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Windows 7: Time now for that long avoided re-install of win7 on laptop

27 Feb 2014   #11
HarryPutnam

win 7 home premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
A reinstall is a good move in certain situaltion. But it would be easier if you had an image from the early days of the installation (both the C partition and the 200MB system partition) - then you don't have to worry about the product key.
Yeah, that would be nice, and I did have one I kept for a couple of years, but moving and all the associated huffing and puffing took care of it a year or so ago.

But also, I did try to rollback to a recent acronis full image backup. That fails and ends with that error I posted. So no good reason to think one from way earlier would work any better in this particular case... is there?

Quote:
Second best would be to reinstall from the recovery partition. From your description it is not clear what make the system is and whether you have a recovery partition. Try tapping F8 after power-on and go to 'Repair your computer'.

Final suggestion is to reinstall with the .iso as linked in post #3. But for that you need the product key - either from the COA sticker if this is a OEM system or from the original installation DVD.
About that MS license part: How does that work? I do have an official MS sticker on the chassis with several numbers on it. If I were to re-install from one of the downloaded iso's that 'bigmck' posted. Will I need to make a call to MS and diddle around with various staffers and so forth, or will I be able to just plug in one of the numbers off my sticker? How does that work exactly? I've never been thru that.

You mention that some kind of recovery operation would be second best.

I'm guessing when people refer to recovery here, or recovery partitions and so on, that would be a process where the hdd does not actually get reformatted .. is that correct? Or what is it that would make it preferable to an out right re-install.

Is it because in the re-install case there is likely to be plenty of hassle about licensing? Involving lots of discussion, phone calls and etc?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
27 Feb 2014   #12
HarryPutnam

win 7 home premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Boot into BIOS setup to see if the HD is detected at all.

If so confirm the System Partition is Partition Marked Active
then run Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times.
I'll try some of this out tomorrow. Looks pretty thourough.
Quote:
If this doesn't help then report back what it finds, look over the other steps which include everything that can possibly be done for Troubleshooting Windows 7 Failure to Boot. Some of the steps utilize Partition Wizard boot disk. If you'll post back a camera snap of the PW drive map showing all listings we may be able to spot what's wrong.

These steps lead up to if necessary rescuiing your files to do a perfect Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7
Thanks for the good input. I'll be spending some time going thru your citations. And report back when I've done something noteworthy...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Feb 2014   #13
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

To make it simpler for me to answer all your what ifs, please let me know what kind of system that is. Is it an OEM system where Windows 7 came preinstalled or did you actually buy a retail license and install it yourself. And do you have a recovery partition - check in Disk Management.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

27 Feb 2014   #14
HarryPutnam

win 7 home premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
To make it simpler for me to answer all your what ifs, please let me know what kind of system that is. Is it an OEM system where Windows 7 came preinstalled or did you actually buy a retail license and install it yourself. And do you have a recovery partition - check in Disk Management.
Will do, but first I'm sorry this has turned into such a massive tome:
But since I have not been able to boot the win7 OS, Disk Management is not available. Or do you refer to something besides the dialog accessed with right click from "My computer" / manage / disk ... something.

I'm not sure what the term 'OEM system' means, I do see it slung around quite a lot. It appears to mean a machine bought from a retailer in full running order, ready to go, and with an MS licensing sticker affixed.

That is the case for me. Bought from laptop people called Sager Notebooks or maybe just Sager (known for gaming laptops), with win7 home premium 64bit pre-installed (I bought it for audio/video/graphic work)
I did not buy a retail license myself. I just have the MS licensing sticker on the chassis

An update:
This morning I was able to boot the machine with a linux based recovery disc called SystemRescueCD. I wanted to extract what data I could in case it all goes even further south.

During the first moments after the recovery disc was was noticed, I saw a message zip buy that said something like:
"No suitable video display device had been found, proceeding in blind mode.". It then proceeded to boot and once the machine came up, I was able to get a graphic display... so not sure what that was about.

I am able to extract any of the data I want, both discs appear to be ok, at least linux is able to mount them as ntfs filesystems. I'm going to boot again but with Partition Whiz {sp?} which may show enough info to be helpful.

As mentioned in a couple of previous posts, I've been a longtime user of Acronis, and have been in the machine a few times, looking at the discs, making backups, etc. I do not think there is a "Recovery Partition" unless it is quite well hidden.

Addition: Just got this screen shot from Partwiz:
The screen grab shows the disks just as I remember them being:

Now about those questions:
Quote:
Quote: Originally Posted by whs
A reinstall is a good move in certain situaltion. But it would be easier if you had an image from the early days of the installation (both the C partition and the 200MB system partition) - then you don't have to worry about the product key.
Harry wrote:
Quote:
Yeah, that would be nice, and I did have one I kept for a couple of years, but moving and all the associated huffing and puffing took care of it a year or so ago.

But also, I did try to rollback to a recent acronis full image backup. That fails and ends with that error I posted. So no good reason to think one from way earlier would work any better in this particular case... is there?
Quote:
whs wrote:

Second best would be to reinstall from the recovery partition. From your description it is not clear what make the system is and whether you have a recovery partition. Try tapping F8 after power-on and go to 'Repair your computer'.

Final suggestion is to reinstall with the .iso as linked in post #3. But for that you need the product key - either from the COA sticker if this is a OEM system or from the original installation DVD.
Harry wrote:
Quote:
About that MS license part: How does that work? I do have an official MS sticker on the chassis with several numbers on it. If I were to re-install from one of the downloaded iso's that 'bigmck' posted. Will I need to make a call to MS and diddle around with various staffers and so forth, or will I be able to just plug in one of the numbers off my sticker? How does that work exactly? I've never been thru that.

You mention that some kind of recovery operation would be second best.

I'm guessing when people refer to recovery here, or recovery partitions and so on, that would be a process where the hdd does not actually get reformatted .. is that correct? Or what is it that would make it preferable to an out right re-install.

Is it because in the re-install case there is likely to be plenty of hassle about licensing? Involving lots of discussion, phone calls and etc?


Attached Thumbnails
Time now for that long avoided re-install of win7 on laptop-20140227_134409_v01.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Feb 2014   #15
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

1. Looking at the PW snip, it is not really clear whether you have a recovery partition because they have somewhat neutral names. You can always try the F8 tapping at power-on and see whether you get a 'repair the computer'

2. What is also strange from the snip is that none of the partitions are active. That may be your problem. If you remember which one had the bootmgr before, you could set it active with PW and see whether that boots. You may also have to repair the MBR with the PW.

3. Your system is an OEM. You should have a COA sticker on the bottom of the laptop that contains a 25 digit Windows 7 product key. You can use this key to install with any installation disc - e.g. the one you can download from Digital River. Just make sure you get the edition that corresponds to the product key on the COA. I don't think a call tp MS is required.

4. The Linux message means nothing. It probably did not have the correct driver for your Graphics card/chip.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Feb 2014   #16
gregrocker

 

The 200mb System Reserved partition (common on an OEM machine to boot Win7) is marked Active, but doesn't hold the Boot flag which in PW confirms it is booting the System.

Are you sure the second HDD isn't set to boot first, which could explain the no-boot? Check in BIOS setup now.

If not, power down to pull the data cable on the other HD, boot into the Win7 installation disk or System Repair Disk to run Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times to see if it will repair the System boot files to boot Win7. The disk is provided in the two tutorials in next paragraph.

If this fails you can work through the other steps for Troubleshooting Windows 7 Failure to Start since it may be infected and won't repair until cleaned up. Everything else is there to try to start unbootable Win7, leading up to if necessary rescuiing your files to do the superior Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 - Windows 7 Help Forums. Everything needed to get and keep a perfect install is there.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Feb 2014   #17
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Greg, I am glad you picked that active flag up. I did not see it on the snip.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Feb 2014   #18
gregrocker

 

Another thing that can be tried from PW boot disk as stated in tutorial is to Rebuild MBR with Partition Wizard Rebuild MBR - Video Help.

You still may need to do the 3 Startup Repairs afterward if it doesn't start.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Feb 2014   #19
HarryPutnam

win 7 home premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
The 200mb System Reserved partition (common on an OEM machine to boot Win7) is marked Active, but doesn't hold the Boot flag which in PW confirms it is booting the System.
Before going further... what does this 'Boot Flag' look like? I'm finding absolutely nothing in the partition wiz interface that mentions it. The help file is so lame as to not even be searchable.. but scanning piles of muck... I haven't ran onto mention of a 'Boot Flag' having to do with Partition Wiz....another chunk of time spent on google and many more piles of mostly non-helpful muck and I still do not know what the 'Flag' looks like. How do you tell that the 200mb Active partition is not 'holding' the boot flag?
Quote:

Are you sure the second HDD isn't set to boot first, which could explain the no-boot? Check in BIOS setup now.
The bios show the cdrom first, but from there I don't see how you can tell because it shows an hdd next and lists its make and number, but then at the end it shows an excluded hdd (I think its my data drive) but it has exactly the same number. You can see for yourself in the included screen grab.

As I recall, that has caught my attention before when in the bios for some reason... So I just guessed on that occasion and left it the way I found it.... it worked, so was apparently right... that was at least 1.5-2 yrs ago.

Now, in the current bios screen, I don't really see how one could tell, using only the info provided in the bios screen where boot order is set. It would seem experimentation is order to determine that beyond any doubt.

How would the order get changed without purposefull intervention in the bios? Can you mention a scenario that might cause that.... maybe it will ring a bell with something I've done. Oh, and please describe the boot flag you mentioned.

I plan to follow thru on the rest of the things you mentioned, but you and a few others have mentioned that a windows recover disk was available in some of what has been published here in this thread... but looking thru it all, I see dozens of links leading to still more threads and links... but I did not find a clear link to a recovery disk for download. (specifically for windows 7 or any other windows for that matter). So, if there really is such a disc and you actually know where it is, please post a URL if you get time.


Attached Thumbnails
Time now for that long avoided re-install of win7 on laptop-20140227_205315_v2.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Feb 2014   #20
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Hi Harry, I did not forget you. But with Greg you are in good hands. No need for both of us pulling in different directions. I will watch it from afar.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Time now for that long avoided re-install of win7 on laptop




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