can't create new user account

  Shirazz 11:48 18 Apr 2012

This is the tip of a horrible iceberg. Active links in the control panel don't open, as though I don't have permission to access the contents, although UAC doesn't appear. I couldn't install Paint Shop Pro and part of the advice was to create a new account (various reasons, not relevant to this post) but I couldn't. I have full admin rights. Elsewhere, device manager is empty (have posted elsewhere about this) so I can't check device conflicts. I contacted Dell support but had nothing useful back, except the advice that they don't supply W7 repair/reinstall software because it's 'preinstalled and so free' (really? thought I'd bought the whole kit and caboodle), I have to buy a new copy. I don't really want to do a fresh reinstall, although I do feel a bit unarmed without an actual copy of windows to hand, so if anyone has any thoughts, I would be very grateful.

  difarn 12:27 18 Apr 2012

It very much looks like a re-install may be necessary.

If you are thinking about a re-install and don't have a disk then doesn't your dell PC have a Dell System Recovery - extracted this from a blog:-

Performing a recovery returns the computer to its original condition. It removes all software and files saved to the hard drive, reinstalls the original operating system, and then runs an initial setup to install the default programs. For best results, the computer should be connected to the internet, and it will restart several times during the process. Do not turn off the power or interrupt the recovery process until the Windows desktop appears.

How to access Dell System Recovery Partition :

Press the Power button to start the PC
At the Dell logo, hold the Ctrl key and press the F11 key simultaneously.
The Dell PC Restore screen will come up.
Select Restore or use the Tab key to highlight it and press

Enter. if you wish to continue, click Confirm, or use the Tab key to highlight it and press Enter. When the utility is finished, click Finish, or use the Tab key to highlight it and press Enter.

WARNING: Because the recovery process deletes all the existing files and programs, we recommend that you do the following actions before doing a system recovery:

Perform all of the other troubleshooting options to return the computer to the proper

operating condition. Perform a complete backup of all important data and files.

  Shirazz 12:35 18 Apr 2012

I was hoping to avoid that (if it's there) because a repair might be far less dramatic. I'm thinking it could come to that though :( Do you happen to know if a purchased W7 disk, which would be different from the Dell install, would be able to make a repair, or would it do a fresh install, because it isn't the same unit of software? The cost of the disc will be far less than the cost to me in time, considering all the subsequent re-installs.

  difarn 14:27 18 Apr 2012

Have you tried a system restore?

Did you by any chance create a recovery disk?

Do you have data safe which I believe allows you to burn recovery cd's to return your PC to factory settings.

I read in a few blogs that Dell have provided necessary disks at a very nominal charge.

Have a look at this article - the pink section - giving you full details of what will or won't work re repairs - I think I take it that you could do a repair if you bought a disk providing it is the same edition.

  Shirazz 15:29 18 Apr 2012

I've done system restore (no effect), but I haven't created a recovery disc or considered the datasafe option because both seem to have the same result as a clean install and I would rather know before I start what my post procedure time investment is likely to be. I can certainly do a repair if I have the software; I've done that before and I know it doesn't affect settings and the like. I'll take a look at the article you recommend and also investigate Dell's disk purchase service. I think I'm most irritated by the complete lack of support from Dell - at least with their own machines. I have an Alienware machine (from Dell) and when that played up briefly, the support from the dedicated team was exceptional. Thank you for this, you should charge Dell, I think!

  Shirazz 15:33 18 Apr 2012

Checked the pink sheet - a retail OEM looks like the way forward. Thank you so much for your advice.

  Shirazz 16:22 18 Apr 2012

Had a Eureka moment - looking online to compare costs of W7 64-bit Home Premium, I discovered that all W7 editions come with both 32 and 64-bit discs. So I have a 64-bit disc, the 32-bit version being installed on my laptop, which I hope will repair this system and which I can immediately upgrade to the 64-bit Professional edition that was installed (as 32-bit) on the machine I have decommissioned. Hopefully, that's not illegal as the laptop software is only making repairs and will be replaced by a version that is fully legit. No, I don't expect you to tell me it's ok then hold you responsible when Bill Gates carts me off to the salt mines for copyright infringements!

  difarn 18:12 18 Apr 2012

I look forward to hearing how you get on but am wondering at some point during the repair whether you have to put in a product code which may be the stumbling block if it has already been registered for the laptop - maybe not for a repair.

  difarn 18:13 18 Apr 2012

I look forward to hearing how you get on but am wondering at some point during the repair whether you have to put in a product code which may be the stumbling block if it has already been registered for the laptop - maybe not for a repair.

Just came across this - disc about £22.

Dell website says:-

Dell Customers can now request a set of backup discs containing the factory-installed operating system as well as the device drivers and utilities specific to your system.

Requests are limited to one (1) set of backup discs per system purchased.
The backup discs requested must match the operating system that was factory installed on

the original order.

Website here.

  Shirazz 20:03 18 Apr 2012

Spitting feathers! I tried the W7 Home Premium edition first - it didn't get past checking compatibility for over an hour. I aborted that, assuming as it was an upgrade, it couldn't upgrade to an identical version. Then I tried the 64-bit Professional edition - the key entered without a problem but then the installation failed, no reason given. The Dell backup discs are only available to US addressees. It's hard to avoid the conclusion that the software is so corrupted it is unable to help itself, and I am looking now into the abyss of the Datasafe recovery system. In the interests of closure, I will post the outcome of whatever I need to do to get this thing into gear!

  difarn 21:19 18 Apr 2012

Sorry to hear this - you may be interested in earlier posts on this forum here.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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