Broken Windows Installer

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cruisemonkey

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Broken Windows Installer
« on: March 29, 2015, 02:24:11 PM »
I've spent weeks trying to fix this (every 'solution' found on the web)... to no avail.

I'm running Windows 7 (Starter) on my personal laptop, and something has destroyed the Windows Installer. Certain programs can be uninstalled but not re-installed (Chrome), others cannot be uninstalled (Belarc Advisor). Chrome won't update. Avast virus definitions update cannot be downloaded... the list goes on. I get a multitude of error messages from: 'Do not have required permissions' (I have administrator permissions for the entire computer), to 'Cannot find Install.log file.

Microsoft's Fixit (portable) for Installer looked promising... but when I try to download it to my desktop computer, no matter where I try and run/save it, it says an error has occurred (no other information).

It looks like I may have to do a clean install of Windows.

Any ideas before I do that?
The Koreans once gave me five minutes notice - I didn't know what to do with the extra time.

Re: Broken Windows Installer
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2015, 02:44:40 PM »
Attempt to install in Safe mode and/or use an installation disk to "Repair your computer"?

I'd probably start from scratch. Copy my files to an external hard drive then wipe the computer.

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cruisemonkey

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Re: Broken Windows Installer
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2015, 03:13:36 PM »
It's the same in Safe Mode, and I don't have a installation disk - no internal CD drive (HP Pavilion dm 1).

Windows 7 (Starter) was installed by my Chinese 'computer guy' after I fried the original hard drive by spilling coffee on it. He could not install Windows 7 (Ultimate)... as he did on my Lenovo desktop computer, because the computer was bought in Canada.

Everything was fine until about a month ago when it suddenly went TU.
The Koreans once gave me five minutes notice - I didn't know what to do with the extra time.

Re: Broken Windows Installer
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2015, 03:27:52 PM »
It's the same in Safe Mode, and I don't have a installation disk - no internal CD drive (HP Pavilion dm 1).

Bootable usb stick then?

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Windows 7 (Starter) was installed by my Chinese 'computer guy' after I fried the original hard drive by spilling coffee on it. He could not install Windows 7 (Ultimate)... as he did on my Lenovo desktop computer, because the computer was bought in Canada.

I don't even

Installing an OS via bootable usb should override whatever it is about Canadian retailing that presently causes problems. But it doesn't?

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Everything was fine until about a month ago when it suddenly went TU.

So, malware then? Perhaps use your other computer to install Malwarebytes on a usb, then use it on the dud computer, in normal mode then safe mode.

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cruisemonkey

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Re: Broken Windows Installer
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2015, 05:50:47 PM »
I don't have Windows 7 on a bootable USB.

I tried to 'restore' from my backup USB... it didn't work.

Installing from computer guy's bootable USB doesn't override whatever it is about Canadian 'settings'.

The computer has (and had when the problem occured): Malware Bytes, Avast and AVG installed. They all indicate no malware. 
The Koreans once gave me five minutes notice - I didn't know what to do with the extra time.

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BrandeX

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Re: Broken Windows Installer
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2015, 06:08:15 PM »
As per Avast!, it's now blocked in China apparently, so you won't get virus definiation updates without a vpn.

Re: Broken Windows Installer
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2015, 06:39:41 PM »
This thing doesn't work for you?:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/mats/program_install_and_uninstall

Meanwhile...

Windows 7 on a bootable usb is as far away as your next torrent. However, it'll be different from your present installation so might not act as a repair disk.

I'm baffled as to why a Canadian laptop would refuse to accept an OS - is it possibly your BIOS settings? That's to say, is the BIOS set up to allow boot from a USB device? You can access BIOS, and allow USB boot, by the following procedure:

(1) plug in your bootable USB stick.
(2) initiate a reboot (or just turn the machine on)
(3) during reboot, when you see the HP logo appear for the first time, press the correct function key - it's usually F1, but it might be F2, F8 or F10. (eta: I see online people saying F10 and F12 for HP Pavillions.)
(4) Witness the glory of your BIOS settings page or know by seeing the Windows logo that you must go back to (2) and start again
(5) Find a tab called "System" or something like that
(6) Find an entry called "Boot Sequence" or something like that
(7) You should see the name of your USB stick probably last on the list - do whatever it takes to get that name to first place in the list.

After that, when you reboot, you're computer will boot from that USB stick, Canadian retail presets be damned.

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cruisemonkey

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Re: Broken Windows Installer
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2015, 09:45:27 PM »
I have a Very Passable Nicety and update Avast from here on my Lenovo desktop -
https://www.avast.com/en-us/download-update
It does not work on the fucked-up HP laptop.

The Microsoft Fixit does not work... it starts, then stops... and only tells me "An error has occured".

I'm downloading a copy of Windows 7 to make a bootable USB from Kickass, and will try to use that to boot in BIOS... let you know if it works.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2015, 10:00:28 PM by cruisemonkey »
The Koreans once gave me five minutes notice - I didn't know what to do with the extra time.

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cruisemonkey

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Re: Broken Windows Installer
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2015, 11:56:03 PM »
I don't know where the hell to get/look for the 'Source Image File' when I am at 'Create Bootable USB Drive...' using PowerISO

There's always some esoteric instruction that might as well tell me to 'go to Mars...'
The Koreans once gave me five minutes notice - I didn't know what to do with the extra time.

Re: Broken Windows Installer
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2015, 12:28:34 AM »
Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool is what you want. Despite the incongruous title, what it does is copy an ISO file to a USB stick and make that stick bootable. The ISO file in question - what PowerISO is calling the "Source Image File" - is whatever you downloaded earlier. (An ISO file is an optical disk image - a copy, in this case, of a windows installation disk). You find it in your torrent folder, or wherever good people keep copies of disks.

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cruisemonkey

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Re: Broken Windows Installer
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2015, 01:43:42 AM »
So, what torrent am I looking to download?

When I searched Kickass for Windows 7, I ended up dowloading PowerISO... and it doesn't come with the ISO file I need... just as Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool doesn't.
The Koreans once gave me five minutes notice - I didn't know what to do with the extra time.

Re: Broken Windows Installer
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2015, 02:24:30 AM »
No, well, Windows ISOs are in the gigabyte ranges...

What you looking for? 32bit or 64bit? (If you have less than 2Gb ram, then 32bit.) Starter, Home, Professional, or Ultimate? (Ultimate is more or less the same as Professional but with some extra stuff, like Bitlocker and the ability to install Chinese and other language packs.) All of them in one or just one?

Just looking over the Kickass offerings, and me being not entirely comfortable making direct links in a forever-and-ever public post, personally, if it were me, I'd consider something that said "WINDOWS 7 ALL IN ONE PRE-ACTIVATED" or perhaps "Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 X86 X64" (X86 is 32bit and X64 is 64bit) or just "Windows 7 Sp1 Ultimate en-US (x86)" which is probably what you want, Windows 7 Ultimate, US-English, 32bit, nothing else added.

And "pre-activated" is a plus.

All of them, btw, if scanned, might well sound alarms on anti-virus software. Activation scripts and whatnots are counted by antivirus software as bad. So, Caveat Pirator.


I feel myself going to hell.

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cruisemonkey

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Re: Broken Windows Installer
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2015, 02:52:47 AM »
It's 32bit, Windows 7 Starter (tech dude couldn't load Ultimate when he replaced the hard drive after I spilled coffee on it). I originally had Windows 7 Professional (legal) but of course lost it... along with Office 2010 ($99)... and everything else that was on the computer.

So, if I understand, downloading an ISO and using it to boot from a USB will be just like doing a clean install... and I'll be starting from scratch?

Does "pre-activated" mean it won't require a product key code... and thus, I won't have a black desktop screen after 30 days... or be a victim of software piracy? (facetious)
 bibibibibi
The Koreans once gave me five minutes notice - I didn't know what to do with the extra time.

Re: Broken Windows Installer
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2015, 03:13:14 AM »
It's 32bit, Windows 7 Starter (tech dude couldn't load Ultimate when he replaced the hard drive after I spilled coffee on it). I originally had Windows 7 Professional (legal) but of course lost it... along with Office 2010 ($99)... and everything else that was on the computer.

Was there a reason he couldn't load Ultimate? If Starter works, Ultimate should too, presumably.

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So, if I understand, downloading an ISO and using it to boot from a USB will be just like doing a clean install... and I'll be starting from scratch?

There should be a screen at the beginning asking if you want to install or repair. Since the disk is not the same as your original disk, I don't know if you'll get the repair option. If you don't, you'll presumably still get the option to install on a different partition. If you want a thoroughly clean install, you probably have to tell it to format the disk first. That will definitely erase everything.

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Does "pre-activated" mean it won't require a product key code... and thus, I won't have a black desktop screen after 30 days... or be a victim of software piracy? (facetious)  bibibibibi

Yup. Also usually means you can use Windows Update without worries.

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cruisemonkey

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Re: Broken Windows Installer
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2015, 03:34:19 AM »
Was there a reason he couldn't load Ultimate? If Starter works, Ultimate should too, presumably.

I don't know... he seemed to figure it was because the computer was bought in Canada.
The Koreans once gave me five minutes notice - I didn't know what to do with the extra time.