Exclamation [Q] Won't boot, drivers won't load

I have a Nexus 7 gen 1 that died at some point during a Google OTA update and was then given to me, so I'm not sure which factory firmware is on it.

When attempting to boot the device, it gets to the Nexus splash screen and stays there indefinitely. I booted it into the bootloader and connected it to a Windows 7 machine by USB, and Windows device manager detects it as "Android Device>Android Bootloader Interface" and installs a driver for it.

I then put the Nexus into recovery mode and it disappears from the Windows device manager. I wiped the cache partition and also data/factory reset. It still gets stuck at the splash screen when attempting to boot after the wipe, so back to recovery mode.

I choose "apply update from ADB", and then a "Nexus 7" appears in Windows device manager with no driver. Windows attempts to install a driver and fails. I attempt to update the driver using Google's USB driver, one from the SDK, and one from ASUS (they all appear to be the same folder), but on all attempts Windows says that it cannot find a driver for the device in the specified folder. Meanwhile 'adb devices' shows no detected device.

Can somebody provide a suggestion as to be able to sideload an image to this device? I don't know why the USB driver won't install, unless the Nexus has to be in USB debug mode, or the hardware is defective. And I haven't found a way to get it into debug mode when it won't complete a boot.

All reasonable suggestions welcome.