Issue: Computers that came with a restore partition instead of the operating system on DVD came with a cloned version of the operating system that online authentication may not recognize. Updates will not install. Internet Explorer will not upgrade, etc.
Solution: Locate a copy of the operating system on DVD either from a friend or via online resources like eBay. The DVD doesn't necessarily need to be from your computer's manufacturer but does need to be your version of windows (32 bit or 64 bit) SP1 or SP2. Follow these steps Warning: you will lose your files and data so backup step is imperative:
- Back up your data and your desktop settings. A good place to start is by using the Windows Migration tool.
- Download all the drivers for your computer from your computer manufacturers website. The HP 9700 that we used as an example had a nice website that listed all the drivers. Be sure to put the drivers on a CD or USB drive. Windows comes with some drivers but will probably not be the most up to date and may not have all that you need. Take a look at everything in your device manager and locate the installation discs for your other items like printers.
- Use the found DVD to reinstall your operating syste m. Once installed, go to Control Panel/Window Authentication and re-authenticate your copy of Windows with the key off of your computer (not the key from the DVD package if you're borrowing the DVD).
- Make sure you can install updates. Please note: Install the SP2 first as it includes a lot of smaller updates. We ran into a problem with the next bunch of updates. The computer stalled and went into a loop at installing 3 of 3 updates. Since safe mode didn't work, we put the DVD back into the computer and ran a repair. The only thing that worked was restoring to the previous clean boot point. After that head over to: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_vista-windows_update/latest-vista-update-stuck-in-stage-3restart-loop/2f70b13c-9db4-4bf9-90ee-7ca63a809973 and run a Mr. Fixit from Microsoft then rerun the updates.
- Run your Windows Migration to reinstall back up files made in step 1.