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Heavily corrupted Windows 7 install - running out of repair options


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#1 Cyber Akuma

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 06:08

I have an old laptop running Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit whose harddrive got randomly corrupted sectors. It was so bad that most backup software kept failing to perform a backup, even though it could read it (though it seemed specific areas of the drive were damaged, rather than the entire drive or just randomly failing).

Anyway, after weeks I recovered about 95-98% of the data and rebuilt drive and it's partitions on a new drive using another PC. Unfortunately, many of the damaged files were system files, including a great deal of System32.

Now, I am well aware the system would not be bootable in this state, I tried using a Windows Home Premium 64 install disk to run the recovery applications, but none of them are working.

Startup Recovery (not that I was expecting it to) was unable to fix it.

I tried booting into the command prompt and running "SFC /SCANNOW /OFFBOOTDIR=E:\ /OFFWINDIR=E:\Windows" (E being the partition on the HDD the recovery console mounts it as) but after a few minutes I get the message "Windows Resource Protection could not start the repair service".

Anything I attempted to Google expects you to be on the Windows desktop itself, not running off of the boot/install disk, to fix this or other issues.

I am running out of ideas. I know I can reinstall Windows using the "upgrade" option (possibly) but as I said, it's an old laptop, so I am trying hard to avoid having to just re-install Windows, and thus risk the chance of it basically reinstalling as a clean slate and me having to hunt down several-year-old drivers, remember how it was configured and reinstall/reconfigure everything.... and I don't remember where I put the CD key for it as I bought Windows 7 for this thing the day it came out.

Any ideas?




#2 Tews

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 06:20

With the amount of corruption to your core system files, a clean install, may be your only option.   :( good luck.



#3 +goretsky

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 06:24

Hello,

 

Backup the machine, use a program like Nirsoft Produkey or Magic Jellybean Keyfinder to locate the product ID key, and then run manufacturer diagnostics against the disk to verify it is not failing, wipe it and reload the software.  This will be quicker and more reliable than trying to fix a system that is heavily corrupted.

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky



#4 +warwagon

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 20:12

As far as the drivers go what if you where to run a driver backup application which backs up all drivers.

 

or what if you backup the windows directory c:/windows/inf directory and system32 directory which will also include the drivers directory

 

then after install try pointing the hardware to the c:/windows/inf folder then as it looks for pieces of the drivers they are usually located in c:/windows/system32 or c:/windows/system32/drivers

 

---------

 

If your files are corrupted as in missing, you could always do a full reintsall on a spare drive then copy everything from the old drive to the new install.

 

From a bartpe or live CD copy everything from c:\ to the new drive. Then once everything comes over delete the profile in the user folder from the new install so all that is in there is the old one.

 

Thus bringing over the old profile all the applications and assuming the registry isn't corrupt bringing that over as well. The reinstall would have just provide the old install the missing system files.

 

Just make sure before you bring the old files over you get the the install as update, update wise as the old system was. So you don't have clashing versions of system files.

 

Then reboot and your old install should be back. I've done that a few times.



#5 bigmehdi

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 20:25

I would replace asap the hard drive. A dying  hard drive is not worth too much troubles.



#6 Bigkaye

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 20:32

http://answers.micro...2c-695b60477a93

 

Then, if that fails:

 

Note as many devices installed as possible. Vendors, names and versions. download the network drivers you need at this point somehow. If not possible, well...

 

Reinstall.

 

Prey that your network driver is part of the windows 7 install, or you remember what it is. After you are all up to date and have SP1 installed, go into device manager, find the Hardware ID field of all the devices with the triangle, and search google for that. right click on the top of the list and select copy. This should point you into the direction on who the hardware vendor is, and what driver it wants. Now seek out that vendor and get the driver. 

 

If you need windows 7 ISO images I'm pretty sure MS has them on their website available to download. If you need a key to install with, can't really help.



#7 Jason Stillion

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 20:43

Make sure the hard drive is not failing or the cause of the corruption. 



#8 +warwagon

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 20:52

As far as reinstalling and getting your ethernet to work you can make your self a driver pack soooo useful

 

http://www.neowin.ne...card-driver-cd/



#9 xendrome

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 20:52

I would replace asap the hard drive. A dying  hard drive is not worth too much troubles.

 

He already did, read the posts before you comment.

 

And I agree with others, a Fresh Load is what should have been done.



#10 Aheer.R.S.

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 20:56

I was going to suggest a reinstall, so I will and it's my idea :p

#11 ir0nw0lf

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 20:56

He got pretty much the same suggestions over on HardOCP.  Fresh load is what ultimately is the way to go, I think he's worried about finding older drivers.



#12 OP Cyber Akuma

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 09:23

First, let me clarify, I am not still using the dying harddrive. I already backed up what I could off of it and tried to rebuild the partition setup as best I could on a new drive. Sorry that I wasn't clearer on that.

 

And I care more about the configuration of the various software and sessions I had on the system than getting it running again perfectly, that is the main reason I tried to fix it. Which is why I am trying to avoid a reformat and reinstaqll scenario, as it would be pointless since the whole reason I am doing it is to recover it in the state it was previously in.



#13 +BudMan

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 10:04

"since the whole reason I am doing it is to recover it in the state it was previously in."

 

Why?  You have your data off the dying drive - just start new.  I don't understand what you could possible need exact state for?



#14 +warwagon

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 14:43

First, let me clarify, I am not still using the dying harddrive. I already backed up what I could off of it and tried to rebuild the partition setup as best I could on a new drive. Sorry that I wasn't clearer on that.

 

And I care more about the configuration of the various software and sessions I had on the system than getting it running again perfectly, that is the main reason I tried to fix it. Which is why I am trying to avoid a reformat and reinstaqll scenario, as it would be pointless since the whole reason I am doing it is to recover it in the state it was previously in.

 

Follow the last part of my instructions on post 4 ... that can be quite successfully. If you feel adventurous

 

I brought an old XP laptop back to life this way for the local water department that used that computer for important stuff and they no longer had their software and the company was gone. I had since made an image for them but i got the install and their applications working again using that method. It was a TOTAL hail marry!