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Windows 7: Dell XPS M1530 Startup Repair Loop, Offline SFC does NOT function

25 Feb 2012   #11
writhziden

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

When you install Windows, it usually creates the system reserved partition for the boot information. You can delete that reserved partition through Disk Management, and Windows will usually still run (in my experience, though I do not recommend doing so).

If you do not have a system reserved partition, then your steps were correct. See Method Two of SFC /SCANNOW : Run in Command Prompt at Boot if you do have a system reserved partition.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Feb 2012   #12
Z92435

Windows 7, 32-bit & 64-bit (Depends on Which Computer)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by writhziden View Post
When you install Windows, it usually creates the system reserved partition for the boot information. You can delete that reserved partition through Disk Management, and Windows will usually still run (in my experience, though I do not recommend doing so).

If you do not have a system reserved partition, then your steps were correct. See Method Two of SFC /SCANNOW : Run in Command Prompt at Boot if you do have a system reserved partition.
Nope, I'm pretty sure that this HD was installed by Dell, rather than a later aftermarket install. I merely upgraded the existing Vista Home Premium to the Windows 7 Ultimate, so it does just have the one volume.

Interestingly, I'm now trying to clone the drive, but Data Rescue is telling me that I've got a Sector Read Error. Maybe that was the source of the damage? Here's hoping that Data Rescue can iron out some of the information damage. Interesting how it was not picked up by the other programs, but Data Rescue saw the damage. Hmmm.

Update: Heh. I don't know if the bad sector in question was already labeled by SFC or not, but the funny part is that while the Data Rescue was churning around the bad sector, the time required jumped up to 49 or 50 hours. However, as soon as it got through it, my cloning speed is now at just over 4 hours. It appears that, no matter what, this drive does have a few bad sectors. I wonder if part of the problem was that some of those bad sectors were in use by the OS for something.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2012   #13
writhziden

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

Strange about the partitioning scheme.

What is Data Rescue?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

25 Feb 2012   #14
Z92435

Windows 7, 32-bit & 64-bit (Depends on Which Computer)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by writhziden View Post
Strange about the partitioning scheme.

What is Data Rescue?
Data Rescue is a software that's made by Prosoft Engineering, which is used on Hard Drives which cannot do much at all. To be honest, I typically only use it on computers so clogged with viruses that it doesn't get much past the BIOS, if at all. It does a good job in finding your data, whether deleted, lost, or gone, then allow you to clone it onto another drive. Only issue is that it is not cheap, and I'll be honest that I've never used the clone function on it. However, here's hoping that it is a good one, since that's what I'm using to clone my drive, in case my further tweaking just mess up more things. Data Rescue is usually last resort for file recovery, but pretty decent.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2012   #15
writhziden

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

Yeah, there are a lot of data recovery programs out there, so I am only familiar with a few. We typically recommend the free versions on here since it is against the forum rules to promote any paid products. Rescue Kit Free Edition | PARAGON Software Group - free partition software, hard disk partitioning is probably suggested the most.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2012   #16
Z92435

Windows 7, 32-bit & 64-bit (Depends on Which Computer)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by writhziden View Post
Yeah, there are a lot of data recovery programs out there, so I am only familiar with a few. We typically recommend the free versions on here since it is against the forum rules to promote any paid products. Rescue Kit Free Edition | PARAGON Software Group - free partition software, hard disk partitioning is probably suggested the most.
Ooops! Sorry about that, Writhziden. I didn't know that this forum had that rule. Although, to be fair, Data Rescue does have the same full featured free edition that Rescue Kit Free Edition does, its just that the number of uses is limited. So, maybe I only bent the rules a bit, but not actually broken it? Hehe.

Just wondering, I know that you mentioned that there's a lot of data rescue programs out there, but are there any with the capability to possibly help with my situation, other than just clone or file grab? I mean, I did just see that one of the features on the product you recommended is that it could "easily fix boot problems", but does that claim extend to situations like mine, or is this situation too stage 4 for these programs?

I know that I'm currently cloning the drive, but I really DON'T want to do a clean install unless there is simply no other way. Maybe it's naive, but I still hold out hope that as long as SFC or something like SFC can function, maybe it'll correct everything. *Sigh*
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2012   #17
writhziden

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

I don't think you broke the rules. You weren't linking to the site to advertise but to answer my question as to what you were using.

I've never actually used the Paragon rescue CD, so I do not know if it would work. It is up to you whether you want to try it out. I don't imagine it would exacerbate the problem. I prefer to make system image backups so if I run into problems like what you have I can just revert to the system image.
I use
Imaging with free Macrium,
and
Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup
is also a good method.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2012   #18
Z92435

Windows 7, 32-bit & 64-bit (Depends on Which Computer)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by writhziden View Post
I don't think you broke the rules. You weren't linking to the site to advertise but to answer my question as to what you were using.

I've never actually used the Paragon rescue CD, so I do not know if it would work. It is up to you whether you want to try it out. I don't imagine it would exacerbate the problem. I prefer to make system image backups so if I run into problems like what you have I can just revert to the system image.
I use
Imaging with free Macrium,
and
Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup
is also a good method.
Meh. It would have been good to make a system image of this hard drive right after I had made it all shiny and HD shaped. But, I thought that I was going to give it back to my uncle the next day, so I thought that it'd be more his problem than mine. Who know that I'd break it within the 4 hours it was supposed to remain in my care. Bah!

Are there any other suggestions, tweaks, or tricks that can possibly help? Also, can you give me some tips on how to get the re-installation done on top of the existing drive? I'd like to disrupt as little as I can. As far as I know, there seems to be a DOS command that can automatically move "Whatever.old" contents into the newly created folders. Also, are there ways to gauge which associations and such are broken by the re-install?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2012   #19
writhziden

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

Unfortunately, programs cannot be moved over and work properly due to them needing to be setup properly through the install procedure. You will just have the user files remaining in Windows.old that are still usable; everything else that is kept is not going to help too much unless there were files saved in other areas by your uncle.

Re-reading everything you wrote in the first post, I feel bad that I could not offer a better solution. The only thing I can say is it may be worth trying the Paragon Recovery CD just to see if the claim that it can restore boot problems is true. Do this after you create the clone, of course, in case you need to revert back due to the unforeseen.

As to what initially got the computer into this mess, I learned the hard way just as you are, although it was a little different since it was with my own machine. I now will not do a hard shut down unless I really have no other option. I have literally waited close to an hour for my system to shut down just to avoid what you are experiencing. I had software installed a few months ago that would cause my system to take between 15-53 minutes to shut down on a regular basis (that software has now been removed and I will never touch it again).

Believe me, I know what you are going through on both levels. I have caused problems with my mom's computer trying to fix it before. These things happen, and luckily family forgives us.

Anyway, try the recovery CD after you get the clone made. Then do a re-install with windows.old folders as a last measure.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2012   #20
Z92435

Windows 7, 32-bit & 64-bit (Depends on Which Computer)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by writhziden View Post
Unfortunately, programs cannot be moved over and work properly due to them needing to be setup properly through the install procedure. You will just have the user files remaining in Windows.old that are still usable; everything else that is kept is not going to help too much unless there were files saved in other areas by your uncle.
Well, that's really just crappy then, since he really doesn't have any files on this thing. However, he does have his settings and passwords on the browsers and stuff, which I can no longer access because it requires booting. Mostly, it was just his programs that needed to work, which I know can probably survive in the "Whatever.old" folder. So, what you're telling me is that, I'm essentially screwed, with what I fear being true, that the re-install will affect everything, and I can't do anything to help or change that.

Are there no situation in which you can go into the files to see exactly what the damage is? I mean, the fact that the Windows OS is booting up somewhat initially, and the Safe Modes are running down the list of drivers seems to say to me that it is largely intact. If the damage done can be figured out, there must be a way for it to be repaired. I mean, God knows that it should be possible to do so, if it isn't, then Windows leave a whole frickin lot to the desire.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Dell XPS M1530 Startup Repair Loop, Offline SFC does NOT function




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