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Windows 7: Problem with repair install - error msg disk version not comp with OS

16 Dec 2013   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
Problem with repair install - error msg disk version not comp with OS

My HP laptop has had problems for quite some time and I am attempting a repair install to fix it. I have spent several days on this and I am stuck. Reason for repair install:
1) running sfc /scannow returns message "Windows found corrupt...but was unable to fix some of them", 2) MS Security Essentials will not install
3) one other software program doesn't run correctly (may be because of my corrupt OS, not sure).
4) although I have many backups, I am pretty sure all of them have the corruption problem, as it was not obvious for some time. That is, most things run just fine and dandy and there is no sign of a problem (until trying to install MSE or run sfc or the one other software program).

I do have a recovery partition from HP, but that will erase all data. I prefer a repair because the time it takes to move user data, especially importing/exporting emails, many of which are encrypted, and importing/exporting the digital certs for myself and others, and hoping/praying that it all comes through. I am worried that I will lose valuable emails in the move or be unable to decrypt them afterward.

My HP laptop came preloaded with Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit. I downloaded the iso for Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 U 64 bit, which I believe is the correct version for my machine. I made a DVD from the .iso using the Microsoft DVD/USB tool. I ran the DVD from within my existing Windows 7. It runs for about 2 hours and appears to be nearing the end. At that point it reboots, and restarts with a message that the repair disk is not the correct version for my operating system. It then removes the 2 hours worth of installation it just performed and returns me to my existing operating system. It never gets to the point of asking me for my product key, so that is not the issue.

Does anyone have any idea what the problem is or what I should do next? Thanks for your help, I have spent several days reading over posts here to try to figure it out, but I am unable to do so. I am stuck at this point.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

16 Dec 2013   #2
Microsoft MVP


The HP preinstalled Windows 7 is the worst possible install one can have with the worst load of bloatware in the industry which corrupts and throttles Windows 7. No tech enthusiast would run such an install, but instead do a Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 to finally enjoy Windows 7 OS you own which you haven't even gotten to experience yet with the worst possible install on earth.

It's obvious the corruption is beyond the point of repair. I would cut my losses, back up everything listed in the tutorial, then delete all partitions during the booted Custom Install, stick with the tools and methods given to get and keep a perfect install. You'll go from the worst install to the best in just a few short hours.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Dec 2013   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Thanks for your response Greg. Although it is not what I was hoping to hear, you are probably correct. I will try a clean install. I don't have a problem with reinstalling software and data, EXCEPT my biggest fear is losing access to my encrypted emails. I have about 6GB of archived (mostly technical) data in my Windows Live folders that I really don't want to lose, and almost all of it is encrypted. In order to read it I have to be able to move all of my digital certificates (my own, and those of about 50 others) both current and from over the years (in order to read the old emails I have to have the old digital certs). I have done this before, but it has been a while, and I am somewhat concerned that one wrong move and I won't have the data. That is the main reason I have been so reluctant to do a clean install.

I am rusty on exporting certs. I have been trying to export my own certs and came across something I don't recall from the past. Not only is it asking me to create a password to export, which I understand, but when I click "finish" in the certificate export wizard, then a popup comes up saying "An application is requesting access to a requested item" and it is asking for "password for CryptoAPI private key". That part I do not understand, and I don't recall that happening before. If I type the same password I just used, it doesn't work, so it is looking for a different password. However, if I cancel that popup, it does write the key. Whether or not it does it successfully certainly scares me at this point, and I am not sure I can re-import it sucessfully after my clean install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

16 Dec 2013   #4
Microsoft MVP


Can you decrypt the data first before backing it up? Then you won't have that to worry about and can focus on getting and keeping a perfect reinstall.

Everything needed is compiled in Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Dec 2013   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

I have researched before, and have found no way to decrypt and save encrypted emails. I could of course decrypt each one separately and store them as a text file, but that would 1) take forever and 2) lose the link between attachments and the text of the emails and 3) lose all the header info such as to/from/date/cc, etc. information.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Dec 2013   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
Everything is working great

Greg, I wanted to thank you for the guidance and let you know the outcome of my clean install. The tutorials you have are excellent, thank you. Everything is running great on my machine now. There are no problems found with sfc, windows backup now works, everything is much faster and snappier than ever, and the finance software program that I have never had work properly works great now. I have tried installing that thing for about 2 years now, ever since I got the laptop. Even though it installed, it never worked correctly. That tells me that my laptop must have had a problem since day one, maybe it was shaken up prior to delivery.

The installation went well, I had to make a phone call to activate Windows for some reason, but no problems. It took much longer to backup my data than to install Windows, and longer again to move the data to the clean system from the backup. I did have a couple problems:

When Windows first came up after installation, I had no wireless or internet due to missing drivers, as well as about half dozen other drivers missing. This did not totally surprise me, but what did surprise me was that when I went into Device Manager, there was no clue given as to what each device was that was missing the drivers, so I didn't know what to install for each device. I went to the laptop vendor website (on a different machine) to get drivers. Only problem with the HP site is that I couldn't get their autodetect to work, and there are different manufacturer's drivers even for the same series laptops (I guess they buy whatever they can get the best deal on). Fortunately I had remembered (or guessed correctly) that the wireless was from Broadcom and there was only one of those. Also fortunately, HP drivers come in a self installing service pack so I didn't have to figure out which of the devices to install the driver to. Once I installed that I had internet, at which time Windows was able to do about 150 updates, some of which were drivers. I then installed a freebie from IObit, Driver Booster, which was able to install most of the missing drivers. There was still one that was unidentified. I did a google and found a freebie on Cnet called "Unknown Device Identifier". It was not rated very highly so I was skeptical, but I have to say it did the trick perfectly for me (and it was free). Once it identified the edevice as a pci Bluetooth device, I was able to get the driver from HP and install it.

At that point I was up and running, but still concerned about my email because I had a lot of valuable data in it. I had found a reference on a Microsoft helpsite to a freebie for backing up and restoring email, KLSMailbackup. It had little documentation, but it was free and it worked pretty well. Before reinstalling Windows 7, I created a backup with the tool. After installing Windows 7, I downloaded Windows Live mail and used the restore function of KLSMailbackup. It put all my folders and emails exactly where they were with no losses. Unfortunately it did not give my contacts for some reason; this may have been user error on my part, I don't know for sure. I had assumed that I could get the contacts from my backup and just move the file over, but from all the reading I did today, that doesn't look like it is possible for some reason. At this point my mail was in the right place, but I still couldn't read any of the encrypted files. I had exported all my digital certificates (of me and others) prior to reinstalling, so next I imported them into internet explorer. I went back into Live Mail, and much to my delight, all my encrypted mail was readable. My biggest fear had been that I would lose all the data in the encrypted emails. At that point I was a happy camper and went to bed around midnight.

Spent the day today reinstalling Adobe Reader, MS Office, and a lot of other apps, and moving my old data over. After that was all up and looking good, I was ready to install the finance software that had never worked. I ran a scan with sfc to verify everything still looked good and it did. At that point I did a system image backup with Windows backup (in case the software that never ran right was the source of the corruption and caused it again). Next I installed the suspect software and it ran perfectly. I had been trying to get it to run for years!

Ironically, now that my computer is working so well, my wife complained this morning that hers is creeping. I ran sfc and....Oh found corrupt files and was unable to repair some of them. I ran it 4X and still the same issue. So, since this worked out so well, I will likely be going over to the Vista Forum to figure out how to fix my wife's machine.

Sorry this is so long, but I thought maybe some of what I went through might help others avoid the same issues. I realize most of these problems are things you point out how to avoid in your tutorial. Your suggestions all make perfect sense now, but they didn't all sink in until after I went through it.

Once again, thank you and the others very much for helping me solve my problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Dec 2013   #7
Microsoft MVP


That's why it says plainly in the tutorial to put your LAN adapter driver in the backup so you can get online to do all of your Updates after enabling Automatically deliver drivers via Windows Update (Step 3).

Then any drivers still missing in Device Manager are found on the Support Downloads webpage for your model PC, not using a driver finder which is frequently wrong.

Every eventuality is covered in the tutorial or available for specialized help here 24/7, including Finding Unknown Devices - Windows 7 Help Forums
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Dec 2013   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by spacecon View Post
Ironically, now that my computer is working so well, my wife complained this morning that hers is creeping. I ran sfc and....Oh found corrupt files and was unable to repair some of them. I ran it 4X and still the same issue.
Just for reference: I remember once running SFC /SCANNOW 6 times before it finally reported "No errors found".

It's important to run it as many times as needed, every time rebooting in between. To give a simple example, when you have corrupt system files they can create a chain reaction. Let's say that files A, B, C and D are corrupt. For the file D to work, first the files A and B must be repaired as the file D needs them to run. So the first pass repairs the file C, only one which has no other corrupt files depending on it, then the next pass repairs A, the third one B and finally when both A and B are repaired the fourth pass repairs the file D. Rebooting between passes is needed for Windows to removing the corrupt file or library from memory and reload a repaired one instead. Without reboot for instance a corrupt DLL file might still be loaded, another file depends on this library to work so the corrupt file can't be repaired before Windows through reboot has loaded the correct, repaired DLL file.

The more corrupt files you have, the more dependencies between these files exist and the more passes are needed.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Problem with repair install - error msg disk version not comp with OS

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