Vista repair/install problem

  dms_05 12:38 30 Jul 2008

I've managed to damage my Windows Vista partition whilst experimenting with a Linux distro. So I set about repairing or reinstalling Vista.

If I boot Vista from my HDD then it hangs shortly after the Microsoft copyright notice. If I boot from my Vista Home Premium installation DVD the process begins and files are copied but the computer hangs before the normal recovery/install screen appears.

I am using a full retail DVD.

If I run from the Linux LiveCD everything works and I can see all the partitions on all drives.

Any idea how I can reinstall Vista? Or even regain access to the existing installation?

  skidzy 13:33 30 Jul 2008

Did you actually install the Linux Distro,if not,the live cd should not have touched any partitions..problems can arise when installing to the hdd.

Though a short in the dark really,have you tried the startup repair option from safemode ? i know you say the partition maybe corrupt...but certainly worth a try. click here
Preinstalled options click here

  dms_05 13:38 30 Jul 2008

I can't even get that far! I'm confused why booting from the Vista DVD doesn't allow me to even enter the repair/install process. It simply hangs well before I reach the point where I can either install or repair. Very odd.

  skidzy 14:46 30 Jul 2008

Then as a guess for now and a matter of elimination,maybe its a possible memory problem.

Can you try removing one stick of ram and try again,you may need to alternate the memory modules.

Failing that,disconnect the hdd and reconnect and try again.

  dms_05 15:46 30 Jul 2008

The laptop is running fine under Linux from a LiveCD but won't accept any attempt to repair or reinstall Vista. Looking from Linux at the partitions everything appears to be in place. I've checked the partition flags, that's all OK.

So I have a situation where a genuine copy of Vista Home Premium won't boot either from it's partition or from the original full installation DVD.

The problem started when I ran the installation of a Linux distro from it's LiveCD. The resize option seemed to work but then the installation stopped. However looking at the Partitions from Linux they appears to be the original size and original NTFS file system.

  skidzy 16:04 30 Jul 2008

Then it looks like your Master Boot Record is corrupt,though i fail to see why your Vista dvd will not work correctly.

I did find this if you access the command prompt from the Vista dvd;

Insert the vista cd ,choose repair windows ,choose command prompt window ,dir to the cd/dvd drive and type :
bootrec /fixboot
bootrec /fixmbr

  dms_05 17:16 30 Jul 2008

Hi Skidzy - of course I couldn't get that far so I couldn't attempt an MBR rebuild!

My solution was to use a Partition Manager (GParted) and after unmounting the drive I was able to examine the format. Despite it been reported as NTFS it wasn't and wouldn't format to that standard. So I changed the format to FAT32 (and of course lost everything on that partition) then when I rebooted using the Vista DVD it allowed me access to the full Install routine. I just needed to select format so that the drive was NTFS and then I was able to reinstall.

It's now all working and luckily I keep all my data on another drive so I just need to reinstall a few applications.

Thanks for you interest and suggestions.

  skidzy 17:24 30 Jul 2008

Well done dms,the uses of Linux Distro's hey :-)

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