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Password accepted at boot loader, then "Windows is loading files"

Topics: Technical Issues
Jan 16, 2017 at 11:13 AM
I'm trying to fix a coworker's computer. She had not switched from TrueCrypt to VeraCrypt. Her system was encrypted with TrueCrypt.

We can put in the password at the TrueCrypt boot loader, then it says "Windows is loading files" (in Spanish) with bar loading across the bottom. Then a window comes up saying something about a need to repair (it's all in Spanish, she translated for me). When we click repair, it does something on a following window and then restarts. When it restarts, it returns to the boot loader and the process repeats (we put in the password, it says "Windows is loading files", etc.).

At this point, I'm giving up on restoring her files or system; I'm ready to just reinstall Windows and then use her most recent backup (from 3 months ago) to get her back to something. (I'm aware that I could remove her hard drive, plug it into another computer with a SATA cable, mount the drive with pre-boot authentication, copy the files, and use a corruption restoring program to restore the corrupted files. But that's more work than it's worth to me; last time I did that for a computer it took me weeks to finally get each step to work).

But my concern is whether I can reinstall Windows as is, or if the boot loader will prevent that, or if reinstalling Windows over the encrypted drive will also erase vital things (I assume it can't erase the BIOS and that that's separate somewhere, I assume it might overwrite the recovery partition and that that's just a loss I'll need to accept). How can I go about reinstalling Windows? And will I need a new Windows license key, or is there a way to access the original license key?

Once I get it fixed, I will install VeraCrypt for her instead of TrueCrypt.

Lenovo X1 Carbon 3444
Windows 7
TrueCrypt 7.1a

Thank you!