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Windows 7: Damaged windows 7 OEM disk and need files or advise

28 Feb 2012   #1

windows 7 pro

So First post and not sure if right or in correct area,but I am hoping someone can help. The forum looks promising. congrats!!

So this is a Dell M4400 workstation. I recently did my annual re-install, but I dont think its related. Of course self induced and pounding excessively on mouse pad (forgetting it was over drive) when the machine was having a difficult boot. So I am not 100% sure the install went perfect, but still I directly caused this as not happened before. So after poking the mouse pad with about 5000 foot pounds of pressure a few times it locked up once and for all, may have rebooted not sure. Then I could never get it to boot right again.

First it would boot in safe mode and I took lightly assuming no issue and suddenly after safe boot and re-boot no contendre... At that time it started offering options to let windows perform startup repair in which it looked like it completed but just seems to go in never ending circle of startup repair (unsuccessful). The bottom line is that the drive wont boot. It lets me enter password and then goes to never land eventually booting back to normal start or startup repair option.

I have analyzed the drive with get data back and the first time it pulled about 5 partitions, some may have been the older ones overwritten. Now after several startup repairs, get data back seems to even act like its all F's stating bad something over and over. Next I booted in an acronis restore program, which I will say is the best thing since bread (little known) and saw everything in order, but cant be sure what I am looking at.

The drive is composed of two partitions. one is a 100mb i dont know what and not sure if Dell causes this or windows 7. The other is the 465 plus or minus ramainder. I did note that acronis indicated that the 100mb was the primary - est boot (the way it read)?!?!?! IT should also be noted that acronis noted no errors with the MBR, but an error of something of that nature. I am not recalling forgive my ignorance. The jist was that it seemed like all was there, but maybe not in right place.

To complicate matters my OEM install disk is cracked rigt around the central area damaging the first file folder which appears to contain only licensing stuff so I cant boot with it. I am currently trying to ISO rip it off and get it on a workable disk to boot from and run a full windows repair.

Also I have a dell windows VIsta disk and I am wonder could I just work off this to get where I need to be as I recently researched this today.

Please help, I have been locked in this nasty struggle for a week and my life is in pain....

Thanks in advance

So my windows 7 dvd is cracked about a mm into the data area starting at the central ring. ISO analysis looks to be like the first file area on the disk with the licensing BS is the only thing damaged and that the UDF file system for the primary install data is intact. I am wondering if:
(1) i even need that data from this area?
(2) If i can actually get and install successfully if I can get the data on a readible disk.

The issue is so severe that at first I could not even get the DVD drive to ackowledge there was a disk in it. This seems to be a MAJOR ISSUE as I dont even see how one can use disk data restorative software if the drive wont acknowledge the disk!! I have had the disk resurfaced by a local dvd sales place with a serious machine to do this, but I suspect the foil is damaged in this 1 millimeter area by the center core. I also think it is bent it (as it was stepped on in the case while on the edge of the plastic riser), and that no amount of resurfacing will do as the foil is bent up cause odd light diffractions of unknown consequence. I have ordered a replacement from microsoft but states could be a month. I am also wondering if this will give me the opportunity to re-actiate it on another machine to which it was intended (I did not know I could not move it when purchsed). So do I need the data on that first file? Is it generic enough that I could pull from another disk, even a vista disk? SHould I just trash it. I am ignorant, but not so ignorant that I once compiled a CD of stock Windows original XP pro including all the SP updates and created a ready to boot and load CD due to a newer motherboard demanding such. Please advise.. Thanks in advance...

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2012   #2

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64

So what exactly do you need ? Just a new disc ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2012   #3

Windows 7 Pro with SP1 32bit

You should be quite OK if your disk is damaged but you have the genuine Product Key.

You can visit Download Windows 7 ISO (Official 32-bit and 64-bit Direct Download Links) My Digital Life and download an official ISO image for your version of Windows 7. After that you can install it and then use the Product Key that you possess to activate your Windows 7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

29 Feb 2012   #4
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

Before you reinstall, burn the WinPE disk from free Macrium and use that to image your C partition. Then you do not lose your data. Don't scare when you burn the disc because it has to download the Microsoft WAIK during the process - and that is 1.7GB. But the Macrium WinPE disk is excellent for imaging and recovery.

Here is a tutorial on how to deal with it: Imaging with free Macrium

If you are familiar with Linux, you can, of course, rescue your files with a live Linux CD. Puppy would be a good options because it is small and the drives are right on the Puppy desktop (bottom left). Here is how: Recover files from Windows Vista hard disk using Puppy Linux |
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Feb 2012   #5
Microsoft MVP


Download and burn ISO linked earlier to DVD or write to flash stick using Windows 7 USB-DVD Download Tool.

Then follow these steps to Clean Reinstall Windows 7 Factory OEM

Use backup imaging in the future in place of reinstall.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Feb 2012   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by BBC3 View Post
.......... I have ordered a replacement from microsoft but states could be a month.....
Just a query. If it is a DELL OEM disk, only DELL can provide the replacement disk with embedded OEM activation data which self activates on a clean install with OEM-SLP key and BIOS check..Has Microsoft told you that they will provide the DELL OEM disk?

Getting the DELL OEM disk is always advantageous since you can do a clean install any number of times and it will self-activate. And you have been routinely doing a clean install periodically.

If you install with any other media, you will be activating it using the COA key and calling Microsoft over the phone.

In such a case it will be prudent for you to backup the image after the phone-activation, and use that image for subsequent clean installs.

For.... nobody seems to know for certain, whether subsequent reinstalls with the COA Key will go through with automatic online activation, or whether you have to call Microsoft everytime to activate and also whether there is a limit to the number of times you can activate with that COA key.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Mar 2012   #7

windows 7 pro

WoW!!! Thats some fast and fancy thread editing - LOL. Just want to say thanks for everything. And I have not seen such a sweet windows install in all my days!! Bare bones to the max. My machine has never run so well...!

I am noting problem solved although we did not get the original install functional again at this time. I am sure with the help of this forum it can be!!
Thanks again...

PS - Nevermind the remark on the editing as I see the MSG about the data loss on the forum hardware issue. I did get all the links and information here as of Feb 29th about 4pm CST (I think). And nice link on the file compare... Thanks.!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Mar 2012   #8
Microsoft MVP


Did you wipe the HD or install over the previous Win7, or do you have a Dual Boot that you need rid of now?

A screenshot of Disk management drive map with listings will make it easy to confirm it's correctly configured. Use Snipping Tool in Start Menu. Screen Shots
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Mar 2012   #9

windows 7 pro

Thanks for the further inquiry. Apologies, as I got caught up with that nasty concept - WORK, lol...

I resolved to just install new on a new solid state drive I purchased. I was never able to repair the orignal drive OS as I just could not get the drive to acknkowledge enough to get the windows repair function to work. So whatever is going on with the area of the drive damaged in not readily fixing. Any simple suggestions are appreciated. But the long and short is that I now have a new install on a new drive, and there is limited program related harvest to be had on the other drive.

The drive purchase was an attempt satisfy my ego and need for something new in order to psyche myself into new found work motivation. I didnt work... But I am curious how you guys think an Intel 320 series SSD should stack up to the previous 7200 rpm - all of it applying to a decent Dell 4400 system. Because I am not all that impressed. The system boots anywhere from 50 to 100% faster I speculate. I dont think trasfer rates sustained are all that improved either. And I dont think the MOBO could have utilized anything more than a 3gb interface regardless.

Regarding the windows 7Pro download, I am not convinced that there are not problems as the machine seems to act squirrely with a lot of random problems with IE 9 or whatever the latest version is. It almost even seems to corrolate with the latest round of MS updates though. I dont know, but things are not smooth and primarily with IE type application only I think.

So I am at a loss and its late again which further compounds my tiny little brains ability. I'll check back in a couple. Thanks again.. Babble cackle babble lol..

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Did you wipe the HD or install over the previous Win7, or do you have a Dual Boot that you need rid of now?

A screenshot of Disk management drive map with listings will make it easy to confirm it's correctly configured. Use Snipping Tool in Start Menu. Screen Shots
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Mar 2012   #10

windows 7 pro

One more thought before I knock out here. I just want to focus on what the primary issue with the original drive is for a moment as I would like to learn something from all this. The problem, is that that corrupted drive will not acknowledge due to the damaged sector or whatever. So this presents a real problem in that - if you cant see the drive, how do you work it.?? I speculate that the damage is to the larger second partition, as the 100mb windows generated one appears to read fine when the drive is connected via USB adaptor. While the drive does appear readable with a boot type repair disk, otherwise the drive is just locked up trying to read the second partition. So its a hardare issue, and then its no so to speak. But is the most common proceedure to try to repair the MBR from the rescue disk access point? And what would the risks be? If anyone wants to humor me I appreciate...
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Damaged windows 7 OEM disk and need files or advise

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