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  1. #1
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    Windows Vista restore or repair?

    Sorry if these questions have been asked before. I did do a search, but maybe with the incorrect key words.

    My daughter has a 5 year old laptop running Vista that apparently has gone belly up. The Computer Geeks tell her that the HD is toast, but I'm not convinced because it does get the blue screen of death with a message when she turns it on. Isn't that a sign the the HD is working?

    She no longer has (if she ever did) the installation disk and never made a repair/restore disk. Do I understand correctly that any Vista disk, if she could borrow one from someone else, would work for using the diagnostic and repair tools? Lacking that, are repair disks usually available from the OEMs? If she has got her original software key (big if) can she get a replacement install disk from the OEM? Even if she used a borrowed install disk, couldn't she re-register the install with her existing key?

    Sorry. At the moment, I don't have any further details on the computer make or installation.

    She is getting a new notebook because she needs something reliable for her work. The questions above have to do with restoring the old one for her 10 year old son to use and I agreed to help as best I could.
    Thanks

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  3. #2
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    Do you have the PC or have access to it?

    Can she boot the PC into safe mode?

    Joe

  4. #3
    Star Lounger
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    No. I don't. Just wanted to get some general info to start to help us (her) decide on whether it is worth the bother. A new HD would be fairly inexpensive if that is what it needs. However, re-purchasing the OS may be a killer.

    At this point, I'm not even sure of the brand (Dell or Gateway, I think). So. I'm not sure of the key strokes to get it into safe mode (usually alt-F10 isn't it?). When she starts it up, it stops at the blue screen. I'm not even sure what the message is. If I can get enough general information to make repairs appear feasible and encouraging, I'll be able to get all the pertinences from her and eventually get my hands on the computer (she doesn't live locally).

  5. #4
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    A BSOD can be an indication of many things from a hardware problem, to a bad patch, to a driver problem. It is important to try to get the BSOD error code.

    Also, if the PC can successfully boot into safe mode that could indicate a bad patch or driver problem.

    Joe

  6. #5
    Star Lounger
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    I'll see if I can find out what the specific message is and whether or not it will boot to safe mode. In the mean time, are there any answers to the other questions?

  7. #6
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    A BSOD is not necessarily a sign of a bad HD.

    On most PCs of that vintage and newer there is a recovery partition. Many, if not most, OEMs stopped supplying OS disks and instead built a recovery partition. The recovery process is start from the boot menu. REMEMBER, this type of recovery is intended to return the PC to its state when it left the factory. ALL data is lost.

    Joe

  8. #7
    Star Lounger
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    Yes. I know. I'm not sure, at this point, if the recovery partition is functioning. My questions are predicated on the assumption that it is not.

  9. #8
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    If you have access to a USB enclosure and you get the PC you could remove the drive, put it in the enclosure, and then attach to another PC. If you can access the drive it is fine.

    You really need to get the BSOD details.

    Joe

  10. #9
    Star Lounger
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    I will, but it will take a while.

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