If my suspicion is correct, I'm posting in the right forum. If not, I guess I should be posting in the general Win7 forum, and I apologize to the moderators for my mistake & humbly ask that they move the thread over there. Please pardon my ignorance of everything I'm going to ask about. I'm desperately trying to make some deadlines, so have limited troubleshooting and learning-curve time, but have run into an intractable laptop problem. Four months ago I bought a used Dell Vostro 1510 with Windows 7 and didn't really pay attention to the fact that, while it was sold to me with Win7, the sticker on it is actually for Vista. And one time when I was booting, I don't know what happened but I got a grub4dos screen. I don't know what that is, but this machine is definitely not set up the way Dell originally shipped it, and I believe that the previous owner installed Windows 7 on it with a "SLIC-modded BIOS". I don't really know what a SLIC is either except that using one helps you modify your BIOS so you can bypass M$'s activation. I think this is causing me problems because after the system choked on a bad disk Monday night when burning to an external DVD drive, now it won't boot. No matter what I do, the system always gives me BSOD error 0x0000007B, which the book _Windows 7 Annoyances_ (p. 384) says is an error usually indicating that a boot device has a problem. Now the system always restarts into a "Windows Error Recovery" screen which gives me only two options, "Start Windows normally" or the "Launch Startup Repair", and the only thing I can do from there is get into Startup Repair . If I choose the "Start Windows normally" option, it just restarts and then kicks me right back to "Windows Error Recovery". First thing I did was to go into the BIOS and set it back to defaults; no joy. Then went back into Startup Repair. From there, "Vew diagnostic and repair details" always shows all tests as having passed. So did a system Restore to a known good point; no effect. Next I performed a full registry restoration (following the procedure described at richlang.home.pipeline.com/Reg/RegistryBackup.pdf). I had just barely backed up the registry as described therein on Sunday, the day before the problem occurred, so I had a brand-new registry backup handy. I was able to use the Startup Repair command line to do the restoration of all the registry files (even [System Reserved]Boot\BCD), all to no avail. No matter what, I still can't get past "Windows Error Recovery". (At least I was able to copy all important data files off the hard disk with the command line to a flash drive.) So then I decided I better see if BSOD 0x0000007B was right and there's some kind of hardware issue. First ran Windows memory diagnostics from Startup Repair; the Standard test showed no errors. Then, since the HD is a Western Digital, I booted up with Western Digital's Data Lifeguard 5 and ran their diagnostic Extended Test; the hard disk tested good. Last, restarted into the Dell boot menu (f12) and chose option 4, Diagnostics, which runs a whole bunch of different tests on the whole system, especially memory (much more thorough than the M$ test, several hours long, had to do it overnight), and it reported everything fine. Finally I also tried UBCD520. The DVD will boot, but parted magic doesn't find any drive excpet it's own (i.e. the optical drive). I know that's anomalous behavior because parted magic finds all the drives on my desktop just fine. Also, when I tried to run FreeDos on UBCD, it errored out with this: dos mem corrup, first_mcb=0271 . . . [two long lines of gibberish omitted] . . . PANIC: MCB chain corrupted System halted After that happened, I booted with a Boot-it Baremetal boot disk (from terabyteunlimited.com) and BIBM saw all drives just fine. Remember that WD Data Lifeguard detected the HD also. So let's recap the symptoms: 1. Pheonix BIOS A12 seems normal and is accessible, so BIOS itself doesn't seem to be corrupt. 2. Parted magic sees no drives except its own (the optical drive running the UBCD disk). 3. UBCD freeDos errors out with an 'MCB chain corrupted" message (maybe someone knows what that means--I spent a good while searching on the web with no luck finding out). 4. Windows Repair environment DOES see the hard drive and any attached usb drives; allows all repair operations to proceed and full command-line file-managment functionality. BIBM also sees the HD (and shows all 3 partitions I created) just fine. 5. BSOD 0x0000007B usually signals a hard disk problem, but no hardware issues found by various tests, including Western Digital's own Data Lifeguard extended test (the drive is a WD). No memory problems found either. 6. Despite what Startup Repair reported as a successful System Restore, and despite a complete registry restoration (performed according to the procedure described in the PDF linked above), no matter what, the system refuses to go past the "Windows Error Recovery" screen. The fact that the bios is accessible suggests that the bios itself is not corrupt. The fact that I performed both a System Restore and, when that didn't work, a full registry restoration, and neither had any effect, suggests that it's not a software issue in Windows. The fact that I can operate normally on the hard disk via Windows-repair command line, that BIBM can see the hard disk too, not to mention that the disk passes WD's extended test, all suggest that the hard disk is healthy; so the fact that parted magic can't see the drive, and that FreeDos errored out, doesn't mean that the hard disk is bad but rather that there's a blockage of some kind that's keeping both of them from getting TO the drive. So having eliminated the HD as a suspect, and since BSOD 0x0000007B is ultimately a boot-related error, I'm left with the suspicion that the SLIC mod performed by the previous owner is the culprit, but I have no knowledge or experience with such operations and have no fuh-reaking idea how to go about troubleshooting it. I've never messed with BCEdit, but doubt that the BCD store is the problem because even if my System Restore didn't touch it, recall that I restored a known good copy of the BCD registry hive to [System Reserved]:\Boot as part of my registry backup restoration, so while I don't know much about bcdedit, I suspect that using it will not solve my issue. Moreover, I certainly don't want to execute a generic, standard BCD reset process on a system with a modded boot setup which I might destroy forever. For the same reason I don't want to use the more powerful tools such as the MBR tools in Boot-it Baremetal without direct guidance--and if go over to the BIBM forums and say, "I've got a SLIC-modded BIOS running my Win7, and I need help getting it to boot," they'll ignore me at best, probably more likely ban me. So I find myself rather at a loss. RL doesn't allow me the time right now to learn about SLICs and modding BIOSes so as to figure out what's going on by myself--don't get me wrong, I'd love to get into it if I could, but for the next while that won't be possible. Right now I have to get this machine back up and functioning, and I'm stuck, don't know where to go from here, & would be most grateful for any assistance. Actually, let me cut the BS: looming deadlines are making me flat-out desperate, having used up much of my rapidly diminishing work time this week on troubleshooting. I'm very much an RTFM guy and would normally do my due diligence on SLICs & mods to solve the prob myself, but at the moment I truly can't. I know I'm asking for a handout here, and deeply apologize, but can't stress enough that RL is really a b--- right now.