Reinstalling Windows 7 with recovery disk, looping restart error

(pardon my w and e keys, they are quite sticky)

I've been trying to reinstall Windows 7 on my HP notebook after a virus forced me to and ran into some issues. It was getting to the screen where the final batch of settings was beeing done, and i got a message asking if I wanted to restart now or later. I coudn't make a selection because neither of my mice or my keyboard would work, so in my stupidity I powered it off myself. Now after I gte the blue welcome screen I get an error message saying this:

Windows could not complete the installation. To install Windows on this computer, please restart the installation.

Then you click okay and it reboots. and it gives you no other options but to reboot. I tried rebooting with the HP recovery CDs I have (they're the closest thing I have to a Windows 7 disk right now) and had no luck. I even was able to get into task manager and tried to run the exact process that the installer was running from, but I get the same message.

any ideas? I can't get too many of the specs from it in its current state except that it's an HP dv6 notebook.


Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Hi Zaelia,

Welcome to the forums,

You will have to restart the installation all over again, from scratch, as the message indicates. One of the files was corrupted or the installation doesn't know where to go. You will need to clean house by completely going back to factory defaults. In your BIOS you should enable legacy/USB support for mouse and keyboard. Also set the CD-ROM to first boot device.

If you can't boot from these discs but were able to before than you must be doing something wrong. You must pull up the boot menu. Sometimes its F12. If the discs looked scratched, or damaged you'll need to contact HP for a replacement.

Make sure you don't use a wireless mouse and keyboard during the install. Never power down during an install. You should take the steps you did before to initiate a clean install. Don't bother trying to do anything else at this point - with the system's security compromised and restore media barely functioning you should try your best to completely restore to factory default settings.

If you shut down from a restore partition on the drive, while it was in use, you may have damaged that partition. Using factory recovery discs or obtaining a backup copy of Windows 7 from HP may be your only saving grace.


Microsoft MVP
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Microsoft MVP
Booting from the recovery disks should give you a clean install of your original system Exactly what is going wrong when you boot from reovery disks?

The system boots as if there was no disk in the drive at all (it goes to Windows and setting up for the first use).

The thing is, after the first restart my keyboard and mouse were working fine.


Microsoft MVP
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Microsoft MVP
You've set your bios to boot from the optical drive but it's not doing so?


Noob Whisperer
Is it possible that the recovery disks are not bootable, but need to be called from within a proprietary utility on the recovery partition of the hard drive?

Okay, I got it to boot from the CD and ran the installation again. However, the keyboard and mouse stuck again so I ctrl+alt+del'd and closed escaped from it. my stuff started working again, so I waited and I got the same message again. So I assume something else is wrong.


Noob Whisperer
I would have thought that the recovery media supplied by the manufacturer would have all the requisite driver files to support the hardware for your notebook. You aren't using any supplemental wireless or usb keyboard or mouse during the install are you? Additionally make sure you don't have any external peripherals attached like an external hard drive or printer. Other than that perhaps a phone call or email to HP tech support might help. Often you're not the only one who has called about this issue and they may be able to tell you if there is a problem with the media itself of a particular piece of hardware that might require a work around.


Noob Whisperer
Additionally you may consider that whatever the virus was that is responsible for the present situation, it's not inconceivable that it may still be present on your hard drive and continuing to cause your current problem. So you may want to use something like KillDisk or other such product capable of performing a full and extensive format of your hard drive by writing patterns of 1s and 0s from end to end thereby eliminating any residual traces of it.

I thought about a complete wipe but I'm not sure about it enough to hope my recovery disks can support a complete OS install, not just an upgrade.


Extraordinary Member


the factory image restore is what the recovery disks say they do.

the factory image restore is what the recovery disks say they do.
I have found that the recovery disks don't always behave exactly like you think that they should. In my case, with a Gateway laptop, the recovery disk would NOT format the MBR since there was already a bootloader there (GRUB in my case). I had to manually destroy the MBR. Then it worked fine.

I would have expected the recovery to wipe out the old MBR no matter what. It seems to me that this is what recovery is all about.

It also sounds like you may have other issues though.


Extraordinary Member
in terms of my recovery disk files, HP split them into two disks. here are the contents.
ok that is different from a full 7 disk. My Dell upgrade disk is identical to a full 7 disk minus 1 file ei.cfg in sources folder that tell's what version it will install and the Channel is OEM.

I am not sure your disks will support a full install. is missing some things
Did you check and see in my link above if there was a Factory image restore?

Other than that I can give you an xml should bring you to format screen to wipe it and start over

Hey all. Identical problem over here. Hp notebook. Had a virus. Mouse keyboard don't work unless I ctrl alt delete and then escape out of it. Then I get the same error that states I need to restart which I did and then got to the same place and same issue. Was this ever resolved?


Extraordinary Member
you can try that on a floppy or usb
change processorArchitecture="amd64" to processorArchitecture="x86" if you don't have 64 bit

found this
Recovering Using The HP Recovery Discs

Prior to starting, don’t insert any disks into the Pavilion. Make sure that all internal devices and peripherals are disconnected from the computer, excluding the keyboard, monitor, and mouse. Switch on the computer and press F1 just as the logo screen shows.

Using the arrow keys, go to Boot, then press down arrow to highlight Boot Device Priority. Don’t forget where the CD-ROM is. Hit Enter then go to CD-ROM drive. Next, press Plus (+) until it is on the list’s top.

This is when you will insert the HP recovery disk in the CD-ROM drive. Hit enter to store your settings and you exit. Another recovery screen comes out. Respond and read each screen that shows. Don’t press OK when changing HP recovery disks; wait until the drive operates. It will read the disk and continue with the recovery.

Once it is complete, restore the CD-ROM boot-device priority to its original setting. Follow the initial steps until the CD-ROM drive is highlighted, instead of Plus (+), press the Minus (-) until the CD-ROM is in its original location. Click Enter then exit.

Last edited:
hello all, I am new and resorting to the forum for some help as HP technical support could not help me as my warranty expired 4 DAYS AGO!!!! anyway my HP G60 got a virus I attempted to do the system restore via the recovery console but that didnt work. Ordered the recovery discs thinking that was the end of it. well I go tru the process of the recover discs and get the same hang up at the restart now or later window. my cursor doesnt move or appear anywhere. hit ctrl alt del to restart and then get the same error message the OP states: "windows could not complete installation"

was this ever resolved? i am desperate...thanks in advance

I was also tempted on removing the hard drive and formatting it on a desktop. I dunno if I can do that however since I am unsure if my recovery discs can support a full install on a wiped hard drive.

Joe S

Excellent Member
Do you have a recovery partition? On my nephew's old Compaq XP I just went into disk management and changed the recovery partition from primary to active and rebooted and followed prompts. It restored to new condition.

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