First of all, apologies for the extended essay but I wanted to ensure I provide you with all the details of the my problem in order to receive the correct help.
My sister was on the laptop and I foolishly started moving my hand over the keyboard and tapping a bunch of keys, I don't remember which ones. (I basically manhandled it, but it has never been dropped). The laptop then froze, and so did the mouse and touch pad. She had to turn it off and tried to turn it on again, but it's not working. It is an Acer Extensa 5235 (a Home Access one from Comet). When I turn it on, it shows the Acer page, then the screen goes black for about 10-20 minutes. It then goes to a light blue screen (the login page) with the cursor showing (both the touchpad and mouse work as I can see the arrow move) and stays like that for 1-2 hours (sometimes longer), it then goes to Startup Repair. Below that, the text was:-
"If problems are found, Startup Repair will fix them automatically. Your computer might restart several times during this process.
No changes will be made to your personal files or information. This might take several minutes."
Below that was a blue loading bar with the text "Searching for problems...".,
and whilst this was happening, after around 30 minutes, a black box appears in the left corner of the screen with "X:\windows\system32\cmd.exe" at the top with nothing in the box, I exited this and it then says "Startup Repair cannot repair this computer automatically". It has the options of send information or don't send, and also a link to view diagnostics, I clicked this and at the bottom it said:-
Problem Event Name: Startup Repair Offline
Problem Signature 01 0.0.0.0
Problem Signature 02 0.0.0.0
Problem Signature 03 unknown
Problem Signature 04 0
Problem Signature 05 unknown
Problem Signature 06 1
Problem Signature 07 unknown
OS Version 6.1.76002.0.0.0.256.1
Locale ID 1033
Read our privacy statement.
(I didn't write down what it said right after "read our privacy statement, so I can't remember if there was any other information there).
It also said:-
"Root cause found. Boot sector for system partition is corrupt.
Repair action: Boot sector repair.
Result: Failed. Error code = 0x45d
I clicked "don't send", once again went through various boxes and finally got to the System Recovery Options box, which showed the operating system as "Windows 7 on (D:) Local Disk", and had the following options:-
- Startup Repair
- System Restore
- System Image Recovery
- Windows Memory Diagnostic
- Command Prompt
- Recovery Management
After clicking on system restore and other system recovery options, it appeared as though nothing was happening although the little blue search circle had appeared and then disappeared.
However, after 1-2 hours, a box popped up saying "starting system restore. Please wait while System Restore starts. It might take up to a few minutes." with the search bar going across.
After it says, "Restore system files and settings" as the heading and a big red circle with an X in it appears on the side of the box and says "No restore points have been created on your computer's system drive. To create a restore point open System Protection. System Restore can help fix problems that might be making your computer run slowly or stop responding. System Restore does not affect any of your documents, pictures, or other personal data. How does system Restore work?"
However, when I click on "System Protection" a box pops up saying "Your computer is running in a limited diagnostic state. If you use System Restore in this limited state, you cannot undo the restore operation" I clicked OK and it went but I can't do anything further than this.
I didn't create any system restore points, so clearly I cannot use this option and because the laptop is running very very very slow (It takes around 4 hours or more to get to the system restore section) I can't even try to create any system restore points at this point.
The only option available when it goes back to the System Restore box is cancel so that's what I click, then it goes back to System Recovery Options.
I can also click on Command Prompt and a black box with the heading "Administrator:X:\windows\system32\cmd.exe" with some white text in it, but I can't remember what it said and since I don't know what to write since I am not good with these types of things with laptops, I exit it.
The only thing I can do is either click shutdown or restart. I clicked restart and it goes to a black screen saying:-
Windows Error Recovery
Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause.
If Windows files have been damaged or configured incorrectly, Startup Repair can help diagnose and fix the problem. If power was interrupted during startup, choose Start Windows Normally.
(Use the arrow keys to highlight your choice.)
Launch Startup Repair (recommended)
Start Windows Normally
- If I click on Launch Startup Repair, the whole process starts over again.
A person I spoke to over the phone said I may have corrupted the Windows 7 software by tapping the various keys thus causing the laptop to freeze and not work properly and this is clearly what happened in my opinion since it did say "Root cause found. Boot sector for system partition is corrupt. Repair action: Boot sector repair. Result: Failed. Error code = 0x45d" when I viewed diagnostics.
Also, I have emailed various laptop repair companies. One of them emailed me back saying:-
"From what you have said you have indeed got corruption on the boot sector of the hard drive. These are the files Windows uses to start. This can happen because of a virus, hardware failure or other factors. Without seeing the laptop its impossible to say what has caused the fault."
I don't have any installation CDs because the Windows 7 software came pre-installed on the laptop and I didn't create any recovery discs.
I read a post about How To Write a New Partition Boot Sector To a Windows 7/Vista System Partition - http://pcsupport.about.com/od/fixtheproblem/ht/new-partition-boot-sector-windows.htm
I followed the steps in the above link, when I got to the Command Prompt but it didn't fix the laptop. When I restarted the laptop, it went back to starting up as explained above.
I did speak to someone who said that it does seem that the nub of my problem is a damaged master boot record.
I then tried this http://pcsupport.about.com/od/fixtheproblem/ht/rebuild-bcd-store-windows.htm. When I got to step 6 in this link, I typed in the code twice as I thought I had gotten it wrong the first time I typed it in. When I got to step 8 of this link, it should have said:-Scanning all disks for Windows installations. Please wait, since this may take a while... Successfully scanned Windows installations. Total identified Windows installations: 1  D:\Windows Add installation to boot list? Yes<Y>/No<N>/All<A>:
But instead it said:-Scanning all disks for Windows installations. Please wait, since this may take a while... Successfully scanned Windows installations. Total identified Windows installations: 0
Now when I turn the laptop on, it goes straight to the Now when I turn the Acer laptop on, it goes straight to the Windows Boot Manager and has the following information:-
Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause. To fix the problem:
1. Insert your Windows installation disc and restart your computer.
2. Choose your language settings, and then click "Next."
3. Click "Repair your computer."
If you do not have this disc, contact your administrator or computer manufacturer for assistance.
Info: an error occurred while attempting to read the boot configuration data.
It only has the options of ENTER=Continue.
I can't even get into the System Recovery options by pressing F8. It goes straight to the Windows Boot Manager.
Also, on the laptop, there's a symbol which lights up green to indicate that the HDD is active and was lit up when I had the managed to get the laptop to the System Recovery options (as discussed in my original post).
Now, when I initially turn the laptop on, it flashes quickly, and then stops (indicating that the HDD is inactive obviously) when it goes to the Windows Boot Manager.
I have no recovery disks, or Windows 7 Installation CDs. I want to take it to a laptop repair shop for them to do a free diganostics test. However, to save time, what do you think the problem could be. I think I made the laptop worse by following the information in the links because I tried to change the BCD. It clearly seems as though I did especially because it says:-
Info: an error occurred while attempting to read the boot configuration data.
Am I better off getting a new HDD and Windows 7 installation CD, and if I do this, would the laptop be fixed and go back to full working order?