New Build, Old HDD, BSOD on Boot & w/ Install CD!

Hi guys,
I come back to you after some time away in a happy place where tech support is never needed, once again humbly requesting your expertise.

When my laptop hinge busted, I salvaged the HDD and decided to mount it in my next desktop build and use it until I bought another HDD to sell it with. This drive was partitioned with a dual boot of Win7pro64 and Backtrack 5r1 64, both were pretty well maintained, no foreseeable issues with swapping the drive, right?

Well, we seem to be having some technical difficulty, on both fronts. As this is sevenforums, Ill restrict this to my Windows 7 issues, but for any bilingual folks out there that are interested, I'm posting the other half of the dilemma on linuxquestions, sparing them the windows part of it lol. Ill add a link to it once its up.

Okay so here is the hardware setup I am working with.

Asus M5A97 mobo, amd970/sb950 chipset, is rated to support all components
AMD FX-8120 CPU Black Edition
16 GB G-Skill Sniper pc3-12800 ram
XFX nVidia GeForce 6800GT 256MB GDDR3 (I can hear your snickering :p)
Raidmax 630w PSU
Samsung Supermulti Optical
WD Scorpio Black Laptop SATA HDD

Everything listed is brand new, purchased online, save for the HDD of course. The video card was purchased used at the local computer shop, last-minute.

So just let me explain the nvidia card real fast :) I planned this build assuming my old HD3870 would work just fine, but it went out on me almost right away. I had it hookup up to a coby tv with a 1366x768 resolution, which is what the nvidia card is powering now as well, via DVI-I output to a DVI to HDMI adapter, then through an HDMI-HDMI cable to the tv, same as the HD3870 was (in case any of that proves relevant). My original intention was to leave this setup open for crossfire if I found another 3800 series. I should note that while the HD 3870 was working, I had booted it up alright and gotten to the boot animation for Windows 7 once. It then proceeded to reboot, after which my video card was toast and I could not get a successful POST. Now that the card is changed, here is what I am experiencing.

When I boot up, I get a POST beep, I go into the BIOS, everything is looking tip top. I select the HDD, everythings still going fine. Since I am running a dual-boot configuration, GRUB is my boot manager. I select the Windows 7 Boot Loader, and I have the option to run startup repair or try to boot normally. I tried the startup repair a few times. The first time it said attempting repairs, then said it would reboot and either boot successfully or continue startup repair. It does not boot up fine, in fact, I get a BSOD. I try the startup repair again, only for it to tell me the problem couldnt be fixed automatically. Well it gives me two options, to either view advanced details in a log file of some sort, or to log in to a user account to run some diagnostic utilities.

The log shows no errors of any kind - I went through each instance of startup repair and they were all negative for each category. There was one "root cause" listed for each attemp which said that 'a recent hardware change' may have caused this to happen. I was told by my college professor who holds an advanced certification for Windows 7 that you could swap a Windows HDD to another computer, and all that would happen is most hardware would default to Windows generic drivers, and you would have some short window of time to reactivate Windows within, due to some sort of built in anti-piracy feature throwing up red flags at the substantial hardware change. Have I been ill-informed, or do I have bigger problems than that?

I logged into my administrative account and the options provided are as follows: Startup Repair, System Restore, System Image Recovery, Windows Memory Diagnostic, and the Command Prompt.
Startup Repair just fails and loops me back, System Restore can't find any restore points (very odd), and System Image Recovery is unusable for me since I never made a backup image. I ran the memory diagnostic as well as chkdsk /f, as advised, and neither found any errors. Selecting the Commant Prompt option, my working directiory is x:\windows\system32. I can switch over to c:\, and I can access all of my files, personal, applications, and system alike, which appear to be intact (much of this I have verified via examination from my Backtrack/Linux partition).

Well, I've taken the Windows 7 course, and I don't want to screw around with finding the perpetrator behind my misfortune if I don't have to - I'll just do a side by side install, throw everything on c:\ into the "Windows.Old" folder, and get the ball rolling on re-crafting my setup, followed by some housecleaning. I have my original product key, all I have to do is pop in that install disc, right? Save the day? I could not have been more wrong.

I actually get a blue screen error while booting from the install disc. This is burnt with an iso obtained from MSDNAA, a legitimate copy of Windows 7 Professional 64 bit, the SP1 Debug Rollup. It's what I used to install the Windows 7 that is currently failing that I'd used for well over a year, and the Windows 7 on another machine I'd built. The serial is registered to me and it was all free through my college. When I did my second install, upon activation I asked if I would need to request a new serial since this one had been used, and was told NO, that my serial is MSDNAA specific, usable as many times as I'd like for academic purposes. You cannot even retrieve these from the system using means that would otherwise produce the correct key - it will come back as five sets of five B's. These are the only two times it has been used and this most definitely does not count as a third since it is the same OS, HDD, owner, serial, and disc even.

Circling back to the BSOD, the interesting thing to me is that the exact same blue screen error comes up while booting my Windwos partition as while attempting to boot from CD to reinstall. Is that significant? I know the terminology sort of clumps them all into the same category, but surely there is a correlation, no? I thought perhaps I was going crazy, and Windows had set some bit switch on the HDD that says "Help, I'm supposed to be in a laptop!" but this does not explain the CD.

I have tried to boot into safe mode, have tried Automatic System Recovery (which im given to understand is the same as Startup Repair), but no cigar. ASR behaves as startup repair did and safe mode = bsod. I have attached a picture of the error screen for reference. I have a copy of Ultimate Boot CD for Windows on my USB drive, but there is a plethora of utils and I dont know how to use most of them. If there is a specific tool that could remedy the issue or shed some light on the situation, I can certainly collect info and report back.


Thanks in advance, all you guys!


Extraordinary Member
As things stand, the only advice I can give you is regards your Stop Error code. But at least it will bump your post back up the list!!

Usual causes:
Hard drive, File system, Boot sequence errors, Device driver, Virus infection (in particular check the MBR).

Okay, so I went poking around the disc I've been using and several of the files are apparently corrupt, something like "checksum in file header doesn't match computed value". I don't have any other windows discs besides my XP one, so I'm sure this is the one Id used before. What is the failure rate on the compact disc anyhow?

Thank you for your suggestions, I have definitely given in though - I do not want to spend days trying to figure out what went wrong, most likely to find out that it was something pretty bad. I ran an avast virus scan of the Windows partition from my linux partition, which did not turn up anything. I've decided to just count myself lucky that all my important files are still intact. I'm d/ling another iso from MSDNAA, same version, Win7pro64 sp1, and hopefully this will go a little better. In fear of any evil voodoo / negative chakras leaking into the new install from any files left over, I would like the peace of mind of reformatting the whole thing. However, I have about 60G of data I would verrrrrry much like saved (not dumb stuff that can just be downloaded or re-installed), so I'm trying to figure out a way, without having a backup meduim, to keep this data while still performing a clean install on a newly formatted partition. My setup is 2 partitions, one at approx 20G (linux) and the other at approx 200G (windows). I could use gparted to modify these partitions from a boot disc, so my thinking is that I could shrink the 200G partition to absolute minimum, and between that and the 20G on the linux partition I could have enough room to store all of it. The problem with that is Id have to use linux to access and move the files in the first place. Another scenario I was thinking of was to just install Windows at a small partition at the end of the drive, delete the bulk of the junk (sys files, program files, etc) from the old Windows partition, resize the volumes in favor of the new windows install, and then copy over the data to the new partition. The problem here is that Windows is at the end of the drive - this is not necessarily bad, as I suppose I could beat on the hard drive some more by then reformatting the volume where I deleted the junk and moved the important files off of, moving the important files back, and then resizing it to whatever I deem fitting for this new partition which would be just for personal data/files (replacing the libraries, etc). I would then install the new release of my linux distro on the 20G partition, which would be accompanied by GRUB, and I should then be able to boot from either the 1st (linux) partition or the 3rd (windows) partition, and then, on either OS, have the 2nd (middle/data) partition holding all of my personal files in a sort of middle ground.

I am wondering if I will run into a problem with contiguous data, e.g. there is free space to expand the new Windows, but since it is physically located at the beginning of the old Windows partition (where the sys & app files were), and there is data (the important stuff) at the end of the old Windows partition, a range of values that includes this free space, and the new Windows partition, but not the files, cannot be assigned to this partition in the partition table.

As an afterthought, I dont see why I couldn't wipe out the 20G partition, install the new Windows there, use the new Windows install to delete all the old sys files and app installs, expand the volume to occupy that newly freed space, move the important files over to the new install, and then have a contiguous modest partition at the beginning of the drive (the Windows install), format the rest into its own partition, then install linux on its own partition at the end of the drive. That seems like it might go much more smoothly. Hmm...

Anyways, that's what I came up with while writing this. I'm not sure if this is a wise idea, or a not necessarily un-wise, but still not very intelligent idea lol. Sorry if its a little confusing, there was a lot of "copy, format, format, copy" going on, so sorry if I lost you on that train of thought, it started as a question of some sort I promise, it just turned into a ramble midway. I know the best thing to do really is a fresh formatting and install, but I cannot stress enough the importance of this data. It contains includes several projects of mine, one of which is a game I've been working on for over 2 years, and my friends might actually conspire to kill me if they learn that it no longer exists lol. Thanks again in advance for any input.

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