Broke an install of 7, would like to recover what I can from it.

Discussion in 'Windows 7' started by kettles, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. kettles

    kettles MDL Novice

    Feb 8, 2011
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    Ok, so I had windows 7 installed on my computer and everything, but I acquired a better hard drive and I wanted to clone the drive over. I started the process (using HDClone on Ultimate Boot CD), but didn't have the 6.5 hours to wait at the time, so I cancelled the clone pretty much right away.

    However it seems to have broken the install it was trying to clone. I had to run startup repair to start the computer, and it would only log into a "temporary" profile. Using the blocky windows style from like 98. Most of the icons were broken (the image) and nothing would run. Couldn't open windows explorer, control panel or anything (got multiple error messages), so it was pretty much useless. I tried opening calculator and that worked, so not everything was broken. Anyway, I cursed under my breath and decided I guess I broke it.

    So I quickly installed 7 onto the new HDD which is what I am on now. I copied my documents over to the new install, but I was wondering if there is anyway I could recover anything like installed programs, settings, etc... Or a way to fix the old install. I don't want to start over again on this install from scratch if I don't have to.

    Thanks for any help, and I hope I am in the right section. This is my first post.
     
  2. Reign_Of_Freedom

    Reign_Of_Freedom MDL Expert

    Aug 1, 2009
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    Did you try running a Upgrade from your Win 7 Disk? It will repair Windows and leave your programs intact.
     
  3. kettles

    kettles MDL Novice

    Feb 8, 2011
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    I hope autorun works, because I can't open explorer to get to the cd drive, but Ill certainly try. Thanks.
     
  4. kettles

    kettles MDL Novice

    Feb 8, 2011
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    #4 kettles, Feb 9, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011
    (OP)
    OK, now I am confused. I ran the "recovered" install of windows that wasn't working, and it got me into my own account; however everything is acting like it has never been run before. Sketchup when through its first run sequence, etc. But all the programs seem to work, and my stuff is in place as far as I can tell. I put the cd in and ran upgrade, and it told me that it can't be completed because the program files, settings, user accounts and what not are not on the same partition. I think it may be mixing my new and old installs. I don't know how to figure out what is where and whatnot. The Disk this install SHOULD be running off of is labeled as E:, and the new install is labeled as C: (D: is a storage drive). E has the windows logo on the icon so I assume it IS running off it.

    Any help.. Ill keep poking around.

    Ultimately Ill settle for getting this install straightened out and just using the drive as a backup.

    Edit:
    OK I had copied the contents of "Kevin" to the new install so I would have my stuff and it seems to be using that on the old install too. So windows is running on E, but its using the user files on C... How to fix this? Can I just re letter the drives so the now E is C, and the now C is E, back before I did anything I just had C and D, and C was windows. It seems to have everything as a hard link to C, so for example it can't find the icon images on the desktop, because they are on E now. It seems to find and change the C to E for the shortcuts because all the start menu ones work, and after I click on them the icons work.

    OK, to change the drive letters I have to be in windows, and to make E C, C has to be available, but if I change C to something else (like L) C is not available till restart, and I fear It wont start properly again if I do that, and I cant name E to C.
     
  5. Kouryu

    Kouryu MDL Senior Member

    Jan 19, 2011
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    you need to boot your old drive with ONLY your old drive installed, not have the new drive connected at the same time... this is confusing windows and the installer
    just like everything else on the drive, the registry got corrupted, that's why everything appears to be running as if it's the first time... ignore that and just run the "upgrade" and see if it brings it all back
    if it does, then the next thing to do is to do a chkdsk to fix any file system errors

    if things still aren't right, then there's nothing much you can do
    IMO, trying to fix this is a waste of time anyway... your impatience and canceling the "ghosting" probably broke more than just windows, so you shouldn't have much hope that apps will be working after reinstalling windows
     
  6. kettles

    kettles MDL Novice

    Feb 8, 2011
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    Well I had just tried it with the new drive not disconnected and I get the same thing I had before of course. I tried to change the drive letter using diskpart in the command line to C but it won't let me on the drive in use. And I can't run the CD, I can't cd to it in the command line, explorer wont run, and it doesn't autorun..

    I essentially had a working version of my old install with the new drive in too (using some combination of files I am not sure about). WMC has all the TV tuner channels, recordings and all that so it was working enough for me. There must be a way to get it working wihout the new drive. Like copy the new windows directory over to the old drive or something, lol. Most of this is above my skill level, but I try. I am not giving up easily.
     
  7. Kouryu

    Kouryu MDL Senior Member

    Jan 19, 2011
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    I guess your skill level is at "know enough to be dangerous"... could be why you broke it to begin with ;)
    anyway, if all you care about is learning and improving your skills, then by all means continue with trying to resurrect it... just don't assume you will get everything back because of how "dangerous" you are

    since windows isn't letting you reassign the drive letter, you will need to do it "offline"
    boot your windows 7 disc, and press "shift-f10" as soon as it is up... this will bring up the command prompt
    from there, you can run diskpart (and chkdsk if you want)

    I recommend reading how to use it (or printing it out) first before doing this
    you need to issue at least these commands:
    "select disk 0"
    "select partition 1"
    "assign letter=c"

    I don't know the specifics of your computer so I can't tell you much else... everything you do at this point is at YOUR own risk and I am not responsible if you lose anything
     
  8. kettles

    kettles MDL Novice

    Feb 8, 2011
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    #8 kettles, Feb 9, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011
    (OP)
    Yeah I know enough to be dangerous, lol. Ill be fine if I can't fix it, but I would like to fix it if I can. Ill give it a shot, I did get to a command prompt in the repair disk earlier, and the list volume command in diskpart had the drive labeled C already, so I didn't try anything else.
    Its a good thing I have this laptop too. The desktop is my play thing mainly. I don't mind a fresh install every now and then, it helps me keep my program priorities straight :p. Tinkering is what I do, and more often than not it doesn't work out, lol.


    Thanks for all your help though, I have been messing around enough I think I may just stick with the new install anyway. The biggest reason I wnated to keep the old install is the WMC tuner was already set up. I had to manually configure the QAM channels and their guide listings, which I didn't want to have to do again. But thats almost trivial.
     
  9. pharee

    pharee MDL Novice

    Feb 9, 2011
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    ... Laplink PC Mover?