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Old 2013-05-10, 17:29   Link #1
Hayamaneko
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"bad pool caller" error message/reformatting windows without the DVD

I have been entrusted with fixing my aunts laptop. I get the BSOD and a "bad pool caller" error message before it shuts off. I have tried running checkdsk and rolling everything back several months but the problem still happens. At this point I would probably just reformat everything and reinstall Windows 7, but my aunt does not have an installation disk and only has a CD-ROM drive in her laptop, making it no possible for me to simply write a dvd-boot disk. What can I do?
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Old 2013-05-11, 00:14   Link #2
iceyfw
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try installing windows 7 from a bootable USB stick. i've always done it that way as a last resort when it comes to reinstalling any OS.
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Old 2013-05-11, 13:07   Link #3
Hayamaneko
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How can I get a working copy of Windows 7 legally so that I can put it on the USB drive? My aunt never got a disk when she bought the laptop and I would rather not have to go through back channel means to get an ISO only to be unable to activate it once its installed

edit: If I where to create a backup image of windows 7 from how the computer it like now and then reinstall windows with it would the problems go away or would creating the image now just copy all the errors currently plagueing the system along with the recover files?
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Old 2013-05-11, 13:55   Link #4
Renegade334
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^-- Not an easy problem to fix; there was a similar thread here in this board, but that one got locked because it broached the topic of warez and activation bypasses. But, well, since you seek to tread the legit path, I guess it's okay.


The first thing to check is whether the laptop's warranty is still in effect; if it is, you could go back to the shop where she bought it (or had someone do it for her) and talk to one of the vendors to explore possible options. In certain cases, depending on the said company's after sale policies and the extent of their relationship with their suppliers, you could get them to restore the Windows partition back to factory default. In most cases, they'll take the laptop back and send it to the manufacturer for an HDD reset (that means they could also erase your aunt's files, so be careful to backup everything [on ALL partitions] before heading to the shop). I don't think they have partition imaging software and Windows activators at the back of the shop, so that would mean parting ways with the said piece of hardware for an unspecified amount of time.


If the warranty's a bust, you could still buy a copy of Windows 7 and use some of MS' tools to install it on your laptop. I guess that with W8 out and about for some time already, the retail prices will have fallen some, but I'm no expert on this.


Now, don't take my word for granted (it's been some time since I touched on this, so what I'm going to say might no longer be relevant at all), but I believe that once you have your Windows 7 license (in other words, you're paying for the serial key, not the media support), it doesn't really matter where you download the Windows 7 install image - but I strongly suggest you eschew Bittorrent, Usenet and all those other shady warez sites. You don't want either malware-infested files or misunderstandings with your ISP. You could easily DL the W7 demo image from the official Microsoft Downloads website - if I'm not mistaken the W7 install immediately converts to a full-fledged W7 once you insert a legit key and complete the online/phone activation process. If I'm not mistaken.


Having never installed from a USB stick (I have so many files that are still on optical disks, I outright refuse to even consider buying a laptop that lacks a CD/DVD reader), I'll hold off on the software (even the freeware/legit ones) required to transfer an .ISO image to a bootable USB stick. I know that some of the methods most frequently posted on the Internet don't always work and I don't wish to turn your problem into a disaster.



...But I forget the most important - did your aunt receive a serial key when she bought the laptop? Without a preexisting serial key, there's no point in reinstalling Windows - you'll have to contend with that infuriating 30-day activation countdown.

Note: most laptops come with pre-activated Windows thanks to the use of certificates that are embedded within the BIOS - but, for that to work, you need to install from an OEM Windows disk, and that's not something that can be easily found on the Internet...at least not legally. And I know nothing about certificate injection or how OEM installs are activated, so I'll shut up before I give you any BAD ideas.


EDIT: yes, if the BSOD is caused by bad drivers, damaged filesystem or malfunctioning software, a bare-metal restore of the Windows partition will literally copy and paste the source(s) of your woes. If the problem is linked to a new piece of hardware that was added to your aunt's laptop, then damage control's possible to an extent (but it could also mean that once you reconnect the said faulty hardware, the BSOD will reappear, since it's the same BSOD-vulnerable environment).
Install NirSoft's BlueScreenView (note: some antivirus red-flag NirSoft's apps because they access potentially confidential data), check out the latest minidump file (which is created every time your Windows goes blue screen wonky) and post the findings here. It could help determine which executable or file is giving your aunt a hard time.
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Last edited by Renegade334; 2013-05-11 at 14:14.
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Old 2013-05-11, 15:14   Link #5
iceyfw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hayamaneko View Post
How can I get a working copy of Windows 7 legally so that I can put it on the USB drive? My aunt never got a disk when she bought the laptop and I would rather not have to go through back channel means to get an ISO only to be unable to activate it once its installed

edit: If I where to create a backup image of windows 7 from how the computer it like now and then reinstall windows with it would the problems go away or would creating the image now just copy all the errors currently plagueing the system along with the recover files?
In this article, you'll learn how to make your own Windows 7 installation disc (or USB flash drive) and use the valid product key you already have to perform a fresh reinstallation. The following method is effective and legal, and doesn’t require a lot of technical expertise. (If you do need help with bloatware, however, read "What to Do With a New PC.")

as long as you have the original W7 serial number the laptop has. before you try the bootable USB i forgot to mention laptops from mid 2007 and onwards have a hidden partition on the original hard drive it came with. this partition contains recovery files to restore the laptop to the original factory settings. i always use this choice before reinstalling any OS. YMMV on how to restore the factory settings. google the manufacturer or refer to the manual for this.
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Old 2013-05-11, 18:52   Link #6
ThereminVox
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iceyfw View Post
before you try the bootable USB i forgot to mention laptops from mid 2007 and onwards have a hidden partition on the original hard drive it came with. this partition contains recovery files to restore the laptop to the original factory settings. i always use this choice before reinstalling any OS. YMMV on how to restore the factory settings. google the manufacturer or refer to the manual for this.
This.

Laptops often come without OS install disks nowadays, but there is almost always a way to restore to factory settings after backing up your personal data.

Sometimes the laptop will come pre-installed with the manufacturer's own proprietary software to facilitate these factory restores, while other times it's more complicated.

If you check the laptop's list of programs and find no obvious set of manufacturer's tools listed, and the laptop is missing its original documentation, you can usually Google the model number and obtain it digitally from the manufacturer's website. There should be a section there explaining how to restore the OS.

Either way, it would likely be easier than doing a bare-metal install.
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Old 2013-05-12, 09:26   Link #7
demonix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renegade334 View Post
If the warranty's a bust, you could still buy a copy of Windows 7 and use some of MS' tools to install it on your laptop. I guess that with W8 out and about for some time already, the retail prices will have fallen some, but I'm no expert on this.
Why buy an unnecessary copy when you can download a copy of windows 7 legally from digital river, so you only need to download the correct version, use that tool to create a bootable USB drive from the image and your good to go.
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Old 2013-05-16, 00:14   Link #8
synaesthetic
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Just download a copy of Windows 7 from Microsoft and use the Product Key on the sticker on the underside of the laptop.

Put said W7 ISO onto a USB drive to make a bootable USB drive using Microsoft's handy-dandy little tool.
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