Windows Won't Start, Even in Safe Mode

When I went to turn on my Gateway laptop this morning, it wouldn't start up.  I have Windows 7, and have been running on it fine for about four months.  When I turn the computer on, it shows the "Windows is Starting" screen, but then it goes to a black screen with just the cursor, sits there for a few minutes, then restarts again.  Then I tried running in safe mode (going to the boot menu, selecting "safe mode") and ran into the same problem: It would go to a black screen with the cursor, hold there, then restart again.  Is this a virus?  Is there any way for me to get to system restore from the boot menu? I can still access the BIOS set-up, but I don't know what I can do from there to help.  Thanks!

Question Info

Last updated October 22, 2018 Views 15,424 Applies to:


You may need the help of a real computer shop (not leeks and peeks at a BestBuy or other BigBox
stores) or Gateway's Support.

Gateway Support

You can try some of these in Safe Mode - repeatedly tap F8 as you boot. (Try later if you gain partial

If you do not have a Windows 7 disk you can borrow a friends as they are not copy
protected. Your System maker will also sell the physical DVD cheap since you already
own Windows. Also you can make a repair disk on another computer.

Try Startup Repair - (If at ANY point you gain some but not full access to Windows come
back and try Startup Repair again.)

How to Boot to the System Recovery Options in Windows 7

What are the system recovery options in Windows 7?

Try StartUp Repair from Recovery Options or Windows 7 disk.

How to Run a Startup Repair in Windows 7

Also from the COMMAND PROMPT of Recovery Console (if possible) or a Windows 7 disk

Start - type in Search box -  COMMAND   find at top of list -  RIGHT CLICK  -  RUN AS ADMIN

sfc /scannow

How to Repair Windows 7 System Files with System File Checker

Then run checkdisk (chkdsk).

How to Run Disk Check in Windows 7

Retry Startup Repair after Chkdsk.

If needed after those you can try System Restore from Safe Mode or the Recovery or Windows 7

How to Do a System Restore in Windows 7


If you need to make repair disks - these help repair Windows not re-install.

How to Create a Windows 7 System Repair Disc


If needed :

What to do if Windows won't start correctly

How to Boot to the System Recovery Options in Windows 7

What are the system recovery options in Windows 7?

How to Do a Repair Install to Fix Windows 7

Hope this helps.

Rob Brown - MS MVP - Windows Desktop Experience : Bicycle - Mark Twain said it right.
Rob Brown - Microsoft MVP - Windows and Devices for IT 2010 - current
Windows Insider MVP 2016 - current

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