Most OEM manufacturers (HP, Dell, etc) that don't
supply a Windows Installation DVD, do install the Windows Recovery Environment within a hidden partition on the hard drive. While it varies with each computer manufacturer, you would typically press an F-Key (i.e. F8
) at restart for a Windows Advanced Option
Menu. Select "Repair My Computer
" and procede just as if you had booted from an installation DVD, by selecting the language and then signing into your administrator account.
The following options are then available:
- Startup Repair
- System Restore
- System Image Recovery
- Windows Memory Diagnostics
- Command Prompt
As an example, here is a Dell "How-to" run Startup Repair: http://support.dell.com/support/topics/global.aspx/support/kcs/document?c=us&docid=51972&doclang=en&l=en&s=gen&cs=
If you should have a Vista Installation DVD (without service packs) and you are attempting to repair a system with Vista, SP2 installed, accessing and running Startup Repair, System Restore, System Image Recovery, and many Command Prompt options (i.e. chkdsk /f) should not be an issue. Running System File Checker would be a problem if it found a missing file.
I hope this helps.