Yesterday, 01-07-2010, I received the new, fresh HP recovery disks that I had ordered on 01-02-2010, used them and I am back up and running again. The apparent problem with the previous recovery disks that I tried to use was that they were for a previous computer. It seems that the recovery disks are computer specific, not generic, which means they will only work on the make and model intended, and not some other.
Thanks everyone for your persistence and assistance. Here's a little write up.
For the benefit of those who have been experiencing lockups, blue screen, stalls, today I resolved my issue and it was remarkably simple and painless. *( After I spent a lot of time learning ).
As background I installed Windows 7 upgrade from Vista on December 10th, 2009 and it ran but with instant problems. An interloper installed the Dealio tool bar and I got the error message, can't find Dealio file. Subsequently I down loaded, and bought, Reg Cure $29.97. It did fix the Dealio file but on December 28, 2009 Microsoft sent an automatic update at 3:59 PM. On the morning of December 29, 2009 I could start Windows but it wouldn't boot past the logo. I tried everything available and couldn't get anything to work. The problem was a boot config corrupted. None of the trouble shooting on the computer from F-8,10 or 11 would cure the problem. I couldn't get into DOS C: elevated command prompt version so it wouldn't work. The W-7 update disk doesn't have any startup capability so it wouldn't remedy the problem using the upgrade disk.
I tried to re-install W-7. It didn't repair the boot config corruption. I tried to make a recovery disk on a 64 bit computer, didn't work. Tried to re-install Vista, didn't work. I phoned HP and ordered recovery disks. In the meantime I recalled that I had ordered some recovery disks a few years back and searched them out. They were for XP. However, tucked in the envelope was a set of Vista recovery disks, unopened ! I inserted them and they did not re-installed the original factory Vista.
I'm detailing here some suggestions and potential pitfalls.
* When considering the installation of Windows 7 on a computer that has been running older versions of Windows, first check the system requirements.
* BACK UP everything you want to keep before you begin the installation.
* Decide if you want to buy an upgrade or an install version. In my area Costco sells the upgrade home premium for $127 and the install version for $179. The upgrade isn't any good for recovery. The install version is.
* Ascertain which version of the old software you are using and match the new Windows 7 version. W-7 comes in four different categories. READ the instructions.
* Run all scans and cleaners to remove the bad - Adware, Data miners, Trojans, Viruses, Worms.
* Uninstall any suspicious or unwanted programs.
* Close all programs.
* Install off line.
* Make the three W-7 suggested disks, recovery, system before proceeding.
* I would also suggest disconnecting some peripherals, network, router.
* Check on the adequacy of your security software. W-7 has some featured free but they do not offer total protection. Microsoft recommends installing 3rd party protection such as Norton.
As a minimum I got my computer back on line and useable even if it is on Vista. The downside is that I will have lost all software that I have installed after buying the Slimline with factory installed software. . Since I bought a new HP desk top in the meantime I may just couple the two together and use the Slimline as an external storage and backup.
I still do not know what corrupted the boot file:
* Dealio ?
* Microsoft automatic update ?
* Reg Cure ?
* Some recommended third party free downloads
The problems I read about on this forum seem, to me, to be coming primarily from the software conflicts. Presumably all sorts of computers are being mentioned, desk tops, lap tops, old, new, a variety of manufacturers. And I haven't really read enough in such a short time to determine how many problems are being cured and how many are not.
I bought the book "Windows 7 inside out" by Microsoft at Barnes and Noble and although it is really informative, there is nothing in there that I didn't already try and no solution for my particular problem since I neglected to make recovery disks before the problem occurred !