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Windows 7: Newest updates have monkeyed with activation

10 Feb 2011   #1
WifflePerson

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 
Newest updates have monkeyed with activation

I updated my OS (Windows 7 Professional 64-bit) with what might have been a few months' worth of updates (41 total), and upon restart, my OS would not boot. It froze at the boot menu with a message regarding hardware or software changes that may have been preventing startup. I used my disc to attempt to repair the installation, to no avail. Upon a second attempt, I focused on fixing startup issues, and upon restart, my computer booted into the OS on my secondary hard drive, which contains a long-invalid Release Candidate of Windows 7 Ultimate. At first, it wouldn't detect my primary hard drive in the Computer HD population, but I've since resolved that. Nonetheless, I can't manage to get my computer to boot into Professional via my primary hard drive. I've tried re-ordering the boot sequence in the BIOS, to no avail.

It might be worth mentioning that when I did get my computer to boot, I had to go through a whole reactivation rigamarole, where Windows tried to validate my install, claiming that my installation may have been pirated. It sat for about 45 minutes on a never-ending progress loop before I gave up, and I cannot recreate that now. I have no idea if it had booted into Professional, or into the old Ultimate on the second drive, so I don't know which it was trying to validate. I am sorry for this long tale of woe, but any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

Wiffle


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Feb 2011   #2
Bill2

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86
 
 

There seem to be 2 separate issues here. One is that you cant boot to your primary hd and two, windows thinks its pirated. One approach can be that you disconnect the secondary, now boot from the win7 dvd and run startup repair first- do it 3-4 times. If that doesnt work, run sfc scan in offline mode.

How to Run the System File Checker (Sfc.exe) Offline in Windows 7 and Vista - The Winhelponline Blog

If still no go, try rebuilding the bcd manually. Heres a walkthrough.

Get the Recovery Console back in Windows 7

You can also try repairing the mbr with the bootsect command, as described here.

MBR - Restore Windows 7 Master Boot Record

Once this problem is solved, we'll work on the activation issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Feb 2011   #3
WifflePerson

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

Bill,

When I enter the recovery environment via the Windows DVD, I click on repair; but the problem is, no operating system is showing up in the box. It says I can install drivers, but these hard drives don't have drivers, or at least they're simply included on the operating system (this according to Western Digital's website). Since I can't select my Windows 7 drive, I have no way of running a targeted startup repair. I've tried all the methods I can find of repairing the Master Boot Record, but nothing has worked so far. Again, in 'My Computer' (or its Windows 7 equivalent), I see my Windows 7 drive; but it won't appear in the recovery environment. If I could get the RE to see my Windows 7 OS, I have a feeling this will get resolved, but I have no way of knowing how to do that. Thanks very much for your help!

Wiffle
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

11 Feb 2011   #4
WifflePerson

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

Ho-kay,

So, in disk management (within my old Windows Ultimate setup), my drive letters have definitely changed. Furthermore, my old drive--the one with Ultimate, i.e. the one I don't want to boot to--has somehow become my system/boot/active/crashdump drive. I don't know whether this is the cause of my problem, or merely a symptom. Is there a good way to give my Windows Professional drive it's richly deserved status as the boot/system etc. drive?

I suspect I will have to delete the boot folder from the evil drive and re-create a boot folder and bcd file on the good drive. Does this make sense? I would like to accomplish this without losing oodles of important data on my drives. If I can't accomplish this, I'll simply re-install Professional on my good drive, formatting be damned. However, I would like to avoid this, and anyway, this is good experience. Thanks again for any advice you can give.

Wiffle
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Feb 2011   #5
WifflePerson

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 
[Solved!]

I have no bloody idea how I solved this problem. When I got home from work, I booted the computer, and got the probably infamous "missing bootmgr" (or some such) message, which I hadn't gotten before, so I booted using the Windows DVD, and this time when I clicked on "Repair..." the system said something like "searching for Windows installations." I could see right away that it actually found both my Windows installs (Professional and the long-expired Ultimate release candidate). In other words, it actually found both my drives. It told me right away that there was something wrong with the startup files, and kindly offered to fix them for me. After accepting its generous offer, it went through a mysterious process and rebooted. I made sure to reboot it into the Windows DVD again, and this time both of my drives were there again, so I selected the Professional drive (which now said "recovered" rather than either not appearing or saying "recovery." I ran the startup repair again, just for good measure, and repeated the process up to the recovery environment. This time, it gave me some info regarding recently added peripherals (there weren't any, incidentally), so I just restarted the computer normally. Lo and behold, I am typing this from my Windows Professional environment. The problem seems to be fixed.

I have no idea what I might have done to gain this mercy. I messed around with the BCD editor a lot, to no apparent avail; but apparently I did something right. I wish I could tell you what it was. In any case, problem solved. Thanks again for the help. You put me on the right track for something, even if I don't know what it was.

Wiffle
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Feb 2011   #6
Bill2

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86
 
 

Good its sorted. I suggest you get rid of that RC and use the evil drive for good purposes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Newest updates have monkeyed with activation




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