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Fool or edit the Windows 7 Install DVD?


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#26 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 03:09 PM

Should I dare ask what that means? :unsure:


A free adaptation of the known note about Fermat's Last Theorem:
http://www.gap-syste...st_theorem.html

I do understand that you may have your reasons to not disclose/obfuscate some info, but nonetheless I retaliate by not disclosing some info I may (or may not) have (and that may be useful or completely unlike it :unsure:).

Or, in other words, now that I have finally understood (maybe or maybe not :doh7: ) what the question was, I am not sure I will like (actually I am pretty sure I will not like) playing this game along your rules.

Maybe next time. :bye:

Have fun :).

:cheers:
Wonko

#27 MarkAtHome

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 10:58 AM

What WIM? I assume it's a WIM image captured from the downed boot volume. The first thing to do would be create a WinPE customized to include imagex.exe, boot the system with the WinPE and capture the boot volume ( i. e the volume containing your Windows installation). Has anyone done that? It's very basic. If MS are merely investigating the install.wim, they need to pull their fingers out.


Hi allanf -- I already have an exact copy of the downed disk. Microsoft was looking into how they might mount install.wim to force an in-place upgrade from a booted disk. They did offer to obtain an image of the disk (I have both an image and an exact copy), but for privacy and security reasons, I would not provide them with that. I do work for others, beyond Microsoft, that they need not have knowledge of.

You said you had a stack of disks that you had tried. Surely one of them was a standard MS WinPE!


Of course! A few different ones.

FYI: The "system volume" contains the boot files - bootmgr and a "Boot" directory. In a standard Win7 clean installation, this volume is created automatically - 100MB named "System Reserved", and, without a driveletter, it is unseen by explorer. If the installation is onto a previously created partition, the "system volume" and the "boot volume" can be combined. (It's easy to remember - the "boot volume" holds the system files and the "system volume" holds the boot files. They're real clever at MS! The "boot partition" has the bootsector, and this is usually the partition that has the "system volume" holding the boot files. Got it!?)

Do you know if there is a separate 100MB volume without a driveletter and named "System Reserved"? You could find out if you had a WinPE. If you really want help, you'd create a more fully featured WinPE - say, with screen capture, a web-browser, etc, etc, so that you could keep your assistants informed. Otherwise, it's all guess work - at your own risk.


Yes, I know what that is now... I did not know about it when I upgraded to one of the latest Windows 7 alpha releases, so being an upgrade, I did not know of that partition. The upgrade did not create one. I see its benefits, but everyone seems to be interested in removing it. Go figure.

As an update, I have closed the Microsoft ticket as they have pretty much gone as far as they can. I never thought that I would give props to Microsoft, but they really deserve it after all they tried to do. I never thought I would praise a tech support team after years of frustrating sessions, but they were great.

My contact there, though, wants to continue, on his own, working with me when time permits. He is a gem.

I don't think I mentioned a "parallel" installation. It would need to be a proper "dual-boot" installation. I'm fairly sure that setup will recognize a multiboot situation even if one of the systems in the multiboot is un-bootable, and if you have the disk space (only about 8 GB required), it's worth a try IMHO. Follow the steps below, but only up to step 1. Then create the multiboot setup. There are guides on the internet but it could be a bit tricky. Then proceed to step 2., except change it to say "Insert the install DVD and follow the prompts." I haven't tried it.

It is worth a try. I have done multiboot setups in the past, mainly with Mahmoud's NeoSmart EasyBCD, so I have some familiarity. Would have been helpful had EasyBCD be available as bootable.

Do you know if there is a way to jump start to the Windows 7 desktop from a Unix-based, booted CD?

#28 MarkAtHome

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 11:24 AM

Should I dare ask what that means? :unsure:


A free adaptation of the known note about Fermat's Last Theorem:
http://www.gap-syste...st_theorem.html


I did not read that, but with a quick glance at the top of the page, the first thing that came to mind was Plato and Socrates. Everything we know about Socrates came from Plato, his student. Plato never wrote anything down.


I do understand that you may have your reasons to not disclose/obfuscate some info, but nonetheless I retaliate by not disclosing some info I may (or may not) have (and that may be useful or completely unlike it :unsure:).


Methinks that you sort of understand, but choose to not accept what giving someone's word means. Retaliate? I won't even go there.

Growing up, there was never a need for a written contract between those who did business together. Giving your word with a handshake was sufficient. I am from that world.

If I have nothing else to offer, there is always my word. My word is bond.

I gave my word to not divulge what occurred six months ago (which directly affects my current situation). I needed a solution, and had to phrase my problem in such a way as to omit that information, making it more hypothetical and academic in nature.

I am sorry to hear that growing up, this concept was not instilled in current generations.

Or, in other words, now that I have finally understood (maybe or maybe not :doh7: ) what the question was, I am not sure I will like (actually I am pretty sure I will not like) playing this game along your rules.

I understand and respect that. As for the rules, it is, afterall, my question and my thread, so by those very facts, if you are interested in playing, it is by my rules, if you have a need to look at it in that fashion. I don't, but that is ok.

BTW, I almost didn't recognize your post. You stepped out of character, which was a good thing. :thumbsup:

#29 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 12:50 PM

If I have nothing else to offer, there is always my word. My word is bond.

I gave my word to not divulge what occurred six months ago (which directly affects my current situation). I needed a solution, and had to phrase my problem in such a way as to omit that information, making it more hypothetical and academic in nature.

I am sorry to hear that growing up, this concept was not instilled in current generations.

You must be barking up the wrong tree. :dubbio:

Personally I think that the end of the world began in 1781 when the English refused to accept the paroles given by released English prisoners captured by privateers.
http://books.google....epage&q&f=false

If you are not familiar with the practice, privateers were engaged for capturing British vessels.
When they made prisoners they had them sign a paper in which they self-certified their status of prisoners, and were quickly released, by landing them on the nearest French or British land.
When Benjamin Franklin tried to use these "paroles" to exchange them against American prisoners (as if they were actual English prisoners), the English had what must have been some of the best laughter they ever had. :ph34r:

A man's word and honour ceased to exist. :(

So I am actually very happy that you are keeping your given word. :)

About going in some place that is not your home or your property and pretending to play with your Rules, that might be seen as a form of arrogance. :dubbio:


Mind you, you are perfectly allowed to come to the board and ask (nicely) to play a game with your rules, but as well everyone is free to decide not play it with you.

:cheers:
Wonko

#30 MarkAtHome

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 01:08 AM

You must be barking up the wrong tree.

I am sorry that you feel that way, Wonko.

So I am actually very happy that you are keeping your given word.

Honor is not dead, but unfortunately, it is rarely recognized these days as a character trait to possess.

About going in some place that is not your home or your property and pretending to play with your Rules, that might be seen as a form of arrogance.

Arrogance has nothing to do with requesting a solution to a problem and hope for an answer to the problem as asked, not as how it is perceived by those interpreting it. That does not mean that you could not perceive it the way you have, only that it would be stretching it a bit in this case.

Regardless, if you believe that I was arrogant, you have my apologies. I am sorry.

Mind you, you are perfectly allowed to come to the board and ask (nicely) to play a game with your rules, but as well everyone is free to decide not play it with you.

That goes without saying.

I tripped into your domain and have no wish to challenge you or ruffle anyone else's feathers. I see no benefit in doing so.

#31 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 08:33 AM

Actually there is NO actual challenge, nor feathers ruffled at all. :)

But for the record, I like things to be always as clear and as plain as possible.

You came here telling us a story:

Hi -- my system is currently down after running a defrag/compress MFT routine done by Paragon Software's Partition Manager (the "why" really doesn't matter at this point).

This occurred when I chose to do both procedures to my C & D drives, the former being the system boot drive, and the software needed to reboot to complete the procedure. After reboot, the software displayed four indicators (sans text), which I surmise represented both drives, with two processes each.

Than you changed it:

Both, actually. I realize that you are itching to get more info, and I would like to give you more info, but that would place me in a difficult situation, as I gave my word way back in February to be discrete. Of course no one would know if I whispered in your ear, but I would know, and my word is all I have.


Hi allanf -- I already have an exact copy of the downed disk. Microsoft was looking into how they might mount install.wim to force an in-place upgrade from a booted disk. They did offer to obtain an image of the disk (I have both an image and an exact copy), but for privacy and security reasons, I would not provide them with that. I do work for others, beyond Microsoft, that they need not have knowledge of.

I had initially the impression you were a "poor" user faced with a specific problem that needed some help to be (hopefully) solved.

In the course of the thread it comes out - seemingly - that you are a professional looking for consultants on a project (undertaken by someone else's commission).

Now if the new player proposing the game is the first character, and the game is "fix something", I would happily play with him BUT along "my" or "our" rules.

If the player is the second character and the game is "develop my vision of a solution", and it has to be played along "someone else's" rules, I am not willing to play.

This has nothing to do with you personally (or with me), it was simply an initial misunderstanding (or mis-representation :whistling:) of the game and of the characters involved.

As I see it, you came here asking to play "basket", but it later came out that we were going to play "water polo".
Nothing against either of the games, but I cannot swim.

Calvinball:
http://www.bartel.org/calvinball/
http://calvinandhobb...wiki/Calvinball
would be more fun, but I already played this game this way, and first (and only) Rule of Calvinball is "One can't play it in the same way twice." ;)

:cheers:
Wonko

#32 MarkAtHome

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 05:33 PM

Wonko -- It is very easy to go line by line, quoting what each of us has said, retorting as we see fit. This does not provide benefit to anyone reading this forum, other than possibly entertaining some of your friends and/or fan boys, or annoying others who might have caught the thread's subject title and was genuinely interested.

I have seen similar type posts elsewhere (as seen in this thread, for example) and often wonder where the moderator is. :-)

Consider this example:

You log into a forum (the appropriate one, of course...), and you post "What is the correct command line to format my drive in 4K clusters?"

There is nothing more annoying to me as a reader, if I joined the thread, interested in hearing the answer, are participants posting replies such as:

"Why do you want to format your drive with 4K clusters?"
"What size drive is it?"
"What are you using the drive for?"

It does not matter what these questions are they are but examples.

Who, aside from those asking, cares? The OP, who asked a specific question, expecting a specific answer, certainly does not care. There is no reason why those questions need be answered, as they are irrelevant to the specific question asked. The OP never asked, "I have this 1T drive and I am not sure how to format it from the command line. Can anyone help me?" Seriously, someone take a 2X4 to those questioners.

You are not innocent, either, Wonko. Review your first response to my OP. I stated the problem as two possible paths I was looking to take, and was looking for thoughts on how I might accomplish one or the other. In both cases, hacking the Windows 7 Install process was involved. Why or how I got to that point was irrelevant. How to accomplish one of my thoughts was all that was asked, not for someone to look over how I might have gotten there and come up with his/her own path to resolve what he/she thinks is the issue.

I will respect the fact that this is your playground and not mine, even though to better you would be no challenge as I am most likely older than you, but more flexible in my way of being. :hi:

What I will do, though, for the benefit of this community, is post my solution when it is resolved, for those who might find it useful.

I wish you all well, and offer thanks to those who helped me.

#33 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 05:53 PM

I will respect the fact that this is your playground and not mine, even though to better you would be no challenge as I am most likely older than you, but more flexible in my way of being. :hi:


NO, no, the playground is not "my" or "your", it is public, everyone can join and play. :clap:

What I will do, though, for the benefit of this community, is post my solution when it is resolved, for those who might find it useful.

That will be very nice of you :).

The OP, who asked a specific question, expecting a specific answer, certainly does not care. There is no reason why those questions need be answered, as they are irrelevant to the specific question asked.
....

Yep, but evidently your specific question was not clear enough or at least three people were not able to understand it; at first.

And please do understand how the risk :ph34r: with your approach is that of slipping on a chocolate covered banana :w00t::
http://homepages.tes...red-banana.html


:cheers:
Wonko

#34 Mark Strelecki, Atlanta GA.

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 12:08 AM

I'm not sure this has been mentioned, but FRED LANGA has written the tutorial on an in-place repair install of Windows 7 that preserves all your data and installed programs.

This fellow KNOWS his stuff, and I've followed his XP repair install instructions DOZENS of times and it always worked!

http://windowssecret...tive-reinstall/

Mark Strelecki, Atlanta, GA.

#35 Mark Strelecki, Atlanta GA.

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 01:36 AM

allanf -

I always have ideas. It's what happens after doing some things for a very long time (as in decades). <grin>

This system has suffered significant (logical) disk damage and will require a full (not quick) format to faithfully straighten everything back out.

Here's what I would do if it were my system to fix:

Boot from a PE CD/DVD and rescue all the data from the system hard drive. If it's not available, consider running Gibson's SpinRite on it to fix it. I also remember using Norton Disk Doctor to make fragged drives readable again. Whatever it takes to access the data, we have to do, as data that's not backed up is a very precious asset.

If still unavailable, I'd buy a NEW drive, install it as the system/boot drive and do a clean install of the latest version of Windows, current device drivers, and my main applications. Then I'd access the old drive with any proper utility and rescue/copy the data to the new drive.

If the drive is accessible, I'd use one of a number of tools (like Ghost) to make an image of the drive and every file on it so I had a real and complete backup of everything. I like to use a network drive 'cuz my gigabit lan is MUCH faster than usb2. I'd blast all partitions on the old drive and recreate new ones and do a FULL format. If this process fails I'd know there was an issue with the hard drive and I'd cut my losses and go with a new drive.

BOTTOM LINE is that this system is NOT in a condition that warrants extraordinary resucitative measures, other than to rescue all unsaved data. The sooner that drive can be completely reinitialized and thoroughly tested, the better off the OP will be.

In hardware and software, when we troubleshoot and repair, what we KNOW is a very important thing. That's why Wonko is so big on asking questions and figuring out the facts. IT'S HOW YOU TROUBLESHOOT. If we DON'T know something we need to either test and check to see if it can be proven or move on to whatever the next thing is ON OUR LIST (blueprint, plan, guide, whatever) so we cover the most logical ground as quickly as possible.

It may indeed be that this hard drive is hosed and unsuitable for further service. This happens to them. They age. They run hot, they experience electrical anomolies like brownouts and power supply issues. The die. Hopefully NOT before we get our precious data from them to be transferred to a shiny new, bigger faster cheaper drive.

It's one of the may things that are great about technology. We have SO MANY CHOICES. I pray the OP finds his proper path and gets his computer back online ASAP, and my heart goes out to him for the help he gives his aging father. Mine is 82 and really NEEDS his son's help, and I'm blessed to be in the position of trying to help him, as well as many of my unseen, unknown technical compatriots out there all over the world.

Thanks for letting me into the club. A good challenge is a blessing in disguise!

MARK STRELECKI
Atlanta, GA.

#36 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 08:58 AM

In hardware and software, when we troubleshoot and repair, what we KNOW is a very important thing. That's why Wonko is so big on asking questions and figuring out the facts. IT'S HOW YOU TROUBLESHOOT. If we DON'T know something we need to either test and check to see if it can be proven or move on to whatever the next thing is ON OUR LIST (blueprint, plan, guide, whatever) so we cover the most logical ground as quickly as possible.

Yep :) that's exactly the idea of Point #f of the "common sense advice":
http://reboot.pro/82/

besides the known FGA's:
http://homepages.tes...ard-litany.html
http://homepages.tes...red-banana.html


Thanks for letting me into the club. A good challenge is a blessing in disguise!

Nice approach. :clap:

:cheers:
Wonko

#37 raysmith48

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 11:16 AM

Ahhh - Monsieur Fermat, I presume - what a tease!

#38 Zeus

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 11:43 AM

“It was still doing something after half an hour. I reset the PC at that point.”

You’ve obviously tried every Microsoft way to recover the MFT, but did you try the Paragon PM recovery CD? By default the “data loss protection” should be enabled, which can restart an interrupted operation from log files PM retains on the hard drive. I can’t remember the details of how to get a restart, but it did work successfully for me a few years ago after a power loss during a partition resize operation. However all your attempts at repair may have made a restart impossible.

#39 FerrariGuy

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 12:09 AM

You have a Ghost copy of your drive right? You could use PE to grab an ImageX wim of JUST your OS partition, re-install the OS from scratch (reacreating the proper drive/partition structure), boot back into PE, DELETE (not format) everything on the OS drive, and use ImageX to re-apply the OS partition. If there's nothing wrong with your OS files, the system should boot back up just like you had it before.




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