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Win 7 reinstall

  1. May 28, 2014 #1
    Is there a way to reinstall win7 without the disk and without losing all of my data? The only back up I have is a bit old and I cant get my external hard drive to connect. I have a rather bad virus and I cant seem to get rid of it, so im thinking its best just to reinstall windows.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 28, 2014 #2


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    What kind of virus are you having? You better format your system drive. Then if you have virus in your other local disks, first of all, get an antivirus program, install it(Make sure you get it from someone else) and then clean the virus.
  4. May 28, 2014 #3
    I guessing its a virus, I have run 3 separate virus scans but they all come up empty except for malwarebytes which keeps bringing up new threats even though the computer is not online.
    The symptoms are as fallows, running very slow (takes 5+ min to open Firefox), Windows explorer crashes a lot, flash and silverlight crashed and now will not play videos, some things in the control panel wont open or crash as soon as they do, and I can no longer connect my external hard drive.
  5. May 28, 2014 #4


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    Those things don't necessarily mean you have a virus though. Are you getting popup ads or having your browser redirecting your homepage or anything like that? Is your processor utilization always high even when you're not doing anything?

    What does malwarebytes say the threat is?
  6. May 28, 2014 #5
    No pop ups or redirects. Though I have addblock+ so I probably wouldnt see them. And malwarebytes has flaged 140+/- things all of them are pup.optional. ... the computer is only 2years old and has never been dropped so the hardware should be fine. The processor barely shows any activity, maybe 10%
  7. May 29, 2014 #6


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    The real issue is without an exernal hard drive, there's no way to back up your data. If you could get an external hard drive to work, then you might be able to find a partition or hard drive freeware clone utility (like something from ultimate boot cd or similar type of freeware sites).

    If this is a major brand system, chances are that there's a hidden install partition to restore your system to it's original state, but all of your data would be lost if not backed up to another drive. To boot from the hidden partition, you usually have to press a key like F11 (or shift plus some function key) during boot up.
  8. May 29, 2014 #7
    So if its not a virus then what is it? The problem started after I installed a mod for morrowind, the mod faild to install properly so I deleted it and a few days later my problems started.
    Could I partition my hard drive move all my files and then format the part with the os on it then reinstall windows?
  9. May 29, 2014 #8
    Perhaps take out your current HDD, connect it to another PC where you can backup your data. Then format it, return it back to your original PC and reinstall Win 7.
  10. May 29, 2014 #9
    Its a laptop, will the connections match in a desktop?
  11. May 29, 2014 #10
    In all likelihood, the laptop drive is a SATA hdd, can be directly connected to the PC motherboard SATA port. But need to open the PC box and have one spare SATA data cable available. What brand/model is the laptop?
  12. May 29, 2014 #11
    Hp dv6, and the desktop is custom built so I have plenty of space to plug it in
  13. May 29, 2014 #12
    According to
    the laptop hdd is SATA.

    If the desktop's mobo is fairly new, it should have SATA ports on it. All that needs to be done is open the PC box and connect the laptop drive to the PC. What could still go wrong? If by some chance the laptop drive has a proprietary connector which may need an adapter to SATA. I would think chances for this are slim though.
  14. May 29, 2014 #13
    It has sata ports and if by some chance the laptop hdd is proprietary then I can almost certainly make an adapter
  15. May 29, 2014 #14
    One can find any adapter on ebay... Backing the laptop drive by connecting it to the PC makes sense to me since the laptop is getting slow. This should work, at least to have all data backed up. Then you can see if there is a hardware problem in the laptop itself, once its hdd is formatted clean. Hopefully, there won't be any and you'll be all set :) All the best!
  16. May 29, 2014 #15
    Thanks guys I appreciate the help
  17. May 29, 2014 #16
    I am in the business of computers and a large part of that is repairing them. If I understand you correctly you used an installer for a game mod, which apparently did not complete, you deleted something (unclear as to whether that was just the binary you downloaded) and shortly after your problems began.

    Certainly you can overcome this problem by re-installation but you will lose all your saved games and other important settings and data if it was not backed up. I'm going to assume that like most people you'd rather not lose all that, so put re-installation on the back burner until you try a few things.

    Firstly, your game mod installer, if it ran at all, very likely wrote something to the system, and most importantly entries in The Registry. If you simply deleted the original file these will remain and will cause your system to try to access files that no longer exist. Computers aren't smart, they're just fast and it has no way of knowing you deleted anything... only that it can't find it (them) and continues to poll to try, often ad infinitum.

    Assuming you are or would like to be in charge of your computer, consider the following:

    So the first thing to do (after backing up - more on that shortly) is to launch Regedit and use the "Find" function (subsequent same search just use F3) for the name of the file and/or where you directed it to be installed. Example - lets say the mods name was "foo.exe" and when it asked you where you wanted to put it you directed it to a directory you created on your "C:" drive, "C:\Foo". In Regedit use "find" to search for any references to "C:\foo" and after careful checking, delete those references. This btw can be very time consuming but is far more reliable than commercial registry cleaners, tho CCleaner is pretty good in capable hands.

    Also incidentally, Malwarebytes is exceptionally good Malware detection and removal software IF you keep it updated at the very least, weekly. Your choice was excellent. I have never had even an optional positive deleted that caused problems but YMMV, so if and when in doubt, backup.

    Finally please allow me to extend what someone briefly mentioned here and that is Live Operating Systems. These are self-contained bootable systems that commonly run from CDs, DVDs, and USB drives including thumb/pen drives. If you have an optical drive this is best because, once the burn is closed, they can no longer be written to, therefore all but "uninfectable", a guaranteed clean environment. They also commonly have access to the internet so anti virus/malware apps can get updates when the app is loaded into RAM. This is by far the preferred method of scanning, since an infected hard drive system, can have processes loaded very early on that facilitate a virus hiding itself. Safe Mode can ameliorate this problem but is not infallible. Scanning from the outside in is vastly superior.

    My favorite Swiss Army Knife Live System by far is Hirens Boot CD, currently at v15.2. It has an amazing amount of high quality tools, and although it used to contain some "greyware", now has Freeware legal around the globe. The list is so long it is prohibitive to show here so below I will include a link to the list as well as a YouTube video on the wheres, whys, and hows.

    One important tool is Clonezilla which can take a snapshot of any drive or partition and create an image file that can be restored in the same place or elsewhere with exactly the same parameters (including boot code) or expanded, say to migrate a system to a larger drive/partition.

    The included partitioning tools will reveal any hidden partition which will solve your question of an install disk. The scan and clean tools will hopefully get your existing system back to a workable state.

    OK so here is the overview -

    Tutorial (1 part) -

    For a more thorough tutorial (5 parts) -

    Be sure to look at enough video to see how to employ the boot menu. There are DOS-based programs, a bootable XP desktop (PE) as well as an extremely handy and powerful Linux system. The boot menu also includes it's own bootloaders to boot any bootable partition on your hard drive or external drives. It is an immensely powerful and versatile tool but like any sharp tool you can "cut yourself" so be careful and deliberate. You will be well rewarded, I assure you.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  18. May 30, 2014 #17
    Wow thanks for the advice. The mod manager I used was the nexus mod manager, the mod I problems with was the morrowind overhaul. I think to problem stemmed from having an iso and not the disk, anyway after it faild to install properly I removed the mod with the manager which should have fixed the registry and then I uninstalled the mod manager its self. But I am not a skilled programmer so I dont know much about how it actually works. I will try what you said and let you know how it works. Thank you.
  19. May 31, 2014 #18
    Have you tried tried checking the integrity of your system files? In cmd(adm rights): sfc /scannow
  20. May 31, 2014 #19


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    Just curious. How much RAM do you have and have you checked what the OS thinks you have? It could be that you don't have enough RAM or one of the chips went bad. The last time I saw a computer take minutes to open a browser, it only had 2 GB of RAM. That wasn't enough for the programs and the OS so the computer had to use the hard drive which is much slower. It was especially bad when it had multiple programs open and the owner would switch from one to another. The long times to open and re-open programs caused all kinds of random errors.
  21. May 31, 2014 #20
    Yes I did do this and it said that there are errors but that it could not fix them
  22. May 31, 2014 #21
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