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Windows 7 recovery ate my hamster (or rather: Black Screen of Death)

ThirithThirith Registered User regular
Previously on Adventures in Upgrading then Downgrading Windows: yesterday my wife's PC decided it was time to upgrade to Windows 10, starting to do so automatically. The upgrade went well enough, but then her favourite games no longer worked, and after I wasn't able to make them work with the compatibility options, I tried to roll back to Windows 7. After a while this got stuck: I get the Win7 launch animation, but then I just get a black screen with a mouse pointer. Windows, or at least parts of it, is active, it seems, as I can press Shift repeatedly and get the Sticky Keys dialogue - but getting to the desktop doesn't work. I've tried the various boot options, but no dice.

To add to this situation, the computer's an HP laptop. It offers a radical repair option that basically amounts to a complete reinstall. I've downloaded a W7 Home Premium ISO and tried to use that to repair Windows 7, but this doesn't work with the OEM version that's on the computer. (I'm currently in the process of downloading an SP1 ISO which, according to some posts I've found, might work, but I'm not overly optimistic.)

So, this is where you guys come in:
  1. Any ideas/tips/dark magic involving the sacrifice of goats I could try to repair Windows 7 on the machine?
  2. Should this fail, is there any way I can backup all the data on the PC without being able to boot into Windows 7? If I end up having to reinstall everything, at least I'd want to make sure that none of the data is lost.

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"Nothing is gonna save us forever but a lot of things can save us today." - Night in the Woods

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    Bendery It Like BeckhamBendery It Like Beckham Hopeless Registered User regular
    Does ctrl alt del work? If you can get task manager up try running explorer. It sounds like the shell just isn't starting.

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    Bendery It Like BeckhamBendery It Like Beckham Hopeless Registered User regular
    edited May 2016
    There is also dark magic where using an winpe you can bind sticky keys to various programs, ie cmd, then run your backup that way.

    or boot to recovery environment and use Autoruns to take a look at what isn't starting. you'll have to mount the offline registry but if you can make it that far and save a log I'll take a look at it.

    https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb963902.aspx

    Bendery It Like Beckham on
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    ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    Ctrl-Alt-Del doesn't work, unfortunately. Thanks for the other tip, though. Right now I'm backing up everything that's on the machine; I'm thinking that in the end it might be preferable just to reinstall Windows 7, in the hope that I can redownload and install all of my wife's favourite games. It's quite surprising that apparently it's the casual, seemingly low-tech stuff that doesn't play well with Win 10...

    webp-net-resizeimage.jpg
    "Nothing is gonna save us forever but a lot of things can save us today." - Night in the Woods
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    Bendery It Like BeckhamBendery It Like Beckham Hopeless Registered User regular
    The roll back to 7 is shit on oem machines. I've probably attempted it a few hundred times and always had to do some major repairs afterwards. A fresh install is a better way if you have the ability.

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    ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    Yeah, right now that's what I think will happen. I hope all the games in question are still available or in the old download folder.

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    "Nothing is gonna save us forever but a lot of things can save us today." - Night in the Woods
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    ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    It's an HP laptop without a recovery partition? :(

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
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    LD50LD50 Registered User regular
    Out of curiosity, what games didn't work?

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    ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    Shadowfire:
    It has a recovery partition, but the only option is the scorched earth one, i.e. wiping the main partition and reinstalling. Repairing Windows isn't offered as an option.

    LD50:
    This'll sound sad, but it's casual GameHouse type games: various Mah Jong variations, Puzzle Quest games, that kind.

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    "Nothing is gonna save us forever but a lot of things can save us today." - Night in the Woods
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    LD50LD50 Registered User regular
    Thirith wrote: »
    Shadowfire:
    It has a recovery partition, but the only option is the scorched earth one, i.e. wiping the main partition and reinstalling. Repairing Windows isn't offered as an option.

    LD50:
    This'll sound sad, but it's casual GameHouse type games: various Mah Jong variations, Puzzle Quest games, that kind.

    It's not sad. People like what they like. I only asked because I wonder if it's actual incompatibility with windows 10 or if the games running improperly was just a symptom of whatever is wreaking havoc now.

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    ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    I was pretty surprised that other than a hidden object game or two, none of these games worked after the upgrade. My own experiences with upgrading to Windows 10 were that everything worked perfectly, and I would've thought that such relatively basic games (technically speaking) wouldn't be an issue or at most they'd need to be run in compatibility mode.

    Anyway, I'm waiting to hear from HP whether they can provide a Win 7 disk, USB drive or ISO file that'll allow me to attempt to repair Windows, but I'm very much expecting I'll be wiping and reinstalling. My wife's out tomorrow evening, which should give me an opportunity to get started on this. The laptop's been running less and less well lately anyway (it's five years old and hasn't been wiped and reinstalled in that time), so in the long run it might be for the best anyway.

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    "Nothing is gonna save us forever but a lot of things can save us today." - Night in the Woods
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    ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    Quick update: while HP sent me a recovery disk, the repair function didn't work (wrong version, apparently). Anyway, I've now wiped and reinstalled the system, and while it was painfully slow at the beginning, I think that may have been because of the hundreds of updates it needed to download and install. Now it seems to be running well - and I'll make sure ASAP to deactivate the Windows 10 update, so what happened doesn't happen again.

    webp-net-resizeimage.jpg
    "Nothing is gonna save us forever but a lot of things can save us today." - Night in the Woods
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    ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    Just download GWX Control Panel and don't bother with the registry entries.

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
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    ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    Brilliant, just what I need. Thanks!

    webp-net-resizeimage.jpg
    "Nothing is gonna save us forever but a lot of things can save us today." - Night in the Woods
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