair your computer" and the window “System Recovery Options” will appear.

     

    You may run “Startup repair” or “System Restore” to see how it works.

     

    2.    If “Startup repair” and “System Restore” did not help, please go to the System Recovery Options click "Command Prompts"

     

    3.  In the command Window, go to C:\windows\system32\ and check if the file “winload.exe” exists.

     

    4.    Run bcdedit.exe to verify the boot configuration. You may also post the result to this thread for our further research.

     

    5.    I also suspect that the problem is related with MBR and bootsector, therefore, please run the bootrec tool to fix the MBR and bootsector:

     

    C:\windows\system32\bootrec /fixmbr

    C:\windows\system32\bootrec /fixboot

     

    For more information about the Bootrec.exe tool, please also refer to the following document:

     

    How to use the Bootrec.exe tool in the Windows Recovery Environment to troubleshoot and repair startup issues in Windows Vista

     

    Hope this helps. Thanks.

     

    Nicholas Li

    TechNet Subscriber Support in forum

    If you have any feedback on our support, please contact tngfb@microsoft.com.


    Nicholas Li - MSFT
    Wednesday, August 26, 2009 9:38 AM
    Moderator
  • When doing a systems repair, you need to first select Install Windows (not Recovery disk or console) and then two screens later you'll be asked if you want to do a clean install or a repair.  Select R for repair. Then let it do its thing. Make sure you have the 25 digit product code handy (hopefully it's somewhere on a label on the side or bottom of your PC) or you'll be screwed when that part comes up and you won't be able to continue (and your PC will no longer boot to the hard drive because it's half installed). 

    It may also be possible that repair won't work because you installed Windows7. I assume you uninstalled Windows7 before trying to repair Vista, so maybe it's just so different (couldn't return the Vista settings) that a repair won't work and you'll need to do a clean install.

     Otherwise, Nicholas gave you very good information to get you past any other difficulties that might have arisen (and taught me a few things myself). I'll bet they fixed the problem but you didn't bother to come here to post the solution (as often happens when people are overjoyed the problem is finally resolved).
    Tuesday, September 8, 2009 3:58 PM

All replies

  • It appears that attempting to copy data from my Vista disk, I get a message that the disk is not initialized; I get the same message on a previous HD that I tried to do a clean install. When I try to initialize the HD, I get a message saying that the disk is not ready. How do I initialize the Vista HD without destroying its content?
    Monday, August 24, 2009 2:21 AM
  • Hi,

     

    Thank you for posting.

     

    Regarding the error message “missing the file: \windows\system32\winload.exe”, I would like to suggest the following:

     

    1.    Insert the Windows Vista installation DVD and restart the computer. Choose your language settings, and then click "Next". Click "Repair your computer" and the window “System Recovery Options” will appear.

     

    You may run “Startup repair” or “System Restore” to see how it works.

     

    2.    If “Startup repair” and “System Restore” did not help, please go to the System Recovery Options click "Command Prompts"

     

    3.  In the command Window, go to C:\windows\system32\ and check if the file “winload.exe” exists.

     

    4.    Run bcdedit.exe to verify the boot configuration. You may also post the result to this thread for our further research.

     

    5.    I also suspect that the problem is related with MBR and bootsector, therefore, please run the bootrec tool to fix the MBR and bootsector:

     

    C:\windows\system32\bootrec /fixmbr

    C:\windows\system32\bootrec /fixboot

     

    For more information about the Bootrec.exe tool, please also refer to the following document:

     

    How to use the Bootrec.exe tool in the Windows Recovery Environment to troubleshoot and repair startup issues in Windows Vista

     

    Hope this helps. Thanks.

     

    Nicholas Li

    TechNet Subscriber Support in forum

    If you have any feedback on our support, please contact tngfb@microsoft.com.


    Nicholas Li - MSFT
    Wednesday, August 26, 2009 9:38 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi,

     

    I just want to see how everything is going. If you have any questions or concerns on the recent information I've provided you, please feel free to let me know.

     

    Thanks, and have a great day!

    Nicholas Li

    TechNet Subscriber Support in forum

    If you have any feedback on our support, please contact tngfb@microsoft.com.

     


    Nicholas Li - MSFT
    Wednesday, September 2, 2009 10:33 AM
    Moderator
  • When doing a systems repair, you need to first select Install Windows (not Recovery disk or console) and then two screens later you'll be asked if you want to do a clean install or a repair.  Select R for repair. Then let it do its thing. Make sure you have the 25 digit product code handy (hopefully it's somewhere on a label on the side or bottom of your PC) or you'll be screwed when that part comes up and you won't be able to continue (and your PC will no longer boot to the hard drive because it's half installed). 

    It may also be possible that repair won't work because you installed Windows7. I assume you uninstalled Windows7 before trying to repair Vista, so maybe it's just so different (couldn't return the Vista settings) that a repair won't work and you'll need to do a clean install.

     Otherwise, Nicholas gave you very good information to get you past any other difficulties that might have arisen (and taught me a few things myself). I'll bet they fixed the problem but you didn't bother to come here to post the solution (as often happens when people are overjoyed the problem is finally resolved).
    Tuesday, September 8, 2009 3:58 PM