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My Windows 7 is in a black screen with cursor before login in all boot modes state. It says I have no restore points (when I actually do) and I have tried all recovery options. It happened after I ran CHKDSK /r on the drive in a cmd in WinRE. I have another working computer and a Win 7 retail disc. Can I extract the Win7 Ultimate directory from the install.wim and completely replace the C:\WINDOWS\ directory through a linux boot CD? Are there any files I want to keep intact to boot correctly (obviously the drivers folder but what else). Is there a way to do a repair install like I can do in XP? I'm running out of options.

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windows 7 has 2 options. Custom and Upgrade. Have you tried both? One option might involve a parallel installation i.e. windows in another directory. – barlop May 5 '13 at 2:06
I heard you need to boot into Windows to upgrade. – rn10950 May 5 '13 at 2:07
maybe, but if that's so, it's only true of upgrade. What about Custom? I think you're probably right re the upgrade option. so windows 7 has no repair installation like xp has that you can boot off cd for. But you can choose custom and install another copy of windows 7 on that computer. possibly on the same partition. – barlop May 5 '13 at 2:08
a custom install deletes all of your personal data and all of the programs – rn10950 May 5 '13 at 2:09
I have an XP dual-boot though and I can boot into that – rn10950 May 5 '13 at 2:10

Even if you manage to extract the installer.wim from the windows installation media, replacing your windows files will only further damage your current system.

I recommend you to create a Windows 7 System Repair Disk; you will need a working Windows 7 System for that:

  • Open the Start Menu, then type recdisc.exe in the search box and press Enter.
  • Insert a blank unformatted CD or DVD into your CD/DVD drive and click on the Create disc button. NOTE: If you are prompted to insert a Windows installation disc, it means that the files needed to create the system repair disc cannot be found on your computer. Insert a Windows 7 installation disc.
  • It will now start creating the System Repair Disc.
  • When it's finished, click on the Close button.
  • Click on OK
  • Remove and label your new Windows 7 System Repair Disc from the CD/DVD drive.


Then use the newly created repair disk to repair your damaged system.

Alternatively you can try Hirens Boot CD(Download / Boot From Pendrive).

Hirens Boot CD Features a Mini Windows XP which can allow you to determine the root of the issue and - if possible - fix it.

In case all fails, install a new windows on top of your current windows (Custom Install ***). All your files will be moved to Windows.old folder on the root of the drive and the drivers will be located in Windows.old\Windows\System32\Drivers.

However this approach does work, it is recommended to download setup packages for drivers from your pc manufacturers website.

Sidenote: If you have registered programs, most programs store their license information in the Registry(Windows.old\Windows\System32\config\), AppData (Windows.old\Windows\System32\config\systemprofile\AppData) and ProgramData(Windows.old\ProgramData\)

You can mount the old registry entries from your old system into a hive in the new system.

Just make sure you copy over all the programs stuff into the same locations on the new OS and copy the license information / registry entries (Export -> Unmount Hive -> Import).

Another Note: if the folder Windows.old already exists, the folder all your current files will be moved in will be Windows.old (2) etc...

***Make sure to select the correct partition of your broken OS, AND DO NOT FORMAT, just continue installing.

share|improve this answer
I will try this with a spare XP computer first and see if it works. Thank You. I have a complete XP dual-booted with the 7 install. How would I find the root of the problem using a full XP? – rn10950 May 5 '13 at 16:04

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