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Please help. I've tried everything. Windows 7 will not start!

I picked up a Gateway Nv79 laptop around 10 years ago at BestBuy. The screen ended up getting smashed not too long after. I set it aside in hopes of fixing it at some point. During that time it had been roughed up a little more by the children, ie A 2 year old standing on it etc etc. I say this because I'm unsure if it may have something to do with its current status.

As time went on, I had eventually purchased a new screen for $50 and put it in, I was proud!-But when I booted it, Windows 7 would not start. And it said Windows had a damaged file.

It went from saying that back then, to now saying this..

Block Image

Well I just so happen to have a Windows 7 reboot disc.

Let's do this!


U.S keyboard input,


Now I have 2 options.

System Recovery options prompts “Use recovery tools" etc..


“Restore your computer using a system image that you created earlier.”

When I attempt to re-image the computer it says

“Windows cannot find a system image on this computer”

When I select “Use recovery tools..” I literally go right down the line. Start up repair begins checking for any system problems and then shuts down. System restore says I must specify which Windows installation to restore. Tells me to restart, select operating system and then select system restore. Lol. Recovery Manager options says tool failed to run. Windows Memory Diagnostic says an error is preventing windows from checking for memory problems during set up.

I've tried the command prompt and different DOS commands. I've also tried holding Alt right and F10 on start up to restore to factory settings . It does nothing unless I have the windows 7 boot disc in the computer. And even then it doesn't help.

Here's some pics of what it told me..

Block Image

Block Image

I bought a Windows 10 installation disc for $135 and that doesnt work because Windows 7 is still on there supposedly.

I'm ready to wipe the whole thing out just so I can install Windows 10 but the only other option I can think of is completely replacing the actual hard drive.

Years ago I bought an external hard drive case and pulled all the videos and pics off from it.

Sorry if this question is a little long winded but I wanted to give as much detail as possible so if anyone decided to help they can have a pretty good picture of the situation. Thanks.



This morning I opened up the Hard Drive compartment and realized the HD is just floating around inside. I plugged it in and it seems to be even worse. The CD ROM will not read the Windows Boot disc. I really only get this message..

Block Image

When I hit ENTER it just loops through. If this is going on WITH the hard drive plugged in I would assume the Hard Drive is jacked up. Right?

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Bu iyi bir soru mu?

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4 Yorum

It is always better to include as much detailed information as you can, as it usually makes it easier to find a fix for the problem and to understand what the issue is.


Are you sure that there are no loose components or cables? This may be the problem.


@michaeld2 I can't think of anything. Maybe the hard drive itself? I'm at work right now but when I get home I'll open it up and be sure its secure. Thanks.


If you can't get advice that helps with the problem elsewhere, maybe try calling Microsoft Support and getting advice from technicians at Microsoft, as the computer says.


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@coldmainer this can be a HDD failure, memory failure or corrupt bootloader. I suggest that you change your BIOS to make the CD the booting device. Get a copy of a Live Linux CD something like puppy linux and burn it to CD to make it bootable. Insert it and see if your computer boots up with that CD. If so try to access your hard drive with that. If you can you know that it is most likely a bootloader problem. If you cannot access your drive or if it hangs etc. you know it is your HDD If a Live CD does not work at all you have most likely a RAM problem. Takes a bit of time but it’s not to bad. Software like puppy linux is really easy to get used to and will help with the troubleshooting. I am sure there are other programs out but that is what I have been using for years.

Update (03/10/2020)

@coldmainer of course. You can also get a version that installs to a USB drive. So you can use that by making the USB 1st boot device.

Update (03/10/2020)

@coldmainer the 0xc00000e9 error accompanied by "an unexpected I/O error has occurred" is pretty indicative of windows not being able to communicate with your HDD. I'd be starting to look at a new drive :>)

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4 Yorum:

Hi @coldmainer,

Just to add to this answer, try testing the RAM by booting from a USB loaded with this free memory test software It doesn't require an OS or the HDD to be working as it is a standalone program.

If it passes the tests at least you know the the RAM section of the motherboard is OK.

Remember to alter the boot option in BIOS to USB first boot.


Ok ill check this out



To add to the list of things to do...

I have some questions.

*You state "Windows Memory Diagnostic says an error is preventing windows from checking for memory problems during set up."

Have you reseated the RAM yet? That is take it out and reseat it. Try it in each of the two slots. If you have two RAM modules try swopping them around and also try one at a time.

*F2 at power up will take you to the BIOS/Setup screens. Do the HD and CD ROM show up there?

F12 at power up will take you into the Boot Menu which should also show which drives are connected and working, well at least enough to show up in menu.

*Do you have access to another computer?

*Do you still have the external drive case? If yes why not test the laptop's drive that way? If you see all the files on it then it may just be the boot files or OS (operating system) are corrupted.

CD ROM's when defective can cause problems with other drives. Try taking it out and see how things are.

Let us all know how it is going.

By the way nice job replacing the screen.


Very good answer.


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To be honest I believe it has to due with the age of the version of Windows your using altogether. Have you tried installing windows 10 from a fresh boot img?

Update (03/09/2020)

Or maybe your default boot img was somehow changed .

If your computer is set to first attempt to boot to another device, this may cause issues with successfully booting to Windows. To reset your computer's BIOS to factory defaults, perform the following steps:

  1. Restart the computer.

# during restart, tap the F2 key repeatedly until you see Entering Setup in the top-right corner of the screen.

  1. Depending on the BIOS, you may need to press a key that is listed at the bottom of the screen to load default settings. For example, F9 on the Inspiron N5110.
  2. Press ESC to exit the BIOS, and be sure to select Save and Exit to save your changes.

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I'll try that out. I updated my question and posted a picture at the bottom. Seems my Hard Drive wasnt even plugged in inside. Which makes it even more difficult. CD ROM wont read the windows 7 reboot disc anymore.


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Hello! @ColdMainer

Your problem can be for these both, one of your HDD and the other one is windows disk.

You should change your disk then check if you still have seen this message then it is your HDD problem.

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Puan 1

3 Yorum:

I just found that the HARD DRIVE wasnt even plugged in inside. After plugging it in, it doesn't read anything in the CD ROM and just shows me this windows boot manager message over and over. I updated my question and posted a pic of it at the bottom.


Did you change your windows CD?


No, I haven't. I'll need to find one first


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Windows not starting like that is usually an HDD problem. Yours was disconnected. Now that you have it connected, it may be that it is failing on reading the HDD and not falling over to the CD. Note that you did not need to purchase a new Windows CD. You can download a Windows ISO and make a USB or a CD. You only need the CD for the code if you do not have a valid license. Therefore, do not enter the code from the CD during the install. Once installed, Widows will auto activate when connected to the internet and you can use that CD code for a computer without a license or resell it since the code will be unused.

You need to set the BIOS 1st boot drive to CD, then boot and do a clean install. It will come to a screen showing your HDD. If it does not you have an HDD that Windows can't see. It may be recoverable. but not in that computer, and that is a whole nother question.

If it sees the HDD, delete all partitions that it shows and create one. Then let Windows install.

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