none
Preparing Your Desktop (Windows 7 RTM x86)

    Question

  • Add me to the growing list of people having this odd problem (which seemingly dates back to the early days of Vista):
    After booting up a previously working+activated copy of Windows 7 RTM, the message "Preparing Your Desktop..." appears and eventually a blank blue screen with a mouse pointer appears, with a message that "This copy of Windows is not genuine" (It was activated and working normally previously).
    I can type CTRL+ALT+DELETE to access Task Manager; I can run explorer.exe, but this results in a "you have been logged on with a temporary profile" message. This (non-Aero) profile only warns me that none of my settings will be saved, and none of my documents can be accessed. The system reports no disc errors and Win 7 was previously running reliably.

    So, what's the cause? I see a lot of people are having this problem, and I haven't seen any solutions other than reinstalling Windows. http://www.bing.com/search?q=%22preparing+your+desktop%22+blank+blue+%22Windows+7%22&form=QBRE&qs=n
    Sunday, September 20, 2009 7:49 AM

Answers

  • This usually occurs if the drive letter assigned to the Operating system partition in Windows gets changed. When you open explorer with the task manager, check the drive letter for the operating system. It probably is other than C:. Remember it.
     Boot to safe mode and then run Regedit and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/MountedDevices. Here find the mounted drive (\DosDevices\(Drive Letter)) that is currently assigned the drive letter that you found the operating system was using and change it to C: by renaming the entry (just change the letter).
     First, change the \DosDevices\  that is labled C:, to some unused letter.
    Reboot to normal.

    As always changing the registry can case severe problems if done incorrectly.
    Monday, September 21, 2009 4:37 PM

All replies

  • Oh, one more thing: there is NO "activate Windows now" dialog visible and the "Activate Windows" link in the Start menu doesn't work when selected from the "reduced functionality" explorer.
    Sunday, September 20, 2009 7:51 AM
  • From where did you acquire your copy of Windows 7?
    Carey Frisch
    Sunday, September 20, 2009 3:43 PM
  • Carey, TechBlogger is one of the makers of these forums, and I don't suppose he's using strange copies. Concerning the issue: It seems that quite a bit of programs (AV software or others) are destroying the original licensing information of Windows; I can't even say if that is an innate weakness of the OS (to be very sensitive for 3d party interferrings). Whatever the cause may be, I don't think a full reinstall is needed, an in-place upgrade (Win7 over Win7) should do the same = restore the starting point for a successfull installation/activation.
    Mobile AMD64 3000+, VIA Apollo K8T800 chipset, 1 G RAM, ATIRadeonMobility 9700, 20x DVDRW, C:XPSP3 (55G),D:WIN7 (25G),F:DATA (250G)
    Sunday, September 20, 2009 11:25 PM
  • This usually occurs if the drive letter assigned to the Operating system partition in Windows gets changed. When you open explorer with the task manager, check the drive letter for the operating system. It probably is other than C:. Remember it.
     Boot to safe mode and then run Regedit and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/MountedDevices. Here find the mounted drive (\DosDevices\(Drive Letter)) that is currently assigned the drive letter that you found the operating system was using and change it to C: by renaming the entry (just change the letter).
     First, change the \DosDevices\  that is labled C:, to some unused letter.
    Reboot to normal.

    As always changing the registry can case severe problems if done incorrectly.
    Monday, September 21, 2009 4:37 PM
  • This thread helped me realized that Windows was booting from drive E after the original hard drive was cloned to its replacement.  Safe Mode still ended up with a solid black screen.  I had to use Windows 7 installation DVD to get the DOS prompt so I could run Rededit.  No matter what I do (I even deleted every entry in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/MountedDevices), Windows goes back to booting from drive E, and creates a bunch of entries as shown in the screenshot).  I am wondering if I was changing registry in the memory, not on the disk. 


    Hong

    Thursday, December 13, 2012 2:13 PM
  • To change the boot device on Windows 7 (or Windows 8 or Vista), I have become fond of a free program called EasyBCD. It also makes it very easy to manage and boot VHD instances. As described above, caveats apply -- you can't just change the drive letter of a previous installation.

    Friday, December 14, 2012 6:10 PM
  • I realized my problem was slightly different because the screen did not show "This copy of Windows is not genuine".  However, I suspect it is the same in essence. 

    Anyways, I used Acronis WD edition to clone the HD, and it worked.


    Hong

    Friday, December 14, 2012 9:33 PM