I have an Alienware desktop I purchased back in September 2010 with Win764bit Home Premium installed.
Just last night the automatic Windows Update prompted me to install new updates, one of them being Service Pack 1.
When I try to install (both from the updater and manual download of SP1) I get the error message that there are Windows components missing and it is unable to continue.
The Windows 7 disc that came with my desktop does not have an "Upgrade" or "Repair" option as I've read should be used to repair the problem. I've been on the horn for literally hours with MS Customer support (who came within 12% of a Windows install of reformatting my harddrive with the OEM disk before the phone reps manager grabbed the phone and literally yelled "Sir please remove the Windows disk from your DVD Drive NOW! because the phone rep had me going through a process he assured me at first wouldnt wipe my drive. ugh.) and that is also what they recommended to do. Since it is not on the disk that came with the PC, they told me to contact Dell to get the type of disk I need. After contacting Dell they said they do not offer that type of disk.
I'm turning to you guys for help. Please let me know what I can do to repair my current installation of Windows without losing everything on my harddrive and/or voiding my Dell warranty and/or any Windows warranty/support. Any help is very, very much appreciated. If I had any hair left I'd be pulling it out right now.
I very much appreciate the reply, unfortunately it doesnt help.
After downloading and burning the iso you linked from that page all it really is is the same "repair" utility that I can access simply by hitting F8 and clicking the option to run Windows repair. All that can do for me is restore my system to a restore point or back to factory settings.
What I really need to do according to other articles on that same site (which I spent a few hours reading earlier today) and the MS customer service is an "In-Place" upgrade/update. That's apparently the only way to repair my Windows installation without completely wiping my drive which I absolutely do not want to happen. (using the repair utility it will keep documents etc. and move them to a "windows.old" folder but it will uninstall every program I have and that just cannot happen.)
So yeah, I'm looking specifically for information on how to perform the In-Place upgrade type of repair and whether or not anyone with experience with Dell/MS has had any luck getting them to assist in the matter either by supplying a disc/download or has any knowledge of a program or download or anything else that can assist in the matter.
Either replying in this thread or assisting via @ email@example.com. I was referred to this site and you guys seem great, I don't know where else to turn.
I've also in addition to the steps you guys have suggested tried disabing my antivirus and firewall from starting with Windows, thinking they might be blocking something, restarted and tried to run SP1 again and the same thing happens so it's not an issue with them.
I just... I dont know what to do. I have 2 TB of info on this HD with no way to back it up. The PC runs perfectly great in all aspects and is virus and malware free. My only problem is not being able to install this SP1, and it's making me want to cry.
OK here's an update, but I still could use some techie help resolving this because I'm just not comfortable, so if someone could help walk me through this it would be great. It sounds kind of complicated to me but I've found others who are having the same problem and have found a solution.
I tried once again installing SP1 from the Windows Updater. The first two times I did this I got the "missing components" message screen I described in my above posts and that's when I went and started trying to do this from the standalone SP1 download. I went and tried it again through the updater and while I still got the same "missing components page" pop up I ALSO got an error code which did not pop up before on the main Windows Updater window.
Error code "800F0A13"
So searching this lead me to two links and the culprits: ATI/AMD drivers and Driver Sweeper
Now I have Driver Sweeper already installed. When I first bought the PC and updated my Catalyst Control Center it had problems (wouldnt run at all) and I had to use Driver Sweeper to fix it. Apparently that's what's leading to this whole mess.
I'm not a total tech dummy, but I'm not quite understanding what the instructions in those two topics are telling me to do to fix the issue. This is probably caused by a loss of sleep over the whole thing and my eyes crossing and head aching and blurry contacts from the aforementioned "about to cry" state of mind. So if one of you amazing guys wouldnt mind skimming through those two topics and maybe putting the solution in laymans terms to help me through it I would be forever grateful. I'm sure more people will experience this problem so it will be a help to everyone.
There comes a point when the cure is worse than the rebuild. I know you said you dont want to reinstall, but you dont know what to do. You should not be doing this since you are already in over your head. This is not worth the time you and others are spending on this.
Reinstall the OS, you wont lose any data, you wont lose any warranty (I do this at work without issue) you will lose installed apps which you should own somewhere and can reinstall. Even if you dont have a copy of Win 7, it does not cost much to re-purchase.
I just wanted to come and say that not 10 minutes ago I finally got SP1 to install!
*Ric Flair strut*
I believe, for anyone else who has the particular error code problem that I did related to Driver Sweeper and ATI/AMD or nVidia files you will find a lot of information around the net but there was one obsure piece that finally made the difference.
Most anyone researching the problem will be referred to the first post in that thread. It details the easiest way to fix it. HOWEVER what it does not say there that is buried in bits and pieces through random posts in the rest of that thread is that you have to give yourself ownership of the winsxs folder or not all of the necessary files will be able to be repaired.
And that did it.
So again thank you to everyone here at Toms Hardware for your help and to anyone who has a similar problem you CAN get through it! Keep the faith!