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Windows 7: Can't figure out how to do a Repair (Upgrade) install

29 Nov 2017   #11
GMX

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Thanks for the advice Art. I don't know what the issue is. I've tried various approaches to get Windows 7 to boot normally:

DOS repair commands (FIXMBR, CHKDSK and SCANNOW both with various attributes)
startup repair
system restore
repair/upgrade install

None of these approaches has worked. Any of these approaches should work but each approach comes back with an error. When I started this process, I had around 19 restore points. Now I have only one restore point - and it might be after Windows 7 stopped booting.

I've spent over a week trying to fix Windows 7. I am very, very frustrated. I guess I'll try the BSOD forum and see if I can get some help fixing the BSOD stop code causing Windows 7 to reboot. However, as any of the above approaches would likely be easier, I am open to any suggestions or other approaches anyone here has (other than a full reinstall or switching to Windows 10- I really don't want to reinstall software). Also, I don't have a image of the hard drive. Stupid of me I know. I've never had System Restore using restore points fail - until now.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
29 Nov 2017   #12
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

Boot from the installation disk, go to Repair and launch a CMD window.
Check your disk. Type:
chkdsk c: /f

If it doesn't find any bad block or bad clusters, do a system file check. Type:
sfc /scannow
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2017   #13
GMX

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Megahertz07 View Post
Boot from the installation disk, go to Repair and launch a CMD window.
Check your disk. Type:
chkdsk c: /f

If it doesn't find any bad block or bad clusters, do a system file check. Type:
sfc /scannow
Appreciate the help. I've been at trying to get Windows 7 to boot without any success for over a week now.

I've tried chkdsk with /f, /f/r and finally /f/r/x switches (to unmounts the volume as I kept getting warning messages about accessing the volume). Chkdsk has always completed and hasn't shown any errors on any of its 5 stages for c: drive - except a 'failed to transfer logged messages to the event log with status 50' message at the end. However, while chkdsk took about 10 minutes to complete when Windows 7 was previously running normally, chkdsk now takes around 3 hours to finish. I ran a HDTune health test to test the hard drive and that program didn't find any errors.

As for sfc, I only got sfc /scannow to run properly once (several days ago) and it said something like the security descriptors were fine. Since then whenever I run sfc /scannow (run as administrator) I get various Windows Resource Protection cannot perform the requested operation (or repair) messages. I've tried /offbootdir and /offwindir switches and that doesn't work either. I've seen other posts here and there that a successful chkdsk should fix Windows Resource Protection errors - but it didn't help.

If you (or anyone else reading this post) have any ideas on how to get Windows 7 to boot I welcome the suggestions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

29 Nov 2017   #14
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709 Windows 7 Pro/64
 
 

From post #1

Quote:
All I have is the Windows 7 Ultimate (64 bit) Upgrade DVD, though someone provided me a link to a full Windows 7 Ultimate iso as well (which was a very nice gesture).
To the best of my memory their is no upgrade. If you want Windows 7 Ultimate you have to buy Windows 7 Ultimate. It will be very difficult to find a legal Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate with proper matching COA key.

Using this tutorial.

Repair Install - Windows 7 Help Forums



Quote:
Information
This will show you how to do a repair install (aka: in-place upgrade install) to fix your currently installed Windows 7 and preserve your user accounts, data, programs, and system drivers.
For some reason the words 'upgrade install' are their. Their is no upgrade.
It repairs the operating system you already have installed. It will not upgrade you to a different operating system.

Example:

If you have Windows 7 Home Premium it will repair your Windows 7 Home Premium.
It will NOT upgrade your system to Windows 7 Ultimate.


Jack
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Nov 2017   #15
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

I have a Win 7 HP upgrade disk that at the time I bought was to upgrade from Win XP or Vista to Win 7 HP.
To do a clean install you must have a C:\windows folder, so on a clean disk you have two options:
- Format the disk and create a C:\windows folder
- Install it twice (fist will be as trial and the second (as it finds a C:\windows folder) the final.

Then I downloaded from M$ a Win 7 HP - SP1 ISO and now I can do a Clean install using the original upgrade key.

As check disk is taking hours to perform a test that normally takes minutes, I would say that the disk has some kind of problems.
My suggestion is to buy a small SSD (128G) and do a clean install. Then format the HDD and use it for data.
Follow Kari tutorial to move C:\users to D:\Users. If you decide to do it, I can guide you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Nov 2017   #16
larryccf

windows 7 ultimate 64bit
 
 

Layback Bear, i have to disagree - i'm having the exact issue the OP has, and also have a retail copy of win 7 ultimate x64 upgrade (still have the receipt from microsoft and that's how MS described it)

out of frustration, while trying the upgrade option i would get the same incompatibility msg the OP got, i went ahead with the "Custom" installation option - and thought i'd be smart, when it opened a window listing the different disks to select as the installation target - so i selected a spare SSD in my computer that i'd just wiped 3X, and formatted. It installed the boot files and program files and program files, program files (x86) and programData to the disk i had selected, then went and installed the balance to the OS disk's C drive. If i removed the spare disk, system would not boot, if i re-install it, it would boot, and the bottom of the log-in screen shows "Windows 7 Ultimate", where when i boot off my clone drive, it shows Windows Home Premium

and even odder, while i had selected "Custom", it apparently left a lot of data on the drive - where it had wiped programs i had installed, when i re-installed them, like Quickbooks, i found company files from the previous installation suddenly surfaced. My only issue is i don't want the OS spread across two different SSDs.

my whole purpose for the Ultimate Upgrade disk, which like the OP i had on the shelf from 2011, was to gain access to the additional Ram i installed - Home premium apparently limits me to 16GB, but this Ultimate upgrade did give me access to all my 32 GB of ram



Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Layback Bear View Post
From post #1

To the best of my memory their is no upgrade. If you want Windows 7 Ultimate you have to buy Windows 7 Ultimate. It will be very difficult to find a legal Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate with proper matching COA key.

Using this tutorial.

Repair Install - Windows 7 Help Forums



For some reason the words 'upgrade install' are their. Their is no upgrade.
It repairs the operating system you already have installed. It will not upgrade you to a different operating system.

Example:

If you have Windows 7 Home Premium it will repair your Windows 7 Home Premium.
It will NOT upgrade your system to Windows 7 Ultimate.


Jack
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Nov 2017   #17
GMX

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Layback Bear - I'm only trying to repair Windows 7. My copy of Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit Upgrade is legal (bought at Best Buy). My HP computer shipped with Windows 7 Home Premium (so it's legal), then I went out and bought Windows 7 Ultimate and upgraded when I needed some additional features. Per the Repair Install tutorial:

•You can use a retail (full or upgrade) Windows 7 installation disc to do a repair install with.
•If you have a 64-bit (x64) Windows 7 currently installed, then you must use a 64-bit Windows 7 installation disc to be able to do a repair install with.
•You canonly do a repair install from within Windows 7.
•You cannot do a repair install at boot or in Safe Mode.
•You must be logged into Windows 7 in a administrator account to be able to do a repairinstall.

I guess my issue is "You cannot do a repair install at boot or in Safe Mode." How am I supposed to do a repair if Windows 7 won't boot? Also that tutorial doesn't mention the comp ability messages I get about booting from either an Installation disc or Upgrade disc (depending if I boot from a Full ISO or Upgrade DVD, respectively).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Nov 2017   #18
GMX

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Megahertz07 View Post
To do a clean install you must have a C:\windows folder, so on a clean disk you have two options:
- Format the disk and create a C:\windows folder
- Install it twice (fist will be as trial and the second (as it finds a C:\windows folder) the final.

Then I downloaded from M$ a Win 7 HP - SP1 ISO and now I can do a Clean install using the original upgrade key.

As check disk is taking hours to perform a test that normally takes minutes, I would say that the disk has some kind of problems.
My suggestion is to buy a small SSD (128G) and do a clean install. Then format the HDD and use it for data.
Follow Kari tutorial to move C:\users to D:\Users. If you decide to do it, I can guide you.
This is probably the route that I'll take if I can't get the existing copy of Windows 7 repaired soon. I've been trying for over a week now to get Windows 7 to boot. I see a lot of posters who have similar problems who just do a full reinstall of Windows 7. I just like how my current setup is and would prefer not to reinstall Windows. Also, what I'm also terrified of with a reinstall is Windows 7 not finding any Windows 7 version and not working (since all I have is the Upgrade DVD and the HP OEM Windows 7 Home Premium is only on a Recovery partition and I'm totally unfamiliar with HP's various recovery options). In a worst case scenario I would have a blank hard drive with no working copy of Windows 7.

I've checked the hard drive's health with HDTune and it passed. My guess is that chkdsk is so slow because some Windows files are corrupted or missing. Just a guess. As such, sfc /scannow won't run due to Windows Resource Protection protecting Windows.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Nov 2017   #19
GMX

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Just to hopefully clearly illustrate where I am now after a week of trying to repair Windows 7 so perhaps someone might have ideas of how to proceed. Apologize if I'm repetitive from earlier postings or this post it too long. I just thought some details might help.

I have 2 drives: c: internal drive which is the only drive I was using before now and d: an external drive where I backed up both Windows folders (after Windows failed to boot on c: drive) and important data fearing that the c: drive might fail or Windows become completely corrupted.

c: An internal hard drive has a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit (but apparently it's missing a lot of files and is probably corrupt because the c:\windows folder size is much smaller than the copy I have on the external d: drive copy I archived.

d: An external hard drive also has the first (though likely corrupted) copy of Windows 7 via copying a folder I created called c:/Windows Old (per SIW2's instruction in post # 2) from the c: drive. I tried booting from this drive (instead of c: drive) and received a winload.exe corrupted ormissing error (which I can't repair because I can't get Windows 7 to boot in any way). Using this external backup, in addition to the 5 folder SIW2 mentioned in post # 2 (Windows, 3 Program folders and Users), I also copied some of my most important data to this folder as a backup.

So both hard drives apparently have corrupt copies of Windows 7 that need repair. Windows 7 finds both copies (c:\Windows and d:\Windows Old drive) copies of Windows - it's just that neither copy boots. All the restore points I originally had are now gone (not that it matters since I couldn't get System Restore to complete and Startup Repair also failed). chkdsk /f/r/x works - but it takes about 3 hours and show no errors other than the log file can't be written. sfc /scannow won't complete due to Windows Resource Protection errors. I also tried an offline sfc/ (via /offbootdir and /offwindir attributes) and that method wouldn't work either.

I can boot WinPE from a flash drive to that version of Windows (useful instead of typing DOS commands). I've tried a repair install via various ways (Upgrade DVD and from c:, d:, and a flash drive - all with a full Windows 7 Ultimate copy from an iso). Every method gives a compatibility message about booting from either an Upgrade disc or Installation disc. Even if I boot from WinPE I get this message. I ran HDTune and on the health of the internal c: drive and it passed.

Somewhere I'm doing something wrong or missing something. I just haven't figured out where I'm messing up.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Nov 2017   #20
larryccf

windows 7 ultimate 64bit
 
 

don't know if this helps you, but a poster in another forum (and my brain is so addled from reading threads, i don't recall where) but he had a similiar issue just installing Win 7 Home, and reported he'd found the incompativblity issue stemmed from a windows update, iirc KB3133997 - i'm 97% sure that is the number, only because i spent 30+ minutes scanning all my system's updates looking for it in my system. It wasn't there

Then on a microsoft support forum ( Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor - Microsoft Community ) the moderator listed steps of what to dis-able in msconfig to try to resolve that incompatible system error. I tried it, and no luv
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Can't figure out how to do a Repair (Upgrade) install




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