How to Do a Repair Install to Fix Windows 7

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How to Do a Repair Install to Fix Windows 7

Post  THE GIVEAWAY BLOG!! on Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:53 am

Information
This will show you how to do a repair install (aka: in-place upgrade install) to fix your currently installed Windows 7 and preserve your user accounts, data, programs, and system drivers.
Note
Do a Repair installation if:
A System Restore did not help fix your Windows 7.
There is no other easier option left that can fix your Windows 7.
You DO NOT want to do a Clean reinstall of Windows 7.
You DO want to preserve your user accounts, data, programs, and system drivers.
Tip
ITEMS THAT WILL BE RESET TO DEFAULT OR AFFECTED:
Sounds
Services
Visual Effects Settings
Device Drivers - Be sure to have these handy to reinstall. They do not always remain after the repair (upgrade) install.
You may lose the ability to sign on to MSN Messenger, to solve this problem have a look at this thread Unable to sign in to WLM.
You may lose your custom themes due to not having permisions set on the old themes. Go to the hidden themes folder at C:/Users/(User-Name)/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/Themes, then Take Ownership of the themes folder and you will now have all your themes back.
It has been reported that you may also lose your Media Center gadget after doing the repair install.
Windows Updates will need to be checked and reinstalled again.
Warning
You can only do a repair install with the same edition Windows 7 installation disc for the same edition of Windows 7 that you have installed.
You cannot use a OEM Windows 7 "Factory" Restore/Recovery type of installation disc that came with or created from a store bought computer to do a repair install with. These can only be used do a clean install instead.
You can do a repair install on a factory OEM installation with the latest official Windows 7 with SP1 ISO file here: Windows 7 SP1 ISO from Digital River « My Digital Life, and use Windows 7 USB-DVD Download Tool to create a bootable DVD or USB flash drive with the ISO to do the repair install with.
You can use a retail OEM Windows 7 installation disc to do a repair install with.
You can use a retail (full or upgrade) Windows 7 installation disc to do a repair install with.
You cannot do a repair install with a System Repair Disc. A System Repair Disc is not a installation disc, and will only boot to the System Recovery Options screen.
If you have a 32-bit (x86) Windows 7 currently installed, then you must use a 32-bit Windows 7 installation disc to be able to do a repair install with.
If you have a 64-bit (x64) Windows 7 currently installed, then you must use a 64-bit Windows 7 installation disc to be able to do a repair install with.
You can use a retail Windows 7 SP1 installation disc (ex: Technet (available), MSDN (available), or retail (when available)) to do a repair install with on a currently installed Windows 7 SP1.
You can use a Windows 7 SP1 installation disc (ex: Technet (available), MSDN (available), or retail (when available)) to do a repair install with on a currently installed slipstream Windows 7 SP1.
You cannot use a slipstream Windows 7 installation disc to do a repair install with on a currently installed Windows 7 SP1.
You cannot use a slipstream Windows 7 installation disc to do a repair install with on a currently installed slipstream Windows 7 SP1.
You can only do a repair install from within Windows 7.
You cannot do a repair install at boot or in Safe Mode.
You must be logged into Windows 7 in a administrator account to be able to do a repair install.
You must have at least 8.87 GB of free space, more if you have a larger installation, on the hard drive/partition Windows 7 is installed on to do a repair install.
If you changed the default location of the Program Files or Programs Files (x86) folder, then you will need to change it back to the C: drive, and change any shortcuts that pointed to the other location to also point to the C: drive before doing a repair install.
If you changed the default location of a user account's profile folder, then you will need to change it back to the default C:\Users location first.
If you moved the default location of a user folder, then you will need to change it back to the default C:\Users\(user-name) location first.





Here's How:
NOTE: Be sure to backup anything that you do not want to lose first to be extra safe.
1. Start Windows 7, and log on to an administrator account.

2. Disable any 3rd party firewall, antivirus, or other security program to avoid it from possibly preventing the repair in-place upgrade installation of Windows 7.

3. Do either step 4, 5, or 6 below depending if your retail Windows 7 installation ISO/DVD/USB has SP1 or not, and if your currently installed Windows 7 has SP1 installed or not.

4. Repair Installed Windows 7 SP1 using Windows 7 with SP1 ISO


Note
If you do not have a Windows 7 with SP1 ISO, then you can download the latest official Windows 7 with SP1 ISO file here: Windows 7 SP1 ISO from Digital River « My Digital Life.


A) If you have not already, you will need to install a program like 7-Zip that supports extracting a ISO to a folder.

B) Extract the Windows 7 SP1 ISO file to a folder on a partition or HDD other than the current Windows 7 partition.

C) While in Windows 7 SP1, open the folder that you extracted the ISO into, and run the setup.exe file.

D) Go to step 7 below.
5. Repair Installed Windows 7 SP1 using Windows 7 with SP1 DVD/USB

Note
If you do not have a Windows 7 with SP1 installation DVD/USB, then you can download the latest official Windows 7 with SP1 ISO file here: Windows 7 SP1 ISO from Digital River « My Digital Life, and use Windows 7 USB-DVD Download Tool to create a bootable DVD or USB flash drive with the ISO to do the repair install with using this step.

A) While in Windows 7 SP1, insert your retail Windows 7 SP1 installation DVD into the DVD drive, or connect your Windows 7 with SP1 installation USB thumb drive, and click on the Run setup.exe option in AutoPlay. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: If the AutoPlay window does not open, then open the drive folder in Computer and run the setup.exe file.

B) Go to Go to step 7 below.
6. Repair Installed Windows 7 without SP1 using Windows 7 without SP1 DVD/USB


Note
If you do not have a Windows 7 without SP1 installation DVD/USB, then you can download the latest official Windows 7 Professional or Home Premium without SP1 ISO file here: Download Windows 7 ISO (Official 32-bit and 64-bit Direct Download Links) « My Digital Life, and use Windows 7 USB-DVD Download Tool to create a bootable DVD or USB flash drive with the ISO to do the repair install with using this step.
It is preferred to have SP1 installed and use step 4 or 5 above to do a repair install instead.

A) While in Windows 7 SP1 installed, insert your retail Windows 7 installation DVD into the DVD drive, or connect your Windows 7 installation USB thumb drive, and click on the Run setup.exe option in AutoPlay. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: If the AutoPlay window does not open, then open the drive folder in Computer and run the setup.exe file.

B) Go to Go to step 7 below.
7. If prompted by UAC, then click on Yes.

8. Click on the Install Now button to start the installation. (see screenshot below)

9. If prompted, uncheck the I want to help make Windows installation better box (unless you would like to ), and click on the Go online to get the latest updates for installation option. (see screenshot below)

A) Windows 7 will now check online for and install any available installation updates. (see screenshots below)

10. Check the I accept the license terms box, and click on Next. (see screenshot below)

11. Click on the Upgrade option. (see screenshot below)

12. Windows will now check for any compatibility issues. If any are found like in the example below, take care of them first then restart the repair install process over again.

13. The installation of Windows 7 will now begin. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: During the installation process, your screen may flash and computer will restart a few times.

14. After the final restart, you will see this screen for a moment. (see screenshot below)

15. Type in your Windows 7 product key number. (see screenshot below step 16)

16. Uncheck the Automatically activate Windows when I'm online box unchecked, then click on the Next button. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: You can activate Windows 7 later after you make sure it is running properly. (see step 23 below)
If you chose to automatically activate Windows online when you set up your computer, automatic activation begins trying to activate your copy of Windows three days after you log on for the first time.

17. Click on Use recommended settings. (see screenshot below)

18. Select your time zone and set your time and date settings, then click on the Next button. (see screenshot below)

19. Click on the option for your computer's location to select the correct network location type settings to be applied for that location. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: It is best to select Public location for the best security.

20. Windows 7 will now prepare your desktop to startup. (see screenshots below)

21. Check to see if you are missing any user files. If you are, then you can copy them from the C:\Windows.old or the hidden protected operating system C:\$INPLACE.~TR and C:\WINDOWS.~Q backup folders. (see screenshot below)

22. If everything checks out in step 21, then you can run Disk Cleanup (step 6 at this link). You will need to click on the Clean up system files button first, and then could check the Files discarded by Windows upgrade, Previous Windows installations, and Windows upgrade log files boxes. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: This will delete the C:\Windows.old, C:\$INPLACE.~TR and C:\WINDOWS.~Q folders from step 21 above.

23. Refresh your Windows Experience Index (WEI) score.

24. When done, all you will need to do is to activate Windows 7, and make sure that your security programs are enabled again.
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