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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 7:50 pm 
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I've got some problems with corrupt security database files, left over either from old legacy issues or a malware attack last year. They're not interfering with normal operations (T61P with Vista32 Ultimate) but they are stopping a WIN7 upgrade.

I think I can fix this by recreating the security database/policy files by doing a repair installation of Vista to create new files.

On a retail machine I would just boot from the Vista retail DVD (I have one) and chose "repair". But with the Lenovo hidden partition and boot routines...Is it still possible to launch the repair mode installation?

How? So it doesn't nuke the Lenovo boot options.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 7:54 am 
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My opinion is that the retail Vista DVD will be able to repair a Lenovo factory install.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:16 am 
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Here's what Microsoft says on this...
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/wind ... dows-Vista

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 2:23 pm 
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Harry, I have a vague memory that it used to be possible in prior versions of NT. And also that unless you did it exactly right, you'd blow away factory recovery partitions.

Gom, thanks for the link. I'm not fully caffienated so maybe I'm missing something--but that information seems to say it is only as regards systems WITH THE REPAIR OPTION FACTORY PRE-INSTALLED. And AFAIK none of the OEM versions install the repair options, they are only available with the retail media and every OEM thinks they know better with their own secret recovery partitions.

So...Does anyone know the exact steps to use a retail repair boot, on a Lenovo system, that won't destroy the Lenovo partition and boot options? For sure, not for guess. I don't want to guess my way into blowing away the hard drive.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 7:49 pm 
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You can always choose a custom install option and choose the partition that Windows is installed on. The only caveat is that Windows boot loader will override IBM/Lenovo's boot loader such that the service partition is no longer bootable. There are two ways around this that I am aware of. Use Lenovo's Rescue and Recovery - Recovery repair media [diskette] to repair the MBR or boot a recovery media CD to access the service partition. You have to burn your own recovery media CD using a ThinkVantage menu choice.

It seems it should be possible to use EasyBCD to edit the boot entry of the Windows boot loader and add the service partition as a boot choice after reinstalling Vista. I haven't read that anyone has done this though. You could use EasyBCD to see what is currently in Windows boot loader.

See also: How to automatically repair Windows Vista using Startup Repair

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:36 pm 
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Thanks, Gom. I know I come across the wrong way sometimes, but I DO appreciate the help.

"rnr40_rrd.iso 1,837,056 Recovery repair CD for Windows Vista" That would be the first CD that was generated when I generated the OS recovery disks way back when, I suppose? Or I could burn the iso to another Cd just to make sure.

It sounds like the process would run along the lines of:
1- Boot from Vista retail disc
2-Run Repair installation
3-Allow repair to mark the Vista partition (partition 1, actually the second one on the drive) as the boot drive instead of the Lenovo boot partition
4-Allow repair to complete if it can
5-Use the Lenovo disc to override the repair, making the Lenovo partition the real boot again.

Ummm. What do you figure is THE most reliable backup to make before even thinking about that? I don't think the Vista PC Backup would capture the Lenovo partition. And if I can't get the Lenovo stuff back, a Lenovo backup would be useless. (I've also seen the Lenovo tool fail across versions.) Which might leave recuva or True Image and a clone image of the laptop's drive as the best option? (I've seen TI fail also.)


I wish I knew enough to purge/reset the global policy options for the security functions, to wipe out the calls to the corrupt file and simply delete the global security policy files that seem to be making the Win7 upgrade fail. Or, that MS provided "the upgrade don't work!" assistance.<G>

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:34 am 
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As you have the recovery CDs, see if they work by inserting another/spare hard disk in your laptop.
If they work, forget about trying to save that space-wasting recovery partition on your current HD.
The recovery partition contains an outdated version anyway, with probably lots of crud-bloatware.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 11:54 am 
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That's the thought. I do have the "spare" in theory, just upgraded the HD so there is a fairly fresh clone, although I haven't tested to see if it is bootable yet. (Last time I did this, Acronis *moved* the OS instead of truly cloning it, so the old drive was no longer recognized as having a Windows OS on it. Nice, huh? That's why I trust them so.)

It just takes a while to build a clone image, so I've been reluctant to risk the one I have, intending for that to be a backup against Win7 or the new drive failing. Somewhere on this planet...someone knows what actually will or won't work. I'd rather not reinvent that wheel if I can learn what they already know.<G>

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-- Harboring a retired T61P and housebreaking a younger W530.


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