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I was in the midst of what seemed to be a successful upgrade from Vista Ultimate to 7 Ultimate when there was a brief blackout. The upgrade failed and Windows reverted back to Vista. Now Vista is very slow to boot, has problems waking back-up from inactivity and quickly loses it's wireless connection.

The wake-up problem manifests itself as the mouse is clearly shown on a black screen but I have no access to the Desktop or Taskbar or Explorer. Even Alt-Ctrl-Delete doesn't seem to work. No task menu, no reboot. Hitting the reset button reboots the machine with the usual Black Screen warnings offering Safe Mode.

I tried to do a system restore to a point before the upgrade. That didn't seem to work.

My guess is that my system is a mutant with parts of Vista and parts of 7 crashing each other. I would like avoid a clean install if at all possible to avoid reinstalling other software.

What should I try now?

My thoughts are:

  • My a system back-up to lock the computer in place
  • Trying a second 7 upgrade
  • If that appears to be working make another back-up
  • If not reload back-up and try a repairing Vista from DVD.
  • If that appears to work make another back-up, let system stablize about a week then try 7 install again
  • If that doesn't work are there any other options to try before settling for a clean install?

Another complication, I am doing this by "remote control". I'm traveling with my job and I'll be talking my son through it over the phone. (Kind of like the landing the 747 cliche from all the 70's adventure shows!) So is there a way of simplifying the steps?

Thanks Ted

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1 Answer 1

Don't upgrade Windows -- it's time consuming and often leads to strange operational problems. This is what you should do instead:

  1. Backup your entire hard drive -- a program like Drive Snapshot ( http://www.drivesnapshot.de/ ) is perfect for this because it will create a full image of your entire hard drive, which you can use to "snap back" to the backed up image if you need to (it also lets you access the snapshot image as a mounted virtual drive so you can copy out all your data files at your leisure). Test your backup before assuming it's valid [regardless of which backup software you use].

  2. Install Windows 7 as a new installation that overwrites the entire hard drive (don't upgrade - go with a fresh installation instead). If you have 64-bit hardware, then hopefully you also have the 64-bit edition of Windows 7 as this is preferred for better performance.

  3. Copy your data files from your snapshot backup.

This is how I switch over to a new Operating System; it's better than an upgrade because all the "old baggage" left-over from the previous version of the Operating System doesn't get carried through to the new version.

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Upgrading or installing an Operating System is one of those things that should be performed by someone who understands the process. Leading a person over the phone to do something as important as this usually doesn't yield very good results. –  Randolf Richardson Mar 8 '11 at 6:36

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