How to create a Windows 7 System Recovery Disc

Windows 7 makes it easy to create a System Recovery Disc if you already have Windows 7 installed and running.

Step one: Click Start > All Programs > Maintenance > Create a System Repair Disc

Step two: Insert a blank CD or DVD into your disc drive.

Step three: Click Create disc and let the program do its thing. Valley Computer 206.730.1111 Create-Window-7-System-Repair-Disk

That’s it! It only needs to write about 140- to 160-megabytes to the disc, depending on whether your OS is 64-bit or 32-bit, and that should only take a minute. If you do not have a CD/DVD-R drive to create a recovery disc with, you can alternatively download the ISO image of the Windows 7 System Recovery Disc and use it to make a bootable USB flash drive.

How to Fix Windows 7 When It Fails to Boot

Valley Computer 206.730.1111 Microsoft-Windows-7

Whether caused by a virus, a new operating system or by simple mistake, being faced with an “Operating System not found” or similar error during your computer system’s boot up can be a nerve rattling experience. Assuming you have Microsoft’s Window 7 installed however, do not fear, such a boot error can often be resolved in just a few simple steps.

First, check your BIOS and hardware

In many cases, having Windows 7 fail to boot may be as simple as having your BIOS set with an incorrect boot order sequence. It can be quite common if you have more than one hard drive installed in your computer and your BIOS gets reset. Usually you can access your BIOS seconds after your computer turns on by pressing the Delete button or by pressing a specific function key. Once in the BIOS, check to see that your system drive is listed appropriately in the boot order sequence; you may need to refer to your motherboard manual for help.

Another possible reason for Windows not being detected upon start up is a hardware issue. If your BIOS is unable to detect your system drive, check to make sure all the cables are plugged in properly. If your hard drive is making an odd noise, such as a clicking sound, your hard drive may be broken. Finally, it is possible that the hard drive is having data corruption issues, which has damaged important system data, such as the Master Boot Record (MBR). If you suspect a faulty hard drive, it may be a good idea to backup and scan your hard drive for errors from another computer and possibly consider buying a replacement. Trying to repair a boot problem on a damaged drive can possibly lead to even more data loss, so backup your data before attempting anything.

The MBR and other important boot data can also be damaged by trying to install an earlier version of Windows, such as Windows XP, alongside Windows 7 and by third-party programs, such as viruses. In the case of a virus, it is recommended that you run a virus scan of the drive before attempting any repairs as otherwise it could lead to more data loss. It is further possible to achieve the appearance of damaged boot data by having the wrong drive partition set to active, which can be the outcome of an overly curious Windows user with administrative permissions.

Fixing the MBR and other start up problems in Windows 7 is most quickly accomplished by using the Windows 7 Installation DVD. If you do not have a Windows 7 Installation DVD however, you can alternatively use a Windows 7 System Recovery Disc, which we will show you how to create further down in this article.  If you do not yet have either a Windows 7 Installation DVD or a recovery disc, do yourself a big favor and make a recovery disc right away to avoid any unnecessary headaches down the road.

Fixing the Master Boot Record (MBR)

Step one: Turn your computer on, booting from either your Windows 7 Installation DVD or Windows 7 System Recovery Disc.  Remember, you may need to change the boot order inside your BIOS to have the your DVD drive boot first.

Step two: After the installation or recovery disc loads, if prompted, select your language settings and then continue.  If you are using the installation DVD, when prompted by the following screen select Repair your computer.

Valley Computer 206.730.1111 Repair-Your-Computer

Step three: The computer will take a moment now to scan itself for any Windows installations, after which you will likely be given a choice to select which installation you wish to repair.  Select the appropriate Windows installation from the list and then continue. If by chance a problem is detected in one of your Windows installations at this initial stage, the system may also ask you if it can try to repair the problem automatically. It is up to you if you wish to let the system try to repair itself, but otherwise just select No.

Step four: Once you have reached the System Recovery Options screen, as shown below, you will be faced with a list of choices that can aid you in repairing a damaged Windows 7 operating system.  If you wish to try the Startup Repair option first, it is often successful in automatically fixing many different start up issues, but in this article we will be using the Command Prompt option to resolve our problems manually. So, click Command Prompt to continue. Valley Computer 206.730.1111 Command-Prompt

Step five: Now sitting at the command prompt, enter the following command and then press enter:

bootrec.exe /FixMbr

If successful, you should be greeted with the message The operation completed successfully.  That’s it!  Your Master Boot Record has been repaired.

While the above command does fix the MBR, and sometimes that is enough, there still might be an error with the system partition’s boot sector and Boot Configuration Data (BCD). This might occur if you have tried to install another operating system alongside Windows 7, such as Windows XP.  To write a new boot sector, try the following command:

bootrec.exe /FixBoot

If you are still faced with your Windows 7 installation not being detected during start up, or if you wish to include more than one operating system choice to your system’s boot list, you can try the following command to rebuild your BCD:

       bootrec.exe /RebuildBcd

The above command will scan all your disks for other operating systems compatible with Windows 7 and allow you to add them to your system’s boot list. If this fails, you may need to backup the old BCD folder* and create a new one in its place with the following commands:
        bcdedit /export C:\BCD_Backup

        c:

        cd boot

        attrib bcd -s -h -r

        ren c:\boot\bcd bcd.old

        bootrec /RebuildBcd

*Some users also find simply deleting the boot folder and retrying the above steps effective at resolving boot issues, but it is not recommended.

How to change active partitions

Upon purposely changing the active partition on my system drive, I was faced with a BOOTMGR is missing error during my system’s start up that prevent Windows from starting. It is a common mistake to make when playing with partitions on a system drive and it can be a headache to solve if not prepared. To change your active partition back using the Windows 7 recovery disc or Installation DVD, follow the steps below.

Step one: Follow steps one to four in the above guide. This should take you to the Command Prompt in the Windows Recovery Environment.

Step two: Type DiskPart and then press Enter.

Step three: Type List Disk now and then press Enter. This command will list all disks attached to your computer and assign them a disk number.

Step four: Type Select Disk x, where x is the number for the disk containing the partition you wish to make active. Press Enter.

Step five: Type List Partition and then press Enter. You will now be shown a list of the partitions on the selected disk. Determine which partition you wish to make active.

Step six: Type Select Partition x, where x is the number of the partition you wish to make active.

Step seven: Now, just type Active and then press Enter. That should be it – the selected partition is now active.

Valley Computer 206.730.1111 AT-The-Command-Prompt

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Getting to the Advanced Startup Option menu Windows 8

Valley Computer 206.730.1111 Advanced Option Windows 8

Getting to Advanced Options Windows 8

Method 1: SHIFT + Restart
1. Hold down either SHIFT key while tapping or clicking on Restart, available from any Power icon.

Tip: Power icons are available in Windows 8 from either the Settings charm or from the logon/lock screen.

Note: This method does not seem to work with the on-screen keyboard. You’ll need to have a physical keyboard connected to your computer or device to open the Advanced Startup Options menu this way.
Wait while the Advanced Startup Options menu opens.

Method 2: PC Settings
1. Swipe from the right to open the charms bar.

Tip: If you have a keyboard, use WIN+I and then skip to Step 3.

2. Tap or click on Settings.

3. Tap or click on Change PC settings at the bottom of the charms bar.

4. Choose Update and recovery from the list of options on the left of the PC settings window.

Note: Prior to Windows 8.1, choose General instead and then skip to Step 6.

5. Choose Recovery.

6. Locate Advanced startup, at the bottom of the list of options on your right.

7. Tap or click on Restart now.

8. Wait through the Please wait message until Advanced Startup Options opens.

Method 3: Shutdown Command
1. Open Command Prompt in Windows 8.

Tip: Another option is to open Run if you can’t get Command Prompt started for some reason.

2. Execute the shutdown command in the following way:
shutdown /r /o
Note: Save any open files before executing this command or you’ll lose any changes you’ve made since your last save.

3. To the You’re about to be signed off message that appears a few seconds later, tap or click on the Close button.

4. After several seconds, during which nothing seems to be happening, Windows 8 will then close and you’ll see a Please wait message.

5. Wait just a few seconds more until the Advanced Startup Options menu opens.

Method 4: Boot From Your Windows 8 Installation Media
1. Insert a Windows 8 DVD, or a flash drive with the Windows 8 installation files on it, into your computer.

Tip: You can borrow someone else’s Windows 8 disc or other media if you need to. You’re not installing or reinstalling Windows 8, you’re just accessing Advanced Startup Options – no product key or license breaking required.

2. Boot from the disc or boot from the USB device, whatever your situation calls for.

3. From the Windows Setup screen, tap or click on Next.

4. Tap or click on the Repair your computer link at the bottom of the window.

5. Advanced Startup Options will start, almost immediately.

Method 5: Boot From a Windows 8 Recovery Drive
1. Insert your Windows 8 Recovery Drive into a free USB port.

Tip: Don’t worry if you weren’t proactive and never got around to creating a Recovery Drive. If you have another computer with Windows 8, or a friend with Windows 8 on his or her computer, see How To Create a Windows 8 Recovery Drive for instructions.

2. Boot your computer from the flash drive.

3. On the Choose your keyboard layout screen, tap or click on US or whatever keyboard layout you’d like to use.

4. Advanced Startup Options will begin instantly.

Method 6: Boot Directly to Advanced Startup Options
1. Start or restart your computer or device.

2. Choose the boot option for System Recovery, Advanced Startup, Recovery, etc.

On some Windows 8 computers, for example, pressing F11 starts System Recovery.

Note: What this boot option is called is configurable by your hardware maker so the options I mentioned are just some that I’ve seen or heard. Whatever the name, it should be clear that what you’re about to do is boot to Windows 8’s advanced recovery features.

Important: The ability to boot directly to Advanced Startup Options isn’t one that’s available with a traditional BIOS. Your computer will need to support UEFI and then also be configured properly to boot directly to the ASO menu.

3. Wait for Advanced Startup Options to begin.
What About F8 and SHIFT+F8?
Neither F8 nor SHIFT+F8 are reliable options for booting to the Advanced Startup Options menu. See How To Start Windows 8 in Safe Mode for more on this.
If you need to access Advanced Startup Options, you can do so with any of the several methods listed above.
How To Exit Advanced Startup Options
Whenever you’re finished using the Advanced Startup Options menu, you can choose Continue to restart your computer, booting you back into Windows 8… assuming it’s working properly now.
Your other option is to choose Turn off your PC, which will do just that

 

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