IE 8 won't start, and Windows 7 as a whole is behaving strangely (Control Panel won't open, etc...)
I attempted to start Windows Update and maybe repair it, but that doesn't seem to be working. I guess it requires IE, which won't open.
Is there a download I can get, or is it OK to run the setup DVD and repair it that way?
If anyone else is having this problem, whatever you do, do NOT run the DVD again. I am stuck in perpetual "Windows 7 cannot install, yadda, yadda. Rolling back the installation" hell.
Does anyone have a solution before I shoot this thing, and take it out of my misery?
I can feel your frustration. Since you didn't tell us your approach to installing it, I think my best possibility of helping you is to describe what I have found to be a successful approach. I currently have it running on two desktop units and one laptop, all dual booting, two of them with Vista and one with XP.
For a straight forward, clean install to dual boot, set up a 25 GB or so partition or separate drive, formatted and ready to use. Boot your current OS, and when you have it running and connected to the internet (so that it can download the needed updates), insert your DVD.
When it loads to the first screen, choose to install, and when presented with the choice between upgrade & clean install, choose clean install. It will then indicate that it's loading files and show you all of your partitions/drives, and ask where you want to install it. After you have selected the partition that you prepared, it will indicate that it must reboot to install it there. You'll need to have set your bios for first boot device to be your CD/CVD drive, and as it starts, watch to hit any key to boot from CD/DVD.
From that point on, just respond to the prompts, and in a few minutes, you'll be running Win7.
One caveat, though ... all this is assuming that your hardware is compatible with Vista drivers. If not, you'll have to replace whatever isn't. For example, if you're working with a several year old desktop with on-board audio, video, and network adapter, and the manufacturer hasn't made Vista drivers available for the motherboard, you will likely need to at least install network and video cards.
I truly hope you were not trying to do an upgrade without the benefit of a backup image from which to restore your system, because what you need to do now, in my opinion, is to reformat and start fresh.
When you get it accomplished, I think you'll feel that it was worth the struggle.
I wish you success.