How to Do a Repair Install to Fix Windows 7


This will show you how to do a repair upgrade install to fix your currently installed Windows 7 and preserve your user accounts, data, programs, and system drivers.


Do a Repair installation if:
A System Restore did not help fix your Windows 7.
There is no other easier option left that can fix your Windows 7.
You DO NOT want to do a Clean reinstall of Windows 7.
You DO want to preserve your user accounts, data, programs, and system drivers.



  • Sounds
  • Services
  • Visual Effects Settings
  • Device Drivers – Be sure to have these handy to reinstall. They do not always remain after the repair (upgrade) install.
  • You may lose the ability to sign on to MSN Messenger, to solve this problem have a look at this thread Unable to sign in to WLM.
  • You may lose your custom themes due to not having permisions set on the old themes. Go to the hidden themes folder at C:/Users/(User-Name)/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/Themes, then Take Ownership of the themes folder and you will now have all your themes back.
  • It has been reported that you may also lose your Media Center gadget after doing the repair install.
  • Windows Updates will need to be checked and reinstalled again.


  • You can only do a repair install from within Windows 7, you cannot do a repair install at boot or in Safe Mode.
  • You must be logged into Windows 7 in a administrator account to be able to do a repair install.
  • You will not be able to do a repair upgrade install in Safe Mode.
  • The Windows 7 installation DVD that you use to do the repair install with must be the same or newer updated version of Windows 7 (ex: Windows Updates or SP level) than the currently installed Windows 7. If the DVD is a older version, then you cannot do a repair install with it.
  • You must have at least 8.87 GB of free space, more if you have a larger installation, on the hard drive/partition Windows 7 is installed on to do a repair install.

Here’s How:

1. Start Windows 7, and log on to an administrator account.

2. Disable any 3rd party firewall, antivirus or other security program to avoid it from possibly preventing the repair upgrade installation of Windows 7.

3. Place your Windows 7 installation DVD into the DVD drive, while still in Windows 7 (Step 1), and click on the Run setup.exe option in the AutoPlay window from within the currently installed Windows 7. (See screenshot below)

NOTE: If the AutoPlay window does not open, then open the drive folder in Computer and run the setup.exe file.


4. If prompted by UAC, then click on Yes.

5. Click on the Install Now button to start the installation. (See screenshot below)


6. Uncheck the I want to help make Windows installation better box (unless you would like to), and click on the Go online to get the latest updates for installation option. (See screenshot below)


7. Windows 7 will now check online for and install any available installation updates. (See screenshots below)


8. Check the I accept the license terms box and click on Next. (See screenshot below)


9. Click on the Upgrade option. (See screenshot below)


10. The installation of Windows 7 will now begin. (See screenshot below)
NOTE: During the installation process, your screen may flash and computer will restart a few times.


11. After the final restart, you will see this screen for a moment. (See screenshot below)


12. Type in your Windows 7 product key number. (See screenshot below step 13)

13. Uncheck the Automatically activate Windows when I’m
box unchecked, then click on the Next button. (See screenshot below)

NOTE: You can activate Windows 7 later after you make sure it is running properly. (See step 20 below)
If you chose to automatically activate Windows online when you set up your computer, automatic activation begins trying to activate your copy of Windows three days after you log on for the first time.


14. Click on Use recommended settings. (See screenshot below)


15. Select your time zone and set your time and date settings, then click on the Next button. (See screenshot below)


16. Click on the option for your computer’s location to select the correct network location type settings to be applied for that location. (See screenshot below)

NOTE: It is best to select Public location for the best security.


17. Windows 7 will now prepare your desktop to startup. (See screenshots below)


18. Check to see if you are missing any user files. If you are, then you can copy them from the C:\Windows.old or the hidden protected operating system C:\$INPLACE.~TRand C:\WINDOWS.~Q backup folders. (See screenshot below)


19. If everythig checks out in step 18, then you can run Disk Cleanup (step 6 at this link). You will need to click on the Clean up system files button first, and then check theFiles discarded by Windows upgrade, Previous Windows installations, and Windows upgrade log files boxes. (See screenshot below)

NOTE: This will delete the C:\Windows.old, C:\$INPLACE.~TR and C:\WINDOWS.~Qfolders from step 18 above.


20. Refresh your Windows Experience Index (WEI) score.

21. When done, all you will need to do is to activate Windows 7, and make sure that your security programs are enabled again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *