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General => The Soap Box => Topic started by: FORTRANS on December 27, 2016, 08:01:03 AM

Title: Working on a damaged laptop.
Post by: FORTRANS on December 27, 2016, 08:01:03 AM
Hi,

   Someone gave me a laptop computer that he said was not
working.  And after trying to get it cleaned up a bit (smelled of
cigarettes and had random bits of tape and gunk or crud on it)
I found that the keyboard does not work.  I put a USB keyboard
on it and get to a Windows 7 log in password box.  Out of
communication with the donor and don't have the password.

   First question, when Windows 7 offers to reset the password,
what will happen if I accept?

   Second question, I am familiar with dead and dying computers,
but not so much with reviving such poor beasts.  Is trying to
remove, clean, and reseat the keyboard likely to work?  Or
is that generally a lost cause?

   The external keyboard seems to be inactive until Windows starts
up.  Therefor I cannot seem to access the BIOS setup.

   Is going to someone's shop to have them fix it worth while
or are they going to charge more that it is worth?  On average
at least.  If they are likely to be cheap, I could feed them a half
dozen old computers

Thanks,

Steve N.
Title: Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
Post by: hutch-- on December 27, 2016, 08:18:58 AM
Steve,

I doubt that a laptop is worth the price of fixing it and depending on its age there may not be spare parts for it. I would give the "Reset password" option a blast as its the choice between trying to get it to run or throwing it out. Probably once you can get into it the OS will recognise the USB keyboard and then you may be able to access the BIOS.
Title: Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
Post by: sinsi on December 27, 2016, 09:34:06 AM
If you use "reset password" I think Windows 7 will ask you to insert your previously created password recovery disk - catch 22.

Download a password reset utility like http://pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/ either ISO or USB bootable image.
Easiest way is to activate the Administrator account and log on with it - no password by default.
Title: Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
Post by: mineiro on December 27, 2016, 10:03:04 PM
Some notebooks changed the del key to enter bios setup with F2,F10 or Alt+s. Try these. On a sony vaio this differs too, when computer is off we should press 'assist' key, so computer turns on and you can press F2 key to enter bios setup. I was thinking if this assist key was broken, don't have on default keyboards, I probably try to search the scan code of this key and try to emulate with other keys combinations.
I have used the program that sir sinsi said and works ok, only don't work if my memory is good when windows partition or user account have been encrypted, well, it's said on manual I suppose, that program have a linux version to mount windows registry under linux.
Title: Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
Post by: FORTRANS on December 28, 2016, 01:28:26 AM
Hi,

If you use "reset password" I think Windows 7 will ask you to insert your previously created password recovery disk - catch 22.

   Ah, yes, memories of Windows 9x recovery diskettes.  Those
never proved useful either.  Either nothing went wrong, they were
never made in the first place, or were lost.

Quote
Download a password reset utility like http://pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/ either ISO or USB bootable image.
Easiest way is to activate the Administrator account and log on with it - no password by default.

   Thanks that looks useful.  Hopefully usable with an extracted disk
on another computer as I can't change the boot order with the
external keyboard.

@hutch:  Thanks.  That is what I would expect.  Too expensive to
be worthwhile.

--

@mineiro:  Good that you have used the program sinsi mentioned,
thank you.  One would hope for non-encrypted by default.

   The external keyboard does nothing before the computer boots
up Windows.  But thanks for mentioning the alternate keys to enter
setup.  It may help someone else.  Haven't seen Alt-S myself, and
you can add F12 to your list.

--

   I guess if I have to open the thing up to get at the disk, I should
see what it takes to get to the keyboard.  Everything has to come
out from the bottom up.  Ick and/or yuck.

Regards,

Steve N.
Title: Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
Post by: anunitu on December 28, 2016, 04:32:33 AM
Sometimes an old system is only really good for spare parts.
Title: Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
Post by: FORTRANS on December 31, 2016, 09:39:56 AM
Hi,

   I got the password for the computer.  Goes from the login screen
to a dark, gray, blank screen.  Vaguely interesting but not too useful.
I can get to CMD.EXE by accessing the Windows Task Manager.  Looks
like there is a lot of stuff on the drive.  The Windows directory looks,
more or less, intact.

   Any hints, suggestions, or remedies?  There is an Acer directory that
mentions something about recovery.  Didn't look at it too much as
there is just so many files.  And they seem different from the brands
I owned.

   Last time I tried fixing something on a scrambled computer,I used
MalwareBytes.  But that was quite a while ago on an XP system.

Regards,

Steve
Title: Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
Post by: hutch-- on December 31, 2016, 11:29:27 AM
Fixing a damaged OS is usually a nightmare, I would give it a blast with MalwareBytes just to make sure it has no infections then try your luck with CHKDSK /f. Something that may help is to get the latest rollup update and install it as it may fix any of the damaged files. If you had the exact media that the OS was originally installed from you may be able to re-install the OS but you would have to be able to get hold of the original serial as well which may be no joy.

Now as you can get CMD.EXE to run, can you start Explorer from the command prompt ? I vaguely remember from long ago that a problem like this occurred from a messup in the disk order but this was on a multi-disk desktop.
Title: Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
Post by: sinsi on December 31, 2016, 12:29:01 PM
Download WinRepair http://www.tweaking.com/content/page/windows_repair_all_in_one.html
Boot to safe mode and run.

Alternatively, get a Windows disc with the same version and service pack and run setup from Task Manager - don't boot from the disc.
Choosing upgrade will do a repair install (or repair upgrade).

Acer recovery will factory reset Windows, all data will be wiped.
Title: Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
Post by: TWell on December 31, 2016, 12:32:23 PM
Try to run Explorer++ in that machine https://explorerplusplus.com (https://explorerplusplus.com)

Try to start explorer.exe from commandline.
What happens?

How regedit.exe works?
Title: Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
Post by: GuruSR on December 31, 2016, 05:03:55 PM
Not sure if you can get into the account to do anything (think you did, wasn't sure), though if you did, here's a few things to do...

First thing to do:

Chkdsk /f /r   <- R is important, don't forget it.

Second thing to do, is:

Run Malware removal software, the MalwareBytes software isn't enough, you need the higher end stuff they offer, but it's at a risk, using the normal one will not catch the nastier stuff out there.  Stuff they deem (and a lot do) as malware but cannot place it in their signature files due to legal reasons.  Scam/scum/etc/ware started digitally signing their code and started sending out cease and desist orders to various companies requiring them to remove their software from their signature files as their software was "legit".  MalwareBytes offers a piece of one time use software called JRT (Junk Removal Tool), as well as the newly added ADWCleaner to their lineup (download it too) and ComboFix is also a decent one for Windows XP to 8 (not 8.1).  Run JRT, then ADWCleaner, once they are done, you should be good to go, though if any of the infections (if any) are serious enough, you could "brick" the machine (basically means it won't boot into windows).

If you get past all of them and are able to continue, hit Start, type CMD, right click on it in the search list and "Run as Administrator", then repeat the below:

sfc/scannow

Let it finish, reboot, repeat until it says nothing is wrong, very important.

This will repair the OS files, but sadly, not the registry, and I don't recommend using a registry repair program (99% of the time, they do more damage than good).  If the system still misbehaves, your only recourse is to Reset this PC.  Link -> http://www.howtogeek.com/132428/everything-you-need-to-know-about-refreshing-and-resetting-your-windows-8-pc/

Good luck.

GuruSR.
Title: Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
Post by: hutch-- on December 31, 2016, 06:15:37 PM
> Chkdsk /f /r   <- R is important, don't forget it.

You are confusing a couple of issues here, the /f option is to fix errors on the disk from OS writes where the /r option is aimed at recovering data from defects in the disk. If the disk is physically damaged then the problem is not one of data recovery but one of mechanical replacement, possible after recovering whatever data can be recovered from the disk.
Title: Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
Post by: FORTRANS on January 01, 2017, 01:16:51 AM
Hi,

   Thanks for the feedback.  I will try things out as time allows.  Yeah,
one of the reasons I did not look too hard at the Acer recovery was
that I figured it would lose data.  So the easy stuff for now.

CHKDSK runs, no squawking though.  CHKDSK /F will run on next boot.

EXPLORER does not run.

REGEDIT runs.

   Basically, it would have been  interesting to have a Windows 7 system.
Went from XP to 8.1 and skipped the ones in between.  (Worked on
someone else's systems briefly.)  I will put some effort in later, but have
a short attention span to overcome.

Regards,

Steve N.
Title: Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
Post by: anunitu on January 01, 2017, 01:45:56 AM
You "Could" begin your own personal collection of OLD computers like this guy.

http://oldcomputer.info/pc/ (http://oldcomputer.info/pc/)

Hoping the image isn't to large..
(http://oldcomputer.info/pictures/gal/Museum/PC/Robotron_EC1834/000.jpg)

If you search "old computer collections" some of them have HUGE collections requiring a warehouse to hold them all.(some have main frame components also)

Like this guy.
http://www.futurebots.com/cpu.htm (http://www.futurebots.com/cpu.htm)
Title: Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
Post by: TWell on January 01, 2017, 01:50:53 AM
So now you can expect that explorer.exe or it's register settings are damaged.
Now try that Explorer++ and tell us how it runs and what features are missing.
That program try to use some explorer features and something what is missing gives to you a glue to some features.
It means to to clean the explorer register setting somehow.
Title: Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
Post by: GuruSR on January 01, 2017, 02:35:56 AM
> Chkdsk /f /r   <- R is important, don't forget it.

You are confusing a couple of issues here, the /f option is to fix errors on the disk from OS writes where the /r option is aimed at recovering data from defects in the disk. If the disk is physically damaged then the problem is not one of data recovery but one of mechanical replacement, possible after recovering whatever data can be recovered from the disk.

/f Fixes file system errors but cannot deal with cluster errors (it'll say to run it again with /r), /r deals with validating the contents of each file to ensure they're readable, most fails to load during boot can be caused by partially failing clusters (near the threshold where the drive fails to read the contents).  If Explorer cannot be loaded, chances are there's a bad cluster involved with the file or one of it's dependencies, since Explorer is a commonly used file, it would stand to reason that the cluster could have deteriorated enough to cause intermittent or even permanent failure, /f will not always report of this if the cluster is into the file, /r ensures it checks for such things and is why I suggested it.  There are two forms of issues with a damaged OS, software (malware, bad program, stupid/failed updates) and hardware (most commonly, cluster failures).  With an unknown drive, that is what is here, it's a "damaged laptop", first thought would be to ensure the storage media you're working with has no existing issues.  The other thing to consider, /f puts an added strain on the harddrive's mechanics as it scans the NTFS stream and if it's on a failing harddrive, then the data could be even harder to obtain later or could even lead it to a quicker failure date.  Chkdsk /f/r does everything once, plus if there is corrupted files /r will toss them in a Found folder and System File Checker (SFC) should get it back up from Safe Mode - Command Prompt.  It's somewhat of a shame you can't cause SFC to run right behind a check disk and SFP isn't running at that point, so it won't fix it there either.

GuruSR.
Title: Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
Post by: hutch-- on January 01, 2017, 03:08:42 AM
Herein lies the problem of taking a "fix all in one pass" approach, running CHKDSK in read only mode runs in a couple of minutes whereas doing a damaged sector scan can take many hours on a modern sized disk. If what you need to know is if the disk is mechanically OK but has OS based write damage (from whatever source), then you would be wasting hours on an un-necessary disk repair operation.

Diagnostics and repair are not the same thing, there is some wisdom in the approach of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it", when you are doing diagnostics on a machine as Steve is doing you need a wide range of information quickly, not to waste hours doing things that may not be necessary. You do the repairs AFTER you have successfully diagnosed the problem(s).
Title: Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
Post by: GuruSR on January 01, 2017, 03:45:02 AM
Herein lies the problem of taking a "fix all in one pass" approach, running CHKDSK in read only mode runs in a couple of minutes whereas doing a damaged sector scan can take many hours on a modern sized disk. If what you need to know is if the disk is mechanically OK but has OS based write damage (from whatever source), then you would be wasting hours on an un-necessary disk repair operation.

Diagnostics and repair are not the same thing, there is some wisdom in the approach of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it", when you are doing diagnostics on a machine as Steve is doing you need a wide range of information quickly, not to waste hours doing things that may not be necessary. You do the repairs AFTER you have successfully diagnosed the problem(s).

The /r does only the file area, not the full drive, sure it may take hours, from the sounds of the situation, the hardware isn't an issue, but, if there is at least 1 cluster failing, doing *ANY* work on that drive is subjected to possible further deterioration of the platter where that cluster failed.  The /r isn't the best way to deal with this, but ensuring that /r completes at least gives you a backup-able drive where you can then safely do repairs on to avoid data loss.  Mind you, in this situation, not everyone has a drive duplicator to do this work, decent ones offer ignoring errors and such.  If the data is backed up, then rather than repairing such a messed up OS, reinstall and start over, because if there are errors in files, chances are, the registry is a disaster.

The "If it ain't broke, don't fix it", doesn't apply to cluster issues, because the head on the drive *may* read the cluster this time and 10 times later not, and repeat this until it finally gets beyond the drive's threshold for read errors (which means the platter's surface has degraded enough) before it's considered unreadable.  Certain parts of Windows will refuse to work when a bad cluster is inside a file (which /f won't always find), which is why a full check of the readability of the files is an important step in solving the OS issues.  Or, as I said, back the thing up, and start over, restore your data back.  In most cases, a broken Windows OS will always be broken, even if it does behave normal (and that was meant not as a joke against Windows 10 updates).

GuruSR.
Title: Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
Post by: hutch-- on January 01, 2017, 04:12:23 AM
 :biggrin:

You have a mentality that would work on a 20 megabyte disk as the time difference would not matter but try in on an 8 terabyte disk and you will grow old waiting for a result that may not matter. I had a 1tb HDD some years ago as the boot drive on my Win7 64 box that was just starting to fail and not for love or money could you fix it in place. I replaced it with an SSD, re-installed Win7 64 back onto it and got it working again but with the 1tb HDD, I deleted everything on it by removing the partitions first then formatting the entire drive the slow way and ran days of tests on it and it showed no sector errors at all.

The difference was I was not waiting for the result as I pulled the disk and did all of the repairs and testing with it plugged into another machine that did not need to be watched. I had already diagnosed the disk, found it had errors and replaced it in the original machine. After days of testing, it now lives in one of my old USB3 plug in cans and I sometimes store junk on it. The type of advice you are peddling is something like a building having foundation problems so you waste the time and money painting the roof. You get this problem by confusing the difference between diagnostics and repair.
Title: Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
Post by: anunitu on January 01, 2017, 04:51:27 AM
Cheaper and a lot less time consuming to do what you did Hutch,trying to resurrect a failing drive when you could just salvage what data you could and as you did replace and re-install a newer disk(faster I would imagine also) and that leaves you time to test and study the old disk,and in its own way the testing is more interesting and fun when nothing is critical.   
Title: Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
Post by: GuruSR on January 01, 2017, 01:13:06 PM
8TB without a backup?  I wouldn't, ever.  I had to repair a 1TB in August (basically I *knew* I had no issues with it, because the July RAID backup was fine), the customer needed the existing files (which they didn't know where they were) back, but I wasn't aware there was a hardware issue, did the chkdsk /f because I forced the power off (wasn't going to wait for the shutdown more than the 2 minutes it did, the August backup was trying itself again and failing for a reason I know of and their funding [charity] hasn't the space to resolve), upon reboot I got the chkdsk finished figured it had the issue with free space (it did, fixed it), mounted Office install from the RAID and repaired Office, upon reboot, the machine BSOD'd instantly after post and turned off (memory alloc fail, corrupted swap space), restarted the PC, Windows recreated the swap and started normally, but I knew something else was wrong, so to ensure I could backup the files, I chkdsk /f/r again (yes, took 1 and a half hours on that 1TB, I'd never do any sort of recovery on an 8TB+, anyone crazy enough to put that much space without a RAID to keep the data on more than one spot, gets what they reap).  Drive had a bunch of cluster errors on it, one of them was in the Excel.exe which the customer complained wouldn't run (like the original poster here).  Obviously, there wasn't any risk of data loss and I knew the files were safe (synced to the RAID), so getting that drive back up was just an easier way than using the now month old backup and watching the updates again, then restoring the files.  But since that laptop (original poster) is a "fix-er-upper", doubt any data loss will be an issue.  If the laptop had a backup, restore it, but from the sounds of the original poster, it's just the laptop to tinker with.  Easy to chkdsk /f/r and go watch sports for a while.

GuruSR.
Title: Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
Post by: sinsi on January 01, 2017, 02:16:27 PM
GuruSR, so you had a drive with bad sectors and just reinstalled? Bad sectors grow, that drive is on its way out i reckon.
First thing I use to check a disk (after imaging it) is Crystal Disk Info to check SMART status then WD Diagnostics for a surface check.
Hard drives nowadays have surplus sectors so that the drive controller can replace bad sectors on the fly, the trouble starts when that pool runs out.
Title: Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
Post by: hutch-- on January 01, 2017, 02:55:05 PM
I am much of the view that once a mechanical HDD starts to show any sector errors it has become ballast. You may be able to store junk on it if you can fix it but it would never be trustable as a boot drive or anything that is important. Disks are much cheaper than they were years ago and unless your time is worth nothing and you can afford to piss around with a damaged disk, its cheaper and safer to just buy a new one. If you are into NAS style remote storage then the recent WD RED dedicated NAS drives are probably the right way to go. You can go the RAID5 way but there are other ways to handle large backups, multiple parallel storage is a lot less complicated and probably cheaper than RAID hardware.

I keep an old WD Green 2tb in a can to hold my movies and music, I have a 4tb brand new desktop disk in a can that I have nothing to write to it at the moment and 10tb storage in the box itself so multiple copies of important software is not a problem. I have one drive where I keep the incremental Acronis backups which I have used once. As far as other machines, with a gigabit network between all boxes, I have 6tb on the win7 box, another 6tb on my last XP box and the oldest one has 4tb storage and I have my important stuff on all of them.

My only real use of RAID was RAID0 in the past to get the disk IO speed but its cheaper and faster to use an SSD these days.
Title: Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
Post by: GuruSR on January 02, 2017, 02:23:48 AM
GuruSR, so you had a drive with bad sectors and just reinstalled? Bad sectors grow, that drive is on its way out i reckon.
First thing I use to check a disk (after imaging it) is Crystal Disk Info to check SMART status then WD Diagnostics for a surface check.
Hard drives nowadays have surplus sectors so that the drive controller can replace bad sectors on the fly, the trouble starts when that pool runs out.

Err, no.  After watching the chkdsk /r show it's ugly "I found bad clusters and am about to move a file" I logged into my supplier with my tablet, ordered a new replacement drive, called my sales team there had them use one of the fast delivery services I use and get the drive to me, so that usually takes an hour and a half-ish where I was, so I had time to let it finish.  I then shut the thing down and added the replacement drive in, and ended up using Norton Ghost 2k3 (DOS) to clone the drive as Acronis HD wouldn't because of the read errors, but 2k3 did because I have it using it's own Int 13 driver and sector error skipping, it took over an hour to transfer the data, and a few spots it actually stalled but actually did get it.

As for the spare pool of sectors, I monitor that like the plague and when it gets near capacity it's toast even if it isn't showing signs of cluster errors, back when the drives had 40MB total storage on the same platter size, you could get away with bad sectors for a period of time so long as the surface didn't degrade on you and start flaking off, then there was the lubricant you had to worry over, that got too hot and failed, the head would stick to the surface and basically act like an ice scraper.  Now-a-days with drives using platters with higher density of data on them, even the slightest cluster going south is an instant alarm to replace it, even more with the smaller 2.5" drives as they squeeze more onto such a smaller area and less platters.

My suggestion of the /r to the original poster was because the laptop was basically "dropped off" and the state of the drive could be in question and asking if it's worth fixing, the /r would check for bad clusters within the files on it (I hate chkdsk's lack of a full volume scan, I know there are other programs out there that'll do it, but I guess MS couldn't be bothered).  It would have given the person a sense that they're trying to repair an OS on a drive with cluster errors (meaning the drive is failing), otherwise I would have said, yank the drive out, put a new one in, try Linux on it as a treat.

GuruSR.
Title: Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
Post by: hutch-- on January 02, 2017, 02:39:19 AM
There is something else you have missed by confusing the difference between diagnostics and repair with CHKDSK, run the read only option of CHKDSK and it will tell you if there are any bad sectors and it has been doing so since the DOS days. If there are bad sectors on anything like a modern disk, then BYE BYE disk !

Maybe you should be pissing around with Linux. Nothing wrong with a decent version of Linux but its better geared for people who want to piss around with old tech solution to old tech problems. Windows has among its many vices very little tolerance to old style hick solutions and it appears to be deliberately so.
Title: Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
Post by: GuruSR on January 02, 2017, 03:14:28 AM
There is something else you have missed by confusing the difference between diagnostics and repair with CHKDSK, run the read only option of CHKDSK and it will tell you if there are any bad sectors and it has been doing so since the DOS days. If there are bad sectors on anything like a modern disk, then BYE BYE disk !

I am quite aware of what chkdsk alone does been using it since the the dawn of NTFS, it does list known bad sectors from the drive just like scandisk of dos days, unknown sectors will not be listed (obviously).  And I know that any drive with bad clusters is a goner, which you seem to be overlooking, I've said it a few times.  Is there a reason you're flaming the original author's thread?  He stated the chkdsk didn't bawk, meaning nothing bad was found, a /f would most likely show nothing more, but an /r would have checked the file data, which could have found an unreported bad cluster.  Just because /f doesn't find anything, doesn't mean there aren't bad clusters on the drive platters.

I am much of the view that once a mechanical HDD starts to show any sector errors it has become ballast. You may be able to store junk on it if you can fix it but it would never be trustable as a boot drive or anything that is important. Disks are much cheaper than they were years ago and unless your time is worth nothing and you can afford to piss around with a damaged disk, its cheaper and safer to just buy a new one. If you are into NAS style remote storage then the recent WD RED dedicated NAS drives are probably the right way to go. You can go the RAID5 way but there are other ways to handle large backups, multiple parallel storage is a lot less complicated and probably cheaper than RAID hardware.

I keep an old WD Green 2tb in a can to hold my movies and music, I have a 4tb brand new desktop disk in a can that I have nothing to write to it at the moment and 10tb storage in the box itself so multiple copies of important software is not a problem. I have one drive where I keep the incremental Acronis backups which I have used once. As far as other machines, with a gigabit network between all boxes, I have 6tb on the win7 box, another 6tb on my last XP box and the oldest one has 4tb storage and I have my important stuff on all of them.

My only real use of RAID was RAID0 in the past to get the disk IO speed but its cheaper and faster to use an SSD these days.

Oh hell no!  Disk has any errors on it or with it (SMART), toast, period, ever.  Not since the 40MB drives would I even ever consider keeping anything on a drive with 1 single error on it.  And today with the cost of drives, warranties are moot, the shipping costs alone to send them back, isn't work doing it, nor is getting a refurbished drive in replacement, just responsibly recycle them and move on.

WD Reds, sadly, had my fill of those fail monsters (so did a few of my customers after the 100's of emails the raids sent out with SMART errors), a bad batch of drives I think, not sure, but now I either use HGST or Seagate for the RAIDS and have had a far less failure rate with those.

You and I both seem to do the same thing (clone software/data across machines), though I don't keep that much file storage on any of the machines because it's just not something I need to do, just keep what is important, the rest is shuffled off onto pulled drives, labelled, sealed and shelved.  So what DO you keep on all that space, kind of sounds like you're a bit of a pack-rat when it comes to files, never delete any pictures or videos?  As for Acronis, may want to go into the backup's Options, under Advanced and ensure Validation is turned on, it does double the time a backup takes, but when it's finished, it knows it can read it properly.

GuruSR.
Title: Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
Post by: hutch-- on January 02, 2017, 04:29:18 AM
 :biggrin:

Quote
I am quite aware of what chkdsk alone does been using it since the the dawn of NTFS, it does list known bad sectors from the drive just like scandisk of dos days, unknown sectors will not be listed (obviously).  And I know that any drive with bad clusters is a goner, which you seem to be overlooking, I've said it a few times.  Is there a reason you're flaming the original author's thread?  He stated the chkdsk didn't bawk, meaning nothing bad was found, a /f would most likely show nothing more, but an /r would have checked the file data, which could have found an unreported bad cluster.  Just because /f doesn't find anything, doesn't mean there aren't bad clusters on the drive platters

If I was "flaming" anyone they would not be guessing. I have picked you up for being a smartarse adding redundant information on how to perform diagnosis on a hard disk. The simple distinction is , do your diagnosis first then replace/repair what you need to do. Your advice was to try and fix what may not have been a problem by wasting hours running a very slow sector scan when there was no reason to do it in the first place. Now I have heard you flounder from one messup to another trying to cover your arse for saying something stupid but the bottom line is, do your diagnostics first, THEN do your replacement / repair next.

Have a look at your own silly advice here.
Quote
Chkdsk /f /r   <- R is important, don't forget it.

For the little that its worth, Unix case sensitive "Chkdsk" is irrelevant here, just like your free advice. You may be used to giving free advice to morons but there are a large number of people here who do know what they are doing and they don't need patronising bullshit from you or anyone else. Have you patted that puppie on the head yet ?
Title: Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
Post by: jj2007 on January 20, 2017, 10:06:35 PM
I don't recommend using a registry repair program (99% of the time, they do more damage than good).

Just found a good article on that: Do I need a Registry Cleaner? (https://www.whatthetech.com/2007/11/25/do-i-need-a-registry-cleaner/)
Quote
the Microsoft Knowledge Base has a lot of articles on how to repair the damage created by using these utilities
Title: Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
Post by: TWell on January 20, 2017, 11:27:04 PM
But MS don't help much if Windows Update stops working and endlessly search updates (50% CPU load).
Title: Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
Post by: adeyblue on January 21, 2017, 10:06:33 AM
It eventually stops. Mine took 51 hours of 50% cpu to then tell me there were no updates (http://imgur.com/a/1yHyJ), when in fact there were. I've turned off the service now though.

I now download the individual updates from http://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com (http://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com) (you have to type in the kb number or part of the description) extract them with 7-zip and then use dism to install the cabs (https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/askcore/2011/02/15/how-to-use-dism-to-install-a-hotfix-from-within-windows/) since it won't install msu's directly to a running system.
Title: Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
Post by: TWell on January 21, 2017, 10:17:01 AM
wusa.exe
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/934307/description-of-the-windows-update-standalone-installer-in-windows

I also download one msu installed it with wusa.exe after i disconnect PC from LAN.
After reboot that PC downloads 64 updates and install those in normal way.
Now i wait when it broke again.

Now it installed
January, 2017 Security Montly Quality Rollup for Windows 7 for x64...
Title: Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
Post by: FORTRANS on July 29, 2017, 04:31:55 AM
Hi,

   An update of sorts.  I had a friend get a new keyboard.  It turns
out that the motherboard connecter was bad, not the keyboard.
I had wanted to get into the BIOS to change the boot order, and
a USB keyboard does not seem to allow that.

   As we were commiserating about the keyboard, and drinking
beer, I handed off the laptop and the keyboard to a friend.  I told
him how to start up a command prompt and had him look about.
Some comments about malware ensued.  General complaints,
wondering about what happened, and noticing that in its current
state it was worthless.  I mentioned the Acer recovery directory
and asked for opinions.  That led to running said recovery software
(the beer was partly responsible, I think) and restoring it to "like
new" or whatever.  The other option was trying to save the existing
data, and that sounded less than useful at the time (beer again?).

   Amazing what is bundled with an Acer computer.  The setup ran
through 29 steps after the OS 7 was restored.  McAfee antivirus
was one, just like my Windows 8.1 system (yuck).

   Anyway, not entirely sure what to do now.  Windows Update I
suppose.  Suggestions welcome (probably).  Looks like it is working
and the malware seems to be gone.  The mousepad is rather ghastly,
and I am going to get an external mouse.  A nice screen apparently.

   Not that anyone is/was curious, just thought it would be polite
to finish this off.

Regards,

Steve N.
Title: Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
Post by: hutch-- on July 29, 2017, 06:07:21 AM
To save my Win7 64 box, I found a trick app that stopped the auto-win10 upgrade then once the attempted forced upgrades were finished I hunted up the most recent collection of updates and installed them and nothing appeared to break but I keep auto-update turned off so Microsoft cannot make a mess of it. As always, make sure you have a full disk image available for the boot drive and a boot CD to run it if you have to.

I confess to being really annoyed at Microsoft for the attempted forced upgrade to Win10 as my Win7 64 bit is the black box Ultimate retail version that cost me some rediculous price and the last thing I wanted was a broken version of Win10 that wrecked the capacity of Win7.
Title: Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
Post by: Blackmasm on September 03, 2017, 01:16:00 AM
Hi

Just for future reference, the system restore will put so much preloaded crap on the system that it's just as well, if you have the license key, which should be on the bottom, sometimes under the battery, to just reinstall from a copy of someone's Windows installation CD/DVD - by default BIO's usually boot from CD-DVD first, so there's no need to access the BIOS to change the boot order.
Then download any additional drivers needed from the manufacturer's website. - annoyingly this sometimes requires the network driver to be downloaded on another machine first and transferred via USB, but the clean install of windows 7 will include USB drivers so that should work ok.