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The Windows 7 Enterprise Repair lesson learned for a multilanguage edition (Enterprise or Ultimate)

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Note: This article may be useful only for people who do not have the English version of Windows 7 Enterprise/Ultimate installed (64-bit). Please read carefully and decide if it suits your specific needs.


It happened, that I wanted to install Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 RC. The installer required presence of the Internet Explorer 10 first. "Unfortunately", I mostly do not use Internet Explorer, and I had only an older version. When trying the Windows Update mechanism, I was not able to work around all the errors. You can find the discussion with other experts here http:Q_28241514.html.

Simply said, I did not find the usual way to fix my Windows. The Repair install (described nicely here http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/3413-repair-install.html) was the only way I was able to fix everything. Its core idea is to use the Upgrade mechanism present at the Windows installation disk. However, I had to overcome some related problems that were not obvious from the article.

My guess is that the update problem could be caused by non-English primary installation (see below). Of course, your reason for the need to repair or upgrade your Windows installation may differ. Still, the observations may be helpful for you.

The observations and the steps

1. Full backup

I did not need finally to use the full backup. Anyway, one should never try whether he or she is lucky this way. So, I recommend to make the full backup (via the Windows Action center -- the small flag at the right bottom part of your screen -- the taskbar icon).

2. Language version

The old instalation (that I wanted to fix) was done from Windows 7 Enterprise DVD from MSDN, disc no 4655 from November 2009. This specific DVD contained the installer for the following languages:  English, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, and Russian. It differs from ISO images for separate languages. The installer contains the first step where you choose the installation language, and it is apparently used and installed as the system language. In other words, it seemed later as if the original installation was made from the Czech DVD. This had consequences for the later steps.

3. Updates changed the original to SP1

During the time of using the original installation, the Windows Update tool added all the SP1 enhancements, and the OS was marked as Windows 7 Enterprise Service Pack 1.

4. The ISO image needed for the repair

Because of the step 2 and 3, the ISO image of the Czech Windows 7 Enterprise with SP1 had to be used for the repair. I tried also the English Windows 7 Enterprise with SP1, but it differs in the primary language and was refused. When trying the ISO for Czech Windows 7 Enterprise without SP1, the DVD was refused with explanation that I cannot upgrade to the older system (or a wording something like that).

5. I did use the touchable, burned DVD, not the ISO image only

The description at the link above (on how to do the repair; OK, I will repeat here http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/3413-repair-install.html) gives you the alternatives for having ISO only, or physical DVD. I did not try the ISO-only way. The article is really helpful and applicable as you probably do not to that every day, and it is good to know what is to be expected. Possibly minor differences were observed, but nothing surprising.

6. It really took several hours

The installer warned that the process may take several hours. Being used to the pesimistic notes like that coupled with downloads and updates elsewhere, just a smile leaked from my lips. However, the warning is correct. It apparently depends on how many applications you have installed, and how complex they are (size and settings). The computer is a bit obsolete, upgraded once (Intel Core 2, 6420 at 2.13GHz; 4 GB RAM), anyway it seems to be heavily hard disk activity dependent, and the faster procesor may not make it much faster. It took about 8 hours (read it one full working day), rebooting often, you know. Just get ready for that fact, use another computer in the time if you need some work to be done, read a book, or plan to do something else during the process.

7. Windows Update had to be run several times

The goal, i.e. the installation of Internet Explorer 10, was achieved via Windows Update tool (I did not need the standalone IE10 installation package). The Windows Update tool had to be rerun several times. Apparently the newer updates where not visible before the older were installed. So, do not be surprised. (No, you are not lucky when you think "The several hours does not apply to me".)Have a nice time, (and study a Linux-related literature ;)
1 Comment
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Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
Several Hours turned out to be >12 Hours for me once

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