This is for future customers for my business. I fix PCs for a living.
Please tell me how to tell if a partially booting PC with Windows 7 installed has SP1 or not. I,e the PC stops with error message (or similar problem) sometime during boot due to corrupt registry or corrupt OS files.
For Windows XP, the answer is boot from ANY XP CD and go to the Recovery Console (DOS prompt) and do a directory of the ...system32 folder and if many files have dates in 2008 then XP SP3 is installed.(Ie for XP SP3 is the latest (last) SP level and that is how you find out).
For Windows 7 is there a way by pressing F8 and going to Repair options to do this (example is a DOS prompt available in that menu, my own PC does not have Windows 7 and I can not check myself) OR some other way to do this by booting from a Windows 7 Professional SP1 Retail DVD (which I bought yesterday from a Craigs list seller).
Please do not reply to do Startup Repair OR System Restore. I KNOW THAT. This post is for situations where those approaches do NOT work and I need to install my SP1 W 7 DVD over the existing W 7 installl in a way that backs up the user data and Program Files folder to a Windows.old folder (NOT a Reformat Install and NOT an Upgrade install, the latter requires that the PC boot and work which is not my case.) I know I can do this if the PC and the install DVD BOTH have SP1 from another thread in this forum that I posted yesterday. I am not sure that it will work IF the PC is W 7 (not SP1) and my DVD is SP1
Hence knowing whether the PC has SP1 (to match my DVD) is ESSENTIAL to using the DVD. And the ONLY time I will EVER use the DVD is when the PC partially boots. (Note: If the PC does not boot due to a bad Hard Drive, then off course I do a Reformat install on a new HD and the SP level of the old HD is not relevant as it is no longer being used).
I am posting this in the Win 7 area AND the Vista area as I believe the anwer is the same for Vista as for Win 7 (but am not 100% sure). If you know the answer for Vista but not Win 7, please reply.