My computer is now useless.
I had windows XP, and recently decided to upgrade to 7, skipping Vista. I have all my
important files backed up, and I intend to reformat the hard drive and start fresh. I put in the Windows 7 disk, clicked
through the various "customize" and "advanced" tabs on the screen where I select a drive to install to, selected the drive I
wanted, and hit "format", and verified that I really meant to do that. Nothing appeared to be happening, so I got up and
made some lunch, and when I came back nothing still appeared to be happening. I assumed that it might format the drive during
the next step. I am still not clear whether this is the case or not.
I selected the drive and proceeded with the
installation. It said it was copying the files from the disk, then expanding the files, but it remained at 0% files expanded
for several minutes before informing me that the files were missing, and the installation could not continue. It took me
back to the first screen, and I tried all the prior steps again, twice, both with and without selecting format and had
identical results. I decided to restart and try again, which I did by closing the installation window and verifying the
restart, only to have more identical results.
Frustrated, I decided to simply upgrade the XP installation to 7 and
then manually delete the chaff from the HDD when the process was finished. I restarted again, this time selecting upgrade
from the menu, where it informed me that I had to open this option while running my previous version of Windows. I restarted
yet again, this time not booting from the DVD, and saw "BOOTMGR is missing, Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart".
Getting pretty sick of restarting repeatedly and getting nowhere (it keeps going downhill from here), I nonetheless tried
again, to be greeted with the same message. I finally resorted to firing up my trusty Compaq laptop slab from 2001 (where I
am writing this right now) and Googling the error, and came up with two possible fixes to try.
Rebooting to the
DVD, I selected "repair your computer" instead of install, but the list of existing operating systems was empty. I hit "use
recovery tools (yadda yada)" anyway, opened the terminal, and tried startup repair, which said it could not fix my problem.
Then, I opened the terminal and tried bootrec.exe /fixboot (successful), bootrec.exe /fixmbr (successful), and bootrec.exe
/rebuildbcd (0 windows installations identified). Restarted, got same error. Thinking that the empty existing operating
systems list and the rebuildbcd message meant that something was wrong with my XP install now, I dug out my dusty old XP disk
and tried to use it to repair or reformat the drive in a desperate bid to regain some usefulness from my machine.
It BSoD'd before geting to any options, and continues to do so if I restart and try again.
So, to recap:
Can't finish windows 7 installation, it can't find the files it just copied.
Can't open previous XP installation, it can't find the bootmgr.
Can't upgrade XP to 7, it requires me to be in XP first.
Can't fix the bootmgr, it doesn't think the XP install is there.
Can't install fresh XP, it BSoDs.
Can't do anything with my computer anymore, see above.
How do I proceed?
EDIT: Ah, forgot the hardware.
Knew I was going to ramble on for pages and forget something crucial.
Processor: Intel Core2 Quad, 8 GB RAM,
GeForce GT120, 1.5 TB HDD.
EDIT2: Might as well post updates as I slog through this. Have decided that, rather
than the entire XP install being faulty, it may just be the THEM SOFTWARE THINGS WOT MAKE HARDWARE THINGS GO GOOD for the
chipset, which, on checking nvidia's site, seem to have separate versions for 2000/xp and vista/7. These include the SATA
controllers, which could mean that the 7 disk is inconsistently reading the contents of the entire drive, not just the XP
files. My theory is this would explain most of my problems: 7 won't install because it can't read the files it just wrote,
and its boot manager can't be fixed to deal with the XP install because it can't read the hard disk it's on.
Current problem: the chipset FILES FOR TELLING COMPUTER BITS HOW TO WORK HARD from nvida are packaged in an installer .exe,
which obviously doesn't register on the 7 disk as being THIS WORD ALSO MEANS PEOPLE WHO STEER CARS AROUND. I can't install
the MORE OF THEM ONES AND ZEROES on the computer that needs them because it isn't working, and I can't install the THIS IS A
GOLF WORD TOO on this working laptop (to port over afterwards) because it doesn't need them. Why is it packaged like this?
Do I really have to find another, already-functional computer with the same motherboard? I'm assuming this was Gateway's way
of making sure you couldn't do anything with their computers. I'm going to keep mucking through Google in the hopes that I
will somehow find the I AM NOT GOOD AT GOLFS files intact and free of their obstinate and unnecessary .exe wrapper, but this
seems unlikely. I may have to just replace the motherboard.
EDIT3: apparently a common and relevant word has been
filtered out on this forum, in what I must assume is a concerted effort to stifle clarity. Previous edit has been altered
accordingly, now you can all rest easy.
EDIT4: I found partial success upon trying to install the VROOM VROOMS on
my laptop, then renaming the folder it unpacked the files into before it got to the part in the installation where it told me
they wouldn't work with my computer and deleted the files. Unfortunately the resulting folder is quite large. I've
trial-and-errored most of the files that would seem most likely to be the correct ones but haven't found anything yet. Not
sure how to proceed if this proves fruitless.