Suggestions on How to Reinstall Windows 7

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Suggestions on How to Reinstall Windows 7
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joseywales
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February 25, 2012 - 4:28 pm
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Here's my situation:  I have had to, for unknown reasons, reinstall Windows 7 64-bit on my PC a few times over the past 15 or so months.  The primary reason is because I'm unable to load websites that previously loaded just fine (this is a whole other issue that I prefer not to get into, at least within this thread, as I assure you I've been troubleshooting it with various tech sites and experts for well over a year without finding resolution).

The most recent episode led me to such frustration that I wiped my primary HDD clean and installed Linux Mint 12.  My intent was to later partion the drive to dual boot LM12 alongside Windows, however I only later learned that the Windows 7 install disc that I have is for \"upgrading from a previous edition of Windows\" and now cannot be activated because there is no trace of a previous edition of Windows anywhere to be found on my hard drive (when I first got the disc I was previously running Windows XP Pro).

My question to you all is do you know of a way to make my install disc work?  I assure you that it is a legitimate copy of Windows 7 Professional - I pre-ordered it through Newegg before it was even released to the public and have successfully used it a number of times previous to this situation, the difference now being that I hadn't \"erased\" Windows from my PC before performing the reinstall.

I realize this was a stupid move on my part, in hindsight at least, but you can all relate to how frustrating Windows can get you at times (especially if it happens after you've tossed back a few beers \"Embarassed\").  If there is a workaround, tip or any direction that can be provided I would very much appreciate hearing from you.

Thank you in advance.

joseywales

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Jim Hillier
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February 25, 2012 - 5:17 pm
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Hey Josey - Nice to hear from you mate. 🙂

There are two methods I know of to use upgrade media to install to clean hard drive. Unfortunately I am really pressed for time right now, I'll have to get back to you with details.

 

In the meantime, somebody else may come up with a viable solution.

 

Sorry, will get back to you as soon as I return home.

 

Cheers mate...Jim

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Chad Johnson
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February 26, 2012 - 2:31 pm
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Your windows 7 upgrade disk will work just fine to do a clean install.

 

Here is a guide for how to do it, but I've outlined the steps below for you as well.

 

Essentially:

Do the install as normal, but do not put in your activation key.

When Windows is up and running, launch the update from your DVD.

Tell it to upgrade Windows, then put in your license key.

Wait....

 

Magic. (Or, you're done...I haven't done this in a while.  🙂 )

 

That should get you going.

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Jim Hillier
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February 26, 2012 - 4:23 pm
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Yep, the double installation solution. That should do it! Thanks Chad.

 

Josey - Follow Chad's advice, that should work for you. If not, there is another possible solution involving a simple registry hack.

 

Please let us know how you get on.

Cheers...Jim

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joseywales
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March 8, 2012 - 9:22 pm
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Thanks so much guys for the response, I'll give this a whirl over the weekend and report back on my updated status, I very much appreciate the feedback.  Since having posted my original question I was able to aforementioned information on the sevenforums.com website but have yet to have an opportunity to try any of the suggested methods.

The real, larger question for me with regards to my situation, and this is a real conundrum, is why my system continues to ultimately end up in a defunct state.  What I mean by that is after every reinstall of W7 on my PC I ultimately run into the same problem, prompting a reinstall.  As I mentioned, I have tried to troubleshoot this phenomenon personally searching for a solution as well as soliciting the help of a number of online tech support technicians, but to thus far we've not found a solution.

What happens is, and it sometimes occurs within a week or two of a recent install or, in my latest stint it took a few months to reappear, is that my PC will not load certain websites and will also struggle with downloading email content.    Each fresh reinstall was followed by only installing the important updates as identified by running Windows Update....none of the recommended updates were installed.  There were a few times where I thought I'd finally licked the problem because the system was fully updated, most of my software was installed and everything was running smoothly for consecutive months, but BOOM, all of a sudden the same problem would mysteriously reappear.....websites wouldn't load (e.g. TED.com, CNET.com, etc.) for no apparent reason as I'd not installed any new software, changed any settings, etc.  I've tried every single major browser (with and without extensions, same result...won't load the page), tried multiple free security AV suites (only opting to try a new one after the issues resurfaced), tried removing my router from the equation by direct wiring to my modem, tried different ethernet cables, etc......most things a (somewhat) savvy user would try, but the same problem persisted.  It would last for a few days and ultimately I would freak out to the point where I would succumb to all that is entailed in reinstalling W7 (the exception being the most recent time when I basically said, F-off Windows, we're finished, which is why I formatted the HDD and installed Linux Mint 12 and am now in the situation I'm in).

Also, I must add that I have had in use throughout this entire ordeal, 1 other Windows PC (connected wirelessly) and 2 Linux Mint boxes (one hardwired to my router and 1 connected wirelessly) and during this time every one of them was able to successfully connect to every single one of the websites I couldn't load on the problematic PC, emails all loaded fine and every single broadband speed test that I performed on them showed that I was getting the speeds I was paying for.  So, WTF is with my primary PC and why is this happening, that's the question?

Sorry to ramble.  As I said I will try to reinstall (yet again) using the advise provided, however my fear is that I'll soon travel full-circle and be back to where I started.

Do you guys think it could perhaps be a hardware issue?  If so, why and how is this possible considering I was running stable with this very same hardware ever since W7 was released?  What else do you think it could be?

If there is anything that I've not mentioned, any minutia that I've not revealed about my problematic PC's specs, setup, software, etc. that you think may help you form an opinion or diagnosis, please, PLEASE let me know and I'll gladly supply any/all requested information.

Again, and as always, TYIA for your help and time.

Kindest Regards,

joseywales

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Jim Hillier
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March 9, 2012 - 5:02 pm
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Hey Josey - It is a strange one, especially considering the steps you have already taken with no result. There are heaps of possibilities but I would narrow it down to the three most likely:

1) Security software, and 3rd party firewalls in particular - did you ever try disabling ALL security programs?

2) DNS server issues - did you try a different DNS service from the one provided by your ISP, something like OpenDNS?

3) Malware - have you definitely ascertained it is not malware?

My first thought was faulty modem/router or ISP issue but seeing how other machines running Linux have been performing perfectly off the same equipment that seems highly unlikely. Did you ever try opening a command prompt and 'pinging' the IP addresses for sites you couldn't connect to normally?

That's about all I can come up with off the top of my head. Dave and Chad are much better at this stuff than I, hopefully they'll join in with some better advice.

Cheers mate...Jim

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David Hartsock
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March 10, 2012 - 6:49 am
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1. Who is your ISP?

2. Can you ping the site's IP addresses?

3. Brand/model of computer if it's OEM or brand/model of motherboard/NIC if you built it.

4. Brand/model of router?

5. is it only a few sites? Is it always the same sites?

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joseywales
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March 13, 2012 - 11:15 pm
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Hello Guys, and thank you for the reply.  Please, PLEASE do not misinterpret my late reply as an indication of a lack of appreciation for your response.  Truth is I've been focused on filing my tax return and dealing w/life's everyday trials, but again I want to thank you both for taking the time to chime in.  As for my response to your inquiries:

First for Jim's questions:

- Following the most recent clean install the only true security software I've installed is Avast AV freeware.  I thought I'd try Avast during this most recent reinstall since I've been primarily a MSE and AVG advocate but, having low expectations for success figured it may be a cool time to test drive Avast.  So far, so good.

- No, I haven't tried any sort of DNS service, only my regular ISP.  But, previous to my issues my ISP and overall PC was flawless.

- During the initial issues I did scan my system using Malwarebytes, thinking maybe that was the cause, and each time the scan came back clean.  Since then, each subsequent time I skipped the malware scan as I just assumed it wasn't factor.

Lastly, I have replaced my old but trusty Netgear router that was in place when the issue first appeared with a new Cisco/Linksys E3200 router, likewise thinking that was perhaps a possible source of the problem (along with introducing improved wireless performance as a side benefit) but haven't resolved the problem.

Responses for Dave:

- My ISP is CenturyLink DSL (4meg d/l, 512 u/l).

- I can ping some of the problematic sites, but not most.  For example, I cannot ping the DCT site (and had to rely upon using my wireless Linux laptop in order to even respond to this post...how weird is that!).  A couple sites did ping okay, but the majority timed out.

- The mobo on my windows PC is an EVGA 122-CK-NF68 (version 2, socket 775) nForce 680i SLI SPP.  It is not running the most recent BIOS firmware update but this intentional as my PC came with a high degree of customization and tweaking to overclock many of the components and my fear is that if I flash the BIOS I would lose all of this extra horsepower...added for what it's worth.

- My router is an up-to-date concerning firmware Cisco/Linksys E3200.

- As for affected sites, this is an ever-learning experience.  I learn as I go which sites fail to load.  For example I didn't realize that DCT was one of the websites that I couldn't load.  I only learned this when I attempted to respond to this post.  Just prior to trying this I was able to view a YouTube video in all it's splendor with no issues at all, so it's weird to say the least.  I even tried loading the DCT site using multiple browsers from my affected PC and all failed.  Jump over to one of my Linux rigs and BAM, it loads instantly, so I'm stumped!

I hope this provides some clarification on your questions, so if your guys have any additional suggestion/recommendations/ideas/etc, please let me know.

As always, TYIA for your help...love the site!

joseywales

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David Hartsock
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March 14, 2012 - 3:55 am
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OK, check and see if DCT will still not load. If that is still the case open a cmd prompt and type tracert http://www.davescomputertips.com

 

Post the results.

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joseywales
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March 14, 2012 - 9:41 am
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Will do Dave, however I will not be home again to try this until Thursday evening.  I will run the trace route test then and post the results.

Thanks!

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joseywales
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March 17, 2012 - 11:55 am
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Dave, PM sent your way.

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David Hartsock
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March 17, 2012 - 1:25 pm
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OK, here it is...

1    <1 ms    <1 ms    <1 ms  XXXXXXXXXXXX [192.168.0.1]                        

2    <1 ms     1 ms     1 ms  dslrouter [192.168.1.1]                          

3    86 ms    85 ms    72 ms  174-125-248-1.dyn.centurytel.net[174.125.248.1]                                     

4    77 ms    83 ms    70 ms  GE-0-0-0-0-j1-rt.def.centurytel.net [207.230.202.3]                                    

5    71 ms   116 ms   105 ms  bb-chcgilwu-jx9-01-ae7-0.core.centurytel.net [208.110.249.200]                  

6   136 ms    91 ms   124 ms  bb-chcgilwu-jx9-02-ae0.core.centurytel.net [206.51.69.70]                          

7   100 ms    85 ms    83 ms  cer-edge-17.inet.qwest.net [65.113.255.241]      

8     *        *        *     Request timed out.                                

9     *      121 ms     *     ae20.bbr01.eq01.dal03.networklayer.com [173.192.18.136]                  

10   131 ms   156 ms   112 ms  ae5.dar01.sr01.dal07.networklayer.com [173.192.18.179]                        

11   148 ms   138 ms     *     po1.fcr01.sr01.dal07.networklayer.com [50.22.118.131]                

12     *        *        *     Request timed out.                              

13    90 ms    82 ms    63 ms  50.22.114.68-static.reverse.softlayer.com [50.22.114.68]

Judging by that I can see that the route to your router is fine. Your connection to your ISP is fine (centurytel.net). and the connection to their infrastructure is fine (qwest.net). The problem appears to be when they hand off the the backbone (networklayer.com), so if your ISP is willing they should handle the problem it is more than likely on them.

Now, I don't know if you are provided a modem or router/modem from centurytel, but either way I always use/recommend using your own router and disabling the functionality of any supplied modem/router combo. Why? Well changing ISPs will never affect your network and it makes troubleshooting anything much simpler.

If you have a modem/router combo you want to disable any router functions or setup your router to use the DMZ.

If it is a modem only then set the DNS in your router to use 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4 so that everything uses the Google DNS (unless you prefer OpenDNS). Then ensure all PC's are setup the same - auto DNS, DHCP for IP addresses unless you choose to use static IP's.

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joseywales
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March 17, 2012 - 2:11 pm
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Thanks Dave!  To follow up, here are a couple additional comments:

1.  I use a CenturyTel (now known as CenturyLink) supplied Westell  modem for my high-speed DSL.  It is a standalone modem that I've had for some time, which is then directly connected to my Cisco E3200 wireless router via ethernet cable.  The LAN ports on the back of the router are connected to my Windows 7 PC (the computer having this issue right now), a Linux Mint 12 (64-bit) computer, a ROKU media box and a Pogoplug device.  All of these devices were in place long before these issues first appeared.

2.  This is where I'm confused!  I'm currently replying to your post using my Linux Mint 12 (64-bit) desktop computer.  My only other computer is an HP laptop, currently connected wireless and running Linux Mint 12 (32-bit).  That laptop, as is the case with my linux desktop, has no issues at all connecting to any websites.  So, if it is in fact an issue outside of my home, be it with CenturyTel/CenturyLink or whomever they hand it off to, then how come I only have the problem on my Windows PC?  I guess that's where I struggle to understand why this is happening, and it's also why I tend believe it is something within the Windows PC that is causing the problem.  The outbound traffic for all of my computers is ultimately funneled through the same pipeline, with traffic eventually going out through the router and then the modem and out to the ISP, etc., however the Windows PC is the only machine experiencing the issue.

I'm not sure if this is relevant or if my reasoning is even remotely accurate, I just thought this may be worth mentioning.  If you guys could comment on this before I contact my ISP and ask that they "fix" whatever it is they may or may not be doing right I would greatly appreciate it.

Kindest Regards,

joseywales

 

P.S. Dave, I tried to run a traceroute on my Linux desktop computer and the results (after the first two hops to the router and modem) only show asterisks.  I'm still pretty new to Linux so I'll poke around and see if I can figure out how to achieve better, more useful, traceroute results and, if successful, will post those to this thread or PM the results directly to you again.

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David Hartsock
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March 17, 2012 - 2:26 pm
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  I guess that's where I struggle to understand why this is happening, and it's also why I tend believe it is something within the Windows PC that is causing the problem.  The outbound traffic for all of my computers is ultimately funneled through the same pipeline, with traffic eventually going out through the router and then the modem and out to the ISP, etc., however the Windows PC is the only machine experiencing the issue.

Well, I can't say for certain. Ha!

First things first. Make sure each device is setup the same (could be as simple as 2 devices assigned/getting the same IP). If you have static IPs assigned to anything make sure the DHCP reservation (on the router) is outside that range.

Does each device have a unique IP? You can usually check this on the router.

Set the DNS on the router so everything looks to the same place and make sure each device is set to auto DNS.

Start there so you have a base line. Have you tried connecting the affected PC directly to the modem?

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joseywales
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March 17, 2012 - 2:55 pm
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Using my Linux Mint desktop I was able to run a traceroute, but the results to this point are a little cryptic, at least to me.  As I have come to understand it the lines that show a series of three asterisks (* * *) means that the expected 5 second response time has been exceeded.  However, the traceroute was able to complete, unlike the case with my Windows 7 PC.

Here's what it showed:

linuxdesktop joseywales # traceroute -I davescomputertips.com
traceroute to davescomputertips.com (50.22.114.68), 30 hops max, 60 byte packets
1 192.168.0.1 (192.168.0.1) 1.513 ms 1.513 ms *
2 * * *
3 * * *
4 * * *
5 * * *
6 * bb-chcgilwu-jx9-02-ae0.core.centurytel.net (206.51.69.70) 88.133 ms 88.712 ms
7 cer-edge-17.inet.qwest.net (65.113.255.241) 51.492 ms 51.517 ms 51.514 ms
8 xe-1-0-0.bbr01.eq01.chi01.networklayer.com (65.113.255.94) 51.514 ms 51.512 ms 51.512 ms
9 * * *
10 ae5.dar01.sr01.dal07.networklayer.com (173.192.18.179) 78.945 ms 81.071 ms 83.637 ms
11 po1.fcr01.sr01.dal07.networklayer.com (50.22.118.131) 85.399 ms 87.361 ms 63.268 ms
12 50.22.114.68-static.reverse.softlayer.com (50.22.114.68) 62.035 ms 62.706 ms 52.176 ms

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