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Windows 7: Repair Install

02 Feb 2009   #1399
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 
Repair Install

How to Do a Repair Install to Fix Windows 7


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My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Oct 2013   #1400
DonGateley

Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by maxseven View Post
Sorry to see you're having trouble DonG; I have an AO721 so your post caught my eye. I have never tried a Repair Install, and have either always been fortunate to fix instead the problem-at-hand, or have a recent-enough backup to revert to that in the event of trouble. I also keep a detailed diary of program changes I make so I can recover to Today with not too much trouble.

Won't help you now, but for the future you'll want to get an imaging program e.g. Acronis True Image or Macrium or...there are many to choose from.
I'm well backed up but I didn't realize I had the problem leading to all this until any backup that might be free of the problem had been cycled out.

What I find most wierd is that after 5 years and 141 pages of this topic no one seems to have encountered the repair installation problem I have. i.e. that after starting it and getting the files, the installer just returns to ask if I want to start it rather than going on to the next step. On the other hand, what got me here is that the Win installer fails trying to install .net. It seems that the installer must be working fine in order to start the repair installation. Heavy, sigh.

To me that's the most unbelievably stupid thing. That for Win 7 Microsoft requires you to have a well running installation in order to repair a broken installation. Unbelievable. That a repair can't be done from booting it is just plain perverse. I haven't actually verified that is the case because I'm afraid to try it to see because it could wipe everything out by accident. I'll take Blink's word that it doesn't work instead.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2013   #1401
maxseven

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit 6.1 Build 7601 (SP1)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DonGateley View Post
I didn't realize I had the problem leading to all this until any backup that might be free of the problem had been cycled out.
Yikes, a backup artist's worst nightmare.

Quote:
That a repair can't be done from booting it is just plain perverse. I haven't actually verified that is the case because I'm afraid to try it to see because it could wipe everything out by accident.
Well, I don't get this either--I thought a Repair Install should boot-and-repair regardless of what is (or is not) in the existing installation. The fact that it's so ugly (and I believe too "could wipe everything out by accident") is THE reason I never tried it, relying instead on image backups.

Your "cycled-out" point is giving me pause. I need to mark some of my older backups "do not delete".
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2013   #1402
DonGateley

Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by maxseven View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DonGateley View Post
That a repair can't be done from booting it is just plain perverse. I haven't actually verified that is the case because I'm afraid to try it to see because it could wipe everything out by accident.
Well, I don't get this either--I thought a Repair Install should boot-and-repair regardless of what is (or is not) in the existing installation. The fact that it's so ugly (and I believe too "could wipe everything out by accident") is THE reason I never tried it, relying instead on image backups.
There is a "Repair" that you can get to from the first installation disk boot screen but it is the same as what you get from most system's F8 boot selection screen or a "Windows Repair Disk" which does nothing more than try to fix things to the point where it will boot. What, apparently, you can't do from an installation boot, but can do if you are lucky enough that it run from setup.exe in a booted system, is what used to be called an over-install which left everything but the OS and a few settings alone.

Since I have this screwed up installation backed up and know I can restore it exactly I just might see what happens if I attempt an over-install from an installation disk. I don't even know if the option is presented.

The final option is to use PCmover from Laplink to export the application configuration and see if I can import it to a clean install. I used PCmover once a couple of years ago to upgrade a loaded Win 7 laptop to a virgin new one and it worked amazingly well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2013   #1403
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DonGateley View Post
To me that's the most unbelievably stupid thing. That for Win 7 Microsoft requires you to have a well running installation in order to repair a broken installation. Unbelievable. That a repair can't be done from booting it is just plain perverse. I haven't actually verified that is the case because I'm afraid to try it to see because it could wipe everything out by accident. I'll take Blink's word that it doesn't work instead.
Hello Don,

You must remember that this "repair install" is technically only a workaround using an in-place upgrade used to attempt to repair your installation without having to do a clean install.

Of course, an in-place upgrade (repair install) can only be done from within Windows, and not at boot. This I can verify 100%.

Only what is mentioned at the top of the tutorial will be affected in your installation. As usual, you should always keep backups of anything that you do not want to lose since anything could happen.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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22 Oct 2013   #1404
DonGateley

Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post

You must remember that this "repair install" is technically only a workaround using an in-place upgrade used to attempt to repair your installation without having to do a clean install.
In lieu of Microsoft providing a real way to repair. Heavy sigh.

Quote:
Of course, an in-place upgrade (repair install) can only be done from within Windows, and not at boot. This I can verify 100%.
It occurred to me that they might inhibit repair (upgrade) install from a boot disk for security, to keep someone with such a disk from hijacking a password protected machine. There are better ways to accomplish that but preventing it at all would seem to be the easiest.

Sorry I called you Blink up there. Srip of the finger. :-)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Oct 2013   #1405
rcanino

Win7 Pro 64-bit sp1
 
 

sorry if I missed the answer to this but -

I own a retail copy of Win 7 Pro, bought and installed in Oct 2010. I've updated it all along so now it's SP1. So my question is, am I better off using that or downloading an SP1 .iso to do the repair installation?

Thanks for a great thread!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Oct 2013   #1406
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Richard,

If you Windows installation has all of it's Windows Updates installed, then you would need to download and use the latest Windows 7 SP1 Media Refresh (SP1 U) ISO file instead.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Oct 2013   #1407
Ex_Brit

Vista Ult SP2/Win 7 Ult SP1/Win 8.1 Pro w/MC (all x64)
 
 

Repair installation of Win 7 SP1 would require a 7 w/SP1 disk.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Oct 2013   #1408
rcanino

Win7 Pro 64-bit sp1
 
 

thanks you guys - glad I asked. I figured using the original disc would work fine, just take longer. You know...it would have to update all the way to SP1, then update to current. But you guys are saying it won't even work right? Interesting.

Thanks again!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Oct 2013   #1409
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Glad we could help Richard.

If you used you original DVD, the repair install would fail since it the installed Windows is a newer version than the DVD is for.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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