Can not reinstall Vista

Discussion in 'Installation & Compatibility' started by sfzab, Jan 17, 2009.

  1. sfzab

    sfzab

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    While working in Vista Home Premium I experienced a recent system failure and I do not know if it was caused by a virus. I had the AVG Free Edition installed and it was up to date.



    I decided to perform a clean reinstall using the Vista DVD Installer, but at a certain point a message appears onscreen informing that Vista can not be installed, and that some required files may be missing or corrupt. It also points that there might be a hard disk failure.



    However, I was able to perform a clean reinstall for openSuse to keep working with my PC. Before the Vista system failure, the double booting process had been working well for more than a year.



    I would appreciate your kind help in knowing the available options that might exist in this case to be able to reinstall successfully Vista Home Premium, full version.
     
    sfzab, Jan 17, 2009
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  2. sfzab

    WAW8

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    How about some details ...



    Was Vista preinstalled or did you install it yourself?



    If you installed it, was it an OEM DVD or a retail DVD?



    Your dual-boot, what boot manager are you using to display the OS menu? GNU/Linux or Windows? IF GNU/Linux, is it GRUB, LILO, or something else? (if not GRUB, I can't help you on the others). Also, did you install the boot manager to the MBR, or did you install it to the Linux root partition, or did you create a separate boot partition?



    If you can boot into OpenSUSE, post the results of the following command logged in as root: "fdisk -lu" (that's a small L, not a one).



    Since you have a Vista DVD, did you try booting from it and doing a Startup Repair?
     
    WAW8, Jan 17, 2009
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  3. sfzab

    sfzab

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    Vista Home Premium was not preinstalled. I installed it with a OEM DVD and the boot manager used to display the OS menu was GRUB. GRUB was installed to the MBR as both OS were on the same hard disk.



    When I tried to perform a clean reinstall and I booted from the Vista DVD I did not select Startup Repair, but the Install now option.



    The results for the “fdisk -lu” command are as follows:



    Disk /dev/sda: 300.0 GB, 300090728448 bytes



    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 36483 cylinders, total 586114704 sectors



    Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes



    Disk identifier: 0x69205244







    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System



    /dev/sda1 63 4209029 2104483+ 82 Linux swap / Solaris



    /dev/sda2 * 4209030 46154744 20972857+ 83 Linux



    /dev/sda3 46154745 586099394 269972325 83 Linux







    Disk /dev/sdb: 82.3 GB, 82348277760 bytes



    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 10011 cylinders, total 160836480 sectors



    Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes



    Disk identifier: 0xf51ef51e







    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System



    /dev/sdb1 * 63 74364946 37182442 c W95 FAT32 (LBA)



    Partition 1 does not end on cylinder boundary.



    /dev/sdb2 74364947 160826714 43230884 f W95 Ext'd (LBA)



    /dev/sdb5 74364948 78573914 2104483+ 83 Linux



    /dev/sdb6 78573978 82782944 2104483+ 83 Linux



    /dev/sdb7 82783008 86991974 2104483+ 83 Linux



    Before I moving to Vista Home Premium, I was using Win XP Pro (OEM) and openSuse 10.3.
     
    sfzab, Jan 17, 2009
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  4. sfzab

    WAW8

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    I see you have two physical drives. Are you planning on keeping both, or do you want to reinstall Vista on your 300GB drive?



    I also don't see any NTFS volumes at all. So, is Windows installed on the 80GB drive, or do you just have some FAT32 volumes for file sharing with Linux?
     
    WAW8, Jan 18, 2009
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  5. sfzab

    sfzab

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    Yes, I do have two physical drives that I plan to keep and have Vista Home Premium reinstalled on the 300 GB HD drive.



    I once had Win 2000 Pro installed on the 80 GB HD drive, but later on I used it just for some FAT32 volumes for file sharing with Linux.
     
    sfzab, Jan 18, 2009
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  6. sfzab

    WAW8

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    I'm confused ... you said that Vista is installed, but to AFAIK, Vista can only be installed to an NTFS volume -- and there is no NTFS volume showing up on your drives. So, did you actually install Vista to a FAT32 volume, or did you change the format type of an NTFS volume after installation?
     
    WAW8, Jan 19, 2009
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  7. sfzab

    sfzab

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    When Vista HP failed to reinstall on the 300 GB HD drive after the system failure, openSuse 11.1 was installed then using the entire disk. That is why there is no NTFS volume showing up on the drives.
     
    sfzab, Jan 19, 2009
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  8. sfzab

    WAW8

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    OK ... understand ...



    What I suggest doing is the following:

    1) disconnect the second drive, leaving only the 300GB drive connected

    2) Boot into Linux using the Open SUSE CD, start it, and remove all the partitions from the 300GB drive

    3) Reboot, this time, using the Vista DVD, but again, with only the 300GB drive connected

    4) Should be able to install this time

    5) If you still get error messages, my guess is that the DVD it itself physically damaged (i.e., scratches, pits, smudges). If you inspect it visually and don't see any problems, you would need to see if you can "borrow" a Vista DVD from someone else, and attempt to install it using your product key. Vista will know by the key which version to install.



    One problem you may run into, once Vista does install, is that an OEM version can only be activated once, period. So, when you try to reactivate it, it will fail. You will then need to call MS (in India!) in order to talk to someone -- who will then provide you a new product key, which you will need to enter manually, in order to reactivate your OS. Sorry, but those are the activation rules that MS has established for OEM versions.
     
    WAW8, Jan 19, 2009
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  9. sfzab

    sfzab

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    After reflecting on your remarks, I would like to ask:



    1) Are the activation rules that MS has established for OEM versions the same as for full versions, in terms of buying a Vista Home Premium DVD?

    2) If the Vista reactivation steps outlined fail, would another hardware configuration work? Like:



    a) installing a new SATA HD drive just for Vista Home Premium

    b) installing openSuse on the current SATA 300 GB HD drive

    c) using the only IDE 80 GB HD drive just for backup data

    d) maybe replacing the motherboard



    I have a Biostar GeForce 6100 AM2 motherboard that supports up to 2 IDE and 2 SATA HD drives. The CPU installed on it is an AMD Athlon 64 / X2 dual core processor 4600+, 1000 MHz.



    I do not know if Biostar GeForce 6100 AM2 OS support for Windows 2K / XP might have to do with the recent system failure. Please see this site.



    If Windows Vista Home Premium and openSuse 11.1 OS are reinstalled apart on 2 different SATA HD drives will this be better?



    Thanks once again for your valuable help.
     
    sfzab, Jan 19, 2009
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  10. sfzab

    sfzab

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    On the Biostar site the only drivers available for Vista are for the Onboard audio and the BIOS utility. Although I never downloaded these drivers Win Vista Home Premium did perform quite well.



    When I installed Vista Home Premium the onboard video did not work well, and I did have to install a Diamond HD 2600XT SB Edition PCI Express 256 MB GDDR3 ATI Radeon 3D Graphics card that improved greatly the images onscreen.
     
    sfzab, Jan 19, 2009
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  11. sfzab

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    There are actually four different forms of activation for Vista, two of them not readily available for purchase (large-scale OEM SLIC table and enterprise KMS) and two available over the counter (OEM and retail). Of these two, the OEM can only be activated once; the retail, however, can be activated more than once (but doing so sends a hash code to MS that invalidates the previous hashcode used with activation). I've read of retail versions being activated up to three times -- but not actually seen that myself.



    OEM and retail activations are tied to a complex combination of values computed from the computer hardware, including the serial number of the hard drive containing the OS, the memory sticks, the video card and other stuff. AFAIK, the motherboard info is NOT used in these activations, so theoretically, if you kept the same hard drive, video card, and memory, you could change motherboards and NOT have to reactivate. But, MS keeps changing the rules and doesn't bother to tell us when they do; so, it's really anyone's guess whether a change will deactivate the OS. In fact, up until recently, even upgrading chipset drivers would deactivate the OS!!



    So, basically, changing the hard drive for the OS is likely to deactivate it, yes.







    That's actually what I recommend. I have my Windows OS's (Vista and Seven) installed on one physical drive, and my Linux OS's each installed on it's own physical drive. Not only does this make drive image backups extremely easy to do, when I install a new non-windows OS, I simply unplug the Windows drive, boot from the first Linux drive, and do the installation/upgrade -- without any worry about Vista or Seven getting touched. Also means I can swap other drives in and out, and as long as I don't mess with the Windows drive, I don't have to worry about deactivating Vista (or Seven).
     
    WAW8, Jan 20, 2009
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  12. sfzab

    sfzab

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    When you mention that you unplug the Windows drive, boot from a Linux drive, and do the installation/upgrade -without any worry about Vista or Seven getting touched- I understand that you perform the Windows and non-windows OS installation/upgrades entirely independent one from the other.



    I did not know that the installation/upgrades should be handled preferably that way. However, I have a doubt: how do you perform the multi booting process switching from one Windows OS to another non-windows OS? Do you use GRUB or do it by first entering into the BIOS utility?



    In my case, of course, it would be rather a dual booting process.



    After reflecting on your insight, can I ask: Would it be advisable to



    1) unplug the used SATA 350 GB HD drive

    2) leave plugged the IDE 80 GB HD drive for backups

    3) place a new SATA HD drive and install first Vista HP on it

    4) check to see if the windows installation comes out well



    5) plug again the used SATA 350 GB HD drive

    6) leave plugged the IDE 80 GB HD drive for backups

    7) reinstall then openSuse 11.1 on the used SATA 350 GB HD drive

    8) check to see if the linux installation comes out well



    (openSuse 11.1 was installed using the entire SATA 350 GB HD drive, and it is the only OS that I have now)



    We would be assuming that the same motherboard can be used as well as the other basic hardware components. (I do not know if this can be done or not.)



    If it could be done, what would be an appropriate way to perform the double booting process -leaving untouched the MBR- as I seem to understand that you mean? Your kind feedback will be highly regarded.
     
    sfzab, Jan 20, 2009
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  13. sfzab

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    The way I do multi-boot is to leave the Windows drive untouched. It has its own MBR and boot managers.



    Instead, I use the BIOS to select my first Linux drive as the boot drive. That has GRUB on it, and a menu that includes all the OS's on the box. When I upgrade Linux's, I simply install the new version on top of the oldest Linux version (on the other Linux drive), write GRUB to the MBR of that drive, change the boot order in the BIOS, update the boot menu to add the other OS's, and I'm good to go.



    So basically, all my drives each have their own boot manager loaded. I use the BIOS order to select the one I want to use.



    The Ubuntu forum has lots of posts and how-to's on multibooting using GRUB.
     
    WAW8, Jan 21, 2009
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  14. sfzab

    sfzab

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    Thank you very much for your valuable feedback on the multi booting process using the BIOS utility. I can see now that I failed in using that procedure, and that it must have a lot to do with the recent system failure.



    Reflecting on your technical insight, I understand that it would not be necessary to reinstall openSuse 11.1 on the used SATA 350 GB HD drive as it already has a Linux MBR on it as you have explained clearly.



    In terms of the Win Vista HP problem to reinstall on the used SATA 350 GB HD drive,

    in your opinion, do you consider that it can be installed successfully on a new SATA HD drive plugged alone, of course, with any other HD drives?



    Considering the OEM activation rules in the case, I would opt to install rather a Vista HP full version if it can be reasonably known to be a valid solution.



    May I ask: if I later plug in the used IDE HD drive for backups, will the Win O/S be able to access it?
     
    sfzab, Jan 22, 2009
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  15. sfzab

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    True, but you should boot from the OpenSUSE drive, use GRUB for your menu, and add an entry for Vista to the GRUB menu.



    Since you installed Vista before to a different drive, I would expect that this install (to a different drive) will not activate. You should get an error code indicating that this copy has already been activate. Should that happen, you will need to enter "slui.exe 4" at a command line, which will then open a dialogue box, which will guide you through locating an 800 number to use to call MS support. You will then have to convince them that you are not a "pirate", so they will issue you a new product ID. You will have to enter that new ID to activate your new installation. Tell them that the old hard drive crashed and you had to replace it with a new one.



    However, since you're installing to a SATA drive, you will need to run down SATA-IDE drivers for the chipset on your motherboard, copy them to diskette or USB stick, and, pressing F6 when you go to install, load those drivers; otherwise, it's likely that the installation will fail early in the process.



    A true "HP version" is a custom-OEM solution provided by HP. It is tied to a table hidden in the computer BIOS, and as a result, does not require the customer (you) to do anything to activate it. It is a custom build that comes with the drivers needed for the machine, plus a bunch of HP support applications. If you can get hold of THAT, it's really the best solution for your machine -- since, as long as you don't change the BIOS (including the motherboard), you can change virtually everything else and never have to reactivate it.





    Yes, the Win OS should be able to see it. Also, OpenSUSE should be able to see it as well.
     
    WAW8, Jan 22, 2009
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  16. sfzab

    sfzab

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    Once I install the full version of Vista HP on a new SATA HD drive and leave openSuse untouched on the other SATA HD drive, what would be the entry that should be added to the GRUB menu for Vista?



    To do things as safe as possible, I am considering to unplug the IDE and the used SATA HD drives before installing Vista HP on the new SATA HD drive. Would I still have to download the SATA-IDE drivers for the chipset on the Biostar motherboard?



    Your kind assistance will be highly appreciated.
     
    sfzab, Jan 22, 2009
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  17. sfzab

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    I'd rather not get into Linux stuff on this forum. There are lots of posts on the Ubuntu forum about dual-booting, how to install GRUB, etc -- plus, they have search capability. So, when you login, do a search on dual-boot and you'll see lots of threads.



    As to the SATA-IDE drivers, you might luck out and Vista will have the drivers you need, but all to often, it doesn't and you get part way through the install, reboot, and the install stops or fails. So, you can try a clean boot without providing drivers, but if the install hangs, this is likely to be the problem.



    When you installed Vista before, did you do it booting from the DVD, or did you install it from inside XP?
     
    WAW8, Jan 22, 2009
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  18. sfzab

    sfzab

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    When I installed Vista before I did it from the Vista Installer DVD throgh the CD/DVID ROM drive, and not from inside Win XP Pro.
     
    sfzab, Jan 23, 2009
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  19. sfzab

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    Ok, so if you didn't have to supply drivers the first time you installed Vista (you did do that on a SATA drive, right?), then you won't have to supply them this time. Folk get into trouble when the install Vista from inside XP (where the driver is already loaded), and then when they boot into Vista, it won't run because they didn't tell Vista to load the SATA-IDE drivers.
     
    WAW8, Jan 23, 2009
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  20. sfzab

    sfzab

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    Unexpected results after trying to reinstall Vista HP on a new SATA HD drive.



    The reinstall process hanged when I did this:



    1) I unplugged completely the used IDE and SATA HD drives

    2) I mounted a new Seagate SATA HD drive

    3) I followed carefully the manufacturer's Installation Guide for a Single-drive installation for Windows



    When I ran the Vista HP (full version) Installer DVD it just hanged.



    To keeping working with the computer I left the new SATA HD drive mounted in the device bay, but with its serial ATA and power adapter cables unplugged, I plugged again used IDE and SATA HD drives, and openSuse 11.1 runs again.



    However, when I search in the file system the windows folder the C folder appears but in blank. openSuse can not access the windows backup files --that are still there-- as before.



    There is also a new booting issue: the Biostar splash screen appears as before, but instead of appearing GRUB a few minutes later the new Seagate SATA HD's Phoenix-Award WorkstationsBIOS V6.00PG menu screen appears now.



    I have to press the F1 key so that the GRUB menu list appear onscreen. After reflecting on your comments about some things that take place in the BIOS when windows is installed, I would like to ask:



    If leave untouched the used IDE/SATA HD drives and I replace the motherboard, can the Vista HP full version be installed then successfully on the new SATA HD drive?
     
    sfzab, Jan 24, 2009
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