Weird issue with windows 7 installation through usb drive

I have had windows 7 installed on my PC for over a year now with multiple fresh installations and no problems.Lately I have been experiencing difficulties with my windows. In the past 5 months though, I've had to re-install windows as for the third time now, my PC starts hanging soon after start up. It's not due to any process; also, it doesn't happen in safe mode. This time, the problem reoccurred within 3-4 days of a fresh installation.It hangs a couple of times and eventually starts showing a repair due to winload.exe fail restarts after the login screen automatically. Now safe mode or repair panel also doesn't work, it restarts in between.

As I tried to install it this time, i booted from the installation pen drive which I've used before, with a setup I've run before. Upon booting from pen drive, it shows windows loading files bar....but right after that, after the windows 7 logo appears for a couple of seconds, it ends up displaying the cursor only and rest of the screen is gray/black. This happens every time i try to run windows installation.

* I have no HDMI cables connecting my monitor, nor any other display devices.
* I've tried resetting the BIOS to no avail.
* I've used an Nvidia 8600gt card for about 5 years without such black screen problems, then again it is 5 years old.
* Right before windows stopped working, I uninstalled my nvidia drivers manually to see if wrong drivers were the issue, pc still hung up.

Any and all help will be appreciated so much!


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
I suppose your description of a gray/black screen bothers me some. I have not seen one with just black. Any chance you could try another video card? I think the place to which you refer is where it is loading drivers and services, but never completely sure.

Have you tried testing, or replacing, your hard drive? Since it sounds like the situation gets worse as time goes by, possible corruption should be considered, and that may come from a Virus, failing hard drive, or a memory problem that is corrupting data.

Can you run Ubuntu as just the bootable version to check your system?

It sounds like you don't have an install right now. If you do, since it does not seem to happen in safe mode, you might use msconfig.exe to eliminate some items from booting to see if you could track it down. Allowing only the Windows Services to start, or using Basic Video might give you a clue.

Hey! I didn't have to replace the video card. I have three HDDs, a 500, a 1T and an 80 Gb from my prehistoric computer :p
I unhooked two of them and the installation screen appeared! Although it was working a lot slower than usual. I narrowed it down to the 500gb HDD, upon unhooking it i was able to do a clean install on the 80gb. However, now, although my system seems to be working fine with the 500 gb HDD disconnected, as soon as I hook it up and start the PC it hangs at windows start screen. What gives? I have a lot of data on the 500gb so help would be really appreciated, thanks :)


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
That is a little strange, since a bad hard drive will usually stop the system in the bios and not even let it try to boot.

Have you updated the bios lately? Since it seems to be stopping where the drivers are being loaded, maybe it can't handle the 500 G drive. If it is a Seagate or WD, they have diagnostic utilities you can use to check the drive, but it might wipe the drive.

Maybe put that drive in an external enclosure. But I would have bet the 80 G was the problem one, but if you took it out and the system had problems, I guess not.

I flashed the bios to factory settings trying to cure the earlier problem but that doesn't seem to be in effect here. The hanging part happens in different places; earlier while booting from the usb the loading windows screen used to come and go and then the screen used to go dark with just the mouse showing. Upon removing the 500 gb, the screen got displayed and I installed windows, but now when i reattach it it hangs during the loading windows screen which gets stuck. It's a seagate but about 5 years old and I don't want to wipe it. Could it be an inadequate power supply issue from the smps as I have a lot of subdivisions which also take power from the same cable as the hard drive...In that case I think I have to buy an external enclosure.

This website is not affiliated, owned, or endorsed by Microsoft Corporation. It is a member of the Microsoft Partner Program.