Reformatting: No valid windows installation disc can be detected

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help and Support' started by Nekorin, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. Nekorin

    Nekorin New Member

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    My computer ended up with the malicious toolbar iminent. After multiple attempts to remove it I decided to reformat the computer, since my last backup is mercifully recent. However, when I attempted to run a repair disc, but in the middle of this I received the message in the thread's title. What's wrong? Is the repair disc something other than the disc I need?

    While writing this via my phone I'm currently trying an alternative of restoring my computer from a system image on my backup drive, I don't know if that will solve the problem. But even if it does, I think I should still try to find out what went wrong here for when something goes wrong in the future.

    my computer is a Sony vaoi with windows7.
     
  2. patcooke

    patcooke Microsoft MVP
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    There are some expressions currently in use which are often interchanged and cause some confusion. Such expressions include restore, repair, install, recover and others. The term backup can also be interpreted in a number of ways as the backup may comprise a complete system image or a collection of files copies to back up user data. If you have a recent full system image then that would recover your system for you including all installed apps and any user data stored on the drive (provided that the backup is a full system image). Alternatively you may run a full system recovery, typically by booting into a recovery partition on your drive but this will remove any installed apps and user data. Any important user data should be backed up before running a full reccovery. The thirs alternative would be to reinstall the system from and installation disk with the same proviso about securing any user data first.
     
  3. Nekorin

    Nekorin New Member

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    In this case it appears fortunate that I failed; restoring from the system image on my backup drive solved the problem completely, and with a lot less trouble than a reformat would have been...

    But I still wonder why the disc I inserted wouldn't aid in my reformat? I looked at it beforehand and it was named "windows 7 64-bit" and there was a folder on it that said "boot"

    Is it not the right thing for reformatting? Is it different than the install disc you mentioned? (I think it's the disc I was prompted to create when the computer was new, the computer itself did not initially come with a disc...)
     
  4. patcooke

    patcooke Microsoft MVP
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    Glad to hear that - demonstrates the value of making regular backup system images. Your last sentence explained things - the disk you have is the recovery disk which is an image from which the pc should be able to boot to restore the pc back to factory settings. Did you try to boot from that disk? This would require that you had set the bios to boot first from the optical drive.
     
  5. Nekorin

    Nekorin New Member

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    I'm also glad that I can now confront this problem in a relaxed way since my computer is currently healthy.

    What I attempted to do was to reformat by reinstalling windows7 via the control panel. Recovery> advanced recovery methods > reinstall windows. It then prompted me to insert the disc, but then gave me the message that a valid disc was not detected.

    so I'm thinking

    A.) something is wrong with the computer (or was during the virus incident, though I'd be surprised if a malicious toolbar would have caused this particular problem) which caused it not to accept the disc.
    B.) something is wrong with the disc, though I think I've used it before...
    C.) there's a gap in my computer literacy, the disc has another function, and I need to get another for reformatting...

    I'm not sure though, all of these explanations seem somehow strange...
     
  6. patcooke

    patcooke Microsoft MVP
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    The problem comes down to the difference between two ways of getting an operating system onto the the system drive. Installation and Recovery - two procedures which result in the same end but by entirely different proceses. The primary mechanism is to install an op sys from a Microsoft installation disk - this involves executing an installation program which will identify the components of the system to which it is being installed and will configure the installation accordingly. The second way is to have a complete image of a previously installed system and just recover that image to the system drive. The image will have been made from a previously installed system and will have all the components configured for the system to which it was initially installed. This is called a system recovery and is valid only for images which were created for the system onto which it is being recovered.
     
  7. Nekorin

    Nekorin New Member

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    So can you reformat via the recovery method as well after virus damage? How would you go about that? That should satisfy my problem.
     
  8. patcooke

    patcooke Microsoft MVP
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    Depends on how the provider has configures the recovery disks - it may or may not include an option to reformat but the difference is rather academic as the recovery process itself will completely overwrite the contents of the system drive and that would resolve all but the most virulent of problems. In the case of a very severe malware attack it may be necessary to go for a forensic wiping of the disk to eleiminate malware stashed in boot sectors, hidden sectors etc.

    You could independently format the system drive before booting into the recovery process but as in all such activities care must be taken to back up all critical data and also ensure that recovery disks have been burned to secure the recovery process in case of accidental overwriting of the rcovery partition.
     
  9. Nekorin

    Nekorin New Member

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    Sorry I've been away so long, it has been quite the week... It's just that I still don't quite understand why the process I used to reformat didn't work, why it didn't accept the disc..."This would require that you had set the bios to boot first from the optical drive."I don't understand this sentence... Is this the method I should have used to reformat with the disc I have?Now that the crisis has passed, I'm wondering if there's a way to test whether this process works, without actually reformatting...
     
  10. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    As Pat indicates, OEMs have varied ways to recover their systems. Those do not normally require Windows 7 installation media, because that is on the drive already in some type of recovery partition.

    But is seems we have not yet determined exactly what type of media you are using. A Windows 7 Install DVD, in Computer, will show properties of around 3.4 GB and possibly have a Volume Name of "GRMCULXFRER_EN_DVD". A Window 7 Repair CD will show around 190 MB.

    You cannot use the Repair CD when the Install DVD is required, as in your described situation. It is meant only to put you in the Windows Recovery Environment, but not meant to re-install. It basically does the same thing as the F8 key during boot.
     
  11. Nekorin

    Nekorin New Member

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    So the install DVD is what is needed for a reformat? Is that something I can make, or is there somewhere I can purchase it?I just checked the cd I was using, it is a repair CD, with 157 MB.
     
  12. Joe S

    Joe S Excellent Member

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  13. Nekorin

    Nekorin New Member

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    Looks like I'll need to get another DVD-R for that, huh? Thank you for getting that link for me, I think it answers my question...
     
  14. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    Before we go any further, could you explain exactly what you mean by "reformatting"?

    Do you want to clean the drive and start over, or reformat some partitions, or ..?
     
  15. Nekorin

    Nekorin New Member

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    The latter, I'm talking about what to do in the instance of a virus that can't be removed.
     

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