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Windows 7: Think Outside Microsoft's Box-How to Boot Win7 DVD and Upgrade to Win7


10 Jul 2011   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 
Think Outside Microsoft's Box-How to Boot Win7 DVD and Upgrade to Win7

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
I'm sorry, but you will not be able to do a repair install unless it's done from within Windows 7.
Hi Brink -- I have lurked here for some time, and oftentimes find some really useful information. You have given quite a lot to this community. Good job!

I, too, have a similar problem, which was caused by Paragon-Software's Partition Manager 11.

The back story is that while launching the app for a totally different reason (which that app could not accomplish), I noticed defrag MFT and compress MFT options, which, as per the software, improves NTFS performance.

Since I have quite a few internal and external drives, I started with the external ones. The routines worked flawlessly and very quickly (seconds). Next, I had the app do all internal drives except my boot/system drive, C, and the D drive. It needed to reboot to accomplish these, and I agreed.

Upon booting, the app displayed four processes (no detail as to drive letters or whether the current process was defrag or compress), and as they were completed, a checkmark appeared. First two were quick, the third took a little longer (maybe 15 seconds), and the last sat there for about a half hour.

I thought it was time to reset. Oops.

I can no longer boot to the system, in any Windows mode. After the PC does its BIOS checks, etc, the system looks like it is proceeding (I notice 1/4" bluish lines about a couple mm thick running across the very topmost part of my screen (the colors of Paragon's software), with a BSOD soon to follow.

Having solved many such problems over the last 30 years, I have quite a bag of tricks, including the latest Dart7 beta 3, which adds quite a few more options to the recover repair screen most are familiar with from the Windows 7 DVD's repair screen, along with many Linux-based CDs, and other recovery CDs. Yes, I have checked each of the drives using the latest version of TestDisk, from CGSecurity and "chkdsk /b", to be thorough, and the drives are just fine.

They all failed to resolve the boot issue.

Now, there is a solution, but I lack the details.

When you boot the Windows 7 DVD and choose install/upgrade, that routine checks the system boot drive and makes its decision to proceed based upon what it sees (or does so, even earlier in the process). This determines whether you can do an upgrade from the booted Windows 7 DVD (think in-place upgrade, or the newer phrased repair installation).

If we can discover what it is looking to find (be it file, folder or registry entry) that would permit it to do an in-place/repair installation, we could address those findings and we would be home free.

Think outside Microsoft's mantra as to how or from where the repair installation needs to take place, since it is based solely upon what they support, not what can be accomplished. I am not interested in what Microsoft supports.

If it will resolve the issue, support is not needed.

Are you or anyone else up to the challenge?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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14 Jul 2011   #2

Windows 7 64b Ultimate
 
 

Hello Mark, welcome to SF... I see you addressed brink here... not sure if that is what you wanted but if you want to ask him to look, PM him...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jul 2011   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MvdB View Post
Hello Mark, welcome to SF... I see you addressed brink here... not sure if that is what you wanted but if you want to ask him to look, PM him...
Hi -- well, I did address it to Brink in an existing thread. When I returned, I found that my post was moved to a new thread. I thought that it was he who moved it.

Not a big deal at this point, but thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Jul 2011   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

I think that if the question "How does the Windows 7 DVD know that it started the PC?" can be answered, we might have a solution to the problem.

Since a retail version of Window 7 DVD cannot be written to, it must be writing something to the hard disk, when it boots, that tells it that it started the PC.

(Note that I have already looked at the environment prior to running install, and edited all SET commands to point to the hard disk and me, rather than the DVD, and then ran setup.exe from the command prompt. Didn't work.)

There must be a way to fool the DVDís setup.exe into believing that it was called from the Windows 7 desktop.

If this can be done, then we can boot the Windows 7 DVD, and do an in-place upgrade aka repair installation at that point, rather than having to launch the DVD from the windows desktop.

The repair procedure is currently crippled and pretty much useless for those who cannot get into the desktop.

Any ideas as to what/where to look?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jul 2011   #5

Windows 7 64b Ultimate
 
 

I'm not sure it I get what you really want but I've never heard of not being able to choose yourself what you want to do when you boot with a Windows 7 disk, even a clean install...

Or, use one of the tut's here to (on another PC, borrowed/library, whatever) build a USB Windows 7 install and set your BIOS to boot from USB too. That can be a solitary boot that doesn't even look at your HD's until you tell it to.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jul 2011   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MvdB View Post
I'm not sure it I get what you really want but I've never heard of not being able to choose yourself what you want to do when you boot with a Windows 7 disk, even a clean install...

Or, use one of the tut's here to (on another PC, borrowed/library, whatever) build a USB Windows 7 install and set your BIOS to boot from USB too. That can be a solitary boot that doesn't even look at your HD's until you tell it to.
Hi MvdB -- Let's say that you have Windows 7 installed.

You reboot your PC and have it boot to the Windows 7 install DVD.
Once the DVD is loaded, you can choose install or repair. In many cases, repair works.

If you are an enterprise customer, you would be provided a copy of DART (Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset). It looks just like a recovery disk (it does not install an OS), but adds an additional option which opens another window providing you with about another dozen tools, which can come in handy. Search Microsoft's site and I believe it is now publicly available, hovering around v7Ŗ3.

Neither of the above resolves my situation.
Anyway, if you choose install, you are prompted with Upgrade or Custom, where the former would retain all of your programs & their settings, only requiring you to redo any tweaks you might have made to the OS, and the latter will wipe out all those settings, requiring that you reinstall all your programs from scratch.

With Windows 7 installed, if you choose Upgrade, you will be presented with text indicating that the PC started by booting the DVD and in order to run an upgrade (in my case, it would be an in-place upgrade), it has to be done from the Windows desktop (not verbatim).

If you cannot get to the desktop you cannot directly do an in-place upgrade (now referred to as a repair installation), as was provided for in previous Windows incarnations (I have "worked with" Microsoft since DOS 1.0).

The current tutorials, to which you refer, are based upon Microsoft's mantra that you cannot do an in-place upgrade if you booted first to the DVD -- ask any Microsoft tech, and you will hear that almost word for word from each of them.

If Microsoft states that xyz are your only supported solutions and all three do not work, you can either accept that you are screwed, or delve deeper into what is possible, but not Microsoft supported. Any solution other than xyz, is unsupported, but not impossible.

It is the latter solution that I am looking for. I have no interest in whether Microsoft supports the solution; my interest is in whether it resolves my problem.

So, thinking outside the box, how can you make the DVD believe that it did not start the PC?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jul 2011   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

One of the most questions I have seen in a long time.

There is something in place to do a repair type install from boot media with win8 - as you doubtless already know.

I don't know a way of getting of win 7 boot media to do that.

If you don't have a suitable backup image , the next suggestion would be to to manually copy back the o/s from a shadow copy.

If you stopped a defrag prematurely - hard to say if you would be able access your shadows - depends what stage the defrag was at.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jul 2011   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

FWIW, I was using Paragon Partition Manager 11 to defrag the MFT and then compress the MFT. I saved the last of my drives (C & D) for last (making sure all the others were fine first), and that required a reboot, where Paragon's software did its thing.

I have already had this to the Microsoft Professional Tech group who then escalated it to a Sr Engineer, after I documented all the steps I took on my own. We are actively working on it, but I would love to have the solution before he does...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jul 2011   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
There is something in place to do a repair type install from boot media with win8 - as you doubtless already know.
Hi SIW2 -- As an additional path to follow, I have suggested that they provide me with a dumbed down version of Win8 that could be booted to upgrade me from Windows 7.

Presuming that it succeeded and booted to Win8, I could then uninstall Win8, restoring Windows 7, with the expectation that whatever was corrupted in the boot sequence would then be repaired.

It is being considered by them, which is a good thing, as it infers out of the box thinking!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Aug 2011   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

I happened upon another approach geared toward Windows Server 2008 that might work for me. You know... desperate times...

What would happen if I simply booted the Windows 7 DVD, told it to do a custom install, let it run until it just completed its first copying routine, then abort (reset PC, if that is what it takes).

Then, insert a Windows RE disc or Dart7 and have it repair Windows 7.

I do not know exactly what is being copied and where, at that point, though.

Ideas?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Think Outside Microsoft's Box-How to Boot Win7 DVD and Upgrade to Win7




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