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Windows7 Ultimate Corrupted System File Needs Fix

Posted on 2013-11-23
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Have Windows7 Ultimate SP1 on a Dell Vostro 430 with a 250 GB Seagate HD.  It was working fine, but something happened to is overnight.  Had a black screen and could not post/boot.  I did some troubleshooting and got it to start in Safe Mode.  In there, I did a System Restore to a few days ago and it now boots up into Windows.

But, during boot, it attempts to check the HD and says that it can't unless I restore the computer to a date before the software allegedly changed, Nov. 18, 2013, but I can't do a restore to that date b/c it says there are corrupted system files.  And it won't let me do a chkdsk /f because of the corrupted files and without a restore.  The comp does not show any other restore points.

I did a SeaTools for Dos Short Test that passed.  I am now running the Long Test while looking for my install CD.

Is there a way around this issue without the CD?
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Question by:tjvetter
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Expert Comment

by:hopeleonie
ID: 39671828
You can try sfc /scannow.

How to:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929833
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Expert Comment

by:Dan Craciun
ID: 39671855
If you have another PC available, connect the hdd to it (internally or via an USB caddy) and run chkdsk from there.

HTH,
Dan
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Assisted Solution

by:jcimarron
jcimarron earned 100 total points
ID: 39671954
tjvetter--
You can get a full retail CD for Windows7 Ultimate SP1 from this site.
http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-windows_install/i-do-not-have-windows-7-media-but-i-do-have-my/5ce13741-ac25-4969-ae82-2494726aac1c
Be sure to download the correct version for 64 or 32 bit.  As instructed on that site, burn the downloaded file as an .iso file to a DVD.

This is perfectly legit and when needed you will use the Product Key you hopefully already have for the existing installation.

This should work in a Repair Install, which maybe the best course of action for you.
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/3413-repair-install.html

A Repair Install should not affect personal data or installed programs, but it never hurts to run a backup first.
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Author Comment

by:tjvetter
ID: 39671956
Dan -- Does it matter if the other PC is 64-bit and this one is 32-bit? -- Tom
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by:jcimarron
ID: 39671962
tjvetter--I meant to add to my post above a suggestion to look in Event Viewer for Error messages from last night.  You can Copy the info in the Detail window (right panel--Copy) and post here.

And if you can post a screenshot of the error message "says that it can't unless I restore the computer to a date before the software allegedly changed"  that might help us.
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by:pgm554
ID: 39671970
My best guess is you have a bad spot on the disk somewhere.
The Seatools may be able to fix it,,but if the data is corrupted on that restore partition,you will need to do a repair reinstall and even then I would not trust that disk anymore.

Once you start to develop hard errors,it's time to punt.
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by:web_tracker
ID: 39672204
I would run the dell diags that is built into the computer. When you first turn on the computer tap the f12 key repeatedly until you get a boot menu, you can scroll down to the diagnostics section, it will then do a preboot assessment testing the hard drive and ram. Let it run, If you have any errors you have a hardware issue and may need to replace the part suggested. If your computer is still under warranty Dell will replace the bad part such as the hard drive or the ram modules.
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nobus earned 400 total points
ID: 39672291
run msconfig and in Boot tab select safe boot
reboot, it should do the chkdsk

**make a backup first -  always wise!
personally, i first run a quick diag on the disk -  to be sure it operates ok
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Author Closing Comment

by:tjvetter
ID: 39673639
Okay, thanks to all.  
Nobus, your fix worked and chkdsk found several indexing errors that were corrected.  Now the PC boots up into Windows 7 without any glitches.
Jcimarron, thanks for that, I have the Product Key for my existing, so perfect.
Others, I had already found the sfc /scannow fix, I had already run the Dell hardware diagnostics app and  found no errors, the HD hardware passed the Long Test, and I did not have to connect the HD to another computer.  And, I had run the boot error troubleshooting procedure recommended by nobus on this site.
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by:nobus
ID: 39673849
tx for feedback
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by:jcimarron
ID: 39675395
tjvetter--Glad to have helped.
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