Win 7 boot loop

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  #1  
Old 12-16-16, 10:21 PM
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Win 7 boot loop

Dell Latitude e6400 laptop
Win 7 pro

My son's laptop is stuck in a boot loop: a boot attempt results in "Windows failed to start" and offers options to Launch Startup Repair or Load Windows Normally. If we select Repair it loops around to "Failed to start". If we select Load Windows Normally, we get a blue screen of death that flashes so quickly we can't read it. We cannot boot into Safe mode.

We've only tried the "repair" option- we haven't tried reinstalling Win 7 because my son doesn't want to lose his gaming files.

On power-up if we press F12 for boot options there's a Diagnostics option. The hard drive returns an error code 2000-0146, which means "DST log contains previous errors". I've read that after the memory test we should be able to run diagnostics from the utility partition, but that partition is not available to us.

I spent this entire evening trying to install DOS to a usb drive so i could run CHKDSK, but failed. I'm unable to scan the hard drive.

Any ideas for a fix? Thanks!
 
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  #2  
Old 12-18-16, 05:02 AM
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Without the command prompt you're stuck with only one option, I'm afraid: Reinstall. If the game files are that important you could pick up a usb hard drive bay so you can backup those critical files to another computer before reinstalling. (Or use it as a teaching experience so your son learns to backup his files.)
 
  #3  
Old 12-18-16, 05:41 AM
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Consider installing a new hard drive and doing a clean install on that. Then attach your current drive as a standard (non-boot) drive and trying to recover the files from it. If it's just the OS that's hosed on the drive you should be able to recover the user files and copy them to the new drive.
 
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Old 12-21-16, 12:11 PM
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Thanks for your replies- i figured we're looking at a new drive. Thanks for tips about slaving the old drive in!
 
  #5  
Old 12-22-16, 04:16 AM
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Before you reinstall, reset the BIOS back to defaults.
 
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