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How do I restore windows 7 default drivers & registry? (Without a reinstall... )

Posted on 2014-01-07
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Last Modified: 2014-01-18
I have windows 7 enterprise 64 bit.  About a week ago it started to act odd.  USB devices that used to work fine stopped working.

Plugging any device into a usb port leads to drivers not loaded / found.

These are all common devices that have no manufacturer drivers and used to work.

What I didn't realize at the time was that if I unplugged a USB device that was working and plugged it back in it would no longer work!!!

I have found 2 ancient (CrappY) USB devices that do work.  key board & nearly worn out Trackball.

I am suspecting that perfect registry optimizer has over time ruined my registry.  It would often lock up and I would just kill it :(

Is there any method to "reset" Win 7 to replace the drivers and registries to "factory" setting without a full re-image?

Like a dummy I have no working restore point and hate the idea of rebuilding the whole thing.....
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Question by:markmanjd
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Expert Comment

by:Will Szymkowski
ID: 39763903
If you have no working restore points I would suggest doing a Last known good configuration from boot up.

Will.
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Expert Comment

by:CubeOver
ID: 39763962
If you booted successfully after the registry damage, the Last Known Good is not going to help.

You may try the Perfect Registry Optimizer's "Restore" feature.

If a protected windows file is damaged, you could find out by running
SFC /VERIFYONLY
(in an elevated command prompt)
SFC /SCANNOW
to repair.

Otherwise it's a reinstall.
There is no way to recreate "default registry" beside the Restore feature in your software.

Was there a reason to run the Registry Optimiser?
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Author Comment

by:markmanjd
ID: 39763990
Reason to run it.... hmmmm.

I have been known to install and uninstall a lot of things so the registry does get a bit messy.

However, I see no good reason (in hindsight) to have it run at each boot.....

I did use the restore feature back to the first time it had been run.   no luck there....

I will see about the SFC stuff and get back to you, THANKS!
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Author Comment

by:markmanjd
ID: 39764105
SFC finds nothing out of order....

Reinstall looms in the near future.....
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Pradeep VIshwakarma earned 167 total points
ID: 39764270
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Assisted Solution

by:CubeOver
CubeOver earned 167 total points
ID: 39764301
I think a reinstall it is.
Installing and uninstalling software routinely is only a problem if uninstaller is incomplete, not tested thoroughly enough. Then again, it's not as bad as a complete OS reinstall.

Another thing is that your USB chip/ports may be failing, you'll only know if you boot off something else and test.
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Author Comment

by:markmanjd
ID: 39764387
OK, so I do not see Windows 7 Enterprise listed on the links for the direct download ISO that the sevenfourms article points to.

The DVD"s my "Enterprise" has may not play as nicely as the article shows.
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Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 166 total points
ID: 39764466
i assume when you relmove ANY usb device that you use the safe removal method?
if not, that can be the cause of your problems

Here a list of things to try :
-from Device manager scan for new hardware
-in device manager>view tab, click "show hidden devices" and delete all usb entries and hidden devices,  reboot and test
-then you can download the latest drivers for the chipset, and reinstall it to update the USB root hubs
-start>run>diskmgmt.msc      check if the usb devices show up in disk management, then run :   start>run>services.msc
In the listing look for removable storage service.
If it is set to Auto, and not started, then start it : click the Start link in the top left...
-In c:\windows\inf, look for usbstor.inf    -  If it is not there, you can copy it from another PC..When you find it, right click it and select Install

***instead of view hidden devices, try:
Right click Computer > Properties > Advanced System Settings at the left side >
in the Advanced tab select Environment Variables >
 in System Variables click New and enter:  "devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices" without the parenthesis - enter 1 for the Value.
Click Ok and Exit.
Now delete all devices in device manager  that are not in solid black
Reboot and test
i also found Safely Remove very handy  :  http://safelyremove.com/?pid=1
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Author Comment

by:markmanjd
ID: 39765380
I am not having any problems with USB storage.  only because I have not got any....

As of now, in safe mode only a PS/2 kbd works and a few old USB mice.
If I plug anything in it does not find a driver.

I will try the above method on USB stuff.
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Author Comment

by:markmanjd
ID: 39791293
Well, I thought I should update everyone.

None of the suggestions worked for me.  I even downloaded new chipset drivers and then unistalled the chipset from Device Manager and had it delete the old drivers.

After the reboot process and installing all new chipset drivers it still didn't work with the most rudimentary of USB devices....

I ended up doing a fresh Win 7 Enterprise install.  That fixed it.  I may never know what killed it but I am not reinstalling any of the tools that "optimize" registries or drivers.....
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Author Closing Comment

by:markmanjd
ID: 39791302
I think the "upgrade solution may have worked if I wasn't on Enterprise OS already"
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by:nobus
ID: 39791809
a fresh install is the only guaranteed solution
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