So I have a buddy that I am being generous and helping out of a pickle with his computer. None of his USB ports are working right, his dvd and cd drives do not recognize discs (but as a side note they do work for booting a live cd and can play music in WMP.), and his printer is not working. I thought that sounds like a driver issue or rather drivers. So I have tried uninstalling devices and reinstalling them. I have copied files over from my computer and it did not help the issues at hand.
I then thought that I would double check for viruses. He has AVG (not the free one) and the scan came back clean. I then tried the free online Kaspersky scan, Trend Micro scan, and BitDefender scan. All of which came back clean. Glad to see that.
I then took a spare hdd that I had lying around and stuck it in his computer and installed windows on that drive. Everything worked flawlessly. So I know this isn't his hardware that is going bad.
So I got him to give me his windows disk and I was going to do a fresh install. I thought, hmm... maybe a repair install would be better. I have never done one, but after all, then he wouldn't lose all his data. Well I went ahead and backed up the important stuff and started to do this repair install. I looked at a couple websites before I started and they had a couple of warnings and I took note of them. Well, as the repair install was in it's process I found this. Microsoft's instructions on a repair install. And there were a couple of things that it said that other sites did not mention.
1. Uninstall any service packs that were added to the system.
2. Uninstall Internet Explorer.
Seems like a couple of important things that I wish I had seen before I started the process but too late now.
So I get to the gui. and of course you have to relaod drivers that part I expected. But then it gets to some dll's that are not installing (Licwmi.dl_ was the first one). I have tried getting them off the windows disk I tried copying the file on the hard drive to another location. I tried other windows disks. none helped. a quick google search and i ran across this at microsoft's website. It is talking about exactly the files that I am having problems with copying over. I know it is for server 2k3 but hey at this point the drive isn't working anyway. But how do I get this to work, I can't boot to windows? Simple, I take that other hdd that has a fresh install of windows on it and I copy that secedit.sdb file that theis page talks about rebuilding. Bingo! worked like a charm... I was able to finish the install.
Of course then, windows goes into a rebooting loop. It would get up to the login screen and reboot. A couple of times, I got to click on the user and just as it started to load the profile... reboot. So I tried Safe Mode and that worked without a hitch. Okay so this is where I actually tried the advice about rebuilding that secedit.sdb file. but at this point it didn't help my rebooting problem. I used safe mode with networking to download and re-installed SP3. This got it to stop the rebooting loop. But Internet Explorer was not right now. So I used the other browser that he had on his pc (Safari) to download IE8 and re-install it. Note that I am re-installing these, he had already loaded these onto his computer through windows updates.
Now I was finally able to do a normal windows update.
And upon the reboot I started testing all the drives and usb ports and all seems to be working just fine. Data is intact and programs are working just fine. FINALLY.