Need help with vista recovery disc please

recovery disk seems to freeze


There is nothing seriously wrong with my vista system, just want to use the disk to see if it will referbish the installation, and or make sure it works.
So i pop the disk in and boot from it, it loads the windows set up files and then goes to the blue vista screen at a lower default resolution and the does nothing, stops, the disk stops spinning and the computer sits there.

I am using X64 and the recovery disk is the x64 disk downloaded from this site.

Any ideas please.


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Try booting the CD on another PC to verify that it's OK.
If not, try burning it again at a lower speed.
If it is OK, there might be a problem with your CD-ROM, try burning to DVD instead of CD (different laser may work where the other one didn't).
You can't "refurbish" the installation with our CD, (if you're thinking of a repair install), on two counts.
Firstly Vista has abandoned the concept of the repair install which used to be a valuable feature of XP, and secondly, our CD contains no installation files and can't be used for any kind of install.
It's sole function is to get an OEM PC user without a Vista DVD into an unbootable system.
Hi Terry,

Thanks for the insight, that is the problem then, and while hunting around this site it seems that you must be sick of repeating yourself as you have said this amny times, so apologies.

Then let me pose you a question, I have an unbootable OEM version of vista ultimate and your recovery disk is obviously bootable, could you advise me as to how to make a bootable version of vista so that I can actaully reinstall the sucker.

I.e. take all files of my proper vista DVD and combine them with the correct boot files of the recovery disk to make the bootable reinstall disk that would be much loved by all i think.

I hope you can help as I am doing this right now, well attempting too :wink:


p.s. my crude method is simply dump the whole windows DVD on a folder in my desktop and then copy all the files from the recovery disk and allow windows to move and replace all the files from the windows DVD with the files off the recovery disk.
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Super Moderator
Staff member
It doesnt matter how you boot it. Again, it can only be used for repairing, not for re-installing Windows. It should be bootable on its own without you needing to copy over any files to the hard drive. The steps you need to perform once you've burned the recovery disc to CD/DVD can be found here.


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
If you've got a PC with Vista pre-installed by your OEM, it should have a built in recovery capability to "factory reset".

Your OEM should have similar instructions online if you've lost your user manual.
Generally the recovery environment is accessed either through an entry in the extended boot menu (F8) or by some other function key combination at power-up F10, F11, Alt+F10 etc.
I don't think you'll have much luck trying to copy the Windows folder. The Setup program at install expects to find libraries of cabinet files which it starts by unpacking into the RAM-disk it's created.
Your Windows folder is the end result of the process, not the start - the final dish rather than the ingredients.

If you need to reinstall, make sure you download and burn a copy of a live Linux distro, if you can't access your files through Windows.
You can boot it and run Linux directly from the CD and use it to rescue your data first.
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ok it seems that i wasnt clear enough, sorry for that.

My vista ultimate x64 dvd disk is in my possession, it is a full version of vista that would only work by booting from windows it CANT be used to boot at start up.
When i got the disk I had XP installed, I put the disk in while still in XP windows, the disk ran, asked me if i wanted to install vista I said yes, it then went through the process of formating my HDD then installing a fresh clean copy of OEM vista x64, I have no back up files hiding at all, anywhere on my PC , I know this as my PC is home built not HP or something.
WHen I start the computer with that disk in, the start up ignores the DVD, if I make it so that the boot can only boot from the DVD then the boot fails.

What I was describing in the previous post was that I copied the contents of my Vista DVD to a folder on my desktop, NOT COPYING MY WINDOWS DIRECTORY, then I thought I could use the boot files from the recovery disk here to make my vista DVD bootable.

1. Insert Vista DVD in drive
2. copy contents of the DVD to a folder on my HDD
3. insert the recovery DVD in drive
4. use the contents of the recovery DVD to copy over the corresponding files in the folder created in step 2.
5. burn the contents of the folder created in step 2 onto a new DVD, to create a bootable version of Vista X64 ultimate, basically what I already have but able to boot at startup, rather than only run from the windows enviroment.

as a P.s. there are no recovery or reinstall options that can be acessed from the vista disk that I have from within the windows enviroment.

I hope this is clear.

Do we think this could work, if not why not? and how could we make it work?



Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
OK. You're in the same position as me, an OEM self-builder.
In that case the position is simple. Your DVD is bootable - no problem.
If you're having trouble booting it, then either your BIOS is not correctly set-up, or possibly you have a problem with the CD-ROM drive.
You need the BIOS set to boot Floppy (if you have one) / CD-ROM / HDD in that sequence, not only HDD or only CD.
That's a standard way to set up the PC that will boot your HDD when you power up, but allow you to slip a bootable CD in the tray any time you want to override the HDD boot without needing to make BIOS changes. Likewise a bootable floppy trumps both. The time taken to examine the two drives for content at power-up is only a fraction of a second and won't delay the standard boot by any amount the human mind can appreciate.
With a bootable CD/DVD in the tray, you'll get a "hit any key" message, and ignoring it will skip the CD boot and continue to the HDD. If you're not getting the "hit any key", then it's not detecting a bootable disk and if the BIOS is correct, suspect the CD-ROM drive.
Check your DVD on another PC to reassure yourself that it boots.
Hi Terry,

Thanks for the reply, unfortunatly the Vista DVD we are talking about is certainly not bootable, and the DVD drive works fine.
I know this because as previously mentioned I have change the boot sequence in the bios, to only boot from the DVD drive and nothing else to be doubly sure, and the recovery disk downloaded from this site does boot, and my Vista DVD does not.

So is there a way do we think that we can combine a nonbootable vista x64 ultimate DVD and the X64 bootable recovery disk, to make a bootable vista x64 ultimate install disk all in one?
Please let focus on this question.

Thanks in advance :smile:


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
"My vista ultimate x64 dvd disk is in my possession, it is a full version of vista that would only work by booting from windows "

A legitimate Vista DVD, OEM, or full retail is bootable.
If you've paid good money for a version that doesn't boot, you should be seeking redress from the retailer.
If you're using a pirated copy, then I'm afraid that the policy of this site is not to offer any advice.
The site owner does not wish to be cited in any action for aiding and abetting in any illegal activity.
Seems that I better get on to my vendor then and see what their game is, as I have tried this disk in other computers also and it certainly wont boot.

Thanks for the advice.