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Windows 7: Reformatted C:, now missing Windows 7 OS


13 Jul 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 
Reformatted C:, now missing Windows 7 OS

I just joined and I'm writing this because this problem has awakened me in the middle of the night. Sorry for the incomplete details but I hope I am giving enough to get some guidance. Synopsis first followed by my main question.

I'm working on a friends computer. I installed a WD Passport external hard drive, did a backup (not an image that day) and the next day she received a BAD DISK message. (I will post better details on this). I ran chkdsk and no errors were reported. I made an recovery image to the WD Passport just to have something and I created a Repair disk.

She is operational but the message to backup and replace the hard drive continuously pops up. Certainly can't continue like this.

I ran the system repair tool and it reported a problem (better details to come) supporting the disk problem messages and on restart it still showed the BAD DISK message and i had to hit F1 to continue.

I wondered if I reformat the C: drive if it would 'mark' bad segments and maybe make the drive usable again so i reformated C:

I also thought the recovery image and the repair disk I created CONTAINED the Windows 7 OS. I was worried because these things don't always work but she can't continue to work like this either.

Now I do not have the Windows 7 OS and I just now realize I don't have the product key anywhere. She has a desktop, I checked the sticker and it's not on there. I checked the CDs she has from purchase and I don't find anything that has the key on it.

She has a recovery CD from ASUS that I'm going to try next but in reading the brief manual it sounds like its going to take me into the recovery partition and I think I've wiped that partition out.

Now I just want to recover the Windows 7 OS so I can do a clean install, reload programs and drivers and recover my data.

1) It seems like this hard drive has to be replaced but I was still wondering if it was some registry setting related to the install of the WD Passport device that could be fixed

2) No matter if this hard drive can be saved or if a new one is required I have to have Windows 7 install disk or USB

When I ran the recover from image it is operational again. However, if I restart the OS is not found again and I have to boot from the Repair disk and do the recover from image again.

3) Is there a way to create Windows OS install disk from the Repair disk?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

13 Jul 2012   #2

Windows 7 x64 Professional SP1
 
 

Hello and welcome to the forums, ssci

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ssci View Post
1) It seems like this hard drive has to be replaced but I was still wondering if it was some registry setting related to the install of the WD Passport device that could be fixed

2) No matter if this hard drive can be saved or if a new one is required I have to have Windows 7 install disk or USB

When I ran the recover from image it is operational again. However, if I restart the OS is not found again and I have to boot from the Repair disk and do the recover from image again.

3) Is there a way to create Windows OS install disk from the Repair disk?
I can answer 2 and 3 for you right now.

You can obtain a replacement legitimate ISO (which you can burn into a DVD or Thumbdrive) to reinstall Windows, provided you have a legitimate COA sticker/key from the laptop using the following tutorial:-

(everything you need is listed/linked to in that tutorial)

Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jul 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 
reformatted C: now missing Windows 7

Hi solarmystic, thanks for the reply. I tried to create the disk suggested before posting this. However, I was stuck in the first step when the tool must locate the .iso file to burn to the DVD. None is found on her PC.

Does the replacement legitimate ISO have to be created from that PC or can I create it from any PC or laptop and use it on her PC? However, the real problem with this route is she doesn't have the Windows 7 product key. That's required for a clean install. I wonder if ASUS will provide the product key?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


13 Jul 2012   #4

Windows 7 x64 Professional SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ssci View Post
Hi solarmystic, thanks for the reply. I tried to create the disk suggested before posting this. However, I was stuck in the first step when the tool must locate the .iso file to burn to the DVD. None is found on her PC.

Does the replacement legitimate ISO have to be created from that PC or can I create it from any PC or laptop and use it on her PC? However, the real problem with this route is she doesn't have the Windows 7 product key. That's required for a clean install. I wonder if ASUS will provide the product key?

You can use any PC to create the ISO/disc.

Don't forget to download the actual ISO file from this link (could that be the reason why her computer couldn't find it?)

http://www.mydigitallife.info/offici...digital-river/

You will need the product key though, there's no way around that.. you can only run Windows 7 SP1 keyless for 30 days, with a maximum of 3 extensions for 30 days each, for a total of 120 days using the following command at an elevated command prompt followed by a reboot.

Code:
slmgr -rearm
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jul 2012   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult. x64 Windows 8.1 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ssci View Post
However, the real problem with this route is she doesn't have the Windows 7 product key.
Hi,

That's a problems all right - without that you are buggered.

You mentioned a 'recovery dvd' - did that come with the computer? How many? Is it labelled?

Regards,
Golden
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jul 2012   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

I'm not at the house right now but I recall 1 disk marked for recovery and 1 disk marked for ASUS Essentia used in conjunction with the recovery disk according to the User Guide.

I soooo wish I would have read to get the product key before the reformat.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jul 2012   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Re: Don't forget to download the actual ISO file from this link (could that be the reason why her computer couldn't find it?)

http://www.mydigitallife.info/offici...digital-river/

So, I actually am downloading the .iso file itself? I will try your link/tool and see if it is different than the one I had found and used. I will let you know how that goes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jul 2012   #8

Windows 7 x64 Professional SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ssci View Post
Re: Don't forget to download the actual ISO file from this link (could that be the reason why her computer couldn't find it?)

http://www.mydigitallife.info/offici...digital-river/

So, I actually am downloading the .iso file itself? I will try your link/tool and see if it is different than the one I had found and used. I will let you know how that goes.
Yes you are! The .iso file is one that the Windows 7 USB/DVD tool looks for when making the bootable USB thumbdrive/Windows 7 disc..

It's no wonder you couldn't find the .iso file, it wasn't on the system to begin with.

To reiterate:-

Quote:

1. Download the latest official Win7 installer ISO with SP1 for your licensed version.

2. Burn to DVD or write to flash stick using Windows 7 USB-DVD Download Tool.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jul 2012   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult. x64 Windows 8.1 x64
 
 

Hi,

I would try the Recovery disks first - you have nothing to lose now right?

If it works, you can come back to the ISO (yes, download it from any computer) and then follow the tutorial in Post #2 - but you have to find the key first.

Regards,
Golden
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jul 2012   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

What is also grinding my mind is an understanding of why the repair and recover from an image doesn't load Windows 7? If I replace my hard drive (considering the BAD DISK - backup and replace) message) I though I would use the repair and recover from image DVD and USB. Please correct me because I am likely headed in that direction now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Reformatted C:, now missing Windows 7 OS




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