PC won't boot into windows

  Never again 19:52 16 Jun 2011


Another work colleague has brought me his home laptop which is not booting into windows. He is denying all knowledge of why and blaming the kids:-)

Its running windows vista home premium and on start up it throws an error message which says "Install Windows" "windows could not complete the installation. to install windows on this computer. restart the installation". When you click the "ok" it carries on to display the desktop for a few seconds and then logs off and shuts down and reboots through the bios and just goes through the same thing again.

I tried starting in safe mode but get the same, and also in last known good configuration that worked.

I've had the hard drive out and can browse it on my pc and it appears to have a windows folder, although it's obviously not complete.

I don't have a vista cd, and nor does my friend who can't find any of the original software.

Your suggestions would be most appreciated.

Thank you

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 20:32 16 Jun 2011

Reboot it

tap F8 or F5 as it boots

You need to look at Windows Vista's Repair Your Computer options.

  • Startup repair - This automatically fixes problems that are preventing Windows from starting
  • System Restore - This will Restore Windows to an earlier point in time
  • Windows Complete PC Restore - This will completely restore your entire PC - programs, system settings and files - from a back up that you have previously created (Available in Windows Vista Business, Enterprise and Ultimate editions only)
  • Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool - This checks your computer's memory hardware for errors
  • Command Prompt - This opens a Command Window

With the Complete PC Restore Option you must have made a backup of your system, either on your hard drive or on a set of DVDs, in order to use this option. If you don't have a backup then don't use this option

How you access the repair options will depend upon whether you have a Windows Vista installation disk or whether your operating system came pre-installed by your PC manufacturer.

Pre-Installed Options NOTE

If no repair options are available your PC manufacturer may have replaced the tools or customised them. Check your Computer Manual before proceeding.

1/ Start your PC

2/ If your PC has one operating system Press and Hold the F8 key as your PC starts. If the Windows Logo appear you will need to start again

3/ If you have a dual boot system a Boot option menu will appear. Highlight the Vista operating system and Press the F8 key

4/ In both cases, if all has gone well, an Advanced options screen will now appear

5/ Highlight the repair Your Computer option and Press Enter

6/ Select a keyboard layout, and then Click the Next button

7/ Next select your user Name and Enter your Password, then Click OK

8/ The recovery options should now appear

Windows Installation Disk NOTE

1/ make sure your PC can boot directly from the Vista DVD. Obviously, most modern PCs can. With older machines you may need to check the PC's BIOS

2/ Start the PC

3/ Immediately insert the Windows Vista DVD into the DVD drive

4/ A Black screen will appear with the words 'Press any key to boot from CD or DVD'

5/ Press Any key to start the booting process

6/ A new screen will now appear with a progress bar. The legend say's 'Windows is loading files'

  Never again 20:48 16 Jun 2011

Thanks Fruit Bat /\0/\

I didn't get the option to repair windows, only the usual options, - safe mode, last known which worked, normal and a couple of others.

I was hoping that there was something I could do to check the integrity of windows whilst I could read it in my caddy, as I'm good at losing those tiny screws.

I'll pop the drive out of my caddy and back in the pc and report back

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 21:27 16 Jun 2011
  Never again 21:50 16 Jun 2011

f5 gives me the option to boot into vista, which when chosen just does the above error and reboot loop.

f8 gives me options of safe mode safe mode with networking safe mode with command prompt

enable boot logging enable low resolution video last known good configuration directory services restore mode debugging mode disable automatic restart on system failure disable driver signature enforcement

start windows normally

I've tried all the safe mode options and last known good configurations as well as normal start up but all I get is the error and restart loop above.

oops - just noticed your last message which has appeared since I started typing this - I'll get back.

  Never again 20:00 17 Jun 2011

OK - update.

I'm not sure if its a 32 or 64 bit version as I can't boot into windows yet so I downloaded both versions.

The 64 bit version wrote to cd ok but when I chose the repair option it said that my version of windows was different - so it must be the 32 bit version.

The downloaded 32 bit version looks different on my pc and is not recognised as an iso image, so I'm having another go at downloading it now from the original source.

Do you know of any other safe source of this file at all?

Thanks for your help.

  Never again 21:13 17 Jun 2011

I have booted from the 32 bit recovery cd and chosen my language and settings and then the repair option on the next screen.

I have the following options;

Startup repair - I ran this and it detected no problems?

System restore - the first one didn't cure the problem, so I selected a different restore point and tried again but although system restore was sucessful both times I still have the original install windows error message.

Windows complete restore - I don't really want to go here unless absolutely necessary as I don't have the driver disks and original software - unless its on a recovery partition - but I couldn't see one when I had the drive in the caddy.

Memory diagnostic tool - I ran that through an earlier f5 option and it found no problems.

Command prompt - not considered it yet, but will need some help if this option is selected.

I'm not sure what to do next as nothing so far has cured the problem and the pc will still not boot fully into windows and is in the windows installation error/ restart loop.

  rdave13 22:02 17 Jun 2011

Some info for the command prompt, Vista Maste Boot record.

  robin_x 22:13 17 Jun 2011

Partition Wizard also has a Rebuild MBR option.

May be worth a try.

Download Bootable CD or USB from the sidebar here

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