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Windows 7: considering whether a repair install will be good

10 Dec 2010   #1

Windows 7 32 bit Professional
 
 
considering whether a repair install will be good

Hello,

Consider this my virgin newbie post! Greetings to you all.

I am considering whether a repair install will be good for what ails my PC.

I am sure I've broken a few things, and now my hardware may have caused a few other things to break.

Being from Windows XP Professional and a constant tinkerer (i.e., I know "everything" ) I managed to upgrade my XP machine to Windows 7 and as a consequence, ended up with a DUAL boot computer. I didn't intend it that way, but I had installed BCD prior to my upgrade, and when I found out that Windows 7 would not recognize INTEL Raid on my mobo, I disabled the RAID and removed the drive from the boot preferences in BIOS after mirroring the running WinXp system on a brand new 500 GB PATA drive.

After the Windows 7 "Clean Install" (What's clean about installing over 5 year old hardware and drivers?) I re-enabled the RAID and my Win XP installation was available to the new boot menu. I don't think I could have planned it that way.

The DUAL boot thing has actualy saved me a few times, and lets me compare apples to oranges (XP to Windows 7 setups, drivers, and software.)

Second, I had to find compatible drivers and hardware to finish the upgrade. Some drivers are free, when you can find them, and drivers for other things don't exist. So, I had to resort to some hardare upgrades as well. A new ULTRA SCSI 160 I/O card form my external devices ( Iomega Jazz 1 GB, and HP 6100C flatbed scanner.)

Third, another pitfall of being a do-it-yourselfer, I managed to dislike the new File Architecture Windows 7 installed. Specifically the hidden, super-hidden, and protected directories that I used to feel I owned. SO I took posession of them all.., Mwu-ha-ha-ha-ha.., After all, I have the power. It turns out that those so-called user directories are not directorie but are something I've never dealt with before. Junction points! You learn something new everyday. A lesson I learned a couple of mouse clicks too late.

I think I also learned how to "fix" them manually, once I've screwed them up. Maybe..,

Last but not least, my aged (some might say ancient) machine is giving me some real hardware problems. Thermal shutdowns! Or so the BIOS reports. Upon reading, this could be anything from bad power supply contacts, to failing voltage regulator caps on the mobo.., The latest "event" caused the bios to reset while Win 7 was up. Blew away my shadow copys for my restore points, set me back to some unknowable boot point, reset my desktop themes (I previously hadn't even known what Aero looked like,) and threw a slew of system, application, security, errors, critical events..,

But I recovered. Sort of.

I'd like to:

a.) Get all the system folders that are symbolic links/junctions correctly re-established.

b.) fix any services that were screwed up by my latest hardware "glitch."

c.) Restore the ability to do System Restore points and keep them from going "poof."

d.) Get this all working before I have to replace my mobo or power supply. I'd like to have a safe system backup to recover from if needed before going the out with the old inwith the new hardware.

First, can a repair install fix the file system for me, get my system restore working, and clean up anything in the operating system that "broke" due to the hard, hard, hardware crash?

Second, is there a utility that I can use to print out to a file, a list of all the current installed system files for the drivers (since I had to really beat up the driver set to get everything running?) It would be nice to have a list of what's really installed so that I can easily hunt it down to re-do it if needed after a repair install.

Last, I built a "Windows 7 32 Bit Repair Disc" at the completion of my "clean install." My original CD to install from was an online downloaded purchase build from a .ISO file, which worked fine. Which disc would I use to do the repair install?

I hope I'm asking the right questions, and providing the right information.

"We who are about to die, salute you."


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 Dec 2010   #2
Microsoft MVP

 

Have you considered virtualizing XP in Windows 7 using Virtual Box, Virtual Player, or XP Mode which comes in Ultimate? XP is nearly XPired and the RAID is not favored by Windows 7, so a clean Windows 7 install to wiped HD might be your best bet for starting over with less drag.

However, a Repair Install can indeed fix many problems, although your settings will largely carry over. I consider it a practical last resort before clean reinstall.

Repair Install is done from the Installation DVD. Here's how: Repair Install

Some tips on getting a perfect reinstall when the time comes, based on hundreds done here: re-install windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Dec 2010   #3

Windows 7 32 bit Professional
 
 

The latest failure actually seems to have run a "Recovery Install." It seems that's where the configuration for Aero themes got set up.

I'm wondering if that was actually a full "Repair Install?"

Does anyone have more information on this "last ditch" effort by Windows 7 to clean up boot up failure? I can't seem to find a description of it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


13 Dec 2010   #4

Windows 7 32 bit Professional
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Have you considered virtualizing XP in Windows 7 using Virtual Box, Virtual Player, or XP Mode which comes in Ultimate? XP is nearly XPired and the RAID is not favored by Windows 7, so a clean Windows 7 install to wiped HD might be your best bet for starting over with less drag.

However, a Repair Install can indeed fix many problems, although your settings will largely carry over. I consider it a practical last resort before clean reinstall.

Repair Install is done from the Installation DVD. Here's how: Repair Install

Some tips on getting a perfect reinstall when the time comes, based on hundreds done here: re-install windows 7
When I first set about upgrading to Windows 7, I ran the "Upgrade Analyzer." My processor and motherboard don't support virtualization.

I understand how to "slipstream" the RAID drivers in to the INSTALL by selecting the F6 option. I have the VISTA F6 Intel RAID Driver set for my motherboard.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Dec 2010   #5
Microsoft MVP

 

Here are the steps to slipstreaming SATA drivers into XP installer: SATA Drivers - Slipstream into Windows XP CD

I don't know about RAID but observe that it is a lot more trouble than it's worth with Windows 7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 considering whether a repair install will be good




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