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  1. #1
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    No program list in Add/Remove Programs

    Friend of mine got two surplus laptops from his office, and asked me to get them ready for his kids to use. One of them is an HP EliteBook running Win7 Pro. When I go to Control Panel/Add&Remove Programs, the window never gets anything in it, and the laptop is totally unresponsive. The hard drive light flickers, but that's all. I can't close the window, Ctrl-Alt-Del won't bring up Task Manager, and the only thing I can do is power the laptop down via the On/Off button. How do I fix this?

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    How long have you waited for the list to display? The computer probably has issues, but I once worked on a computer where the list display took quite a bit of time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruirib View Post
    How long have you waited for the list to display? The computer probably has issues, but I once worked on a computer where the list display took quite a bit of time.
    Maybe 15 minutes? Do you really think waiting longer might produce a list?

  4. #4
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    JJ,

    Try booting into safe mode then exiting. Sometimes that will clear up some minor problems.
    You could also check the network settings and see if it has a Domain setup. Add/Remove programs could be serching for the Domain controller/server.
    Next I'd try using system restore and restore back as far as it will let you. Since you don't care about any of the stuff already on the machine this could clear up any problems with recent updates.
    Last you could get a download image of the appropriate OS version and try to do a repair install.

    Post back and let us know how things go.
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Did the laptops come with any recovery media or install disks?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CLiNT View Post
    Did the laptops come with any recovery media or install disks?
    No, but the other laptop (also an HP) had a recovery partition which I invoked by pressing F11 on boot. I'll have to see if the EliteBook has that.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Yes, that would be the way to go if you are able to restore to factory default.
    You could then clean it up and ready it from that point for whatever future use you have in mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJDetroit View Post
    Maybe 15 minutes? Do you really think waiting longer might produce a list?
    15 minutes is a bit too much, yes, but I didn't know how long was long. The computer I saw behaving like that could take around 4, 5 minutes to produce it.

    If you have a way to get a factory reset, that would be the way to go. Otherwise a repair install, with a downloadable ISO could also be a possibility.

  9. #9
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    You could also make a Repair Disk from the laptop that you used Recovery on, then use this Repair Disk to try to repair the installation on the second PC. When you insert and boot to the disk, click OK on date/time, then choose Repair My Computer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetiredGeek View Post
    JJ,

    Try booting into safe mode then exiting. Sometimes that will clear up some minor problems.
    You could also check the network settings and see if it has a Domain setup. Add/Remove programs could be serching for the Domain controller/server.
    Next I'd try using system restore and restore back as far as it will let you. Since you don't care about any of the stuff already on the machine this could clear up any problems with recent updates.
    Last you could get a download image of the appropriate OS version and try to do a repair install.

    Post back and let us know how things go.
    When I did a Safe Mode boot, the program list came up within a few seconds. The "newest" System Restore point was from mid-June, and when I used it, the program list came up quickly. EXCEPT there are 3 "damaged" program installs which try to run on every boot. The "rollback" put the laptop back in a domain, so I had to change it back to a workgroup.

    I realized yesterday that although the Windows sticker on the laptop is for Win7 Pro, it is actually running XP Pro. I called the friend who asked me to look at the two laptops, and he thinks the change was done by a previous IT guy at his company, allegedly because of "incompatibility" issues between Win7 and the company network. He's going to check today and see if the company has the restore disks which the HP website says should have shipped with the laptop. I think I need to wipe the machine and get Win7 Pro re-installed. If they can't find those disks, where can I find a download image of the OS, like you talked about? My poking around the HP website yesterday didn't find any way for me to purchase a replacement set of restore disks from HP.

  11. #11
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    You have official Windows 7 SP1 ISO downloads here: http://www.mydigitallife.info/official-windows-7-sp1-iso-from-digital-river/

    H
    opefully your OEM license will work and you need to download the ISO that matches your key.

  12. #12
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    There were a couple of older virii that could cause the panel not to load up after a normal boot as well to which only registry restore could fix once the damage had been accomplished. Also, these virii also inhibited Explorer from contacting MS Update. Try this to confirm if it is one of these older virii...

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