Hi everyone, hoping for a bit of advice for a beginner. Backstory: HP dv9815nr OEM Vista Home Premium. After 1 Windows Update, I lost the optical drive. After another, I lost audio. Did a ton of troubleshooting via Dell Tech Concierge Beta and Microsoft but no one could figure out what had happened. Dell told me it was a M$ issue and told me to call them. M$ told me it was hardware failure and to contact HP. HP would not give me any info without me spending $60 for 2 weeks of tech assistance (which I have free through Dell Concierge Beta). Went back to M$ and they did a remote session to my computer and the tech actually crashed it. Could not get it to reboot. He gave up. Finally, Dell told me the best thing to do would be to a clean install. Tried with Vista HP (didn't have the restore disc so used the Vista iso found here and made my external HDD bootable) but for some reason the Vista install wouldn't complete- just kept going through the install, restarting to complete, then began the install again. Got tired of that so I used the W7 Enterprise DVD my uncle gave me to get the files to my external HDD and successfully installed W7 Enterprise. After lots of driver issues I got it up and running. Surprisingly, I had audio (but still no optical)! This confirms that it was software. After updates the audio disappeared again, a restore didn't solve it. I now want to get my computer completely working as it should be so here is my plan- re-install Vista Home Premium, see if that fixes the optical/audio. If all goes well I want to upgrade to W7 Ultimate using info from your (amazing) forums. I have 2 questions- 1. What could have cause the install to repeat over and over like that? I had used the exact same files/external hard drive to install successfully before. 2. I have created a system image using W7 Enterprise. After I install W7 Ultimate is it possible to use that image to restore the settings/drivers? Any help with this would be very appreciated. I've been dealing with this issue since 1/21/12 and am about ready to just take a sledgehammer to this notebook! Thanks in advance!