Registry defragmentation killed Windows 7?

#1
Hi there.

I was using Windows 7 Professional for a few weeks (thanks MSDN Academic Alliance) and I have a huge problem since last week: I cannot boot on Windows 7 anymore after a registry defragmentation.

Explanation: I used Glary Utilities Registry Defragmentation to defragment my registry and it said it can defragment my registry up to 66%! Which was a huge value, so I said "ok, do it dude!", then it reboot the computer and performed the defragmentation (I guess, I wasn't in front of the computer...) then reboot again.

And from then, my computer doesn't want to boot anymore!
I arrive to a screen with only two options:
* Start windows normally
* Launch Startup repair (recommended)

If I start Windows normally, it automatically reboot again, and again...
If I start the Startup repair, it does not detect any Windows 7 installation!!!

Fortunately, I have a linux partition on the hard disk and can access to the data.
Everything is still there, my documents, my "Program Files", but I cannot boot anymore.

I tried the Installation Disc in Rescue mode, it doesn't detect the win7 installation neither.

Is there a way to restore the registry? Or any other way to fix the problem?



PS: Asus F3U laptop.
possible problematic softwares: Kaspersky Internet Security 2010 (active), Avira Anti-vir (inactive but still present).
 


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#2
I highly recommend that nobody uses registry cleaning / defrag tools for this exact reason. There are extremely small returns with a high probability of problems.

You could try running the Rescue mode again and running a chkdsk /r on the effected partition/drive. Otherwise unless you have backups of the hives, or can use a restore point you may be very limited for options.
 


#3
Thanks for your information.

I tried the "chkdsk /r" from the command line tool in the Rescue Mode but it didn't work as expected I think.
First, I had to unmount the drive just after launching "chkdsk /r" otherwise it cannot perform the check.

I can also tell to perform chkdsk at reboot, I tried, but it didn't work, the computer restarted after only a few seconds.
So I said "Yes, unmount the drive and perform the checks".
Then it took a very long time, and performed the check.

I rebooted again, and now it is just exactly the same...
I can "Start Windows normally" which restart the computer, or "Launch Startup Repair" which doesn't detect Win7.

Besides, now when I boot on Linux, it says the disk has bad sectors.
Link Removed due to 404 Error


Well, I still can access to all my files in the Win7 partition, but still cannot start windows...
 


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#4
Boot from the install disk
and select "Repair your computer" and under the "System Recovery Options" go to
the "Command Propmpt" and type and enter these three commands:
Bootrec.exe /FixMbr
Bootrec.exe /FixBoot
Bootrec.exe /RebuildBcd

Good luck.
 


reghakr

Essential Member
#5
I've used Registry Mechanic to find problems in the registry, then run the Compact your registry program.

This a paid app however.
 


#6
Boot from the install disk
and select "Repair your computer" and under the "System Recovery Options" go to
the "Command Propmpt" and type and enter these three commands:
Bootrec.exe /FixMbr
Bootrec.exe /FixBoot
Bootrec.exe /RebuildBcd

Good luck.
Thanks for your help.

I successfully ran "Bootrec.exe /FixMbr" but it fails from "Bootrec.exe /FixBoot".
Code:
X:/windows/system32# Bootrec.exe /FixMbr
The operation completed successfully.
Code:
X:/windows/system32# Bootrec.exe /FixBoot
The volume does not contain a recognized file system. 
Please make sure that all required file system drivers are loaded and that the volume is not corrupted.
If I make a "Bootrec.exe /ScanOS, it finds Windows 7 under D:/windows.
When I run "Bootrec.exe /RebuildBcd" it asks me to choose the desired OS, which is found (only one, the one on D:/windows), I select it (1) but then I got the same error message as /FixBoot: "The volume does not contain a recognized file system."

So finally after this operation, the MBR was fixed with... no OS!
I re-installed grub to load my linux installation and still can boot on my old win7 and my linux, but there is still the same problem on win7.
And an additional problem has been raised and persists on linux: "one disk is failing" (see previous message).

reghakr said:
I've used Registry Mechanic to find problems in the registry, then run the Compact your registry program.

This a paid app however.
This app is for Windows only, right? I am not able to boot on my Windows 7 OS...
Even if I can launch it on Linux, I don't think it will work as the Windows emulation on Linux has its own OS. It's not using the win7 installation registry.
Or is there a "bootable version" of this program? This would be very helpful.
 


#7
I have to assume that the defrag has messed up the file allociation table so bad that your system files can't run.... (or your hard drive has bad sectors) your options are pretty much limited to backing up any personal work files and just doing a new clean install. Even if the file allociation tables are ok there is another strong possibility that the partition tables are damaged. This is a strong case for what I advise everyone.. do not make partitions on a drive. With large hard drive prices under $50 it just doesn't make sense to risk getting into these problems and wasting hours and hours and even days trying to straighten it out.... and in the end you lose important data anyway. I have a 500 gb hd (paid $44 including shipping) that has a CLONE of my primary drive. Should anything fail I simply change my bios boot sequence to boot into the secondary cloned drive and I don't miss a beat. I suppose I learned this back when making/modifying partitions were even more risky than flashing my bios. There are programs that repair partitions but I'm not familiar with any of them and they probably need a working os to run on. If you want to test them for educational purposes I'm sure you know how to Google. Keep us informed. Good luck.
 


#8
I see, thank you for your information.

Actually, the problem is that I'm using a laptop, so the possibilities of HD extensions are quite limited...
That's why I use a partition.

I can re-install a fresh install, but the problem is my Windows Key is for a single-use, so I'm afraid if I reinstall my system, as I already activated the key, it will recognize the key as not valid...

I found a tool called "Paragon Recovery CD", I am gonna try it after backing up all my important data.
I will also look on UBCD4WIN, even if I dunno yet how to build the ISO file from Linux (as they only provide an EXE file, not a direct ISO file...).

I keep u informed.
 


reghakr

Essential Member
#9
Sorry, that was my fault., thought you could still boot.

tblount's imaging solution is the best way to go, but your Paragon Recovery CD and they also make a product called Paragon Rescue Kit.

If all else fails, use a bootable Linux CD and at least you can copy over your important files.
 


#10
I tried Paragon Recovery CD, and its "Boot recover" menu, tried all options, but it didn't fix anything.
I will try the "Rescue Kit" now.

I fixed the hard disk issues with UBCD5. Now I do not have any warning message in Linux.

I have a linux partition on the hard disk so I already backup important data, thanks.
 


SIW2

New Member
#11
Hi,

You seem to have had 2 problems - bad sectors- which you think you have now fixed, and a corrupted registry.

You may be able to use the file transfer Wizard on the Paragon Boot disc to replace the corrupt registry hives.

In "C:\Windows\System32\config" you will see these hives:

Components
Default
Sam
Security
Software
System

Try replacing those with the hives of the same name from:

"C:\Windows\System32\config\RegBack"
 


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#12
Oh, thank you for the trick, I'm gonna try it!
 


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#13
Hi,

You seem to have had 2 problems - bad sectors- which you think you have now fixed, and a corrupted registry.

You may be able to use the file transfer Wizard on the Paragon Boot disc to replace the corrupt registry hives.

In "C:\Windows\System32\config" you will see these hives:

Components
Default
Sam
Security
Software
System

Try replacing those with the hives of the same name from:

"C:\Windows\System32\config\RegBack"
It worked!!!

I copied all the files from "C:\Windows\System32\config\RegBack" into "C:\Windows\System32\config", reboot the computer, selected "Start Windows normally" and it worked!
Well some things are weird, like the last applications I installed are not recognized (like Kaspersky Internet Security 2010) but it works!

Thanks a lot for the trick!
It saved a lot of time :)
 


SIW2

New Member
#14
Ok, so I won't say it out loud...

Stay away from reg (cleaning) tools & wonder-drug utilities the boost your computer's performance!!

I'm sorry to say but, from what I've read here... format & re-install your OS. Save time & mucking about & frustration. Redo it.

Drew
The problem with that is - he has already said he thinks the key he has will only activate once.
 


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SIW2

New Member
#15
It worked!!!

I copied all the files from "C:\Windows\System32\config\RegBack" into "C:\Windows\System32\config", reboot the computer, selected "Start Windows normally" and it worked!
Well some things are weird, like the last applications I installed are not recognized (like Kaspersky Internet Security 2010) but it works!

Thanks a lot for the trick!
It saved a lot of time
You're welcome.

The hives you copied from Regback are not necessarily all that up to date - so you may need to reinstall a couple of things - and perhaps windows update will re offer a couple of things, too.

Much better than reinstalling in your situation.

Glad it helped.:eek:
 


SIW2

New Member
#16
Spooky,

Especially as you have a one time activation key, you must make backup images of the o/s partition.

When you have it running properly again, d/l the free edition of Macrium Reflect. Install it. Run off the rescue disc ( Select the linux option - put a blank cd-r in the drive - do not format it - then it will burn a little version of itself to the cd. You boot that and restore the backup image, if needed).

Make a backup image image of the o/s partition and save it - preferably to an external HD.

If you don't have another HD, use windows disk management to create another partition at the the end of your drive and store the image there.

Make a new image image every so often to keep it up to date ( I do it every week) - you can delete the old ones to save space.

Macrium Reflect FREE Edition - Information and download
 


#17
The problem with that is - he has already said he thinks the key he has will only activate once.
Exactly.

Spooky,

Especially as you have a one time activation key, you must make backup images of the o/s partition.

...
Oh, thanks for the advice, I'll do it!
I tried the Windows Back-up option as soon as I recovered my Windows, but it didn't work...
I tried with many options, on many supports (DVD, USB, Network), default or custom back-up, none of them worked...
Well, I'll try again and use the Macrium Reflect one anyway.

Much better than reinstalling in your situation.

Glad it helped.:eek:
Yeah definitely much better! In a few minutes I went back to my last configuration.
 


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#18
Yes, I am not convinced by Windows backup - think it's safer to use Macrium - quicker, too.
 


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