How to repair windows 7 destroyed installation. Windows 7, and I’ve been wanting to try it but…here I am three years later, and we’re going to try it out. So to save you the time, I’ve already made Windows 7 virtual machine, and even made a snapshot, and also created an empty shared folder for the files…for the system files that we’re going to be copying.
Windows 7 Ultimate starting up, pretty standard installation…well, it’s a little bit stripped down, but it’s good enough. It’s Windows 7 Super Lite, 32-bit. Anyway, let’s see if the shared folder is still set up.
Yep. So this is the installation that works, but we’re not going to copy the files from the running system, so we’ll shut it down and we’ll access the files from the virtual hard disk file. In the other video I used VMware, now I’ musing VirtualBox.
There are probably many ways to do this with VirtualBox. What I do is… Here are the virtual machine files. There’s the virtual hard disk file. You can open it with 7-Zip. And it has two partitions.
This is the System Reserved partition, used for recovery and stuff like that, and this is the main partition, where the operating system is, so we’ll open that one, and there are all the files.
So now we can copy those, but we’ll exclude recycled Bin and System Volume Information, and this “[SYSTEM]” which is part of the virtual hard disk file structure…something like that, it’s not actually a folder in the hard disk. Anyway, we’ll copy the rest to this backup folder. It has to extract them. Just like XP, it’s a lot of small files.
So there, it’s done, but it has an error: “cannot create a symbolic link, a required privilege is not held by the client”, and… It’s talking about the All Users folder. Well, we could exclude that. Let’s see if it copied everything else.
No, “this folder is empty”. Are you kidding me? Wait, now it’s not responding. Hmm. OK, let’s try again, but without the Users folder. Oh, and also without the page file. Who needs that? That’s just a temporary file.
Now it’s a bit faster. And there it is. Let’s see if we can copy just the Users folder. It’s going to stop there, but did it create anything? Nope. Yeah, it completely stops, so let’s make a user folder manually, and just drag the current user, which is Administrator.
That works. All Users, Default, and Public should be the same, and this stripped-down installation doesn’t have the sample music and sample pictures, and also the sample video.
This Administrator account is actually empty, it doesn’t even have a document or anything, but it may have some settings in AppData or something, so we’ve backed that up. So we’ve got the Windows 7 files. We can close 7-Zip, start the virtual machine back up… So just like the other video, first we’re going to try destroying it normally, and then restarting to see if the destruction was successful,
so… And probably this installation doesn’t have the WindowsFile Protection stuff — there we go, it’s already done — so maybe it destroyed it a little better. Explorer works. Wait. Did I type the command correctly? That’s odd. Usually, the shortcuts at the bottom stop working when you destroy Windows this way.
Oh, yeah, something is wrong, something is missing. I’ve never opened IE in this virtual machine, but it seems like it’s not doing anything. Well, let’s restart, see if it starts up. And there you go, “Windows failed to start”.
So let’s restore the snapshot, start it up, destroy it once again, and this time instead of restarting we’ll try to copy the files over, using the same “xcopy” command that I used in the Windows XP video.
The results may not be exactly the same, because in the XP video I installed it to a FAT32 partition, while Windows Vista and newer have to be installed to an NTFS partition, which among other differences, has better file permissions, so we’ll see. So, again… Oh, maybe I forgot the backslash, that’s why it wasn’t working before. Well, it did destroy it, but I don’t think it deleted everything.
So now it is. It looks like it’s taking a little longer. OK, it still was pretty quick. Now the shortcuts on the taskbar don’t work anymore. Let’s see, can we open an Explorer window, still? How the hell is Solitaire the only survivor? Anyway, the All Programs list is empty. Oh, it just went away.
Explorer has opened a window but it’s not doing anything. I think they are frozen. They are responding, but they’re not showing anything either. Can we open My Computer? Oh, wait. It’s just a Computer on Windows 7. “Computer is currently unavailable”, great. Well, we do everything through the command line, anyway, so… I think the shared folder was in Z: and there are all the files.
First, we check if xcopy works, and no, it’s gone off course. So we copy that first. Does “copy” work? Yes, so… And it’s missing some DLL files. Now it works. So it was /c /e /h, I believe. Everything to the C: drive. Overwrite? Yes, of course. Can we switch to the full screen? Yes, we can! The background is a bit messed up, but that’sVirtualBox’s fault, not the destruction’s.
And you might hear my laptop’s fan. I apologize again. This might take a while, so I think I should pause the video, and I’ll come back when it’s done. Finally, it’s done. The shortcuts on the Start menu are still absent, but the ones on the All Programs menu are back. Let’s see if we can restart Explorer.
These windows aren’t closing. Let’s just restart the entire operating system. Oh. That looks weird, but I bet it’s still a problem with the virtual machine because 3D video acceleration in VirtualBox is a little bit buggy.
There it is! It started back up! These shortcuts are different now. It thinks Sidebar is a new application. All of these are considered freshly installed. Explorer works. So, I think the result is pretty much the same as XP: if you have all the system files backed up, you can just copy them over, and the operating system will keep on working. Again, I’m not sure if using an operating system like this is still a good idea, but again, the recovery was possible.
You may also like