Dell PC (Vista 32 bit) crashed in storm last night - stuck on windows error recovery

#1
screen. When I turn the PC on, I get the message that my system was shut down improperly. It gives me several options including "start system normally" (or something like that -- I'm not in front of the PC at the moment!) I hit "enter" but the system is frozen - I cannot select any other option (arrow keys do not move my cursor/highlighted area) and my enter key isn't working.

What steps do I need to take in order to get my system running again? Should I create a Vista recovery disk and try turning on the PC with that disk in the drive? Is there anything else I can try to fix the problem?

THANKS in advance :smile:
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
Hi mom2mikel, welcome to NST.
If you can't select one of the other options presented, it sounds like your keyboard support is u/s.
Is it a USB keyboard ? It could be that the USB drivers will need to be repaired with a "safe mode" start before a USB keyboard can communicate - Catch 22.
Do you have an older PS2 keyboard you can borrow from another PC and plug into the PS2 keyboard port ? That should get you into "last known good.... " or "safe.." and allow the system to repair itself. (or you could use a USB-PS2 adapter, there might have been one provided with your keyboard or even your mouse)

If that's not your problem, or not an option, you can try downloading our recovery disk, burning the ISO image with Imgburn, booting that, selecting "repair your computer", then choosing the system restore option to take you back before the lightning fried your OS.
 
Last edited:
#3
Thanks for the welcome and quick reply! Unfortunately I only had a few minutes to look it over this morning before leaving for work. I will definitely check my keyboard - I am thinking it is USB. I think I do have a USB-PS2 adapter as well.

If I can plug it in and get the keyboard recognized, how do I get into safe mode and how do I have the system repair itself? I know - such a basic question, but I want to make sure I know what to do if I get that far!!

THANKS again!
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
Try "last known good configuration" first, and if it comes up you should be fine. Leave the keyboard with the PS2 adapter if you've got one, it'll give you another spare USB slot for something else.
If that's not your problem/fix, then post back and we'll take it from there.
 
#5
Thanks.. My PC only has USB ports for the keyboard, so I moved it to another USB port and voila....it worked! SO maybe i just have a bad USB port?

Should I assume I've fixed the problem or is there other things I should be troubleshooting now?

THANKS again!
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#6
Check Control Panel / Device Manager and see if any of the USB entries have yellow exclamation marks.
If they do, tell it to "update driver" .
If nothing's flagged, then the "last known good.." probably sorted everything. You can always try the keyboard in the old socket again just to verify that you no longer have a problem.
Best do it when the PC's switched off though. Hot un/plugging can cause problems in itself unless you use the "safely remove" option.

Or even simpler, try a flashdrive in the old socket and leave the keyboard where it is.
 
Last edited: