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WinToUSB Windows 7 Freezing at Boot

I have a Windows 7 machine that suddenly developed an 'i/o error' during a power issue and refuses to boot.
After unsuccessfully trying to reinstall /repair windows with the DVD, I decided to install Windows 7 on a USB and access the machine from there in order to fix the issue / reformat reinstall etc.

The hard drives were fine as the Windows Installation CD detects them ok, but, there was an error, looping to restart, not able to repair, despite trying different CDs over a couple of days. The disks seem fine; it wouldn't let me run sfc / scannow in CMD during the repair phase.. all sorts of obstacles.

Well, I bought a brand new sandisk USB (16 GB.. many tutorials were quoting a minimum of 8 GB, and cautioning against USBs that were too big, so I got 16 for this purpose).
Found that this was insufficient for WinToUSB, as the actual usable space was around 14 GB.
Found a thread on this forum about installing to a smaller USB, downloaded that version ( ) and it worked.

The USB was formatted and created on another machine. When I came back an hour later, the process had completed: the USB was renamed WinToUSB, had the Windows, Users etc folders in it, and seemed good to go.

Anyway, I plugged the stick in my Windows 7 machine; edited BIOS to put this Sandisk USB first in boot order, enabled legacy support (read this on various forum posts) etc.

My USB shows up in the BOOT menu. I select it.

Next is a black screen with a blinking cursor on top.

Left it thinking it probably needed to setup.
When I came back after an hour or so, it was the same screen; blank, blinking curser.

Pressed enter, etc, restarted, etc.

The only file in the USB root directory is an autoexec.bat (dummy, no entries).

Shouldn't there be a boot.ini or bootmgr or something similar?
What shall I do now?
The goal is to access my machine.

Read that the PLOP boot manager can give me options booting from a USB.. downloaded and copied to USB though still figuring out how it runs.. Undecided (the creator is obviously from the DOS era [so am I, but I didn't keep up with it after windows])

Please let me know what to do about this frozen blank black screen; I am feeling like I just need a new computer now, which will have to wait till next week perhaps.

Anyway to boot Windows 7 from this USB? Huh

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WinToUSB Windows 7 Freezing at Boot - xenyen - 08-31-2015, 03:43 PM

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