Need help ASAP machine hangs at boot screen

My main machine will only get to the windows boot screen.
Steps i have Taken
1.Installed to previous good image- no luck
2. Tried repair but again after it loads drivers it just gets to the boot screen and stays there.
I am wondering could this be a bad hard drive, when booting smart says it is OK
I am now installing an old vista 32 bit to another drive and I will do a format if I can to the drive W7 is on and then re-install the image


Noob Whisperer
Super Sarge, sorry to hear you're having problems with you primary machine. Sounds to me like you are well on your way to helping yourself. Doesn't sound like a hard drive issue if you were able to re-image to a previously known good image, I use acronis and generally it will pitch an error if there is something going on with the hard drive.
Anything new going on new peripherals or other devices installed or updated drivers recently? Of course going back to the old image would have probably exposed that.
Did you try alternative boot options, safe mode or safe mode command prompt.
Consider backing off any overclocking temporarily just in case.
Please keep us updated as to your progress.

No I just imaged my old vista to a different drive it is a now a dual bbot machine byt when I select W7 i get a system32/winload.exe not digitally signed
I tried safe mode no luck loads drivers then I get the W& logo and it just sits there waited for over a half hour no luck, I tried to get to system repair but cannot get their using W& disc.
Now vista get to boot screen then after while it goes just a black screen

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Noob Whisperer
Sounds like it may be an issue with the Boot Manager now. Perhaps try using Easy BCD use the BCD Install Repair option and recreate the boot files.

I get the choice to boot to either OS, when I choose W7 I get that thing about system32/winload.exe not digitally signed.
I try Vista it get past the boot screen but then a black screen no cursor nothing it does not get to the logon screen what soever.
When I try to get to W7 I put in CD hoping that I can get to reapir it loads the file then getts to the swirling balls and throbbing MDS logo and goes no farther.I am going to try reinstalling the image agin of W7


Noob Whisperer
If the computer will not boot to the DVD install media to allow you access to the Recovery Environment, I'm not sure what might be going on. Try to make an effort to normalize your hardware environment as much as possible, disconnect any external USB drives and other devices that you aren't using. Keep it as simple as possible, keyboard, mouse, monitor.
Have you been inside the case lately? If possible make sure your connections are all intact, SATA, IDE, addon cards, memory modules seated properly, etc. All fans, including power supply spinning properly?

DVD install media to allow you access to the Recovery Environment, boots to this environment with Vista disc but not the W7 disc


Noob Whisperer
I am affraid that having turned the machine into a dual boot system now has further complicated the initial problem and either rewritten or otherwise corrupted the bootloader since it can no longer seem to find the Windows 7 boot sector or boot files. It may be worth your while to download the Windows 7 recovery disk for your OS (64 or 32 bit) from hear Download Windows 7 System Recovery Discs — The NeoSmart Files just on the off chance that there is something wrong with the Win7 install media you are using.
If you manage to get into the Windows 7 recovery environment, command prompt you can use the following two commands to repair
bootrec.exe /fixmbr
bootrec.exe /fixboot
If you use them from the Vista Recovery Environment it may help you resolve the Vista boot issue, but may further complicate the Win7 problem. Here is a reference from Microsoft on how to use the BootRec.exe utility How to use the Bootrec.exe tool in the Windows Recovery Environment to troubleshoot and repair startup issues in Windows


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Someone on another forum stated using the F8 option and selecting to disregard the digital signatures helped get the system up, but was not a fix. If you can get to that option, you might try. If you cannot, try turning the machine off with the power switch and trying again.

Since you are overclocking the video card, I would also try the basic video option.

I got it up and running, I now have Visa and 7 set in a dual boot configuration. It is really luck I could get vista running , I reimaged w7 and it took about a half hour for it to boot up to W7 but it did W7 is my default boot


Noob Whisperer
Great news, glad you were able to resolve the problem. Scary there for a while.
What did you do if you don't mind telling me to get Vista to boot.

Lets see I after I re-installed my 2 day old image of W7 I changed the boot order in the bios so the HD with 7 on it was the first HD for booting. Once into W7 I used vista boot Pro 3.3 which I have a version of on mt W7 OS I know have 7 as my Default at boot time. You Know this can also be changed running MSCONFIG in W7.
I am going to have fun on Sunday, I have not used this Vista Image for over a year so I have 80 plus updates plus 30 plus optional updates to install

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It started doing same thing again this AM hang on shutdown and would hang at boot screen on Vista and W7, I now am positive I found the problem, It was an external HD by Masxtor that seems to have given up the ghost. I got machine to bot with only my internal HD all other fire wire or USB items except for mouse and key board were removed from the machine plugged in everything one by one. Device manager indicated drive software loaded for USB Maxtor drive.I plugged the Maxtor into another computer and it would not see it either even though USB software loaded pro[perly, could be seen in Disc Management or in My Computer It did not show up in my computer, nor in Disc management. plugged in everything else and machine boots as it should in to W7 or Vista 32 bit which I am in the process of updating 84 important or higher updates and 30 plus optional most of which are language which I will not load

Makesa nice paper weight though.


Noob Whisperer
Thanks for the update Super Sarge, glad you have managed to zero in on the culprit. We have seen this time and time again where an external usb device would cause some ridiculous aberrant behavior that's one of the reasons in post #6 above I suggest
Try to make an effort to normalize your hardware environment as much as possible, disconnect any external USB drives and other devices that you aren't using. Keep it as simple as possible, keyboard, mouse, monitor.
I've personally even had USB thumb drives cause issues with boot as well as shut down.
Anyhow great news that you've discovered the actual cause.

I did learn a valuable lesson I will now keep my Vista OS enabled as a back up to W7 they are separate hard drives, I use Vista boot Pro 3 to create my dual boot. I had not updated that Image of Vista 32 bit for about 15 months I had some 80 updates plus a couple of hardware updates to perform. Everything is running fine. I guess I am going to have to replace the external hard drive that went Teats up.

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