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Windows 7 won't boot anymore. Can't do safemode to remove incorrect driver due to RAID

I installed Windows 7 64bit. I even created a "repair CD" for my windows 7 installation. I however had issues getting any of my CD or DVD drives to popup so I finally updated my DELL PRECISION 690 Bios to the newest version to see if I could see more devices in Device manager possibly. I then tried updating to a newer PERC 5si integerated raid controller driver which made my Windows 7 stop booting. (used the 64bit windows vista driver from Dell's homepage).

Of course like previous crappy versions of Windows - Windows 7 also fails booting safe mode because I'm running RAID 1 mirrored disks. The raid one (Perc 5) driver has to be "loaded separately" but seemingly there is still no option for that during "safe mode".

Is there any tool that will allow me to boot the Filesystem and possibly edit to remove the "wrongly installed" Perc driver? Windows "last known good configuration" doesn't do anything and neither does "system restore" as it says there is no PREVIOUS system restore points (not sure if that's the RAID driver thats preventing that as well).

RAID is very common. It is unbelievable to me that if anything happens to a WINDOWS PC on a raid you're screwed to the point of reinstalling the entire OS from scratch... Figured SOME advancement should've been done on Windows 7 but thats like hoping it's going to start raining money I guess...

Booting from the Windows 7 CD or the Repair CD I had created all brings you to the dumb little menu that gives you the option to "automatically repair" which doesn't do anything helpful. Messes around for like 10 minutes and then "wasn't able to fix" problem.
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kajbjo
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kajbjo
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Patmac951Commented:
Did you install the Windows 7 on a brand new machine or was this an upgrade from a previous verion of Windows?  If it is a new installtion and you can afford to format the drives I would format and recreate the Raid arrays via the PERC Bios,  I believe you hit <Ctrl-A> during the boot sequence on a restart to enter the PERC controller BIOS.  
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DavidPresidentCommented:
2 Outside-the-box solutions for you ...

I got myself out of a similar situation by virtualizing an unbootable-due-to-RAID-drivers Win7 system.  The virtual machine couldn't give a flip about RAID drivers.  But I never had need to convert it back because it ran so much better.   There are probably more elegant ways of doing this, but it worked for me. In my case the virtualization software is Parallels Desktop for a Mac.  You'll probably want to use something else, but the concept is no matter what software virtualization package you use, you take the RAID drivers out of the equation so the system will boot.

Once it boots, then you at least have the system up, so you can get precious files, and use the system at least (and it leaves the original image alone so you won't hurt anything, providing you have plenty of free disk space elsewhere).

The other way to solve problem is to just boot another image of windows, mount the damaged Win7 disk and edit the various startup files (another expert can tell you specifically what entries you need to take off), then boot the repaired disk.

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Patmac951Commented:
Also depending upon your Dell Machine....are you sure your CD/DVD drives are connected to the PERC controller or are they on a separate controller?
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kajbjoAuthor Commented:
Well the PERC is built in.

I installed Windows 7 from scratch because I got virus raped after switching to MS Security Essentials on my XP installation and had to reinstall the entire system so I decided to install WIndows 7 64 bit from scratch. It was running great for a month or so but then I got sick of having it not detect any of my DVD or CD/RW drives so I tried to update the drivers and viola... the device manager never really detected the PERC controller... I figured that was the problem hence the Vista 64bit PERC install...

I managed to select command prompt at the repair screen and got to the C: drive and access the files there... so..

Now I just need to know if or which files I can modify  to get rid of the incorrect PERC driver?? :(

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Patmac951Commented:
So if I understand what you are saying....you somehow installed the PERC Vista 64Bit driver on a Windows 7 64 Bit OS?  Did you for the updated driver install in Device Manager?  Or did you run a setup routine that came with the driver download?
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Patmac951Commented:
In my last post....I meant to say did you "force" the incorrect Vista driver to install in the device manager, via Update Driver?

Sorry typing too quickly
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kajbjoAuthor Commented:
Yes that is correct. I did it in the device manager. Then it asked me to reboot as usual...

There was a PCI device with a question mark I was brave enough to guess that was my missing PERC controller...

/cry
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kajbjoAuthor Commented:
Guess what? I copied the content of the lastgood folder to the corresponding folder in windows. It consisted for a sys driver from the drivers directory. I copied and replaced the one under c:\windows\system32\drivers...

Voila! My PC booted up like normal.

I forgot about that trick. It came to me sitting around her sulking... can't believe it worked. Isn't it weird that "LAST KNOWN GOOD CONFIGURATION" didn't work then? Well, I guess it's not wierd.. it's Microsoft after all ;-)
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