Solved Windows 7 Not Finish Installing

February 25, 2018 at 06:14:22
Specs: W7
My Dell desktop has been running Windows 7 Ultimate fine (which was over Vista which in turn was over XP after a decade of running it) until, well, I went tinkering with a tweaking software and broke stuff. I spent weeks trying to repair but my retail W7 DVD refuses to repair it because it is pre-SP1 days and my OS was fully updated. Weird. I tried to make a slipstream with all updates, but I was getting impatient. So I did the thing I did not want to do was reload it but without formatting. So I started the process within Windows, let it search for updates, then did custom and installing on my main drive. It rebooted and started the OS install off the DVD. Then it rebooted and now does nothing but go to a blank screen. It is set to boot off the main drive. If I set it to boot off DVD (or F12 to choose it), it starts the whole install process again. I tried to do the setup again but still takes me to a blank screen on first reboot. There is no external hardware attached.
At this point I hate to think about formatting it, meaning I have to pull the drive out of this system, pull off the stuff that is outside Windows folders (I never use the defaults) and then try, in hopes it still does not fail after all that.
The second worse thing is trying to get Vista back installed, which I tried long, long ago (before doing W7) which I recall failed all the time, and for whatever reason it refuses to install XP (hence putting Vista on back then).
So trying to save myself from doing that, anyone have any ideas why the install is not finishing after first reboot and eventually work?
Thanks.

I reply as fast as I can, but it could be hours or months.


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#1
February 25, 2018 at 07:21:40
✔ Best Answer
"At this point I hate to think about formatting it, meaning I have to pull the drive out of this system, pull off the stuff that is outside Windows folders (I never use the defaults) and then try"

I don't know what you mean by "outside Windows folders" or why you would need to pull the drive, but it's time to start over. You should have had a 2nd partition to store all your important files on, that way they wouldn't be touched during a format/reinstall. Not to mention you should already have these files backed up to an external HDD or CDs/DVDs for safe keeping.

Boot off a Linux disc (I recommend Mint Xfce) & run a live session (do NOT install!) - you can then access your HDD & copy off your files to an external drive or media.

https://linuxmint.com/download.php

Once that's done, shutdown, insert the Win7 disc & boot off it. Assuming you only have one partition + the small system reserve partition, delete them both so that you have nothing but unallocated space. If you have additional Dell partitions, I suggest you delete them all as they're probably related to the original Windows installation (XP?). Create one new partition using the entire drive space & continue with the Win7 installation. A new system reserve will be automatically created.

If you have a Win7 upgrade disc rather than full-blown version, here's the trick: install Win7 the 1st time without using the product key. Do NOT connect to internet & do NOT install any additional software or drivers. As soon as it settles in at the desktop, boot off the Win7 upgrade disc a 2nd time & install it again (without partitioning or formatting). The disc will see the 1st installation as use it as the "upgrade from" path. This time, enter the product key & continue with the installation normally.

After installing all the drivers & running Windows Update until it's fully updated, you can then install EaseUS Partition Master & create a Storage partition. Once that's done, you can transfer your files into that partition.

https://www.easeus.com/partition-ma...

I recommend installing these as well:
Firefox: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/
VLC Player: https://www.videolan.org/vlc/index....
PeaZip: http://www.peazip.org/
CDBurnerXP: https://cdburnerxp.se/en/home
CCleaner-Slim: https://www.ccleaner.com/ccleaner/b...
Bitdefender Antivirus Free: https://www.bitdefender.com/solutio...

message edited by riider


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#2
February 25, 2018 at 07:35:24
ridder, thanks for the info.
What I mean by not using Windows defaults, is all my stuff is in folders other than "My Documents" or "Program Files." Everything personal is backed up. I do not do multi partitions for data because if the drive goes, everything goes. I have backups of personal stuff on externals, but not all the install programs configurations and such.
True, I did not think on booting with an alternative OS and copying everything to my externals. A big DUH to me, and I am in IT!!!! I have a problem thinking too much into things at times.
The reason I do not want to format? Sometimes stubbornness that I can not fix something without a format, or a reinstall. But your ideas are valid. My only fear is it still will not install after a format, but something has got to be affecting the install I guess, if not hardware related.
As for my DVD, it is full blown.
Well, will see how much patience I got after lunch time comes around before formatting this sucker. Might as well start prepping with just copying the whole drive to an external to grab configurations later.

I reply as fast as I can, but it could be hours or months.


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#3
February 25, 2018 at 11:07:25
Your concern about losing everything if the HDrive dies is valid. The way around that is to install a second hard drive and perform regular backups or better yet, images to that hard drive. You still need to backup any data you want to keep on external media. I use 2 external USB HDrives and backup photos and user created files (CAD) on CD/DVD media. Flash drives are not reliable enough for those tasks, IMHO.

Partitioning serves other purposes. You operating system changes weekly, due to updates. Your installed programs probably don't get updated much, if at all. So having your OS and critical software, like your AV/malware on the C drive can make full backups much faster. Also, installing Windows itself is just the first step in setting up your system. If you use the system just described and your C drive needs replacing, you can restore a recent backup to the new drive and the programs installed on the second hard drive should function without re-installing. That saves may hours. Then there are all the person settings we all perform to customize Windows to our style. Those are all preserved with a drive image. You can backup individual partitions at different intervals.

BTW, riider is very knowledgeable so you can trust his advice. Just a tip for you, clicking on a user name will provide you with an idea of who you are dealing with.

Finally, you will be where you are now again, eventually. So my advice is to bite the bullet and start clean.

Are you using a 32 bit version of Windows 7?


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#4
February 25, 2018 at 14:03:33
On this computer, 32.
I did in fact bite said bullet and just formatted the drive, which according to my records I not done since when I first installed Vista from XP several years ago.
So I booted off the CD, picked new install and format the drive. It copied files, rebooted. Started services, rebooted. Now back at the black screen of nothingness after it says "Starting Windows." No hard drive light activity.
No errors on the drive from recent chkdsk checks. Memory checks out in diag tests.
Just a void still....
Damn, from playing with that tweaking program few weeks back brought me to this!

I reply as fast as I can, but it could be hours or months.

message edited by CPU13


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#5
February 25, 2018 at 15:33:09
You have to go further than a Format, when reinstalling the operating system, you have to Delete all the partitions. Once they are deleted you are left with Unallocated space & Format will be greyed out.

Clean Installation with Windows 7
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorial...


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#6
February 25, 2018 at 15:46:35
I have had good results with Tweaking.com for repairing Windows 7 updater, print spooler, and a few other problems so I am not sure where you had the problem. It is generally accepted here are a good tool that is useful.

How about checking your BIOS settings for hard drive, boot, SATA and similar in case something got set off somehow.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#7
February 25, 2018 at 16:38:50
UPDATE....
Screen not totally black. I get the mouse cursor. I have been looking into suggestions online. So far nothing worked.

HAHA, tweaking.com had the software that caused this whole mess!!!!!!!!!

BIOS is fine.

John, the only partitions this drive has is the Dell partition and the main one. I did also delete it during setup. no change after reboot.

I reply as fast as I can, but it could be hours or months.


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#8
February 25, 2018 at 16:48:15
"Screen not totally black. I get the mouse cursor. I have been looking into suggestions online. So far nothing worked"
Doesn't have to be black, Lazesoft can fix most startup problems.

"HAHA, tweaking.com had the software that caused this whole mess!!!!!!!!!"
Did you follow instructions & run it in Safe Mode?


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#9
February 25, 2018 at 16:50:51
I figured I try booting into 640x480 to see and I am actually continuing the setup......

I reply as fast as I can, but it could be hours or months.


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#10
February 25, 2018 at 16:59:31
When you get W7 running again, here is the best option for updating, once you have SP1 installed.
http://update7.simplix.info/UpdateP...

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#11
February 25, 2018 at 19:13:24
That was apparently my issue. The fresh install of Windows 7 could not detect my video card (as the last time was an upgrade over Vista). So as I mentioned before by booting into 640x480 VGA mode, I was able to update the drivers and register back up.
Am running again.
Gosh, if only I tried that BEFORE formatting and deleting my partition earlier. HAHAHA. I mean, who knew? Nothing I found on the Internet even suggested it (not that I spent hours and hours reading). Believe it or not, never in 30 years have I ever, ever selected to F8 boot into 640 mode. I never used that before. Wow.......

I reply as fast as I can, but it could be hours or months.


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#12
February 25, 2018 at 19:58:17
"Am running again"
Nice work, you should be right now for quite a while.

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