Questions about the recovery disk


Questions about Windows Vista Recovery Disc 32-Bit (x86) Edition...

Is it Home Premium, Ultimate, or does that question not even apply?

Is it SP1, or does that question not even apply?

My Gateway laptop, Vista Home Premium OEM is in a state where MMC will open, but clicking on Task Scheduler or Event Viewer presents the error message
"MMC has detected an error in a snap-in and will unload it" on any attempt to open them.

One side effect is that I get none of the routine restore points created.

I would like to use the Neosmart recovery disk to try to repair this. Much research on the web has produced no fix that works (other than reinstall) although MANY people seem to have encountered this.
There are no installation files. It's not any kind of Vista OS. It just has the bootable recovery environment that also comes as part of a Vista DVD.
If your Vista boots, then it won't do anything much of use to you.
It's provided for those OEM users who don't own a bootable MS Vista DVD, but who were provided with a hidden recovery partition. If something happens to break the MBR/IPL/PBR boot chain on such a PC, the user can be left with an unreachable OEM recovery environment.
They should have created their own backup portable bootable media as part of the commissioning process of the PC (generally one of the OEM recovery options), but an amazing number don't bother, and find themselves in catch 22, stuck with a lifeless box within which are the inaccessible repair tools. (like locking your keys in the car).
This ISO is a spare key. It just gets you back into the PC. It won't fix it.
If Vista system restore doesn't have a checkpoint early enough for you to get back before this problem, and a search of the MS KB doesn't help (If the problem started as a result of a Windows Update, you can get free email support from MS), then you'll need to use the Gateway recovery options.

Do you have the system restore service started ?
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Wow, I am clearly unclear about this...

1. What I am looking for is a "repair" function, which in my feeble mind would repair the Windows files with known good copies, in case my problem is a missing or corrupted Windows file. I don'r want "recovery" which reinstalls the entire OS and wipes out apps and data.

What can you do in the "recovery environment?" What options are on the screen when you boot with this disk? Is it's only use to get into the disk to copy off your data files? That's not what I need.

So, IS THERE a way to repair a Vista Home Prem system that does boot and generally work, but just won't "do" Task Scheduler or Event Viewer?

2. I see no service called System Restore or Microsoft System Restore. It is not there at all--not even listed in the available services. However, I can get to system properties which has the System Protection tab, which has the Create and System Restore... buttons. System Restore button produces the dialog which lists the existing restore points (all of which are from installs and updates--none are from scheduled creations since scheduler does not work. Manually trying to create one always runs for awhile then says failed right at the end.
Because our disk doesn't contatin installation files it clearly can't do the recovery of wiping out your drive and starting new. It only gets a non-booting copy of Windows booting again. That's about it apart from system restore and few other commands.

What you can try since you can get into Windows is this at a command prompt:
sfc /scannow
Sorry since Vista, I think the system restore service is probably now part of one of the shadow-copy services. (SR is a part of volume shadow copy now)
The restore disk functions can be seen on the illustration to be found in the wiki
For what it is worth, sfc /scannow was one of the first things I tried (though not mentioned before). It did not solve the problem.

I think this is a VIsta gotcha which reverts us to the Win 98 days, when the fix for everything was "reinstall Windows." That is an awful prospect for me because of the amount of stuff installed, and the extensive customization of options that I do in both the OS and in the apps.

I do keep image backups, but this problem has likely been here for ages, so restoring to an earlier time would probably not solve it, plus would cause loss of everything changed since then.

I am kind of amazed that there is no process that simply puts known "good" copies of all system files onto the machine. I guess that is what sfc is supposed to do, but I have no confidence in it, as it is quite clunky, and so verbose that you cannot really understand what it has or has not done. I have even seen official MS writings which say that even when it says things have been fixed, usually they have not.

An offline scan is more effective since it can replace files that are not being used by an online system:
sfc /scannow /offbootdir=c:\ /offwindir=c:\windows\

You can run this from a Vista DVD or from our recovery disc at a command prompt.

I agree though. Sfc doesn't always get everything and when it flat out tells you it can't fix everything there's little hope of fixing the corrupted files other than re-installing. Unfortunately we haft to live with it since MS decided to kill repair installs with XP. Look into your applications to see if you can export the settings to file to import later if you end up needing to re-install Windows.

The services you need to check by the way are "Task Scheduler" and "Volume Shadow Copy"
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