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Beginners Guides: Windows Vista Crash Recovery and Repair Install

Beginners Guides: Windows Vista Crash Recovery and Repair Install - PCSTATS
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Abstract: What you need to know to bring a crashed Vista PC system back to life. When Windows Vista fails and won't boot, separate the hardware from the software and get it fixed with the help of PCSTATS.
Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCSTATS Sep 29 2010   Max Page  
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Beginners Guides: Windows Vista Crash Recovery and Repair Installs


What you need to know to bring a crashed Vista PC system back to life. When Windows Vista fails and won't boot, separate the hardware from the software and get it fixed with the help of PCSTATS - Version 1.2.0

Windows Vista appears to be at least as resilient and stable as Windows XP in operation, yet it's still quite vulnerable to a variety of errors which can leave the operating system in an non-bootable state. In fact, given the relative newness of Vista, it's more vulnerable to several specific problems such as bad or incorrect driver installations and errors arising from attempting to 'dual-boot' Windows Vista with other operating systems.

Vista's newness also extends to the tools available to users in the event of disasters like those mentioned above. If you were familiar with the Windows XP suite of repair tools, you might as well throw all that knowledge out the window(s) because none of it applies any more. Vista has a whole new set of recovery tools built into a bootable 'live' operating system called the Windows Vista Recovery Environment (Vista RE).

In this PCSTATS Beginners Guide we'll explore methods of recovering your Windows Vista installation when you are no longer able to boot the computer, even in Vista's Safe Mode . This guide will also touch on several critical methods of 'disaster-proofing' a Windows Vista PC to make it easier to recover, should the unfortunate ever occur in the future. Finally, a thorough examination of the various ways that 'dual-boot' Windows Vista/XP/LinuxBSDMacOSsomeotherOS systems can go wrong and how to fix it. Read on.

Why does Windows Vista fail to boot?

A computer can fail to load Windows Vista for a huge variety of reasons, all of which boil down to just two possibilities: hardware or software. Now despite what you may have been told, pounding on the computer in frustration only fixes things 1 in 20 times. It's better to take a breather and troubleshoot, let's begin.

Certain malfunctions in a computer's hardware can cause Windows not to load while still allowing the computer to start, especially errors in the hard disk drive or memory (RAM). On the software side, anything that damages or changes essential system files can have the same effect, including viruses, improper shutdowns due to a crash or power outage. Changing your computer's motherboard can often trigger these sorts of issues, and removing or changing hard drive configurations will also do it, especially if you are dual-booting Windows Vista with another operating system on the same computer.

Step 1 - Identifying hardware problems

As this PCSTATS Beginners Guide is focused on repairing the software problems that may cause Windows Vista to fail to boot, we would be remiss not to cover the basics of checking for hardware problems that can cause Vista to throw a hissy-fit. Most hardware issues will stop the computer functioning properly, but a few may be subtle enough to slay Vista without stopping the computer dead in its tracks. The most likely culprits here are the computer's hard disk and/or memory.

Hardware Troubleshooting Checklist

If something has gone wrong with your PC one of the following has likely happened; you don't see anything displayed on the monitor when it's powered up, it doesn't power up at all, or the computer constantly turns itself off after being turned on. Okay, take a deep breath. All is not lost, PCSTATS has complied a quick five-point checklist to put you in the right direction to total Vista Crash Recovery.

ATTENTION - This troubleshooting section is not intended as a comprehensive guide and the following points assume you know how to build a computer from the parts up. If you are NOT comfortable working inside a PC, or are unfamiliar with the rules of properly handling static-sensitive components, take the PC to a store that does computer service. It is quite possible to damage or destroy a PC by improperly handling hardware. It's also quite possible that defective hardware may damage or destroy spare parts used for troubleshooting. Turn off the PC power supply before attempting to remove or install any components.

Comprehensive hardware troubleshooting is an extensive subject and beyond the scope of this article. I's a subject we are working on, so check back soon. With that out of the way, let's run down the five most common possibilities of a hardware-born computer crash.

Pressed the power button but nothing appears to happen?

Is the AC power cord still plugged in? Is it still plugged in the other end too? Check the power switch at the back of the case just to make sure it's still on, the symbol "O" means off, "|" means on. Sometimes power cables get kicked and come loose, or someone else may have played computer doctor and forgot to turn the PC back on. Dito for the monitor power cable and VGA cable to the PC videocard.

If none of this makes a difference, the next step is to open up the PC and disconnect everything from the motherboard with the exception of the necessities: power cables, power button wire, video card, memory and processor (leave the mouse, keyboard and monitor attached too). Remember to turn off the power supply, remove the AC power plug and ground yourself first.

After you've disconnected or removed all unnecessary hardware, turn the PC back on and see what happens. If it still won't power up and display the POST screen, it's likely that you have one or more defective components. The most likely culprits are the motherboard or the case power supply. There's nothing else you can do without access to spare parts.

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Contents of Article: PCSTATS
 Pg 1.  — Beginners Guides: Windows Vista Crash Recovery and Repair Install
 Pg 2.  Step 1 - PC Turns On, Does Not Boot Up
 Pg 3.  Step 2 - Options for Recovering Windows Vista
 Pg 4.  Windows Vista Recovery Environment
 Pg 5.  Vista Startup Repair Con't
 Pg 6.  Vista's System Restore Utility
 Pg 7.  Windows Vista Memory Diagnostic Tool
 Pg 8.  Vista Bootrec Console Tools
 Pg 9.  Recovering Lost Partitions Con't
 Pg 10.  Preventative Maintenance: Make Vista Easy to Recover

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