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  1. #1
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    Frustrating Win7 reinstall

    I made a post in another place in the lounge when I was trying to correct a problem I was having with my Quicken program, which never got solved. As I was having other problems with my computer, such as not starting up, freezing periodically, etc., I decided the bite the bullet and reinstall Win7 despite the potential hassles involved with reinstalling apps, setting up e-mail and a host of other issues.

    After the Win 7 reinstall I reinstalled Quicken and found, as I expected, that the former Quicken problem no longer existed. Windows also advised that new updates were available – 72 to be precise!

    After downloading and installing about 60 of those updates, I accessed my Quicken program and found that I had serious problems, most particularly with data that was all screwed up. I also found that when I attempted to re-establish on-line connections with banks, credit card companies and others companies in which I owned stocks, in almost every case I was advised that the site was unsafe, that the certificate was out of date. I was usually able to get around that by creating an exception, but that didn’t really seem wise.

    After reinstalling Win 7, I thought I would be getting away from all the problems I was having – not so. About every other time I log on either Windows won’t start or it freezes. I have used the system repair disk to get going again, but am confused by the session detail information when that disk was run. Under session details, here is what they said:

    “System Disk = \Device\Harddisk0
    Windows Directory = D:\Windows (??? Where does D come from?)
    AutoChk Run = 0
    Number of Root Causes = 1”

    At the end of all the details it says:

    “Root cause found 1
    Boot status indicates that the OS loaded successfully”

    I apologize for the length of this post, but I didn’t know how to make my problems more precise. Does anyone have any idea what might be going on here?

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Instead of installing the 72 updates, I would try to install SP1. After installing SP1, then see how many are left to install, install them one at a time to see what happens. I would then install a good AV app. Once you have these all set up and working, then install Quicken. I originally had Quicken 2008 Deluxe and recently upgraded to Quicken 2011 Deluxe. Both worked fine in Win 7.

    What other apps do you have installed in addition to Quicken? I can't imagine this is the only app installed. I always install those apps most important first, make sure things work properly, then move on to the next app. I realize this is somewhat more ime consuming. but seems to hive me a better operational system. I hope these suggestions help.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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  3. #3
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    The right way to install software after a clean install;
    1. Custom clean install and set up all your partitions at this time.
    Upon 1st boot install all of your needed drivers: Chipset, LAN, & Audio/Video drivers, preferably the most up-to-date available at the time. Download them before hand and have them ready for when they are to be needed. Alow a full reboot as many times as needed. Don't install any major applications at this time.
    Make a full drive image to a partition or external drive.
    2. Fully update the operating system via Windows Update and alow a full reboot as many times as needed. Don't install any major applications at this time. Make a full drive image to a partition or external drive as an option.
    3. Start installing known good and known compatible applications first. Have all your application ready and at hand. If there is an application that has questionable compatibility, leave it for last. leave the more complex applications for last.
    Make a full drive image to a partition or external drive only after you have installed all updates & established the system is stable.
    *Visit Windows update again if you have any MS software like Office or, in your case, Quicken.*
    4. Create all your personalized settings and operating system tweaks and reimage when satisfied.

    Most of your software issues will arise when many large operating system updates are installed overtop of already installed programs, especially MS Office, Quicken, and other complex applications like Antivirus suits et al.


    The default custom clean install of Windows 7 creates a small partition that may not be needed unless MS BitLocker is to be used.
    This may explain the "D" directory you are seeing.
    If this is the case and you donot use Microsoft's file encryption software, then that 100-200 MB partition can be safely removed with a simple 3rd party partitioning tool.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2011-03-27 at 11:20.

  4. #4
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    Thank you, Ted & Clint for your helpful suggestions.

    With respect to your question about other apps, Ted, I have a lot of them, including CCleaner, AI Roboform, Eulalyzer, Gadwin Systems (Print Screen), MyDefrag, Malwarebytes Anti Malware, Microsoft Security Essentials, Firefox, Revo Uninstaller, Google Desktop, Ultimate Windows, Trusteer Rapport, Win Patrol, Microsoft Office (2000) and some other minor items.

    Your suggestions, Clint, are very complete, although not entirely clear to me. I have had just one partition in the past, so I'm not clear about the seperate partition for drivers, chipset, etc. I'm not sure how I would determine which items to install in this partition or where to find them. Also I'm not entirely clear why you reccommend making full drive images after each step. Could you shed alittle more light on that please.

    Do either one of you have any idea why I'm getting those security warnings when I try to connect to sites I've had no problems with in the past?

  5. #5
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    One more thing just occurred to me. After my recent unsuccessful reinstall, I noted that when I open up My Computer, it lists the C drive, DVD Drive (D), DVD RW Drive (E), and then 5 Removable Disks - (F through J). I have used two different external hard drives periodically, which usually get labeled as (K) and are listed with the other Hard Disk Drive (C). Where do all those extra removable drives come from and can they be deleted?

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    The suggestion of a full Image Clint made was to either create a new partition to store Images, or use an Ext HD (I use an ext USB HD to store all my Images). You can find suggestions on how to partition your HD by doing a Google Search. Any competent 3rd party partitioning app will do the trick. I used Partition Wizard (free). Easeus is another app discussed in these forums.

    The other removable drives may be SD Card Drive and memory card drives, etc. Most laptops have many different drives available. I do not recall if you mentioned whether you have a desktop or laptop, but this could be your case as well.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by CLiNT View Post
    The right way to install software after a clean install;
    1. Custom clean install and set up all your partitions at this time.
    Upon 1st boot install all of your needed drivers: Chipset, LAN, & Audio/Video drivers, preferably the most up-to-date available at the time. Download them before hand and have them ready for when they are to be needed. Alow a full reboot as many times as needed. Don't install any major applications at this time.
    Make a full drive image to a partition or external drive.
    2. Fully update the operating system via Windows Update and alow a full reboot as many times as needed. Don't install any major applications at this time. Make a full drive image to a partition or external drive as an option.
    3. Start installing known good and known compatible applications first. Have all your application ready and at hand. If there is an application that has questionable compatibility, leave it for last. leave the more complex applications for last.
    Make a full drive image to a partition or external drive only after you have installed all updates & established the system is stable.
    *Visit Windows update again if you have any MS software like Office or, in your case, Quicken.*
    4. Create all your personalized settings and operating system tweaks and reimage when satisfied.

    Most of your software issues will arise when many large operating system updates are installed overtop of already installed programs, especially MS Office, Quicken, and other complex applications like Antivirus suits et al.


    The default custom clean install of Windows 7 creates a small partition that may not be needed unless MS BitLocker is to be used.
    This may explain the "D" directory you are seeing.
    If this is the case and you donot use Microsoft's file encryption software, then that 100-200 MB partition can be safely removed with a simple 3rd party partitioning tool.
    Thanks CLiNT, very informative instructions.
    Would Win7 be used for all of the imaging steps and the partitioning? Is there a need for 3rd party apps for backup/cloning/partitioning? Does a bootable recovery disk need to be made?

    Some systems, such as Dell, require another driver install before install of regular drivers mentioned.

    Quote Originally Posted by tedshemyers View Post
    .........

    The other removable drives may be SD Card Drive and memory card drives, etc. Most laptops have many different drives available. I do not recall if you mentioned whether you have a desktop or laptop, but this could be your case as well.
    Ted is on track, there is probably a card reader installed.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Thanks CLiNT, very informative instructions.
    Would Win7 be used for all of the imaging steps and the partitioning? Is there a need for 3rd party apps for backup/cloning/partitioning? Does a bootable recovery disk need to be made?

    Some systems, such as Dell, require another driver install before install of regular drivers mentioned.
    You could use the native drive imaging tool that comes with Windows 7 "Backup and Restore". You could also create a boot disk at this time. Many here use 3rd party imaging tools like Acronis TI, for example.
    A 3rd party partitioning manager may be needed to remove the partition that Windows 7 automatically sets up upon custom clean install. This partition will be located at the begining of the drive.

    When I wrote about drivers, I mean getting all the latest (your specific computer's manufacturer) prior to doing a clean install so you don't have to go hunting for them or rely on Windows Update to provide them when the time is needed.
    When I wrote about creating partitions I didn't mean a partition for each of your drivers. Partitions are usually best setup during the format period just before doing a full clean install, this is a common practice for a full format & clean install.

    Partitions are especially useful for keeping drive imaged backups on, copies of installed programs and drivers for future safe keeping, and plain user generated data.

    The Explorer: Fred's System Setup Secrets
    The above article is somewhat outdated but it is still has some very useful information regarding backup methods. It will give you a better idea of where I'm coming from.

    I recommend reading up on various methods of computer backup & Partition uses.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2011-03-27 at 22:31.

  9. #9
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    Well, I think I'm ready to take a crack at the clean install you laid out, Clint. I visited Dell's website and downloaded driver files - 1 Audio, 2 Network, 2 Sata Drives and 1 Video. That doesn't seem like many to me so maybe they are just updates to exisiting drivers, as 5 were noted as "Urgent" and one was "Recommended " under the importance category. What do you think?

    I also downloaded a partition manager so I guess I can delete that small partition you said was a default. I also have a 1T. Seagate "Free Agent GoFlex Ultra Portable Drive for backups. I don't particularly want a lot of partitions as I am used to keeping program .exe files in a download folder and as noted in post #4, I have been using only one as far I know . What do you recommend?
    Last edited by lodidad1; 2011-03-29 at 16:12. Reason: Noted some missing words

  10. #10
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Drivers
    I am unfamiliar with Dell's "Urgent vs recommended" drive categorizations. I would assume "urgent", but look before downloading and installing.
    You need to look for the drivers dated closest to the present and ignore earlier versions. These will be the latest drivers and they don't need earlier
    versions to be installed first in order to function.
    Pick up all the latest drivers and any other software you may have found usefull or you otherwise deem needed.
    Partitions
    I recommend at least 3 partitions, including the primary the os resides on. One for imaged backups and one for user data, programs, and updated drivers.
    You can organize the later in well labeled folders and subfolders. I would also keep using that external drive as you have been. The more backup the better.

    Your operating system will be healthier and function faster if you;
    1 keep your installed programs list to a minimal with only trusted/secure applications.
    2 Keep user generated data accumulation to a minimal on the operating system's drive, hence the partition.
    3 Think before you install big name/complex Programs/applications; Ask yourself if this install gets fudged up am I willing to spend alot of time toiling to get it
    up and running again, or should I be making an image prior to.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the added input. I'll start the process tomorrow when I have a day off and report back when it's a done deal!

  12. #12
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    Well, it's now a couple of days later, and I have reached a new high in frustration level. Apparently, I don't have the same reinstallation disk as others have. My custom install option didn't give me an opportunity to set up partitions. It already had three of them set up - one 54MB (46MB free) labeled OEM reserved, one 10.7GB (4.7GB free) called Recovery and labeled System and one 455GB (392.6GB free) called OS and labeled Primary.

    When the install was done, the real "fun" began. I installed all but 10 of the updates and patches with my computer either not booting up or booting up only part way, or booting up all the way and then at some later point, freezing or shutting down for no apparent reason. I got sick of seeing the "Start Windows normally" or "Run System repair (recommended)" screen.

    I think there must be something else wrong with this system of mine. It also doesn't recognize one of my external USB hard drives when it's plugged in. It usually makes a series of beeps when it's starting to boot up - frequently one beep, a pause and then two more beeps. If I recall rightly, I think it relates to some kind of power on test, but I have no clue as to its meaning.

    Anyone have any more comments or suggestions? I need to post this quick before I shut down!!

  13. #13
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    What Dell model is it? Any other specs would help.

    Review, on the Dell web site for your specific Service Tag #, the Dell Driver install order. There is usually one specific driver that is recommended to be installed First before any other drivers are installed.

  14. #14
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Why don't you get a partition app such as Partition Wizard and just delete the 2 small partitions and recover the space into your main partition. The really small partition is reserved, I believe, for Bitlocker if you use it. The recovery partition has info to recover your old OS. Here's what I would do (did on my system)
    1) Use Partition Wizard to create just 1 partition on the HD and recover the space from the 2 unused partitions.
    2) Install Win 7 from scratch on this one partition.
    3) Install SP1, then whatever updates are left after SP1 has installed.
    4) Install your AV/AM app.
    5) after everything is up and running, create an Image of the basic Win 7 install before adding any other apps. This will become you restore media. I would suggest saving your Images on a separate ext HD at present. I would also suggest making a Rescue Media of whatever Imaging app you use as if your PC becomes unbootale this rescue media can be booted to to restore the Image you created.
    6) Now use Partition Wizard to create as many separate partitions as you wish. I would suggest 60 to 70 GB for the C Drive (OS and apps) and the remainder dor the other drives. Many of the experts here do so for data (D Drive) some do so for a data storage area for their Images (What ever drive letter you wish to use. The system will most likely assign E Drive) and so on. After your partitions are set up, the system will assign drive letters to all additional drives (optical drives, etc)
    7) Move all data to the D Drive.
    8) Create another Image of both drives.
    9) Install all apps at this time. (your problem may be you are trying to do too much at once in your installation)
    10) Once everything is up and running the way you want it, create yet another Image of the final HD. This will be your ultimate restoration Image. I would also recommend recreating a new Image whenever you make changes as the time to restore gets progressively longer the older the Image is.

    I did this exact procedure on 2 separate laptops with fantastic results.
    Last edited by Medico; 2011-04-02 at 04:50.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  15. #15
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    What [exactly] are you reinstalling your operating system from?

    A Dell OEM reinstall disk.
    A Dell OEM reinstall imaged disk. (factory restore)
    A Dell recovery option that points to a hidden partition with an OEM imaged copy of your os. (factory restore)
    A genuine Windows 7 installation DVD.

    We need to be clear on this.

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