Windows Stuck Loading Loop

babelmh13

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 13, 2012
Messages
179
I'm gunna hit you with it all because I'm pulling my hair out going on a week now. System specs will be at the bottom.

One week ago I was gaming for a few hours, and my pc shut off as if the power had gone out. But no lights or anything else in the house went off. I hit the power button to fire my pc back up, the case lights flicked and fans flicked on for half a second, then nothing. Could not get it to do anything at all. I figured maybe there was a power surge, and my PSU had fried (9 years old now) so I ordered a new one.

While waiting for the new PSU to arrive, I disconnected the PSU power cable and left the pc unplugged for a day. Next day I unplugged the 24pin from the MOBO and jumped the PSU with a paper clip and plugged the PSU back in, turned the power switch on, flicked for half a second like before and shut off, then nothing at all upon further tries. This time, I forgot to unplug and shut off my PSU, and just left the 24pin disconnected with the paper clip in it. I went to grab something in my home office (where my pc resides) about 24 hour or so later, and I noticed that the pc fans were running, which was very odd. I then turned the power switch off for the PSU and plugged the 24pin back into the MOBO and it booted up, as usual with no problems. Checked the event viewer logs and couldn't find anything at all pointing to why it had shut off days earlier.

This was short lived success.. I left the pc on and was streaming plex from it to my living room to watch a movie, and about an hour and a half into the movie, I went back to my office and noticed the pc had shut off again. Tried turning it back on and got nothing.

Fast forward to yesterday and my new PSU shows up. Real pain because I had to rewire all the cables because the new Corsair HX1000 I got has no pinouts that match the Corsair AX850 gold it is replacing.. So I get everything hooked up, and now the pc powers up every time. HOWEVER now I can't get passed the infinite windows loading screen or every third try, the windows automatic repair loading screen. (NOTE: I have since successfully got the automatic repair past the loading screen ONE time, ran startup repair and it did eventually boot to windows, but went right back to infinite windows loading screen on the next try, but I'll get to that).

The BIOS takes longer than normal to get to the windows loading screen since I got the new PSU hooked up. I'd say about a minute. Going into the BIOS all my old settings were the same, AHCI mode, all 3 drives detected etc as normal. Windows 10 is on my 256 GB M4 Crucial SSD, so I took that out and installed it in an HP laptop I've had lying around for a couple years, powered it on, windows ran startup repair, and booted to windows no issue. So okay, the SSD is fine.

I pop my SSD into my pc, and give it a try, loading screen again. So I pull all my drive out, and check my BIOS version, its about a year out of date, so I update it and put just my SSD in to reboot in a different drive bay. This time it boot to the automatic repair after 5 minutes, and did the startup repair as I mentioned earlier, and after 15 minutes or so it booted to windows. I felt I had finally succeeded. So I powered down, put my SSD back it the drive slot it usually resides it, and put my two HDDs back into their slots. Fired up, and same loading screen issues. I also noticed one of my HDDs is not showing up.

So I pulled my SSD and put it back in the laptop, ran startup repair and its fine, but plugging it back in to my pc again results in the loading screen issue still. That's where I gave up late last night.

Throughout all my diagnosing yesterday I pulled the RAM, moved slots around with no success, tried disconnecting my graphics card and connecting my display to onboard graphics, but that just gave the same loading screen issue. I updated the BIOS version which seemed to help but was short lived. I noticed there is a newer firmware update available for my MOBO but have to tried that yet. I noticed while my SSD was plugged into the laptop that it has a boot partition, a storage partition, and two (recovery?) partitions I think it said.. I can check that after work today to confirm. EDIT: I checked the SSD in the laptop this morning before work at there are two recovery partitions, one 540mb the other 969 mb.

I'm at a loss here.. I don't want to reinstall windows because it boots fine every time on the laptop, so I don't think its the SSD. My best guess it it somehow has to do with the MOBO, but I cannot figure out how since the settings didn't change and the ASUS splash screen comes up every time (though it does stay on the screen for about a minute which is unusual).

Any help would be greatly appreciated guys. Thanks in advance.


MOBO: Asus Prime Z390-A
CPU: i7-8700K
GPU: EVGA GTX 1080 TI
RAM: 2x8 Gskill Ripjaw DDR4
PSU: Corsair HX100 (replaced the Corsair AX850 gold)
SSD: M4 Crucial 256GB
HDD1: Seagate 7200rpm 1.5TB
HDD2: Seagate 7200rpm 3TB
OS: Windows 10 v1904
-Nothing has been overclocked for well over a year
 
Last edited:

travm

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 26, 2016
Messages
1,116
Where on earth did you get the idea to stick a paperclip in a connected system?

Don't do that again. Also, don't microwave any of it. Connected or not.

SSDs in the past had issues with being powered off unexpectedly. Could be what you're seeing. Just because your laptop sees the partitions doesn't mean they are functional.

Can you get into safe mode?

Try new SATA cables. I've spent weeks troubleshooting bad cables, twice...

Clear CMOS/reset the BIOS

No paperclips.

Try booting a Linux live usb and see if the hardware is functional. In a pinch you can back up your important files this way before you reinstall.

My guess is damaged boot files, if you tried repairing already and it didn't help you're probably struck with a reinstall.
However if your motherboard is damaged that won't help you.
 

warhol76

Weaksauce
Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Messages
109
If you have an extra hard drive, I would recommend trying to install windows on that and see if it behaves correctly. That would tell you if it is a corruption issue on your SSD.

If it is not an SSD issue, it could be any number of things. It sounds like you had a power issue initially. Not knowing what happened exactly, this could have affected any number of components. I think switching the SSD cable on your current drive is a good recommendation. If its not an SSD/cable issue, I would start in to doing diagnostics on the MOBO/ memory/ chip etc.

Oh, don't leave paperclips in your motherboard. When I first saw you used that, I assumed you used it to jump the pins to get the system to boot. You only need to touch the pins. The paperclip does not and should not be left in the motherboard.
 

travm

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 26, 2016
Messages
1,116
I would recommend never use a paperclip, ever.

If you want to test a PSU that is 100% disconnected from everything but mains, go ahead and short the PSU pins to see if it will turn on. You can now safely check 0 load voltages if you want. I hope you didn't force on your old psu while it was still connected to anything.

Your computer is the most complex machine you will ever own.
 

babelmh13

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 13, 2012
Messages
179
TRAVM:
I have had issues with my M4 Crucial SSD a couple times before where it would stop being recognized by the system, and thus I couldn't boot windows. The solution to this was I would take it out and power cycle it by connecting it to SATA power only and not SATA data for 20 minutes once or twice then plug SATA data back in and boot. But seeing as I have successfully loaded into windows both on the pc (twice total) and on the laptop several times, I figured this would not solve the issue so haven't tried yet. I am on the 070H firmware as well.

I have not booted into safe mode. I will probably need to create and installation media on a USB in order to get into the 'repair your computer' screen since I have only gotten automatic repair to load once. I can give this a shot when I get home today. Is there anything I should pull from this process, information/files or otherwise that would help you guys diagnose what the problem is?

I will definitely try new SATA cables.. this is always something that I think 'nah there's no way that's going to be it' but then again these problems are often a result of something stupid like that so I'll definitely give it a try.

As for clearing the CMOS and resetting the BIOS - this is done by pulling the battery on the MOBO and reseating it correct? How long do I need to have it disconnected, and should I unplug the power supply when I do that? Does this just reset the BIOS settings to factory defaults?

I can't imagine I would need to reinstall windows seeing as I have gotten it to boot on the pc twice and I can always get it to boot on the laptop. All these factors lead me to believe there is some sort of issue with the MOBO, though I don't really see how as all the typical signs point to the fact that it is working, or the SATA cable which seems to be the leading contender currently in my mind.

WARHOL76:
I am going to try and boot from a media installation on a USB as stated above, so that should tell me as well, but I don't think there's a problem with the SSD, just some form of communication between the SSD and the MOBO, or the SATA data cable since it has booted on the pc twice.

The SSD SATA cable is going to be my first try this afternoon, I'm optimistic that this is the problem and can be easily solved.

Just to be clear, I jumped the power to the PSU with a paperclip inserted in the 24 pin connecter of the cable that connects to the motherboard, not the motherboard itself. Still not a great idea with everything connected, but not as foolish as putting a paperclip in the MOBO itself :)
 

travm

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 26, 2016
Messages
1,116
TRAVM:
I have had issues with my M4 Crucial SSD a couple times before where it would stop being recognized by the system, and thus I couldn't boot windows. The solution to this was I would take it out and power cycle it by connecting it to SATA power only and not SATA data for 20 minutes once or twice then plug SATA data back in and boot. But seeing as I have successfully loaded into windows both on the pc (twice total) and on the laptop several times, I figured this would not solve the issue so haven't tried yet. I am on the 070H firmware as well.
Based on this, i'd suggest try a new HDD. Your SSD might be flaking out on you.

I have not booted into safe mode. I will probably need to create and installation media on a USB in order to get into the 'repair your computer' screen since I have only gotten automatic repair to load once. I can give this a shot when I get home today. Is there anything I should pull from this process, information/files or otherwise that would help you guys diagnose what the problem is?
Safe mode would let you back up your files before you wipe your system and reinstall

I will definitely try new SATA cables.. this is always something that I think 'nah there's no way that's going to be it' but then again these problems are often a result of something stupid like that so I'll definitely give it a try.
Do this before you get carried away with a reinstall

As for clearing the CMOS and resetting the BIOS - this is done by pulling the battery on the MOBO and reseating it correct? How long do I need to have it disconnected, and should I unplug the power supply when I do that? Does this just reset the BIOS settings to factory defaults?
Most motherboards have a clear cmos jumper, you just move the jumper, or short out the two pins if a jumper isnt provided / you dont have one. Check your motherboard manual.

I can't imagine I would need to reinstall windows seeing as I have gotten it to boot on the pc twice and I can always get it to boot on the laptop. All these factors lead me to believe there is some sort of issue with the MOBO, though I don't really see how as all the typical signs point to the fact that it is working, or the SATA cable which seems to be the leading contender currently in my mind.
Your options are pretty limited regarding the mobo... Disconnect everything but the mobo, cpu, and 1 ram stick. See what happens, if it works, start adding hardware until it quits working.

Just to be clear, I jumped the power to the PSU with a paperclip inserted in the 24 pin connecter of the cable that connects to the motherboard, not the motherboard itself. Still not a great idea with everything connected, but not as foolish as putting a paperclip in the MOBO itself :)
Yeah, dont ever do that again. Disconnect EVERYTHING before you start doing crazy things like this.
 

B00nie

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Nov 1, 2012
Messages
9,084
I don't know about the paper clips but I would unhook the CMOS battery and use the reset pin, then reverse procedure and restart
 

babelmh13

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 13, 2012
Messages
179
Update:

Swapped out the sata cables to my sata controller board in my corsair 800d case and my computer stopped recognizing the SSD, then both HDDs after another reset. I power cycled the SSD twice and reinstalled just that drive. Couldnt get past the BIOS screen. After messing around a bit, i swapped the SSD to a different sata slot in the case, and it booted to windows.

Now I am able to run startup repair which i am doing right now. However, if i have either of my HDDs installed, i cant get windows to load... If i enable hot swap plugs on all my ports, can i boot up with just the SSD and get into windows, then just plug the HDDs in while windows is running and have the drives show up on the disk drive list?

Still unsure what the problem is.. Could be the SSD, could be the sata board in my case, could be the sata plug connectors on my MOBO...

IDKKKK
 

Executioner

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 22, 2015
Messages
473
if i have either of my HDDs installed, i cant get windows to load.
I think that is your problem there. One of your HD's has issues. I've seen this before on my system. I only got it to boot by disconnecting my other spinner HD. I narrowed it down to my spinner HD bit the dust when the power was cut.
 

vick1000

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 15, 2007
Messages
2,310
Sounds like the old PSU may have damaged the back plain or one of the drives. Also, the M4 has got to be getting pretty old at this point, may not be letting Windows do all that writing where it wants to during all that recovery.
 

babelmh13

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 13, 2012
Messages
179
Sounds like the old PSU may have damaged the back plain or one of the drives. Also, the M4 has got to be getting pretty old at this point, may not be letting Windows do all that writing where it wants to during all that recovery.

So the system recognized the HDDs after i got the new PSU hooked up and up until power cycled my SSD abd i swapped the SATA cables around. The HDDs worked too, as when i got it to boot early on they still showed booted with the SSD. If there is a corrupted bootloader on them, how can I solve that problem?

Im going to try connecting just SATA power to both of them and see if they spin. Will report back soon.
 

warhol76

Weaksauce
Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Messages
109
Update:

Swapped out the sata cables to my sata controller board in my corsair 800d case and my computer stopped recognizing the SSD, then both HDDs after another reset. I power cycled the SSD twice and reinstalled just that drive. Couldnt get past the BIOS screen. After messing around a bit, i swapped the SSD to a different sata slot in the case, and it booted to windows.

Now I am able to run startup repair which i am doing right now. However, if i have either of my HDDs installed, i cant get windows to load... If i enable hot swap plugs on all my ports, can i boot up with just the SSD and get into windows, then just plug the HDDs in while windows is running and have the drives show up on the disk drive list?

Still unsure what the problem is.. Could be the SSD, could be the sata board in my case, could be the sata plug connectors on my MOBO...

IDKKKK

It seems like you take a lot of different directions with things. I have been where you are and realize this is a frustrating process. But, I can't recommend enough that you only make one change at a time and take a very regimented step wise approach. That way if something works or doesn't work, you only have one thing that could be the culprit. As it stands I believe that to be a challenge as you change a couple different things each time.

switched cable and it didn't work - did you switch all of the cables at once? Do you know for sure all of those cables work?
rebooted and nothing worked - then it likely isn't the cables, though if you switched multiple cables and can't ensure all of them are good, this isn't a certainty
moved SSD to another port and removed other drives - Is this with new cable or old cable, is it the port, is it the other drives? Is it just one of the drives?

If you only do one thing at a time, you know whether or not that is the problem. If it isn't the problem, you should be able to eliminate that and move on to the next thing. Though it is possible to have multiple failures at once, it is unlikely.

it seems like a slower process. But, ultimately it saves time. As of now, you are no further ahead than you were; when you made your original post.

Keep posting and folks here will help you!
 
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CAD4466HK

[H]ard|Gawd
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So the system recognized the HDDs after i got the new PSU hooked up and up until power cycled my SSD abd i swapped the SATA cables around. The HDDs worked too, as when i got it to boot early on they still showed booted with the SSD. If there is a corrupted bootloader on them, how can I solve that problem?

Im going to try connecting just SATA power to both of them and see if they spin. Will report back soon.
I've seen more corrupted MBR's on 7 than I care to remember, not so many on 10. Just find it weird the SSD will boot into windows by itself with a bad MBR. But since you seem to be at the end of your rope and willing to try anything....

Boot -F11- Advanced options - Command prompt - bootrec /fixmbr - Enter - bootrec /fixboot - Enter - bootrec /scanos - Enter - bootrec /rebuildbcd - Enter - Reboot

Good luck!
 

travm

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
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Messages
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I've seen more corrupted MBR's on 7 than I care to remember, not so many on 10. Just find it weird the SSD will boot into windows by itself with a bad MBR. But since you seem to be at the end of your rope and willing to try anything....

Boot -F11- Advanced options - Command prompt - bootrec /fixmbr - Enter - bootrec /fixboot - Enter - bootrec /scanos - Enter - bootrec /rebuildbcd - Enter - Reboot

Good luck!
I had one of those. Had to format the HDD, it kept taking boot priority from my SSD despite not having a solid install to boot. Was a huge pita.
 

babelmh13

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 13, 2012
Messages
179
Okay, so I officially have everything working now, including all three drives.

What ended up working was switching the SATA cables from SATA6G_Ports 1, 2, and 3 on my motherboard to SATA6G_Ports 4, 5, and 6. Really pretty strange... Is it possible that these ports are damaged? Is there any way for me to test other than plugging in devices?

The SSD always ran in slot 1, while the HDDs ran in slots 2, and 3. In my last post the SSD was the only drive I got working in the same location (SATA6G_1) by just swapping the cable. I only had a few unused SATA cables lying around, and after I hooked up the SSD and got it working, I noticed that the right angle connector that is plugged into the SSD reads HDD on it rather than Serial ATA... I don't really think there's any difference in the cables that read HDD vs Serial ATA that ship with motherboards and that it's just a labeling thing? Do you guys know definitively otherwise? Right now all three drives are working, and coincidentally the SSD has the cable marked "HDD" on it, while both the HDD's have the cables marked "Serial ATA" on them.

I want to plug them back into the original slots just to see if they work, but I'm probably going to leave well enough alone for a while since it's working. Thoughts on the "HDD" vs "Serial ATA" cables?
 

vick1000

2[H]4U
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Messages
2,310
Thoughts on the "HDD" vs "Serial ATA" cables?
SE Asian naming schemes? Look at the various BIOS settings of different manufacturers. Not to mention Alibaba and Amazon product listings, at least there are pictures for those.
 
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