Problems clean installing make me think MS really do want to kill off Vista.


I still like Vista even though I now use W7 as my main OS. Although my Vista installation was running well, I felt taking my time to do a clean install (on what is not my main PC) would be a worthwhile "project" (and some project it turned out to be). It would give me the opportunity to install the latest versions of programmes I use too.

A slight niggle was that for some reason an SFC file check showed corrupt files which never got repaired even though Vista said they would be repaired on the next boot. It would launch into "configuring updates" whenever SFC was run but never fix them. The CBS log was at 50mb.

So using my OEM disc I custom install and then upgrade... no problems there. The only programme I install at this point is Acronis. On to the updates. 105 offered, and half fail. Brilliant ! Roll back with Acronis and try again this time installing in "6 monthly blocks" from 2007. All good. Make another image. More updates. Browser choice is offered. Why ? If you accept and run this update it launches into offering IE9. But you can't have IE9 without SP1 so that fails. Back with Acronis again and keep updating until SP1 finally appears as an update. Problem. Its a 1Mb file and "installs" in less than a second. That 'aint right ! Back with Acronis again and this time when SP1 was offered I installed from the stand alone installer. Success. Onward and upward with more and more updates until SP2 appears. That went OK and eventually I ended up with a fully updated install with no failed updates. Then there was one final update. An update to Windows Update itself. Installing that caused WU to break. It could no check for updates and reported an error code. So I wasn't happy. This was one of those error codes where everyone seemed to have a different solution yet nothing worked in practice. Also the size of this install seemed big, really big. This was after running the service pack clean-ups too. Activation was also an issue. I've never had to use phone activation before but this time I did. It was accepted though via the automatic process.

It was here I browsed the threads in this forum and found some useful info. I always believed you had to run updates before you got to the service packs and that you couldn't just install SP1 and SP2 immediately. Well it seems you can and that is what I did. I also ran a file check after just installing SP1 and found the same "corrupt file" issue as with the original old install. So that seems to be an MS issue somewhere along the line. As I never noticed any problems before all I could do was ignore and press on. So SP1, SP2 and all following updates installed perfectly although I still kept a running incremental backup going. Activation failed again. Why ? Its the same PC as it always was and I've never had trouble before. That problem solved I took a final image... not doing all that again lol and then installed all the drivers.

Hopefully that's as a clean an install as I can get and the size of this one is way down on the size of the first attempt by about 3.5Gb

MS still had one more hurdle for me. MSE which I wanted, and I saw it appeared as an update. What could possibly go wrong. It installed OK and launched into checking for definition updates. That would have been OK but Windows Update was nagging for a restart for MSE. What to do, what to do.... I waited as MSE reported it was updating but it was taking ages. When it finished I checked the update history and found two failed definition updates. I always thought MSE needed a restart but MSE itself did not ask for one. Well it was only a few minutes to roll back again with Acronis and try again. This time I went to "Security Centre" and took the option to look online for a program, picking MSE. That installed correctly and asked for a restart without the program launching it an update check.

So finally I had my clean Vista image with no failed updates and Acronis images for future use to ensure I never have to do this again.

MS... you really have made it as difficult as possible this time round.

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Vista Guru
Gold Member
You keep having to roll back to your acronis image. Could it be that the image is in itself corrupt? Is there an option in the program to perform an integrity check? Do you perform the roll back with windows running or do you use a boot disk? Certain files can't be touched while windows is running. Have you scanned the hard drive for errors? As for the service packs they can be installed from the full installer without installing updates and in fact doing so reduces the number of windows updates to install.

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System One

  • Operating System
    Windows 7 Pro x64
    Mid 2010 iMac
    Quad core 3.2 Ghz Intel I3
    8 gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Radeon HD 5670 512 mb ram
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080 and 1440x900
    Hard Drives
    1 TB
    Other Info


The HDD is OK and has had recent runs of the windows file checker. I see where your coming from on Acronis :) but I've never had any issues using it from within windows on Vista and W7 over 100's of images and restores whether full or incremental.

I tried at least three times over a month or so by keep going back to the Vista install disc, formatting the HDD using the install disc advanced drive options, and starting afresh (and giving up in disgust and just restoring the old working image after not getting to the bottom of all the failures) Running SFC on just the non updated Vista image is fine, no issues reported.

I've clean installed Vista at least twice before on this very PC (and its unchanged from new) and never had any issues before.

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