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Help with Vista Recovery


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#1 BlpgCmptrMG

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 05:20 AM

I hope to recover Vista to a hard drive, but need help with the process.

 

I have a four-year-old Dell desktop with Vista that fails to boot.  I have attempted various diagnose and repair processes, but none finds any solvable problem, and none finds any identifiable hardware problem or physical defect with my hard drive.

 

In the interim, I removed the hard drive and connected it to another computer (I boot off the other computer's original hard drive) to use the files on the "unbootable" hard drive and that works perfectly fine, so my data is intact, and the drive does work -- but the hard drive simply won't boot.

 

I believe I need to reinstall Vista, but I don't want to disturb the data files, or any of the programs that currently exist and presumably work fine.  How do I do this?  I am a novice at this.  I see things about new partitions -- is this necessary and how is it done?  Can I simply install "over" the original install, or do I leave the "bad" install alone and create a brand new "good" one?

 

I didn't create a Vista Install disk (and I don't think one was sent with the computer), so I need to get one; I'm in over my head here, but I am certain it would have been a Dell OEM disk.  Am I limited to using a Dell OEM disk, or will any OEM (HP, for example) work?  Can I use a "standard" Microsoft non-OEM disk?

 

Is there anything else I need to do?  Again, priority #1 is not affecting the data or programs currently on the hard drive.

 

Thanks in advance for your help.  Please let me know if any additional information is needed.



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#2 dc3

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 07:09 AM

Have you tried booting into Safe Mode?

 

To access Safe Mode start tapping the F8 key immediately after pressing the power button.

 

What is the make and model of this computer?

 

You can make a recovery disc using the instructions found at Windows Vista Forums.  There are instructions for downloading and making the disc, there are for using the recovery console as well.  This type of repair will not effect you data or non-Microsoft applications.


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#3 BlpgCmptrMG

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 07:59 AM

Thanks for the prompt reply.  I tried Safe Mode but it does not help.  I can't say definitively, but I think I've tried all the easy and obvious stuff.  It's a Dell XPS 420.

 

Question for you (please excuse my ignorance):  When I attempt to turn on the machine, it gives me two options: F2 (Setup) and F12 (Boot Menu).  If I press nothing, it proceeds to two menu options:  "Launch Startup Repair (recommended)" or "Start Windows Normally".  When I choose "Start Windows Normally", within seconds, it presents the F2 and F12 options again, and then, seconds later, returns to the two prior options (Launch... or Start...).  If I choose Launch (which has been done several times now and runs quickly), it starts a "Windows-looking" process that says "Startup Repair", and has a horizontal "running" bar and says "Searching for problems..." which runs for about 10 seconds and then concludes "Windows cannot repair this computer automatically" along with another window that asks to "Send information about this problem (recommended)" or "Don't send" and gives a drop-down option to "View problem details".

 

Those are:

 

Problem Event Name: StartupRepairV2

Problem Signature 01: AutoFailover

Problem Signature 02: 6.0.6001.18000.6.0.6002.18000

Problem Signature 03: 6

Problem Signature 04: 786443

Problem Signature 05: NoRootCause

Problem Signature 06: NoRootCause

Problem Signature 07: 0

Problem Signature 08: 2

Problem Signature 09: WrpRepair

Problem Signature 10: 0

OS Version 6.0.6001.2.1.0.256.1

Locale ID: 1003

 

If I press F2, it enters setup and gives me various options (many unchangable) with top headers including System, Drives, Onboard Devices, Video, Performance, Security, Power Management, Maintenance, POST Behavior

 

If I press F12, it gives four options including [my hard drive], Onboard or USB CD-ROM Drive, System Setup, Diagnostics.  System Setup returns

me to the same menu as if I pressed F2, above.  Diagnostics runs several tests, all of which ultimately pass, after about 15 minutes of testing.  If I recall, it also gives a few more options for additional analyses after this, all of which have been run, all of which pass and / or turn up nothing.

 

And now, to my question:  you suggested creating a recovery disc.  Will that do anything that is not covered in the discussion I just presented?  The instructions on the link you presented say "The Recovery Disc created here does not install Vista", and I want to make sure I'm proceeding and not simply undertaking a process to repeat steps I've already done.  As mentioned above, please excuse my ignorance, and thanks again for the prompt reply.



#4 BlpgCmptrMG

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 08:07 AM

Followup:  That test under Diagnostics ran for about 8 minutes and ultimately said "No problems have been found with this system so far. Do you want to run the remaining memory tests? This will take about 30 minutes or more. Do you want to continue? (Recommended)

 

I will press yes and let it run.  When it finishes, I'll (hopefully) report back the results.  In the meantime, any recommendations?  Does the list of "Problem Signatures" presented above give any hints?

 

Thanks again.



#5 dc3

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 08:22 AM

Take a look at this article posted by Grinler regarding Command Prompts in the Windows Recovery Environment.


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