Windows 7 won’t boot – something about the boot loader. How do I fix it
without formatting the hard disk? I have important data in it.
Occasionally, the information on the hard disk that tells your computer how
to boot into Windows can become damaged or even deleted.
In the past, that required some fairly arcane tools and incantations to
handle the situation.
The good news is that Windows 7 includes a repair facility that may very
well clear it right up.
Repair Windows 7 boot
Boot from your Windows 7 installation DVD. (If you don’t have one, it’s possible [although not guaranteed] that you can download Windows 7 legally, burn that to DVD, and use it for this purpose.)
Don’t worry that it says “Install Windows.” We’re not going to do that.
Verify your Language and Keyboard and click Next.
Do not click Install now.
Instead, click the Repair your computer link near the lower left.
The program will now examine your machine for installations of Windows.
Chances are that you only have one installation, so simply make sure that it’s selected and click Next.
Click the Startup Repair link.
This tool actually checks for several different types of errors that can prevent Windows from starting. After it’s completed, it checks and performs any repairs. You’ll be instructed to reboot your machine.
This time, the boot should just work.
Repair your computer
The repair option on the installation DVD is a good utility to know about.
If your machine boots (or boots far enough), in many cases, you can also just press F8 before Windows itself starts loading at boot time to access the System Recovery tools.
In this case, you don’t need your installation media.
Obviously, certain boot-related issues may prevent you from reaching this utility from the hard disk; in which case, you’ll need that install DVD anyway.