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Windows 7: Repair Install - thoughts on RAM and Recovery Partition

27 Aug 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Not So Premium 64 bit SP1
Repair Install - thoughts on RAM and Recovery Partition


August 9th Windows Update fail (during the reboot to install updates the machine hangs) All the painful details can be read here: August Windows Update corrupts dlls/netframe?

Startup Repair does not fix
System Restore rolls back to 'current' and all, about a dozen restore points, also fail

Nothing works, so I go to sleep. Then the PC the next morning boots up fine. All users are gone but my personal admin, software works fine, but cannot install failed updates.

Follow all MS Support suggestions on MS site. The only news from all of that is permissions are messed up so I need to enable the hidden admin and sfc /scannow finds 5 corrupt dlls it cannot fix.

Work with MS support, well onto second tier, no help.
Work with Seven Forums and nothing intalls those dang updates.

Always Error 8000FFFF and sometimes Code 643.

Try to do repair install twice, gets to 100%, says cannot complete, rolls back

This is a Dell XPS 8300, 8 weeks old, W7 Home premium, SP1 64 bit that runs vital business software, never on the internet disconnected by cable, except for windows update, when I see they have come to my other machine.

But just in case I have run the full array of security checks with the assitance of a Kasperky Analyst. Kaspersky IS 2011, KIS Virus Removal Tool, Malwarebytes, Superantispyware, VipreRescue, all come up clean.


I have read everything I can find on repair installs, here, at MS and everthing that google can feed me.

ALL data is triple backed up, second HD, flash or CD BU for the super important files and all data at Carbonite. This is not about data but about saving some programs that run my business that are very difficult to reactivate after you reinstall because the vendor has new products they want me to buy that are less appropriate for my business at infinity times the price (paid for versus $1200 subscription fee and forever, $50 a month)
  1. ANY oddball tips that could be important I may have read but not absorbed, not come accross or are 'once in a blue moon' things, would be greatly appreciated. If it only appears on one line in a thread then I missed it, between the PC, the earthquake center being 25 miles from here and now a friggin hurricane, I might have read it but not remember it, so again ANY ODDBALL TIPS please.
  2. I do a clean boot, disconnect all unnecessary devices (really just the printer). My RAM question, , I reseated the RAM between try one and two, but both times I did leave all RAM in. All diagnostics show no issues but I get conflicting answers as to the value of removing 2 or 3 of the 4. Some says if it tests out, does not matter, some say remove 2 of 4 RAM others say 3 of 4. What say you?
  3. There are 3 partitions, all healthy, the 39mb Dell in position one, recovery in 2 and the C: OS in the third, nothing unallocated. Some advise to delete RECOVERY, if this fails I don't need RECOVERY as I will need a clean install. Some say this partition is occasionally the problem. What say you? Leave RECOVERY PARTITION, delete it or move it to the right of C: OS?
  4. The MS second tier said there was no possibility a 100% install fail would be because of a Master Boot Record Format Error, but if dlls are corrupted, I say it is (but with nothing to back it except that anything can go wrong in a PC) Is there any downside to creating a new partition for the install? (The clean command works but did it really?)
I have found the group here to provide excellent advice, better than the MS W7 forum, so don't think anything no matter how small will insult me. If you can think of any reason a 100% install would fail, even a remote one, sock it to me.

Thank you!

The obligatory reminder of details

OS Name Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
Version 6.1.7601 Service Pack 1 Build 7601
Other OS Description Not Available
OS Manufacturer Microsoft Corporation
System Manufacturer Dell Inc.
System Model XPS 8300
System Type x64-based PC
Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-2300 CPU @ 2.80GHz, 2801 Mhz, 4 Core(s), 4 Logical Processor(s)
BIOS Version/Date Dell Inc. A03, 2/15/2011
SMBIOS Version 2.6
Windows Directory C:\Windows
System Directory C:\Windows\system32
Boot Device \Device\HarddiskVolume2
Locale United States
Hardware Abstraction Layer Version = "6.1.7601.17514"
User Name CrossroadsInn\CRI Office
Time Zone Eastern Daylight Time
Installed Physical Memory (RAM) 6.00 GB
Total Physical Memory 5.85 GB
Available Physical Memory 4.17 GB
Total Virtual Memory 14.6 GB
Available Virtual Memory 13.0 GB
Page File Space 8.79 GB
Page File C:\pagefile.sys

My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Aug 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 x64

Since you have so many backups of your data I think it's about time you did a complete wipe and fresh install.
Whatever has gone wrong is apparently so embedded into the current install that not even a repair attempt can help.
I don't think you are going to save yourself from having to take this route.
1 - SSD / HDD : Optimize for Windows Reinstallation

2 - Clean Install Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Aug 2011   #3
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

Also have a look through the information in this tutorial at the link below for some additional ideas and be sure to post back with any further questions you may have and to keep us informed.

Windows 7 Installation Errors : Troubleshoot Step by Step

My System SpecsSystem Spec

27 Aug 2011   #4
Microsoft MVP


Have you tried running as Hidden Admin to see if it overcomes the permissioning issues, or creating a new Admin account to test if it helps then transfer everything to it if it does?

Are you using Windows update email Support for the problem updates?

Are you using an installer with SP1 (not slipstreamed) to do the Repair Install, or are you uninstalling SP1 to try Repair Install if not?

Are these Updates you can do without? If so, are there any other performance issues?

What I would do if these issues cannot be resolved and it affects performance is clean reinstall following these steps to get a perfect clean reinstall of factory OEM: Reinstalling Windows 7

Then save a backup image after it's set up and running perfectly with software activated. Save this baseline image to fall back on instead of reinstalls in the future.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Aug 2011   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Have you tried running as Hidden Admin to see if it overcomes the permissioning issues, or creating a new Admin account to test if it helps then transfer everything to it if it does?
Try the above first.

information   Information
We always assume you have made your Recovery Disks using the OEM manufacturer's app the first day you had your new PC.
& made the Startup Repair CD.

How to use Dell Recovery Partition,make Recovery Disks & how to order Recovery Disks.
Dell - Support
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Aug 2011   #6

Windows 7 Home Not So Premium 64 bit SP1

Thank you Maguscreed, Bare Foot Kid, gregrocker and theog.

Everything works fine, except I cannot install any Windows Update using any method suggested by the MS Support staff. I am on the third analyst at Microsoft, four if you count the first level 'knows less than you do' person.

So I don't want to clean when the business is up and running but....for how long? Eventually my business software, or anti virus or other program will say, "you need WU KBxxxxxx" and I won't be able to do it.

Third Party Install fine Existing and new Run Fine

MS I have not installed any new MS software, but Office works fine as does every other MS software except Windows Media Maker (and I don't use it)

Updates - all dead with 8000FFFF and sometimes Code 643

The bottom line is that this PC only runs a business software that is almost 75 gb, takes over a week to install, is no longer cared about by the Vendor and so get the activation key is a pain. You are required to fly to their offices and attend a full day of sales pitch about the 'new and improved' (ie. more expensive) software before they will give you a key to activate the older version for a $1200 one-time fee that I will be paying for the third time. But the new version is $1200 annually plus $50 a month.

Fact is, the free "lifetime software support" in the contract was great until the next big release came out, then poof.

So I have to try in this economy to save the money if possible.

I'm frugal but not cheap, but this morning I fell over at the contractors estimate to fix the earthquake foundation cracks in my buildings at $14,200, I gotta try dillegently to repair first before I give more money to da man.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Aug 2011   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


One more Try with this:
Windows Update - Reset
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Aug 2011   #8
Microsoft MVP


Please reply to each step given so far so we know what to suggest next.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Aug 2011   #9

Windows 7 Home Not So Premium 64 bit SP1

Oh my, gregrocker you know not what you ask for.

The rain is beating on my window so I will post a condensed log of the last 18 days tomorrow, or when the god of power returns, if he abandons me tonight.

I am 52, but I started in IT in 1978 on punch cards (planes still land around the world with 137 live lines of my code in the air traffic control process) and later ran a SQA department for the German government and spent time in the 90's running SQA for a multibillion dollar retailer. So by experience (and being an oldtimer) I do have meticulous records here on my desk.

The bad part is that I was worried about keeping my assurance log electronically for the first time ever and sadly, they are on paper. For the most part only the logs (CBS, persists, sfcedit, etc) are electroninc.

So what I will do is condense what has transpired electronically get back here as soon as possible. And someone will see what I have forgotten and all will be fixed. I love when I am stupid and the answer is simple.

Thank you also, theog, I have worked with email MS Support then two levels of phone support and an amazing gentleman named Richard (niemiro) here at 7F but reading the link you sent, I am not sure reregistering the BITS files has ever been done, though renaming SoftwareDistribution and the rest of the WU reset has been. With my knowledge limits I can't see how it would help, but there are standard fixes I have not tried and you pulled one out for me.

Hope all is sunny and there is no rain and wind where ever you all are, but I see Noah is coming down our valley with the ark, gotta go.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Aug 2011   #10

Windows 7 Home Not So Premium 64 bit SP1

August Windows Update corrupts dlls/netframe?

Turns out it that root permissions were messed up during Windows Update. The Security Analyst from Kasperky helping (an explanation would take too long) found that during the exact wrong instant, Intel Rapid Storage Utility has the wrong things in limbo and that is what started the 8000FFFF errors inWU but left almost everything else intact. You can read Sergey's last note in the thread above.

Hopefully this will be the path to redemption. I will get Richard to help me set my root permissions back to let all users have the right to 'Read' and he thinks that will fix it and if not complete at least make a repair install do the rest.

Keep you fingers crossed and thanks to all of you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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