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Windows 7: Win 7 crash - SP1 fail - repair install fail

09 May 2011   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
Win 7 crash - SP1 fail - repair install fail

I am really stuck. My installation of Win 7 Ultimate has a problem. It will not install SP1, occasionally dies with the BSOD, sfc shows corrupt files that it cannot repair, start up repair from the repair disk cannot repair problems, and a repair install from the OEM disk terminates before it finishes. I have run virus scans (Vipre) and malware scans using the MS utility - the machine is clean. The problem had been an annoyance I couldn't solve until Saturday.

When I left on a business trip on the 2nd the PC was working fine. When I returned on the 7th the machine was running but the desktop was pixillated. I rebooted and it seemed fine. The next morning it wouldn't boot from my primary HD. None of the repair actions using the repair disk or the OEM disk worked. On boot I would get an error message that files were missing. I tried replacing the 'missing or corrupt' files from a good Win 7 installation on my laptop (same OS disk). No help - just a message other files were missing. I finally copied all the System 32 files and pasted them in. No joy.

My work around was to nuke a second HD and reinstall a earlier image - about a week earlier. The system is up and running, boots normally, but is not right. I cannot run a repair install from the OEM disk - it stalls about 1/3 of the way. The sfc still indicates there are corrupt files it cannot fix. MS System Update Readiness doesn't fix the problems. I'm running Sysinternals Process Monitor - it shows a number of 'Name not found' results. I have no idea of the relevance or relationship.

I am back operating, but I feel like I have the sword of Damocles hanging over my head, just waiting for the next crash. It seems if I could just do a repair install it might fix the problems. Any suggestion on how to stop the repair install from stalling?

Also, is there any way to create an image of of everything, but the OS? I love to be able to nuke a HD, do a clean installation of the OS, and reload all the programs and files from an image.

Could this problem in any be related to the PC itself? It is a Dell Inspiron 531, AMD Athlon 64X 2 6400, with 4 GB Corsair RAM. I had it about 4 years. I never updated the BIOS. One other thing, I used the same OS disks to load Win 7 on my Dell Inspiron 9200 laptop - no problems - sfc is clean.

Any help would be appreciated. I'd like to avoid a clean install if I possibly could.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

10 May 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
Pulling out RAM solved Win7 repair install failure

Last night I stumbled on to something that solved my inability to perform a repair reinstall of Win7 Ultimate. Keep in mind, my machine would not boot and that I had to restore my system from an image after none of the repair techniques would solve the problem. After restoring from the image I was able to boot up, but still could not perform a repair reinstall of Win7. Also, sfc still identified that there were corrupt files it could not repair.

I started to suspect something hardware related like mobo, RAM, or BIOS - not for any deep technical reason, just that nothing else seemed to work. I read something about 'bad RAM' or damaged RAM slots potentially causing problems. I pulled out 3 of the 4 1 GB Corsair CM2X1024-6400 sticks and ran a repair install.

The reinstall of Win7 Ultimate worked fine, no hitches. When I ran sfc after it indicated no problems. The automatic update downloaded a ton of MS files - all installed without a problem (I still haven't seen SP1 - and I not sure I'll try to install it yet, if it does show up.)

I'm going to reinstall the RAM one stick at a time and run memory diagnostics. I'd like to understand what happened. It's important for me to find out if it's a back stick, a bad socket, or something to do with mobo. Any suggestions or insights would be greatly appreciated.

One specific question: If I have to build a new computer - new mobo, cpu, and case - can I just rebuild the OS and apps from an image? The current computer is a Dell Inspiron 531. The original OS was preloaded Vista that was later upgraded to Win7 Ultimate.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Win 7 crash - SP1 fail - repair install fail

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