Windows 7 Repair/Restore/Recovery not working... can you help?


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3 yr old Dell won't self-repair, allow me to restore to a recovery point or use a recovery CD. The testing I did indicated a corrupt registry and some disk error codes. (No new software installations/removals but there was a critical update pushed 7/2.) Frustrated that I can't get it back online since I'm flat broke right now. Does anyone have any suggestions to revive it?
I don't have an OEM system so when you get into the Recovery options, they may be different from a normal Windows 7 install. The Dell is supposed to have diagnostics when you boot, has that been run?

A three year old machine, depending on how you use it, might be having a drive problem. Have you asked Dell support, or their community what the problem could be? They may be willing to send you a replacement drive free.

Running Chkdsk might help, if you have that ability. After that, doing a Startup Repair from the F8 options a few times might get your system back. When you post back, tell us what capabilities you have as far as accessing your system.
Hi thanks for replying! I've not contacted Dell yet, but I will if I can't resolve it. I've only used this computer on occasion until recently when my 6 yr old laptop started to show its age.

Here's what I've tried:
--start up repair 8 times, can't repair
--tried booting from a recovery CD made from an Acer laptop (but it wouldn't allow me to choose an option)
--the testing I did found some hard drive errors and it said replace disk (but normally chkdsk fixes them)
--I've done a sfc /scannow registry integrity thingy seen on this site... but it said it couldn't perform it (windows recovery something or other)
--I was able to run my CCleaner to clean up the registry, but that didn't work
--I tried running this guy's W7F diagnostic tool (found on the BSOD thread), but it said the sub-image wasn't there to run it (it did work on my laptop) (ran all apps as admin)
--tried to restore to a recovery point but it disallows it as I hadn't set up something previously (my external hard drive hadn't been working properly so i recently removed it, but hadn't had that same problem since)
--when i go to the option of installing the drivers, i have no clue which file to use (but thankfully, i can see that they're there).

there was another person who had a thread that mirrored my issues, but no one got her past the diagnostics. I think I've done everything they suggested and more.

unfortunately, i can't find my win7 64 bit upgrade CD i used for my laptop and the laptop won't let me create a recovery CD. I do have the 32 bit upgrade disc--would that help?

I wish MS would give us the freaking OS discs so we could use the repair option like in the good ol' days of Windows crashes. :)

any help is greatly appreciated!
There are places online you can legally download the Windows 7 Install DVD .iso w/SP1 if you can find them. The one I used has changed and is no longer available. If you think it will help, try that.

When you run Startup Repair, are you getting all the way to the actual repair, or just the message about repairing and rebooting. Can you bypass any such message and run the Actual Startup Repair, even if it says it cannot find an install?

If chkdsk did not repair the errors on the drive, you still might think about trying another one.

A third party partition manager might give you some info. Something like the free home version of the bootable DVD of Partition Wizard would allow you to boot and look at the drive configuration. If the utility you choose does not make a picture of the drive configuration (graphical partition display) then you could use a camera to take such a picture and attach using the paperclip on the advanced replies.
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As far as the partitions, something that looks like the following. The information about the partitions and how they are designated might be helpful. The picture is from a Windows Disk Management utility..third party ones will look a little different.


  • UEFI Disk Mgmt.GIF
    UEFI Disk Mgmt.GIF
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My apologies for the delay in response. The computer gods must have me on their most wanted list as my laptop hard drive went all "unmountable boot something" on me and died. This is the first time I could get on another computer.

Thank you for the partition info. I did some more checking in between my last post and the laptop death and I was able to see that my desktop had a "fatal system error." Based on what I read and my inability to get it to do any repairs, restore image, etc., I'm going to have to find a way to get a new hard drive and my data sucked off the old one. Cross your fingers for me that I can find a local tech guy willing to trade for his help.

Again, I greatly appreciate your help and kindness. If I can ever return the favor, I happily shall.