no valid windows install

so my computers mobo took a crap so i had to order a new one(with processor, ram, and a new case). got everything hooked up and put in the proper places and boot up my comp. i then get an infinite boot cycle.....comp boots up then asks me to start in safe mode or start windows normally and repeats on every boot. so i downloaded this windows vista recovery disk. i boot it up and run the recovery but it tells me "the selected partition does not contain a valid windows installation. ive looked through every corner of the internet to try and find a solution but to no avail. i tried to run a testdisk but it told me "support for this filesystem hasn't been enable during compilation"

any assistance would be very useful and thank you


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Did you just put the HDD from your previous mobo into the new configuration ?
The old OS is very unlikely to boot, having been configured at installation with the drivers for the previous chipset, unless the new mobo is a direct (identical) replacement.
XP would allow a "repair" install (upgrade inplace), but if you've got Vista or W7 that facility is no longer available and a clean reinstall is your only option.
If the previous OS was pre-installed on the hardware, it will have an OEM licence and will not be transferable to a new mobo under the terms of the EULA. Even if you managed to boot it, MS would refuse to validate your mandatory attempt at activation.
If you get a bootable Linux distro and run it from the CD, you should be able to examine your HDD and see if there is any trace of the Windows installation or whether the HDD was wrecked along with the mobo.


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Your only other option, if you can get the factory reset option to work (which I doubt because of the previously mentioned driver problem(s) - OEM systems come with a skeleton set of drivers for the original hardware only, not a universal set like on a retail DVD), would be to phone MS for an activation key and beg them to accept the mobo upgrade as an unavoidable consequence of the failure of its predecessor.
If you catch a nice employee on a good day, you might get away with it, but the terms and conditions do state that an acceptable mobo change is an identical replacement or the manufacturer's nearest equivalent if the original is no longer in production.
Any significant upgrade in the specification will normally result in "sorry, but no".