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Windows 7 Not Starting, Need to Copy User Files


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#1 JUSTANOVICE

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Posted 09 January 2016 - 07:30 PM

Hi everyone. I'm helping out my wife on her computer as best as I can, but need help.

 

She has a Gateway NV55S series notebook with Windows 7 Home Premium. I don't know if it is -32 bit or -64 bit, not sure if that makes a difference or not. I am able to see the software Product Key and the hardware SNID.

 

She knew she had a problem when her cursor would not move while in Windows, then the OS would not even boot up. She did not have a system recovery/repair disk for this computer. I do not have an installation disk, nor a System Image, nor do I have an ISO of Windows 7 to put on a USB device. Gateway does not support the OS for download (either bit option). Acer sells an eRecovery CD, but I don’t believe it provides a new option different than the Gateway Recovery Management already loaded on her computer.

 

The boot priority is CD/DVD, then HDD, then USB FDD, then 3 more.

 

I have Windows 7 on an HP computer and had a system repair disk. I booted to that disk and tried System Repair. This may have corrupted matters further, as Windows Setup gives an error message when starting up services and requires restart of the computer. The last, and only, restore point was from a Windows Critical update that I believe did not load properly, back on January 8, but that restore point is not accessible to select. Scan for Affected Programs does not allow me to select programs (cursor and tab do not work for this). I did Windows Memory Diagnostic, also no problems, even with advanced diagnostic and 2 passes. When I move about with the command prompt, I can see the users and the user files present. However, I cannot copy those files to another drive - DOS says I am not granted access. Finally, my HP Recovery Manager does not work at all on this Gateway machine.

 

I tried both the Alt + F10 (Gateway Recovery Management v8.0.8) options as well as the F8 Advanced Boot options on her computer. None of the F8 options (all 3 Safe Mode options, Last Known Good Configuration, Disable Driver Signature Enforcement) have worked to at least get me to Windows. When I did Alt + F10, twice I used the option to Restore Operating System and Retain User Data. However, when I later boot from my repair disk and use the command prompt to see what is in the \backup directory, I can see the folders for each user, but it does not appear there are any user files there.

 

I have looked up creating a DOS boot disk so I have permissions to copy files. Have not been successful with that either.

 

If I can just copy the user files off of her computer, I am willing to try Gateway Recovery Management Restore Operating System to Factory Defaults option.

 

I have seen the articles/ad(?) for a Gateway (Acer) Recovery Disk using Easy Recovery Essentials, but it is not worth the $20 if I get the same errors as with what I have tried so far. Does anyone know if this disk works?

 

Any suggestions?


Edited by JUSTANOVICE, 09 January 2016 - 07:31 PM.


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#2 Union_Thug

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Posted 10 January 2016 - 10:14 AM

I've never tried it but you could use the "notepad from a command prompt at boot" trick:

 

How to Use a Windows Installer Disc to Back Up Your Files When Your Computer Won’t Boot
http://www.howtogeek.com/135005/how-to-use-a-windows-installer-disc-to-back-up-your-files-when-your-computer-wont-boot/

 

You can use this notpad Open dialog as if it were a Windows Explorer window – select files and you’ll be able to copy and paste them elsewhere, like  USB stick or removable HDD.

 

Spoiler

 

I have used a Linux Mint & Ubuntu "Live" CD/USB successfully:

Lucid Puppy way to recover files from a non-bootable computer (Live Linux CD/USB)
http://www.sevenforums.com/software/198909-lucid-puppy-way-recover-files-non-bootable-computer.html

 

HTH :)



#3 JUSTANOVICE

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Posted 10 January 2016 - 03:05 PM

Those sound like great options. Thanks!

 

Will post back how these work for me.



#4 JUSTANOVICE

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 12:39 AM

I tried the option that uses notepad. It seemed to have worked, so far. It was hard to navigate using just the Tab key (since the cursor is still not working). Also, I had to be patient while the copying took place because there was no indication on screen that the copying was still in progress. One of the users had 119GB of user data, and the backup took 2 hours 12 minutes to finish. I noticed on my external drive that the light was still flashing on and off, so I had to presume that the copying was still in progress.

 

2 quick questions for anyone –

 

1) Are there any files outside of the user directories that absolutely need to be backed up before I do a complete re-install of Windows 7 using the Gateway Recovery Management program?

 

2) Gateway Recovery Management gave me the option to backup the user files, which I did a couple of days ago. Those files were put in a “backup” directory. However, when I was using the notepad method, I was not able to find, or see, that backup directory. How do I view that directory under notepad? Is it absolutely necessary that I copy/paste that directory before re-installing Windows, or was the backup of the actual user directories sufficient?

 

Thanks for the help!



#5 chris920216

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 02:18 AM

I have found a Gateway NV55 Manual for you, the BIOS set up issue is in page 28, hope that would help.



#6 Union_Thug

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 08:23 AM

I tried the option that uses notepad. It seemed to have worked, so far. It was hard to navigate using just the Tab key...

 
Ouch, that s*x... I just tested this method on a Win 7 installation I have on a spare drive, I copied 34 gigs of stuff in about 30 minutes. If I have time I'm gonna test the Live USB (Linux) method & compare. I'm wondering if the notepad thing would be quicker using xcopy or robocopy? If I have time I'll test that too... maybe a crude batch file?

 

Spoiler


Regards
"Thug"


Edited by Union_Thug, 11 January 2016 - 08:24 AM.


#7 Union_Thug

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 08:49 AM

WOW!!! What a difference... Using Linux Mint 17 Live USB I copied the same Data... with a status bar... in less than 10 minutes!

 

Screenshot_zpsi6reiegg.png

 



#8 Gordon C

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 11:43 AM

Not everyone is equipped to do this, but when I want to save user files on a non-working platform I remove the hard drive and use a USB interface with a working platform to get the job done. The USB interface is not usually expensive (I've owned several) and it takes the ???'s out of the picture.



#9 JUSTANOVICE

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 08:34 PM

All great thoughts and ideas! Thanks especially to you, Thug, you have posted more than 1 reply.

 

Chris920216 - thanks for the manual link. Very thorough. Not sure why I need to mess with BIOS?? Again, just a novice at all this.

 

Gordon - thanks. interesting. not sure if I want to remove the HDD or not, though. Thanks for the input, will see if this gets to that point.

 

 

Can anyone help with my 2 remaining questions posted yesterday? Am ready to re-install Windows 7 if I don't need to pull more than just the User directories. 



#10 Union_Thug

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 09:59 PM

...

 

2 quick questions for anyone –

 

1) Are there any files outside of the user directories that absolutely need to be backed up before I do a complete re-install of Windows 7 using the Gateway Recovery Management program?

 

2) Gateway Recovery Management gave me the option to backup the user files, which I did a couple of days ago. Those files were put in a “backup” directory. However, when I was using the notepad method, I was not able to find, or see, that backup directory. How do I view that directory under notepad? Is it absolutely necessary that I copy/paste that directory before re-installing Windows, or was the backup of the actual user directories sufficient?

 

Thanks for the help!

 

1) If you’ve never changed the default storage locations, most of your files (documents, music, videos, pictures etc) should be stored in your User folder (%UserProfile%). One thing that comes to mind is E-mails... not sure how to do this as I've never had the need to do so. You might want to check & make a list of what programs are installed (and any licenses/keys needed) from these locations:

C:\Program Files
C:\Program Files (x86)
C:\ProgramData
C:\Users\(Username)\AppData\Roaming
C:\Users\(Username)\AppData\Local
C:\Users\(Username)\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

2) Dunno, sorry... I'm pretty much a novice too but I have a lot of time (retired on disability) and a thirst for techie knowledge.

 

HTH

"U_T"

 

EDIT TO ADD: Some excellent replies by users "Kari" & "gregrocker" to your query #1 on this thread @SevenForums.com.


Edited by Union_Thug, 11 January 2016 - 10:11 PM.


#11 JUSTANOVICE

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Posted 12 January 2016 - 12:57 AM

Well, I used Gateway Recovery Management and did a complete re-install of Windows 7 after pulling user data per the advice given above. At least I was able to get Windows to boot and get to desktop - HOWEVER - this computer still has the cursor problem it had when everything started. I have wireless and Internet Explorer, but it was very, very difficult navigating around. I tried F8 and System Repair upon boot up, but that did not make a difference.

 

How do I get the cursor to move and click?



#12 Union_Thug

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Posted 12 January 2016 - 05:26 AM

>>>...used Gateway Recovery Management and did a complete re-install of Windows 7... At least I was able to get Windows to boot and get to desktop<<<

Did you locate the aforementioned Gateway “backup” directory?

>>>...this computer still has the cursor problem... it was very, very difficult navigating around...How do I get the cursor to move and click?<<<

Forgive me for asking what might seem a condescending question, but have you tried another Mouse? Changed the battery, if wireless? Installed drivers/tried using the trackpad?
 

Please download and install Speccy to provide us with information about your computer.  Clicking on this link will automatically initiate the download, see instrux below (compliments of user dc3, open "spoiler")

Spoiler


Edited by Union_Thug, 12 January 2016 - 05:44 AM.


#13 JUSTANOVICE

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Posted 12 January 2016 - 07:41 PM

Thanks for staying with me on this, Union_Thug!

 

No, I still had not been able to find the Gateway "backup" directory during the notepad backup procedure. Now that Windows 7 has been reinstalled, I doubt the directory is still there. However, I don't think that backup worked in the first place, as when I was viewing it during use of the command line, I did not see any files within the "backup" directory.

 

I had to run a system repair after I reloaded the 3 User directories today - User #1 (name withheld), Public, and Administrator. In fact, Administrator was not created when Windows 7 was re-installed, so I copied the entire directory, and it may have been what the system was rejecting.

 

BTW, your question was not condescending at all. In fact, I hadn't thought of hooking up a mouse - haven't used one in years! Will try that first. Since I presume it uses different drivers than the touchpad, which does not work, it may enable me to proceed.

 

I have used Speccy before, but I am going to have to figure out how to download it on the semi-functioning computer first, then figure out how to open it.

 

Must go - work to do.

 






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