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blinking cursor - cannot get to F8 recovery


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#16
deekaye

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Okay - I'll try it tomorrow (I left the laptop at the office). The odd thing to me is how fast the laptop "starts up" when you push the button. You push the physical start button on the laptop and within 1 second the Toshiba splash appears with the gray line at the bottom saying to push F2 or F12 and if you don't push them within about 5 seconds it automatically goes to the black screen with blinking cursor. Once you are on that screen it doesn't matter what you push, you get beeps.

I'll try the F5 and see if that works.

Thanks!
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#17
deekaye

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As I suspected, pushing F5 didn't work either. I timed it and the Toshiba screen comes up and remains for 5 seconds and within that time you have to push F2 or F12 or it goes to black screen blinking cursor. F5 didn't make it beep, it just went to black screen blinking cursor.

I see no other choice but to try and reinstall Windows on his laptop and hope I can get add back the TurboTax and files and they will work (he can't find his TurboTax CD either!) I copied his User file and the TurboTax file folders to the external drive the other day.

Quick question, when a laptop is in this state where you can't really see any info, how do you know what version of Windows you are running if you needed to download and create the bootable DVD as you had mentioned here:

Windows 7 Direct Download Links

There is a sticker on the bottom of his laptop with a serial # and the key but nothing that tells you what version of Windows it runs or whether 64 or 32 bit etc. Is there a place inside the folders where you can see this info? I just want to be sure the Windows DVD he gave me is the correct one since he and his family apparently have numerous computers that all are in some state or other of having issues and they don't seem to have kept their software together coherently (its all tossed in "a box") LOL!

Thanks!
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#18
Ztruker

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Please check the COA sticker again. Almost always the version (Pro/Home/Ultimate/etc.) is on the first line.

Windows 7 COA Stickers

If you look at the folders on the boot drive, if there is a Program Files (X86) then 64 bit Windows 7 is installed. Otherwise it's 32 bit.

You can use regedit from WinRE (Windows Recovery Environment) to look at the registry on the computer to see what version it is. I'll post that info when I gt home, I'm at work right now.
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#19
Ztruker

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You get to WinRE by booting a Windows 7 install DVD or flash drive so at this point I would suggest making your best guess of which version. It is most likely to be Windows 7 Home Premium, 32 or 64 bit (look for Program Files (X86) as I mentioned above.

For an idea of how to use regedit in WinRE, see here:

Load or Unload Registry Hives
Using RegEdit with WinRE

The key you want to look at is: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProductName
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#20
deekaye

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Hi There:

I finally was able to get time to get into this and when I go to look for this:

[The key you want to look at is: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProductName]


It's all there except there is nothing called "ProductName" in either the "Windows\CurrentVersion" or the "WindowsNT\CurrentVersion" folders.... any suggestions?

Thanks!
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#21
Ztruker

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So you were able to do this okay?

To load a hive into the registry

    Open Registry Editor.

    Click either the HKEY_USERS key or HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE key.

    On the File menu, click Load Hive….

    Find the hive you want to load and click it.

    Click Open.

    In Key Name, type the name that you want to assign to the hive and then click OK.

When I look at my Win 7 Pro X64 system, this is what I have:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion
    CurrentVersion    REG_SZ    6.1
    CurrentBuild    REG_SZ    7601
    SoftwareType    REG_SZ    System
    CurrentType    REG_SZ    Multiprocessor Free
    InstallDate    REG_DWORD    0x4eb31ced
    RegisteredOrganization    REG_SZ
    RegisteredOwner    REG_SZ    rrkurtz
    SystemRoot    REG_SZ    C:\Windows
    InstallationType    REG_SZ    Client
    EditionID    REG_SZ    Professional
    ProductName    REG_SZ    Windows 7 Professional
    ProductId    REG_SZ    00371-OEM-9044945-38256

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#22
deekaye

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I didn't do the first part to load a hive, I just first was looking in the folder (the second part) to see what version it was running. Do I have to load a hive to make that appear in the folder?

If so, the only thing I'm lost on is the part of the instruction that says "Find the hive you want to load and click it".... how do you know what hive you want to load (sorry to be such a dufus but I've never heard of hives, etc)

Without having done this, what I see is everything else you stated in the second part except when you get into the sub-folder called "Current Version" its got a LOT of other items and folders in it, not data like what you are showing in yours with Version type, Build, Product ID etc.

I'll see what happens tomorrow when I try and load a hive - if its something I can see that's obvious to choose, maybe that will make the data appear in the Current Version folder?

Thanks!
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#23
123Runner

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Somewhat off topic but pertinent is Turbo tax. Do not worry about the program. The program for this year is not valid next year. You always have to purchase a new CD. Your friend should also be making pdf files of the tax statements. That way he/she does not need the software installed for previous years to look at the taxes. If the files end in .tax2011 or .tax2012, etc then he needs the program installed. He should have the cd.
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#24
deekaye

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Thanks 123Runner but this is the exact problem. He eFiled his 2012 taxes and DID NOT make a pdf copy or printout and within a week of the April 15 filing his laptop did this black screen blinking cursor business and here we are, going thru all this just to try and get his 2012 tax documents. I'm hoping I can recover his Windows 7 and reinstall his User files and the program (he cannot find the TurboTax CD either!) just to try and get this tax copy of his 2012 return. When I check their TurboTax site they'll charge him to get a 2012 CD to reinstall to open.

If this fails I'm hoping I can find someone who lives around here (we live in a remote farm area) that uses TurboTax and has 2012 so we can open this thing (LOL!)....
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#25
deekaye

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Okay I am here at work and I have tried to "Load Hive" I get to this point:

[To load a hive into the registry

Open Registry Editor.

Click either the HKEY_USERS key or HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE key.

On the File menu, click Load Hive…. ]

But then, what I see are folders that look like they are in various languages. I assume I'd want "en-US". But if I click that and click Open all I see are tons more files and there is nothing called "In Key Name" to name anything. Just the space to enter a "File Name" which then makes the system look for a file in that en-US folder called whatever you're trying to name it. Most of the files inside there are ".mui" or a couple of .rtf

I have no idea what an MUI File is, but none of them are named "Key Name" or anything like that.... so here I am stuck.

Any help you can give is appreciated.

Thanks
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#26
deekaye

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Sorry to be such a pain but this is REALLY confusing to a non-PC user. I went ahead and downloaded a copy of the .ISO that I found for this version of Windows 7 Home Prem OA version: X16-96072.

The only thing I do not understand at this point is exactly what I am doing with this .ISO download. I am at IMGBURN and there's nothing explaining exactly what I am burning to disc (DVD I assume): Am I burning this .ISO that downloaded? Am I opening up this download first on the computer I downloaded it to and extracting files or folders and burning that? If I download IMGBURN to the computer I'm on, does it know where to install it automatically? Why am I using IMGBURN instead of just open the extracted file and clicking "Burn" onto a DVD (which I tried)?

If I take the DVD that I burned of the files and close the session and then insert it into the laptop and try and boot from that, it does nothing, even though it contains "boot" files, etc.

If I indeed need to burn a DVD from IMGBURN can you tell me exactly what I am doing and then how I am making this a bootable DVD that will be recognized by the laptop so I can reinstall Windows 7? Why am I doing all this if I can make a "bootable USB" as you first instructed me?

When I look at the "Install Windows" that comes up from the original DVD I had (which I do not believe came with this laptop as it is Dell and the laptop is Toshiba) it tells be before I install Windows7 I should run a malware check from here:

http://www.microsoft...ol-details.aspx

I downloaded that onto a USB in case I need it, but I see no way to run this if the laptop can't boot up and doesn't recognize anything (LOL!)....

I hope I'm making sense, but this really is massively confusing for a Mac user.

Right now I'm just keeping the laptop open to the Windows7 "Install Now" window from the DVD that came with the Dell until I hear from you, as this seems to be the only window that allows you to access "Repair your computer" or anything else.

Thanks!
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#27
Ztruker

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You are not a pain. Even folks used to Windows have trouble with this. Try this:

Put a DVD+R (new, unused) in the DVD drive.
Start Imgburn.
Click Write Image File to Disc.
On the Please select a file line, click the yellow folder (Browse for a file).
In the Open dialog window, navigate to the ISO file you downloaded, and double click on it or select it and click on Open.
Click on the Write icons at the bottom of the window.

When complete you will have a bootable Windows 7 install DVD.

As for loading the registry hive to look at it, you need to load the hive from the installed Windows 7 partition. May be C:, may be a different drive letter.

The registry files are in C:\windows\system32\config

Mine look like this:

RegHives.jpg

Select SYSTEM.
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#28
deekaye

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Here's where I am stuck now:

"Put a DVD+R (new, unused) in the DVD drive."
Did that

"Start Imgburn."
Did that

"Click Write Image File to Disc."
Did that

"On the Please select a file line, click the yellow folder (Browse for a file)."
Did that

"In the Open dialog window, navigate to the ISO file you downloaded, and double click on it or select it and click on Open."
I'm assuming you don't mean the zip file I downloaded, but in fact the unzipped zip file, which is now a folder called "X-17-58997" - Yes?
When I open it, there are 5 folders & other things inside:
a folder called "boot"
a folder called "efi"
a folder called "sources"
a folder called "support"
a folder called "upgrade"
autorun.inf
bootmgr
bootmgr.efi
setup.exe

I don't know what I'm supposed to do from here, and the following is not obvious to me:

"Click on the Write icons at the bottom of the window."
What "Write icons at the bottom of the window?" There is nothing but the folder I have opened in browse waiting for me to tell it what I want to select for IMGBURN to choose. There are no other icons - I am choosing the entire folder called "X-17-58997" and then burning that?

I can try that, but this is what I did yesterday (without IMGBURN but with just "Burn" inside the PC folder and the resulting disc did nothing when inserted.

Let me know if this is what you want me to try with IMGBURN.

Thanks
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#29
Ztruker

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No, I mean the X-17-58997.iso file you downloaded from heidoc. You don't do anything else with it. That is the input file ImgBurn expects. Don't 3extract anything from it, just use it as input to ImgBurn.
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#30
deekaye

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I was able to burn the folder and get the laptop to launch from that (yay!)....

Now I am not sure where I am finding the C: drive. The only way I am seeing this:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion

is from using the last "prompt" choice in the startup/repair section of the CD.

Typing "REGEDIT" into that prompt takes me into the X:\windows\system 32\cmd.exe area

There is no "C:" drive.... this laptop isn't recognizing anything other than the CD I boot from.

What happens if I boot up from the CD again and just choose "Install Windows?"
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