What files do I need to clean install Win7 Ultimate with this situation?

Discussion in 'Windows 7' started by beach, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. beach

    beach MDL Novice

    Apr 4, 2011
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    #1 beach, Jan 27, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2012
    Unfortunately, my knowledge is very limited about these matters, but I'm wanting to do a clean installation of Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit. I've been reading and jumping to links trying to grasp it, but due to obstacles progress has been slow, and today (very shortly) a friend is bringing his laptop by so I can burn the bootable OS system to a thumb drive. I'll explain my situation, and then can someone recommend what files I need (and any other advise)? Thanks for any help here.

    I bought a used laptop, a HP Compaq Presario F572US. It has Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit installed, but from what I gather at HP's website, it originally shipped with Vista (as the sticker on the bottom indicates). This particular model was not among those available for upgrades to Win7, so I don't know who did the upgrade or where the file came from.

    I don't know if it's related to me changing information on the device or not (such as the computer domain name), but I had been getting notices from Windows that it appeared to be not authentic and I should validate it.

    I suspect I had an ongoing malware problem (numerous processes, services and drivers seemingly linked to ports and networked manipulations, hidden and locked files, changes to my security and antivirus software, etc) but no virus' were found in the last few months (Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, Webroot, Avast, and ESET). A handful had been found and removed in the month or so prior t that, though; I've had the computer about three months.

    Suspecting rootkit activity, I ran Kapersky's TDSS Killer which warned about several files, some of which were locked. Long-story-short, when Quarantine seemed to fail I tried Delete on numerous files without properly investigating them via Google or a forum. My laptop now will not start, but it appears my drives and data are there (though inaccessible).

    It shows three volumes (described from my memory; sizes approximate):
    0 - E - CD/DVD - 0/0 bytes - "no media present"
    1 - C partition - 30/100 MB - (I think a Windows 7 installation file is located here, among other OS files)
    2 - D partition - 46/74 GB - (This seems to correspond to what I used to see in C:\ with installed OS and data)

    I have not recovered my data yet, and would appreciate suggestions on whether I should (I'm worried about transferring malware into another device, including my friend's laptop). Nothing is absolutely vital, though there are files I'd like to keep (mainly programs I've downloaded, serials to my programs, and less-so, some pictures and various other data. I have only owned this laptop for about 3 months and have not put a lot onto it).

    I can see at least some of my data through the Recovery Panel (Advanced), by way of it's attempt to locate a driver for backup media (which I don't have). It's only allowing browsing for "setup" files, so I can't actually retrieve or launch anything (it reports no associated driver is found). I can Right-Click/Properties/Open With and was able to copy and then past data into a Command Prompt window.

    I don't have the original installation disk (for Windows 7 or Vista), nor repair disks and such. Can, and should, one be made with that Win7 setup on C:\ or from the installed system files (on D:\ I assume)? I also don't have BartPE or WinPE, because I've been unable to burn a bootable disk file without my computer (I'm writing this on a library computer which prevents me from running .EXE files).

    I can access BIOS (Phoenix; which I learned at HP.com is in need of an update). I downloaded Hiren's Boot CD but due to an apparently non-functioning CD/DVD drive, it doesn't boot up. I'm going to use an 8GB USB thumb drive to load Win7 again (assuming I shouldn't use the Win7 setup I see in C:\).

    Through the Recovery Panel, I can select to open a Command Prompt window. The window opens in "X:\windows\system32". SFC /Scannow doesn't run, but reports another instance is pending (or something similar). I learned the disk information via Diskpart / List Vol, though this is the first time I've used Command Prompt and it's quite unfamiliar.

    So, that's my situation. Here's my (ever-changing) thinking as of now:

    Though I want my data, I'm wanting a clean, fresh start without malware, and don't want to infect my friend's laptop. I don't have another computer to master/slave the drive directly.

    Though I seem to have Win7 setup on my disk, I wonder if it might not be clean. A reason I've not done a repair is that I'm wanting a fresh, clean system to begin with (along with my inability to burn a bootable disk, until today via my friend's computer, and the failure of my CD/DVD drive to boot up Hiren's Boot CD).

    I see there are three versions of Win7 Ultimate 64-bit, among them two with letters in the link name (one is "N"; forgot the other). Which do I need? OEM or Retail?

    Daz's program or another method to register it? Should I update that Phoenix BIOS first, or is that done with Daz's program?

    What files go on the USB thumb drive along with the OS setup, and which should be on a separate thumb drive?

    Should I download via a torrent or a direct link ("River"-something, at Microsoft's site, or elsewhere?)

    Do I need to have new drivers already downloaded, and from where (HP? Microsoft?) Or, are what is needed with the OS setup? I do know that HP reports since my laptop was not one they assigned for updating to Win7 from Vista, they don't have the appropriate file set, but I think I saw links to some in an HP forum.

    Sorry so long, but I'm out of time and the more answers I find the more questions arise, and I need to at least burn the OS installation files to my USB drive today (very soon). Which one, from where, with what tools and along with what else?

    Thank you very much.
     
  2. beach

    beach MDL Novice

    Apr 4, 2011
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    #2 beach, Jan 27, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2012
    (OP)
    Thanks! :)

    Quick question: I just bought a new SanDisk 8GB thumb drive, do I need to format it, burn the ISO file in a particular way, or anything else before beginning to download the ISO?

    Does Daz need to be downloaded now, too? Does it go on the same drive as the ISO, or elsewhere? (I know almost nothing about it).

    EDIT: Running the USB thumb drive for the first time, there are a few folders SanDisk put on there. I'm going to assume I should remove those (I'll cut/copy them to another drive). I didn't open the folders, but judging by the name, one is a security application.

    I really appreciate your help, acrsn!
     
  3. beach

    beach MDL Novice

    Apr 4, 2011
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    #3 beach, Jan 27, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2012
    (OP)
    I have not upgraded the RAM yet, but was ready to do so (followed by a clean OS installation) before my "Windows won't start" problem arose. So, I haven't upgraded yet but will do so right away. Windows 7 Ultimate was running okay (but not optimally, I'm sure) on the 1GB RAM, so though 2GB is "required", apparently it will install and run even with 1GB.

    Crucial.com was about half the price of my local Best Buy store, so I'm going to order it there (unless there's another brand, or better/cheaper place to buy otherwise you might suggest).
     
  4. beach

    beach MDL Novice

    Apr 4, 2011
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    #4 beach, Jan 27, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2012
    (OP)
    It was about $23 or so, I think, at Crucial.com (shipping extra). Best Buy had another brand at around $51, if I remember right. I'm ready to buy it right away, I just hadn't actually got it done before losing my ability to start my computer.

    I'm going to log out on this library computer and rush home to meet the friend letting me use his laptop. I'll be able to log back on then (about 20-30 minutes).

    Thanks again!
     
  5. beach

    beach MDL Novice

    Apr 4, 2011
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    acrsn,

    I don't know why, but it took over 8 hours to download that ISO file onto the guy's hard-drive, which is why I didn't make it back the other day.

    And, before I got it burned to USB, he needed it for a scheduled conference call. In haste, I just got my files onto a USB drive but now realize I should have burned it then and there (but he was waiting impatiently). (Surprisingly, after those 8 hours, it only took about 10 minutes to transfer that same ISO file from his hard-drive to my USB).

    I downloaded the Windows burner, and others, you suggested, but now that I'm back on a restricted computer I can't get any of them to run -- I get blocked by a demand for an Administrator password. I asked about other options elsewhere and was advised there aren't any, so unless you or someone else has an idea, I'm stuck for the moment.

    Don't know if this opens up any possibilities, but I can put a USB disk into my non-Win-booting laptop, and see the drive through Command Prompt (Diskpart List Volume; though due to my quite limited know-how, I don't know how to actually perform any task with what I see yet).

    It just popped in my head that maybe I need to fix what's there so then I have access to my laptop, can retrieve any data I want, make my bootable USB, then proceed to a clean installation after that. If this is the approach I should take, how to recover and repair without now having a installation or repair disk? I do see a Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Setup installation module on C:\ drive, and if I remember right, I can run it. This bootable USB situation isn't needed if I go that way, me-thinks.
     
  6. beach

    beach MDL Novice

    Apr 4, 2011
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    #6 beach, Feb 20, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012
    (OP)
    HP Compaq F572US
    Windows 7 Ultimate
    _________________



    By "burnt" I meant loading the ISO file onto a bootable USB disk (via a utility for that purpose). Please excuse my misuse of words I don't fully grasp. :eek:


    Speaking of KillDisk, you mentioned previously it would wipe out everything on my hardrive, including the recovery partition already there. While I'm waiting for a new download of the ISO to complete (it's taking hours again), I searched for info here about what is involved with creating a new recovery disk or partition, and it appears rather involved -- and if I'm understanding correctly, it's usually created by the laptop's OEM. If this is the case, does that mean that this now-screwed-up Windows 7 Ultimate might have been an OEM version?

    Since my particular laptop model shipped with Vista originally and isn't among those HP listed as eligible for a Win7 upgrade, I assumed not. (Though it works on it, despite insufficient RAM, since it worked previous to my deleting system files mistakenly -- I still haven't got around to ordering that upgrade to 2GB because of all the problems I've been having, but intend to.)

    So, what's the chances of that hidden partition (C:\ System Reserved using 25.7 MB of 100 MB) being my best first bet? Is it likely the OEM Windows 7 Ultimate version since that hidden partition exists? Then, should it be likely safe (no malware)? If I make a clean installation from it, will that 100 MB partition remain? Or, should I choose another method instead? Is there a way to do a check on it (hash check or something)?

    I should mention, I CAN boot up Hiren's Boot Disk after-all (and am online with it now, with its mini-XP browser). I also access everything, can plug in other USB's (even non-bootable) and run programs, and seem to have most normal abilities, so...

    ... should I try using that Win7 loader if there are advantages (are there?) I could still wipe the hardrive and run a clean, new install if desired.

    ... should I make a copy of what's in C:\ System Reserved?

    ... should I make a copy of my personal files and folders via one of the utilities before installing or repairing my operating system? I have already went through it and copied most of what I want individually (excepting programs and various unneeded files). What I kept is mostly for reference so I'll know what to install new again, as I also retrieved some of my serial keys. I had spyware and rootkit problems, so I'm leery of reinstalling much again.

    ... should I attempt a OS repair first since I have all these tools on Hiren's Boot Disk (and others I've downloaded elsewhere). If so, what tools would you recommend?

    Below, I'll detail what I'm seeing on C:\, but first, why do the drive letters keep changing around? By that I mean, in normal use, I found my OS and personal files in C:\. After I messed up and Windows wouldn't start, C:\ became that "System Reserved" and D:\ became where my personal data was (and maybe the abused OS files, I don't know the answer to that). Once I ran Hiren's Boot Disk, it became X:\ and created a limited B:\ drive connected to it. Once I realized I was to assign a drive letter to Hiren's as a "temp", B:\ disappeared and D:\ became associated with Hiren's, while my old personal date ended up as E:\ drive. o_O

    (Scans of my hardrives revealed no problems and the drives are listed as healthy).

    Which brings up still another question... If I launch the Win 7 now in C:\ or start a new Win 7 via bootable USB, do I need to designate a drive first (or will one/both know on it's own)?

    Below is what I'm seeing in C:\ System Reserved (via Windows Explorer). If 25.7 MB is being used, why do I see so much less data upon file examination? Is it just not visible or does it grab files online?

    C:\ System Reserved

    Name Size Type Modified Attributes

    bootmgr 375 KB System file 2010-11-20 RHSA
    BOOTSECT.BAK 8 KB BAK File 2010-06-29 RHSA
    W7ldr 168 KB System file 2010-06-29 RHSA

    *Boot (14 MB) File Folder 2011-09-06 HS

    *"Boot" folder is normally hidden. Note the date listed in Properties is "Created", and not "Modified" (as are the three visible files). This Boot folder contains 35 Files, 24 Folders, A "Fonts" folder, a "memtest.exe" file, along with numerous language folders. The "en-US" folder has two files in it (the others only have the "bootmgr.exe.mui" file):

    (Numerous language folders, and...)
    en-US File Folder 2011-09-06
    bootmgr.exe.mui 84 KB MUI File 2009-07-14 A (*Inside en-US folder)
    FONTS File Folder 2010-06-29
    BCD 28 KB System file 2012-02-11 HSA
    BCD.LOG 25 KB Text Doc 2012-02-11 HSA
    BCD.LOG1 0 KB LOG1 File 2010-06-29 HSA
    BCD.LOG2 0 KB LOG2 File 2010-06-29 HSA
    BOOTSTAT.DAT 64 KB DAT File 2010-06-29 HSA
    memtest.exe.mui 43 KB MUI File 2009-07-14 A


    By the way, a few weeks ago I clicked on the Windows 7 Ultimate loader program (W7ldr ?) visible through the Recovery panel, and the graphical start page looked ready to install Windows 7 Ultimate anew or repair the existing one, but I'm a bit vague on what I saw now.


    Thank you so much, acrsn, for all your help. My "do it quick" intention obviously didn't pan out (I recently moved back after many years living elsewhere, and I only know that one guy to borrow use of a PC and the library's locked down I can't run an executable -- so I've been stuck until this Hiren's Bootable breakthrough).

    I worry I'm becoming a nuisance, acrsn, so if someone else can help guide me toward normal operational status again, I am truly appreciative.
     
  7. beach

    beach MDL Novice

    Apr 4, 2011
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    #7 beach, Feb 20, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012
    (OP)
    Please help!

    Thanks for the guidance. I'm trying to do as you suggest, but a hitch. I previously downloaded the Win7 64-bit from your link. Following your sequence, I removed the version with the ei.cfg removal tool suggested since I've decided I prefer Professional rather than Ultimate.

    I downloaded Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool from your link. I select the ISO and the disk it's going on, and it formats and copies. At the end, I get this message:

    "Status: Files copied successfully. However, we were unable to run bootsect to make the USB device bootable. If you need assistance with bootsect, please click the "Online Help" link above for more information."

    I didn't click, but a google turned up this (from December, 2009):

    "To make the USB device bootable, you need to run a tool named bootsect.exe. In some cases, this tool needs to be downloaded from your Microsoft Store account. This many happen if you're trying to create a 64-bit bootable USB device from a 32-bit version of Windows. To download bootsect:

    1. Login to your Microsoft Store account to view your purchase history
    2. Look for your Windows 7 purchase
    3. Next to Windows 7, there is an "Additional download options" dropdown
    4. In the dropdown, select the "32-bit ISO" option
    5. Right-click the link and save the bootsect.exe file to the location where you installed the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool (e.g. C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Apps\Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool)
    6. Once the file has been saved, go back to the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download tool to create your bootable USB device.

    To install 64-bit of Windows 7 on your computer it is essential that your computer supports 64-bit computing."


    Okay, my computer has Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit on it now, but Windows won't start, so I'm on a different computer which runs Windows 7 32-bit trying to get that ISO onto my 8GB USB flash drive so I have a bootable Windows 7 Professional 64-bit installation.

    So, now what? o_O


    The words "remove CD" caught my eye. My CD/DVD player doesn't function at the moment (hopefully rectified with the new installation). I hope I can wipe my hard drive via USB or Hiren's Boot Disk, which has numerous tools and also runs mini-XP.

    What do I do about this upcoming step assuming I can make a bootable installation disk?

    I'm on a library computer after getting the administrator to enter he admin password so I could run Microsoft's download tool. I've run that process several times trying to eliminate what the problem might be, along with other lengthy related time-wasters, and I'm hoping to get this done before the approaching closing time.

    Thanks acrsn! :)
     
  8. beach

    beach MDL Novice

    Apr 4, 2011
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    Thanks for the quick reply! :)

    My CD/DVD hasn't worked right since I got the laptop in October, and though I could be wrong, I suspect that drive may have been used with the multiple mysterious drivers, processes, services running, active obscure ports and network activity, along with the command prompt, shell and remote controller items I puzzled about. And the continually dismantled security, WMI profiles and snap-ins, and altered virus software, of course. As I said, I don't know, but that drive may have had some altered drivers or whatever, but I didn't use it because it just would function right.

    Of course, I could mention that an attempt to fix it just last night, in the wee hours, by following advice found in a Microsoft-related forum I googled, didn't pan out and now I can't even see the drive. Long story. :wallbash: This computer crap is gonna kill me yet. o_O

    Anyway, gonna try the alternate method. Thanks again for all your help!!
     
  9. urie

    urie Moderator
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    @ beach, please note installing from USB thumbdrive is not like installing fro cd/dvd when file copying is over and during setup windows wants to reboot machine you need to remove usb thumbdrive or it will keep going into a loop if you understand what I mean yuo do not get message boot from cd/dvd when windows reboots it checks cd/dvd and does not boot again from them because it knows system and installation files have been copied over to hard drive this doos not happen with USB if you understand what I mean :rolleyes:
     
  10. beach

    beach MDL Novice

    Apr 4, 2011
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    #10 beach, Feb 21, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2012
    (OP)
    Urie, please help me out.

    I need to a bootable USB with Windows 7 Professional 64-bit on it. I have the ISO. I don't know what that last link was supposed to be.

    I've saw mention of what you're referring to, and I'll thoroughly read up before trying to install, but I can't even get the bootable installation files on a USB flash disk despite repetitive attempts.
     
  11. Tito

    Tito Super Mod / Adviser
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