Posted 16 February 2009 - 05:19 PM
I'm new here, so if there are problems with the way I'm asking for help please tell me.
So, I use a Windows Vista Basic on a Compaq, and a few hours ago I got a message asking to restart my computer for updates. I delayed it for about an hour because at the time I was having a computer programming class, and when the class was over I restarted. When the computer started up again, however, instead of showing the regular startup animation (a little box at the bottom with moving green lines, and a © Microsoft Corporation thing below that), it showed a plain black screen with a white line at the bottom and the message: "Windows is loading files...".
After that, it showed a blue screen and a dialogue box with a format similar to those of the old Windows computers, which said "Startup Repair". Below that, the text was:
"If problems are found, Startup Repair will fix them automatically. Your computer might restart several times during this process.
No changes will be made to your personal files or information. This might take several minutes."
Below that was a blue loading bar with the text "Searching for problems...".
But after a few minutes, the dialogue box changed and instead read: "Windos cannot repair this computer automatically.
If you have recently attached a device to this computer, such as a camera or portable music player, remove it and restart your computer. If you continue to see this message, contact your system administrator or computer manufacturer for assistance.
Click Finish to exit and shut down your computer."
Below that were two links:
1) View diagnose and repair details
2) View advanced options for system recovery and support.
And there was a smaller dialogue box that read:
Startup Repair cannot repair this computer automatically.
Sending more information can help Microsoft create solutions."
And then the option of sending information about the problem, and a small "View problem details" button.
Since the only things I had connected to the computer were the AC cable and the Mouse cable, I didn't think they were the source of the problem but I removed them anyway. I then clicked "Finish" on the first (bigger) dialogue box the first few times, but after the whole thing repeated about half a dozen times, I decided to check the "View advanced options for system recovery and support" link.
That's where the real problem started. It gave me a list of recovery tools I could use:
1) Startup Repair--Automatically fix problems that are preventing Windows from starting
2) System Restore--Restore Windows to an earlier point in time
3) Windows Complete PC Restore--Restore your entire computer from a backup
4) Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool--Check your computer for memory hardware errors
5) Command Prompt--Open a command prompt window
6) Recovery Manager--Recovery Manager 32 bits
The first option, the Startup Repair option, was the one that the computer had automatically used already (with all those dialogue boxes I described above). I tried that a few times, but when that didn't work I tried System Restore, option 2. Unfortunately that didn't work either; I never created a restore point on my computer's system disk and the dialogue box advised me not to create a restore point now since the computer was running in a limited diagnostic state.
Option 3 didn't work either, because I had no backup available.
I tried Option 4, the Memory Diagnostic, twice, which showed a blue screen with yellow text and took about twenty minutes each looking through the entire computer for memory problems. Both times it came up with nothing so the problem probably didn't have to do with memory either.
The Command Prompt didn't really help, because I'm not very good with computers so I didn't know what to put in the prompt in the first place.
The last option was the only one which looked like it might work, but it was basically the option of returning my computer to its factory mode. This was out of the question because I would lose all my files, and since I never had the foresight to save them on a hard drive first, I would never get them back.
I'm not really sure what I'm supposed to do: I rebooted my computer for the next few hours after that, but each time the situation was the same. I'm reluctant to use the recovery manager and risk losing all my files for good.
Please help me with this problem. If you need more information I would gladly provide it: I just want to make sure my files are safe.
Thanks in advance.