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HP dv7. Purchased 2010. The hard drive was a bit flaky from the beginning. I had some startup problems early on so after running chkdsk /r it reported finding and fixing some bad clusters.

This has happened a few times.

Fast forward to this past weekend and it boots to the Windows logo to a black screen. Locked up and unusable.

Ran another chkdsk /r and again bad clusters but now after booting I get a black screen and a functional mouse cursor. Same result in safe mode.

My best guess is corrupted files due to those clusters.

Is there some automated or easy way to restore or refresh the Windows system files so I can get it back to a working state? Can I copy all the dlls from one PC to the other?

Please note that I realize the HDD is FUBAR and I need a new one. This PC is not important to me. There is no data on it that needs to be saved, it's all on my file server.

I simply want to squeeze as much life out of it as possible with the least effort and my budget doesn't allow for a new hdd at this point.


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I've seen account issues cause something similar. It was a permissions issue, try another account? – MDT Guy Mar 17 '14 at 17:15
I'm pretty sure i made it clear that I get from the windows boot logo to a black screen and a mouse cursor... nothing else. No account selection, no login screen, no shutdown menu, nothing. And there is only one account. – John Mar 17 '14 at 17:47
up vote 4 down vote accepted

I encountered the same problem that you have and it took more than 2 days of my life! So I can bring you a dozen of links but I just suggest you this :

  1. backup your most important files
  2. format the HDD fully
  3. Reinstall the windows
  4. Don't waste your time with other options!

because this is really more efficient.

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Well I've always had a knack for learning from other peoples mistakes so I'll take your advice and save myself a couple of hours/days of pain and reinstall. Thanks – John Mar 17 '14 at 17:48
If the hdd is bad formatting the hdd won't solve the problem. – Ramhound Mar 17 '14 at 17:51
@Ramhound: It doesn't change anything. 1 - If he can take a backup so I think he should. 2 - If the HDD has bad sectors again taking backup and formatting should be done 3 - If the HDD is intact (that I think it is) this is the best choice too – mok Mar 17 '14 at 17:54
@John: Really a wise decision. Look maybe one of the enormous solutions help you, but I say it's so excruciating and time consuming that doesn't worth giving a try. We should accept that sometimes our system encounters sever problems that make the OS very unstable and this is one of those situations. – mok Mar 17 '14 at 17:59
@mok - Thanks. As for the backup as I said I have nothing data related invested in this pc, I just want it to work, so I'll reformat and reinstall. Good thing exists. – John Mar 17 '14 at 18:59

Is there some automated or easy way to restore or refresh the Windows system files

You can't generate something out of nothing. Restore from external backups, that is what they are for.

When you have a failing drive, any "backup" on the drive itself (ie: system restore, recovery partitions) have just about as much chance of being corrupted as the working set.

Alternatively, rescue any wanted data by using a 3rd party OS, and then reinstall Windows from scratch.

Copying files would be a wild goose chase, unless you know which files were corrupted. If it's a boot file, or a registry hive or something specific to your system, then you'd be out of luck trying to go that route.

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Is there some automated or easy way to restore or refresh the Windows system files?

Yes, it's called MDT 2013, but it's really designed for IT Administrators. For Joe User out there, its just easier to suck it up and do a High Touch reinstall with retail media.

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