troubleshooting Question

Windows 7 Pro - Won't boot - simply installed Garmin and "whap!"

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whftherbFlag for United States of America asked on
Windows OSMicrosoft Legacy OSWindows 7
26 Comments3 Solutions1086 ViewsLast Modified:
Hello -

I have a fairly new Acer Vertion VX275, with Windows 7 Professional - 32bit.  3gB RAM, 320gB HDD, not close to half full.  Graphics off the Mobo.  Been working smoothly until the other day.  I bought a Garmin GPS and registered the device at Garmin.  They offered a map update and as the Garmin was connected via USB, I allowed.  It went through and downloaded the map file(s) and claimed success.  Disconnected the Garmin (via the icon in the systray) and  shut down.  I went to dinner.  Came back and attempted to power up.  This is what I'm now facing:

Power on - one beep.
Screen blank for a moment.
Screen blank for a moment.
"Starting Windows"
4 colored light balls animated forming the ubiquitous flag.
Screen blank for a moment.
"Setup is starting services"
Halts with an error box, mid screen, announcing:  "Windows could not complete the installation.  To install Windows on this computer, restart the installation".
The Garmin install or update has apparently triggered a more serious event.
I've fired up an Ultimate Boot CD which gives me an XP desktop and use of Explorer.  I've drilled down to \Windows\system32\config and found the files containing five registry hives.  All are dated today and have a filesize of 256kB.  I looked one folder down in \regback and found the corresponding 5 hives from yesterday.  They're all 0 bytes.

Does Win7 store further earlier copies of the registry elsewhere?  Do I have any other options at this point rather than reinstall?  Acer gives you the hidden recovery partition and I know how to get into that.  I did make a recovery CD but of course that's not going to fix this.

What are my options, good people?


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