How to boot from recovery CD / Windows Vista

  Cara2 16:30 11 May 2010

Okay - am in a right pickle as was trying to help a friend and her computer has crashed. Now I feel responsible!

She has BT Internet and we were downloading Mcafee parental controls. As the seriel number was being entered Internet explorer closed down.

Now when we boot up, the screen displays 'please wait' and the circle just goes round and round. Have tried in safe mode.

BT Internet say the files have become corrupted and left us to our own devices.

I guess we have to reformat PC. But I am unable to get the computer to boot from the recovery disc.

Please say all is not lost! How can I solve the problem. Stress!!

  woody 16:49 11 May 2010


  Cara2 16:50 11 May 2010

Gosh, I feel like my hand is being held ... thanks!

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 16:58 11 May 2010

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

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

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'

7/ After a few minutes the Microsoft copyright window ill appear and another small progress bar will be visible

8/ You will next see a Blue curtained screen

9/ After a short while the Language option screen will appear

10/ Select your language and keyboard language and the Click the Next button

11/ At the bottom left of the next screen - the Install screen, Click on the Repair Your Computer option

12/ The System recovery options will now search for your Windows Vista installation

13/ Once the Vista installation has been located, Highlight it and then Click the Next button

14/ You are now presented with the set of recovery options

15/ Click on the Option you require and follow the onscreen prompts

  Cara2 17:02 11 May 2010

Thanks - I will print instructions and give it a go now.

  Cara2 17:11 11 May 2010

So far so (very) good.

However, am stumped at the password stage. Have phoned my friend and she is unaware that she has one relating to the PC.

Long shot, but is there a default password where a personal one is not used?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:14 11 May 2010

If never set a password just press enter

  Cara2 17:15 11 May 2010

Will try that.

Will have to start the process again, as I think I had too many attempts and it has now left that option.

  Cara2 17:18 11 May 2010

Great - password sorted as there wasn't one.

System repair does not detect and error.

Am now trying system restore.

  Cara2 17:33 11 May 2010


I could gush with appreciation.

I was particularly stressed as this is a friends PC - don't we wish we had not got involved sometimes!

I have been a member of PC Advisor forums from the outset all those years ago - I have always thought these forums a gift and have been helped many times on wide ranging issues (even to restaurant advice in London!). I don't recall ever being disappointed with the response.

Oh, good advice from Woody who stopped me from getting in even deeper.

Big pat on the back!


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