My neighbor was having issues with their laptop and since I'm a bit more tech savvy I'm attempting to fix it for them. The laptop is a Toshiba Satellite L505d-S5983. Its about 3 years old. They had an issue with the laptop and now whenever it starts up windows it shows an error screen that gives error f3-f200-0002. Apparently this can happen to Toshiba laptops. Seems there is a corrupt Windows 7 file and I need to do a system restore. There are no system partitions to do a back up of.
I burned a disc on another laptop of the Windows 7 System Recovery Environment and changed the boot drive to the disk drive in the BIOS. Now it loads the disc and loads up the Windows 7 System Recovery Environment. The problem now is it doesn't detect a Windows installation. It gives me an option to load a driver from c:\Windows\System32 to detect the Windows installation, but I don't know which file has information about the Windows install.
I can skip the step of detecting a Windows installation but if I try to use the System Restore tool it says... "To use System Restore, you must specify which Windows installation to restore." So I need to find out which file in the System32 folder to select to detect my Windows information.
It also has a tool called Startup Repair which I've tried and it didn't do anything to help.
So my question is this, what file in the System32 folder do I need to select to detect my Windows Installation to do a System Restore?
the recovery environment should automatically detect a windows installation. If it cannot, then something is seriously farked and probably beyond repair. The only instance where it won't detect a Windows installation is where the drive is mounted on a storage controller that Windows doesn't have native support for. This is extremely rare in a Laptop. My suggestion is that you remove the hard drive and mount it on a desktop to perform a backup and perform a SMART check. If the drive is unhealthy then you should advise that the owner replace it. If the drive is healthy then you should perform a full reinstall and toss the backed up files back on there in a backup folder.
Would either of you happen to know what "driver" I would have to load vis Window Recovery Environment for it to know what OS I'm using?
Any drivers that need to be loaded from Windows will be loaded automatically by Windows if it has it. If you need to load an external driver that doesn't come with Windows you will have to insert a device with the drivers on it. If these are necessary they can be acquired from the manufacturer's website but Microsoft includes generic chipset and storage controllers for most devices with Windows.
I think I know what is causing you some confusion with the restore tool.
The system restore tool is actually looking for a system backup that it will restore to the laptop's hdd. For example, when you run a backup in windows 7 it gives you the option to do a full system backup. It places all the backup files in a folder named after the computer inside of a folder called "WindowsImageBackup". When you run the recovery tool it is looking for this folder and trying to find a backup folder.
The recovery tool will wipe the current installation and restore the one from the WindowsImageBackup/system_name folder. If it can't find the WindowsImageBackup folder it will say there is no windows installation to restore.