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Windows 7: Programs missing, Windows repair fails, and Windows upgrade fails

17 Sep 2012   #1

Programs missing, Windows repair fails, and Windows upgrade fails

Hello and thanks for reading. Let me begin by saying I've been trying to figure this problem out for hours and hours now, and every solution I find that looks promising, just leads me in circles.

I'm trying my best to avoid a clean install.

The problem started while playing a game, causing a BSOD. After a restart, I noticed some of my programs just didn't boot up, for example Core Temp. I attempted to manually start Core Temp and received the following error: "The system could not find the environment option that was entered."

That problem lead me here: The system could not find the environment option that was entered. - Microsoft Answers

Which, obviously, did nothing for me. I tried to create a new user, but when I click the link in the control panel to do so, nothing happens.

I then tried to repair my windows installation using my disc, and it said it could not find any problems. After searching some more, I found another solution would be to perform an upgrade to my Windows installation to fix the problems.

I put the disc in, nothing happened so I went to the setup.exe directly and got the same error as above. So I then booted in safe mode, and it loaded. I got excited until it said something like "an error prevented a compliance check from completing"

And just to be very clear, my windows 7 is valid, I'd be more than happy to share an image of my newegg receipt or even my box to get that out of the way, as I've seen a lot of flaming towards people who have issues regarding validity.

Well that brought me to a thread on this website where someone said to open an elevated command prompt and run sfc /scannow. I tried doing that and got this error: "This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action. Please install a program, or, if one is already installed create an association in the default programs control panel."

I've tried some other stuff, but I think you guys get the idea.

Any help would be awesome! I figured I would try as much as possible the next few days to avoid a clean install. I imagine that I have corrupt files and that performing the windows upgrade would reinstall them and do the trick. I'm working really hard to figure out how to make that happen. I was also wondering if there is a way I can plug in a spare drive, install windows on that, then try "upgrading"/repairing the windows on my main drive? Anyways, thanks for reading!

My System SpecsSystem Spec

17 Sep 2012   #2
Microsoft MVP


Work through these Troubleshooting Steps for Windows 7.

I would also restore my default program association to solve the SFC problem, which I believe should be associated with .exe file: Default File Type Associations - Restore - Windows 7 Forums. If not the tutorial's author will know for sure.

If not a Repair Install should be able to sort this after getting clean of any infection.

I would also not dread a Clean Reinstall which almost always is better than getting a new PC given the load of crapware and useless utilities larded onto new consumer PC's. We specialize in this here so can help you get a perfect Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 which steps are the same for retail.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Sep 2012   #3


Thanks for the ideas, unfortunately nothing is working. I can't restore default program association because it won't let me merge any reg files
My System SpecsSystem Spec

18 Sep 2012   #4


So here is what I'm trying now. I just hooked up a spare drive and installed windows. I'm going to see I can do the sfc on my corrupted drive. If that doesn't work I'll see if the windows upgrade trick will work ( if I can point it to the corrupted drive)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Sep 2012   #5


Wow so I can't believe this worked. After installing windows on that second drive I was able to navigate all my files from my corrupted windows. I then copied the back up reg files from the regback folder into the config folder, rebooted back to the old drive and everything is up and running. I did notice that for some reason I had no restore points? That is very irretating considered it is turned on, I thought it makes periodical restore points over time.

Now my question is that now I have full functionality it seems, should I do the windows upgrade to make sure all the corrupted files are replaced, or has my problem really been solved by copying over all those registry files?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Sep 2012   #6
Microsoft MVP


SFC -SCANNOW Command should tell you if there are corrupted system files. That may be enough.

Otherwise you can run a Repair Install to reinstall the OS while keeping programs, files and settings in place. It may keep intact corrupted program or other settings, however.

Is this factory preinstalled Windows 7?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Sep 2012   #7


How do I locate corrupt programs and files? And no, this is a computer I built, I have a retail box of Windows 7. Good news is I have been able to create restore points manually and a backup image in case things go sour again.

Actually I have another question, this all started while playing a game that crashed and led to a bsod, is there a log file anywhere I can pick apart to find the root of the problem?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Sep 2012   #8
Microsoft MVP


The blue links are tutorials which show you how to do these operations. Read them thoroughly, ask back any questions.

In addition to the steps I already gave you, work through these additional Troubleshooting Steps for Windows 7 to gather clues.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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