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View Full Version : Recovery disks and reformatting, my first time and it isn't going smooth



tigisfat
09-07-2011, 08:34 PM
I'm trying to do a clean wipe on my computer, and it's doing it's best to not work. I get this:

copy file (that's the name of the pop-up window that comes up while still on my first disk. The recovery disks are brand new.)

Invalid MS-DOS function.

PREINST6.SWM
Type: SWM File
Size 644MB
Date Modified 9/2/2009 11:25 AM

Then I have the options to try again, skip or cancel.

Any ideas as to what on earth this means?

bgets
09-07-2011, 09:32 PM
Is this OS an OEM disk or did you purchase a retail version of the OS? Maybe it's late, but I have don't see what version of Windows you are trying to reformat.
Bob G.

tigisfat
09-07-2011, 11:00 PM
Is this OS an OEM disk or did you purchase a retail version of the OS? Maybe it's late, but I have don't see what version of Windows you are trying to reformat.
Bob G.These are the default recovery disks for a Windows 7 installation on a Toshiba laptop.

Does it matter if it's a new hard drive? Is that what's holding me up?


Thanks for the fast response. I'm trying to get after this tonight.

loki
09-08-2011, 12:12 AM
Many OEM recovery disks pull data from a hidden partition on the original drive. If you've replaced the hard drive, the OEM recovery program won't be able to find the files it needs.

tigisfat
09-08-2011, 01:00 AM
Many OEM recovery disks pull data from a hidden partition on the original drive. If you've replaced the hard drive, the OEM recovery program won't be able to find the files it needs.

What's the fix?

loki
09-08-2011, 01:09 AM
Use something like Acronis True Image or O&O DiskImage to move the contents of the original drive to the new one. Or go out and buy an OEM or retail copy of Windows and install that instead. Personally I like having my own copy of Windows that isn't loaded up with whatever "extras" the OEM decided to throw in.


These are the default recovery disks for a Windows 7 installation on a Toshiba laptop.

Just noticed this comment. Are these the original disks for this specific system? If not, what happened to the originals?

tigisfat
09-08-2011, 11:44 AM
Use something like Acronis True Image or O&O DiskImage to move the contents of the original drive to the new one. Or go out and buy an OEM or retail copy of Windows and install that instead. Personally I like having my own copy of Windows that isn't loaded up with whatever "extras" the OEM decided to throw in.



Just noticed this comment. Are these the original disks for this specific system? If not, what happened to the originals?I have no idea where the originals are, so I asked the manufacturer to send me a new set. The old hard drive took a dive due to being frequently dumped to off while dealing with a virus.

fxsttcb
09-08-2011, 12:28 PM
It may be possible to borrow another win 7 disk(same version 32/64b), install it, then use your recovery disks to correct it.
I've never tried anything like that, just sharing a thought...Don

tigisfat
09-08-2011, 04:58 PM
It may be possible to borrow another win 7 disk(same version 32/64b), install it, then use your recovery disks to correct it.
I've never tried anything like that, just sharing a thought...DonI thought that the recovery and windows discs were pretty much synonymous?

fxsttcb
09-08-2011, 06:01 PM
This is what prompted my thought:
Many OEM recovery disks pull data from a hidden partition on the original drive. If you've replaced the hard drive, the OEM recovery program won't be able to find the files it needs.

As I didn't/don't know if that would be the case, I had the idea that possibly a windows install, then recovery, might be what you need.
I don't have a clue what is, and/or isn't, on a "recovery" disk, compared to a full installation disk...Don

mgh
09-08-2011, 07:25 PM
My experience with Dell recovery disks are that they are actually OEM Wiindows disks. Ive have reinstalled XP from them several times. There is an option to reformat the disk, in which case there was faciliity to reinstall all the drivers as well.

tigisfat
09-08-2011, 08:25 PM
Does anyone know what the failure in my original post means?

loki
09-08-2011, 09:08 PM
I think the problem is coming from how OEM recovery discs are set up see days. While they used to be basically the same as a generic Windows install disc, they have almost turned into basic boot discs setup to restore a drive image or custom install from a hidden partition on the PC's original hard drive. The recovery discs would be specific to the computer they are designed for, and would not work with a different model of computer. As such, if they couldn't find the files they were setup to look for, they could give the error message mentioned above.

The part I am a little unclear on is that the discs are said to be for a laptop, and looking at Tig's specs I thought he was working on a desktop. So maybe tig you can run through exactly what you are doing again, and why. I just think something is missing from the story that would help solve the problem.

tigisfat
09-08-2011, 11:23 PM
I think the problem is coming from how OEM recovery discs are set up see days. While they used to be basically the same as a generic Windows install disc, they have almost turned into basic boot discs setup to restore a drive image or custom install from a hidden partition on the PC's original hard drive. The recovery discs would be specific to the computer they are designed for, and would not work with a different model of computer. As such, if they couldn't find the files they were setup to look for, they could give the error message mentioned above.

The part I am a little unclear on is that the discs are said to be for a laptop, and looking at Tig's specs I thought he was working on a desktop. So maybe tig you can run through exactly what you are doing again, and why. I just think something is missing from the story that would help solve the problem.

Sure, here's the rundown:

-This is my laptop, not the computer in the specs. It is a windows 7 64 bit machine from Toshiba.
-The hard drive was replaced, because the old one was pulled and not able to be hooked up to another machine.
-It was badly infected with viruses; that's what started this whole thing. My girlfriend is quite unaware of the new breed of fake anti-virus viruses, and let it go for a month this way.
-The reformat/clean wipe stalls at that error message that I typed into my original post. I have three disks, that appears on disk one. Choosing the skip option gets me through the process, but the reformat is unsuccessful.

Ideas?

loki
09-08-2011, 11:58 PM
Thanks, that clarifies it greatly!

After doing a quick Google search, it seems this is not an uncommon problem with Toshiba. To me it suggests that either the recovery discs are somehow corrupted or damaged (even new discs can be bad), the recovery program is looking for a file on the original hard drive and obviously can't find it, or possibly some other hardware, such as RAM, related error. Given that it sounds like the laptop was running fine hardware-wise, I don't think it would be a memory or other hardware error, and lean towards one of the first two options.

A possible solution is to find someone you know that has a set of Windows OEM install discs that match what was on the computer (ie. if the PC had Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit, that is what you need. A local PC shop may be able to help with this part), and then use the Windows key that should be stuck on the computer somewhere (probably the bottom for a laptop) to do a clean install. This will get you a clean Windows install without any Toshiba specific applications, or more critically, drivers. Windows Vista and 7 are pretty good about drivers, but you may still need to download the Toshiba ones onto your desktop and copy them over with a USB stick. Drivers for laptop wireless network adapters and trackpads in particular are often customized for specific computers.

Paxx
09-09-2011, 10:04 PM
Use that Win 7 disk you used for your FSX desktop to get things rolling on the Toshiba. Use the Win 7 product key on the Toshiba (sticker on the back most likely) for activation. Throw BS "recovery" disks in the trash.

NOTE - This won't work if your laptop is originally Home Premium and your desktop is Professional or Ultimate and/or vice versa. Should work if both are Home Premium or the same version of Win 7 anyway. Since both are 64 bit you don't have to worry about any MS EULA 32 bit vs 64 bit nonsense (i.e the product key will work with both "bit" versions but I think technically doing so violates the EULA). Lawyers :rolleyes:

Paxx
09-23-2011, 03:05 PM
Did you ever work this problem out Tigisfat?

xxmikexx
09-24-2011, 01:52 PM
Walker,

Obviously what's below is of no immediate help to you but it might help you and others in the future ...

I'm with Loki -- I prefer to have official Windows waiting in the wings. In fact, for a few years my policy was to simply replace the OEM version of Windows as my first act when getting a machine home. Now I don't bother to do that but the first time a machine gets into serious trouble I zero it and install one of my legitimate copies of WinXP.

My wife has a Win7 machine but I do not. If hers ever needs to be rebuilt it will be using one of my XP copies. By the time XP becomes hopelessly obsolete I probably will not be using Windows at all. When I'm forced into buying a new machine I'll probably evict Win7 in favor of XP.