Windows 7 will not load due to files missing, usual fixes failed, possible work around?

I have a system with critical legal data and program on it where it will not boot to any mode, Desktop, Safe Mode, or Dos prompt. When the installation disk is used to perform a Repair, it does not find any OS to select to repair. I tried the usual bootmgr fixes but it displayed a failed message. At this point I connected the OS drive to another computer scanning it for bad blocks/sectors and found a couple. So in short I know the drive is unreliable. However most files can be read through a USB drive box. Also the scandisk has been tried and it hangs and never completes.The goal is to reconstruct the OS and programs.

Here's the theory and has anyone tried this or can think of a better solution. If I can get the damaged OS to make it to the desktop I can do an in place re-install to replace the damaged OS. (This assumes the Registry is intact.) It's sort of a last resort before starting all over from scratch and just transferring only the user data files. How to get there would be to clone the readable parts of the damaged drive to a good drive. Set this drive aside and use a different drive on the same system to install a fresh OS. Copy the missing files from the working OS, to the cloned drive. Then install the cloned drive an see if it boots to desktop. It doesn't have to be 100% right. Just work enough to do the in place reinstall.

Is this a plausible solution? Or not practical because it would take hours to do, or just won't work period.?
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  1. Best answer
    I would not do anything with that drive before you make a full backup of your files.

    It's probably a physical error on the drive that will never be fixed by software. After you copy all your files out of the drive, you can try to clone it using a program like Clonezilla to a second good drive and see if that works. You can't just clone the readable parts, a clone of a drive is all or nothing.

    Just copy your files, and do a clean setup on a new drive and re-install your program.
  2. I have cloned the drive to another that may be used to experiment with. The Boss will make the final decision. But I'm inclined to agree with you. Best to do a clean install on a new drive, transfer the client's data files and reinstall the programs. Hopefully the client still has all the necessary info to reinstall the programs. I noticed there was a recovery partition. So a restore to factory is possible. I just wanted to explore all possibilities to save the current system before doing a reinstall.

    Thank you "hang-the-9" for your input.
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