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Windows 7: Is repair install my best option?

10 Jul 2013   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
Is repair install my best option?

Running Win 7 x64 on built pc. I recently posted on here about my computer acting strangely (check my posts if you're curious). Well now it reboots constantly, won't let me run system restore, sfc finds errors but can't fix them, windows update fails every time, and it won't do simple things like play movies without pixelating and rebooting. I honestly think my windows has somehow become FUBAR, and I'm afraid my final option is a repair reinstall.

My questions are, do you think this is appropriate, and would it work? I have my retail OEM disc that I can use to run the upgrade reinstall. I would follow this tutorial if this is what's needed.

Repair Install

Also, I don't think I will be able to back up things like music and word documents, chrome bookmarks, and other things I find important to keep. What are the odds of losing this stuff through a repair/upgrade reinstall?

Thank you for your time!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jul 2013   #2
Microsoft MVP


Keep your posts in the same thread so we have a history to work from. Many of us are too busy to go find scattered threads. Only start a new thread when an issue is solved and doesn't resume.

You should also always have all files backed up. Not doing so is risky since the HD could die at any time. Here's a modern method to Sync, Backup and Store your Files to the Cloud with Skydrive - Windows 7 Forums

Since your PC is unstable work from the boot mode using these steps for Troubleshooting Windows 7 Failure to Start. Everything is there to try to repair Win7 so it starts and remains stable, leading up to if necessary copying out your files to do a perfect Clean Reinstall which is probably what's needed if you haven't had one.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jul 2013   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

Also, I have 2 options for repair shops:

1) Best Buy Tech Support. My mom bought this almost a year ago and has used 2 of the 3 devices. She has offered the last one to me since its about to expire. I'm hesitant because I get the impression it's more for basic stuff and it would just be a waste of my time. Thoughts?

2) local computer repair shop. Would cost me $$, but I'd think they could actually help.

Thoughts on what would be the best thing for me to do?

My System SpecsSystem Spec

10 Jul 2013   #4
Microsoft MVP


Why not use this opportunity with our help to learn to troubleshoot, what works best with Win7, and how to get and keep a perfect reinstall.

These are skills that will last for a lifetime and are free to learn here. Start with Troubleshooting Windows 7 Failure to Start. Ask back any questions you have as you go along.

The Repair Install requires a stable OS to run it from. So you'll need to start with the steps above to get it stable enough to stay booted. Once you do that then change to these Troubleshooting Steps for Windows 7 which lead up to the Repair install if necessary.

If you're saying you have a tech support plan with Geek Squad that's already prepaid, then sure I'd use it to get my money's worth. But I'd talk with the agents to find out what's wrong and how they fixed it. Plus you'll have a better install than anything the Geek Squad can provide if you do the Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 .
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jul 2013   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium x64


First, thank you for your quick responses. I posted my two comments right before I went to bed, so I didn't see your responses until now. I will post replies and updates here as soon as I am able.

I started a new topic because I felt this problem was entirely different and far worse than my previous problems. Looking back, I can see I didn't clearly explain, but my old problem is secondary at this point. My PC has had a bunch of new problems pop up, and these overshadow all the old ones. I only meant to reference it for anyone curious, not ask them to dig through old posts.

My main goal was to inquire about a repair install, but I can list the actual problems if it would be helpful:

1) I shut down via start menu, and was told windows would install updates. Updates installed properly (or so it seemed) and the computer shut itself down.

2) I rebooted to let the updates go into effect. I noticed my Kaspersky Internet Security 2013 icon was in the icon tray, but was unresponsive. Even a right click on the icon did not open a menu or option to close the program.

3) When attempting to shut down or restart via start menu, nothing would happen. The start menu would simply disappear and I'd just be sitting at the desktop. I believe KIS was responsive, as the system could not end the unresponsive program. Also, end process via task manager did not work to end avp.exe (KIS). I was forced to perform a hard shut down by holding the power button.

4) Upon reboot, I immediately attempted to uninstall KIS. During the uninstall wizard, my system rebooted itself.

5) Upon reboot, I successfully uninstalled KIS. I also took the opportunity to remove a couple other programs that were not needed.

6) Upon reboot, my computer was displaying things weirdly, only showing folders and not files. I rebooted via start menu.

7) Upon reboot, Windows started up, but was unstable

8) I tried a couple times to run sfc /scannow, but my system rebooted as soon as I initiated the scan (same happened in safe mode)

9) I went to windows update to try to update the system. There were several .net framework updates and other stuff. I ran those updates and all worked except a Microsoft virus scan program

10) I was asked to reboot to apply changes. When I clicked the reboot button, my system shut off and rebooted to the black and white screen that says the system didn't shut down properly

11) I then had several tries to log onto windows, but was always met with something along the lines of "updates weren't installed properly"

12) I tried the last known good config, but it said the same thing. However, it allowed me to the desktop

13) I tried system restore, but it won't restore. I tried about 10 times. It always fails and reboots itself

You are correct about backing up files. I will follow your steps for troubleshooting and hopefully get it stable enough to back up my files.

Do you really thing a clean install would be more ideal than a repair install? I understand it would work the best, but all the time and effort I put into organizing and adjusting my system will be lost. That's why I'm so hesitant to go that route. Sort of a last, last resort

And regarding your comments about learning to do this myself...that is exactly what I'm after. I have gotten over my head, and can't simply find results through google. So I turned to these forums, but I definitely want to do this myself. That's why I'm so hesitant to take it in to Best Buy or a shop. I feel they might have the knowledge, but I have just as much ability. Anyway, thank you for your help and responses.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jul 2013   #6
Microsoft MVP


Are you aware that the blue links are tutorials showing you steps to proceed with?

I'd start with the Malwarebytes scan since it sounds like you're infected. If it won't install, update and run a full scan even in Safe Mode, then start at the top of Troubleshooting Windows 7 Failure to Start to disinfect and then try to repair Win7. When it becomes stable to run from boot then go over the install closely using the Troubleshooting Steps for Windows 7

But since you're interested in learning I'd scan my system with Malwarebytes and one of the bootable AV's to make sure your files are clean, copy them out externally to do the Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7. This gives you the opportunity to get and keep a perfect install with our help. It will likely take less time than to try to sort out your messed up install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jul 2013   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

I am aware of the troubleshooting guides you posted. Thank you.

As far as infection goes, Malwarebytes in safe mode with networking, kaspersky TDSSKiller, superantispyware, and windows defender offline all gave a clean bill of health. And they have never found anything. Which makes it hard to figure out what's going on and what the root cause is. I am about to start with the failure to start guide right now
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jul 2013   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

Another question. I have an SSD for my c: which only has windows and programs. I have a 3tb HDD set as d: and it stores all my files and music and movies and such. Is there any way I could disconnect my d: drive, repair or clean install windows, then reattach the d: and all would be good?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jul 2013   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

I am running WDO again, and will post the results when it finishes.

I am wondering about number 4. on the guide. I cannot run sfc properly. My system either reboots during the scan, or it finishes and says files were found but couldn't be fixed. The way option 4. is worded makes it sound like sfc should run if the system is clean. Is this true? Because everything comes back clean, but it still seems like some sort of virus IMO. But I don't really know
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jul 2013   #10
Microsoft MVP


As long as you have the phrasing correct SFC should run from installer/Repair CD Command Line with no problems if the install is sound. If not then I would consider it irreparable and move to Repair Install or better yet Clean Reinstall.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Is repair install my best option?

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