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Windows 7: windows explorer has stopped working

06 Feb 2017   #61
Judiver

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Hi Icit2lol and Bigmck,

As I still do not know why using a 3rd party partitioning program wouldn't work (and no one reacted on this question to give any clues), I decided to better be safe (with bloatware) than sorry (with nothing) and I am going to try the Toshiba recovery partition that is on my d drive. If I understand it well, I have the option to recover only c: (without touching d: or to erase the whole HDD and reinstall, which is the recommended method and which is what I am planning on doing.

I have a disk with a Toshiba recovery too (the files are all from 2009 or before, so I guess it is back to factory settings as well and will not install my already messed up user profile when I made the recovery disk back in April 2015). I still have Torchwood's iso on a flash drive (and printed all the tutorials for a clean install), in case the Toshiba recovery methods doesn't work.

I don't have a 2nd machine; ASAT, adaptors, a dock and all of that fancy stuff. It is just my home machine and I am a simple user, not a passionate with all kinds of multi-purpose equipment.

Getting back internet is my first priority after install and it also was the 1st thing I checked, how to reinstall it. It isn't a disk. I have a box here that is connected to the phone line and this box provides the internet connection (so you configure the box, but I don't have to redo that). My phone, mobile phone and pc connections - LAN and wifi - work through this box (and in more urban regions tv also works on it > everything goes through the phone line). So what I need to do is connect my pc to this box again. I believe a simple key and password do the trick, just as like you would hook your mobile phone on to a wifi hot spot. I have a manual that explains it, should I need it.

Well, here I go... if you don't hear back from me, it means I'm in deep trouble .

Judith


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 Feb 2017   #62
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Judith I still think you should consider a new drive preferably a SSD and get the ISO download burn it to create a bootable media (disk or stick) and clean install onto the new drive. This way you will still have the old drive as aback up. Just a tip when burning the media do it at the slowest rate you can to avoid files corruption or bad copying.

But the choice and budget are yours of course.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Feb 2017   #63
Judiver

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Hi Icitlol,

Well I'm back with a healthy pc. So far all seems to be working. It will take some time to get all my updated, programs, files, settings, blockers back. I first got rid of annoying popups from Google in the top right hand corner of Firefox and the annoying country redirection (getting only French results when googling...).

It was fairly simple. If only I could have found clear info (and not the confusing ones) about the recovery of Toshiba on the internet, that would have helped a lot. I found none for this laptop. For anyone with a Toshiba Satellite L550, this is it:

The HDD hidden partition on d: (in my case 7.63GB) will erase only c:, leaving the rest in tact and reinstalls Windows to factory settings on c: from this partition. So make a back-up of all that's on c: (and better yet, everything on your HDD). To do this restore, you press the power button for 10 secs to shut down your pc. Then press the 0 key (zero, on top of the keyboard, not on the number pad on the right) and while keeping it pressed you turn on the power again until the see the Toshiba logo. Then you select "repair".

You can create recovery disks (or USB) with the Toshiba Media Creator (Creating system recovery media using the Toshiba Recovery Media Creator utility). This feature copies the hidden partition that's on the d: drive (called HDDrecovery) to your disk/USB. So a condition is that you still have it and the files are not touched/corrupted. You can make as many copies of it as you want. It is a good idea to make these as you still will have external media that reinstalls Windows, should nothing work anymore on your pc itself.

Now to boot from disk/USB, a web page on the internet told me to use the C key instead of the 0 in the procedure above, but that didn't work for me, Windows just started up normally, not even in safe mode. So instead of C, I pressed F12 and choose myself the correct boot option. If booted from your Recovery disk(s)/USB, the repair will erase c: and d: (so back up all!) and install Windows on c:, leaving the partitions as they were: an active/recovery partition of 400MB and c: and d: of practically the same size (on my laptop anyway). It also reinstalls a HDDrecovery partition on d: again, copied from your disk/USB (so you can redo this reinstall operation again should you need to, or make new disks/USB with the Media Creator should you loose them).

The reinstall then is automated and will prompt you as necessary. You have to select language and country. No Windows registration key was necessary (maybe Toshiba retrieves and saves that info during this recovery method...?). You're prompted to choose a username, computer name, password, and a network (home network in my case). The process is about 20 minutes or so (Windows 7). The pc restarts numerous times but all is automated.

I was prompted to give my WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) key, and my internet connection got installed. Internet Explorer, an old version opened (which will automatically be updated if you go through the Windows Updates, see below).

Bloatware was very limited (that's the advantage of having an old machine !). In my case a 30 day trial of McAfee was proposed (outdated, but you will be prompted to update later on, after the Windows updates). Also Toshiba gives a pop-up window to register "my newly bought machine", but you can do that later, or not at all (it's for the warranty - after 8 years, lol! - and updates about Toshiba services). It gave me a Windows Office Suite trial, Works, Skype, eBay and Amazon, and some games from Windows and Wild Tangent, the latter if you register). That's all.

I went into the Control Panel, System Security, Windows Updates and had the first portion of updates installed (21 updates in my case). That took about 30 minutes. After those, I went to Windows Updates again and pressed "Check for updates". This 2nd time it found 216 updates (including SP1, it now states Windows 7 Home Premium) and it took hours to download and install them all. I'll have to go through this operation again as I still do not have them all, but bit by bit my laptop appearance and features come back to what they were before this recovery.

So if I don't run into issues with the rest of the updates and reinstalling my stuff, I suppose my problem is solved. Thanks everyone (Torchwood, Icit2lol, RolandJS, Bigmck...) for your time and expertise in answering my questions. I'm not sure I would have dared reinstalling Windows if I hadn't communicated with you on this forum!

Judith
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 Feb 2017   #64
Callender

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Just a heads up. After your factory restore you will probably have issues with Windows Updates. If that's the case review this post:

Windows Update will not update and I've tried multiple fixes

On another note most of us would create regular system image backups and use them to restore our machines to a working state in the event of problems without needing to update and patch everything from scratch.

If using Macrium Reflect you can boot from Marcrium Reflect Rescue USB to restore a saved compressed drive image of your Windows partition as long as the backup image is saved on another partition or a separate drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Feb 2017   #65
bigmck

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1
 
 

Glad things went well for you. Check back with us every once in a while and give us an update.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Feb 2017   #66
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Ok Judith glad everything is going ok now and as it happens my old workhorse Toshiba Satellite is a L550 but I have mine set up the way I said I preferred without all the Toshiba crapware

Now if ever you decide to experiment I would suggest get a SSD the ISO for the Windows you have and install it to see the difference in performance. You have the activation code so no problems.

Now I found this the other day about how to avoid those torrents of updates and this is the link Four steps to reduce the pain of Windows 7 installations using cumulative updates - Tech Pro Research
Have not tried it yet but seems to be a good option for when I have to clean install.

Don't forget this too Optimize Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Feb 2017   #67
Judiver

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Hi guys (no ladies here?),

I've not been back here a lot, I've been busy reinstalling stuff, scanning... I'll give you an update below.

First of all, sorry not to have mentioned you personally, Callender, when I said thanks. How unthoughtfull of me !

Well the Windows updates all went smoothly. No hick-ups, hourah ! It was long (especially the update to SP1, it run overnight), but as long as nothing goes wrong, I don't mind.

Bit by bit I've been reinstalling my programs and also part of my personal stuff. Then I realized that my most important excel file (complex, password protected too...) was not on my back-up. It's a long, and not important story to tell why that happened, what matters is that I didn't have it any more.

So I looked on the internet to find some (free) software to possibly retrieve it.
I first installed Recuva. It found my file, 7 copies of it (probably saves I made) but all corrupted (overwritten by a Windows system file). I tried to retrieve them anyway, but Excel won't open them (also not with the repair function).
Then I tried EaseUS, Recovermyfiles, Remo, DataNumen Excel Repair but none were able to retrieve my file to a workable state. Also, I read somewhere on the internet that if Recuva has a go with a file it becomes unuseable for other software to recover the file. Not sure if that is true, but that is not a very nice thing to do, not letting others have a try after your passage... You can imagine the time I spent waiting for all these scan to be done.... The EaseUS scan took hours and hours and I only found out afterwards that the trial can only scan but not recover.
Then I downloaded Office Regenerator, XLS Regenerator, but the trials only let you scan, not save the fragments they've found. And for 1 file (sic !) I'm not going to buy an expensive program, even if this one file is the most important excel file I have.

I do have partial a paper print of the file, but not of the rest of it. It will take a long time to remake the file from scratch and the info that wasn't printed will be gone forever. I kept the "recovered" corrupt files that the programs above were able to retrieve on a USB stick, and I have not installed any more of my stuff on to the computer to not overwrite more of my reformatted hard drive. So if any of you have an idea how I could still retrieve this file, it would be welcome... !

Uninstalling all of the above programs left me with remnants in the regkeys (EaseUS in Local Machine, and Dexcelr - DateNumenExcelRepair - in Users). Not sure how to eliminate those if I do not want to manually touch the regedit myself. Also, one of these programs installed CodeMeter (it possible was installed with EaseUS?). I was only able to get rid of it after reading lots of internet pages (not that easy..., if doesn't show in control panel/programs), but there too, there is still a remnant in my regedit (Wibu-Systems in local machine). So uncivilized to leave a mess behind your passage...

So I found Advanced System Care, with IObit-uninstaller, but that didn't fix the problem either. A seperate feature of ASC was Driver Booster 4. I installed that, it found a lot of "very old" drivers. I had it run and install updates. So wrong !!! My machine rebooted, it seemed OK/normal. Right after that I installed a Windows update, and when my machine rebooted my screen resolution was at 800x600 and I couldn't move it up to the normal 1600x900. So something must have gone wrong with the driver updates. My device manager showed a driver problem with the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5165 display adapter. I tried a system restore, but after logging in I got the error message 0x8007005.



Disabling Windows Security Essentials and Malwarebytes didn't help. Restore in safe mode didn't help either. So I disabled the anti-malware in startup. That did the trick. I hate anti-virus software, always problems with it ! It's like putting locks everywhere in your house, prison bars before your front door and an iron fence around your garden, and then all of a sudden you get a warning sign "do not walk on the grass" and another "restricted parking area", and having trespassed you find yourself locked-out of the house, or not able to change the wall paper in the living room, and the toilet remains forever occupied. And all of this whereas you're all by yourself, in no company at all, so in no suspicious company, no intrusion... This time it just took over my pc, withdrawing the permission to execute a system restore on MY computer. I hate anti-malware software.... Working on a pc with anti-malware software means you're busy keeping it happy all day long, restrictions everywhere, and slow startup .

Well you can imagine the first thing I did was getting rid of Driver Booster 4. My "very old" drivers are better than their new crap, all works just fine with them (well... I did install the latest Intel MEI driver manually as my Events log gave a warning for Local Manageability Service). From here: Download Intel(R) ME: Management Engine Driver for Intel 5 Series Chipset-Based Desktop Boards.

So now hours later I can finally move ahead...

Oh uh yes, 5 times already I was asked to install Chrome when installing a program, the 6th I overlooked it. I uninstalled it immediately, and as uninstall via control panel alone doesn't eliminate all of it (I know this by experience, it's another one of these programs that leaves behind its eyes, trackers and dirt) I used IObit-uninstaller. It is just almost impossible to not get infected with this browser. It's like a da... virus .

I forgot, my Toshiba reinstall came with a trial for Office Suite (that's 2007). So I activated it with my key and I can use those programs. But I used to have MS Office 2010 Pro Plus as well. The files are zipped on a CD-ROM. Belarc gave the key. But my first attempt to install Office 2010 Pro on my pc again from these files failed and downloading from the MS website asked for the key and it didn't accept mine. I have to dig into this a bit further to see what error messages I get. I left it alone because this missing excel file got my priority.

Icit2lol, I'll have a look at that Windows 7 optimization, but I'm not going to invest in a SSD. Indeed Toshiba installed a bunch of Toshiba stuff and I do not know if it is useful or not. I have the iso still on a bootable USB-stick, and also the file on my pc. And, to react to Callender's comment, I do intend to look into how to make system image back ups. I first want my pc to the state where I have all my stuff back on it (and I couldn't because I didn't want to overwrite even more old data if there is a possibility to retrieve my excel file).

Well that's it. So except for my own stupid mistake of not having a back up of 1 excel file, which let to hours of wasted scan time and uninstall, remnants in my registry and then system restore problems, there were no hick-ups (a part from reinstalling Office 2010, but I haven't explored that problem enough yet).

Judith


Attached Images
windows explorer has stopped working-system-restore-did-not-complete-successfully-windows-vista-7.jpg 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Feb 2017   #68
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Wow Judith this must be close to a record post

Yep I agree with what you say about AV's but trouble is they are a necessary evil though I have to say the Kaspersky I have used over the last six years has not been much of a problem and it is regularly close or at the top of the AV Comparatives ratings - plus it is cheap as well - my maths tells me it costs me about $0.035 a day per machine and to me that is just about free. Not that I am saying you get it but more of how good I think it is. Having said that I do run MBAM and SAS free regularly but they only pick up adware on the whole.

The Iobit software is something I will never have on my machines following my experiences of some years back when it resulted in me having to clean install my machines to get rid of it but that is before I found how to delete the registry entries to make absolutely sure it was gone. But the choice is yours of course to use whatever you like.

Now the Recuva software is really good and there are others available if you want to try them as well as the ones you already have. See this 19 Free Data Recovery Software Tools (February 2017)
I have used some of these in the past and some I haven't I would myself try the mini tools software some way down the listing in there as I do like their software particularly the Partition Wizard.

There are the paid for ones like these The Best Data Recovery Software of 2017 | Top Ten Reviews but in my mind the free ones are probably the best bet unless you want to try one of the paid fors. I suppose if I were absolutely desperate I would buy one of those programs but it woud have t be in despartion.
Having said that I save my data not only on images for each machine but they also have a lot of the exact same data on each of them - that enables me to pick say pictures or little ditties I write up when working on any single machine.
Yes I am OCD mad but it does mean I am relatively safe.
John
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Feb 2017   #69
bigmck

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1
 
 

When you get your PC like you want it, you need to install Macrium Reflect. This makes an image of your HDD. The next time there is a problem, you just take about 15 minutes install the image and you are back the way you were before. No more problems like you just had. I have it set to automatically make an image every Saturday night while I sleep. That way the image is never more than a week old. You need to put the image on a separate HDD from what your Windows is on. You can get the free file here.
Macrium Reflect Free
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Feb 2017   #70
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Yep I think Macrium has been mentioned earlier but Mack's explanation is really a very good easy to follow post.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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