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WinPE 64bit Boot CD stuck on "Starting Windows"

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(sorry, the system isn't running to get sys info from it)
i have Windows 7 Pro 64-bit and an ASUS X99-A motherboard, UEFI BIOS ver .2001
i have it set up to with dual boot from my Win7 on a 1T hard drive or my Win7 on a 6T drive with UEFI.
everything was working fine until last friday.

HOW I DONE BROKE IT:--------------------------------------
what happened friday: i had the system running when i removed my old XP system from the KVM switch. (i had been using it as a file server with a crossover cable, but was done with it.)

after shutting down and restarting, the system wouldn't recognize the keyboard, nor start.

WHY IT'S BROKE:----------------------------------------------------
i finally got it to boot into safe mode, and it hung on AMBAKDRV.SYS which is a known problem:

HOW I FAILED TO FIX IT:--------------------------------------------
i had two recover cds from 2017, but neither would boot. i'm guessing because they have the same ambakdrv problem.

i got the Windows AIK thing to create a WinPE boot cd. (i finally got one that would boot! a minor triumph. it took 3 days, hush!) i created a combo Legacy/UEFI boot cd, that will allow me to choose to boot in legacy or uefi mode.

in legacy mode, as soon as i start that, i get a blank screen with a cursor in the upper left, and the system hangs.

in uefi mode, i get past all the "windows is loading files..." stuff, and the system hangs on "Starting Windows." note: no animation appears at all (some people apparently get to the start of the animation where the four balls appear).

WHAT I DID TO BIOS:-------------------------------------------------
some solutions i have tried from various places....

Boot: CSM (advice "enable it")
Boot for Storage changed from Legacy Only to UEFI drive First.

Boot: Secure (advice "disable it")
Enabled is on and un-changeable.
OS Type changed from Other OS to Windows UEFI. (this did not change the enabled status of secure boot.)
(the 'other os' was to support my old non uefi win7 on the smaller drive.)

Advanced: PCH Storage (advice "change sata to ide")
SATA1 Controller (1T and DVD) changed from AHCI to IDE


i'm getting the idea that a win7 system doesn't like some sort of new video driver? but the AIK was made specifically to create win7 versions of the winPE, right? i created the iso and the disc on a win7 laptop. so it SHOULDN'T have the ambakdrv.sys and it SHOULD have the right video drivers... right? :/

i'm out of ideas.
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so i have figured out i probably don't want a WinPE, but a WinRE.

so i went to my win7 laptop and told it 'make a recovery cd.' which it did. but the laptop doesn't have uefi.

i have managed to create a uefi USB boot drive, and it booted, but froze in the same place, right at "starting windows."

from my dim understanding of these things... it MIGHT be that the drive is uefi, but the "wim" file is not?

so for my next quest: how to make the wim uefi.
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