Vista Home Premium Recovery Disk gives blank blue screen

Hal

New Member
#1
Ok, I'm in desperate need of good advise.

My HP-G60 laptop with Vista Home Premium will not boot.

I've tried the following:

- Press F8, select Safe Mode, system stops at black blank screen
- Press F8, select Safe Mode with networking, system stops at black blank screen
etc.
- Basically Press F8, select anything, system eventually stops at black blank screen

I never make it to the login screen

- Attempted recovery with F10, ends at BLUE blank screen with mouse cursor active.
- Attempted recovery with Recovery Disk that I burned when I first got the computer, ends at same blue blank screen as trying to recover without the Recovery Disk.

Now, if I create an Unbuntu 10.04 boot disk according to the blog instructions, I can navigate the folders and copy most of my data to my WD Passport. Although some files seem to be partially fried and it gives me an error about file cannot be spliced (or something similar).

Side note: I think the blog post for the Ubuntu file recovery method must be an older version because 10.04 auto-detected my hard drive and Passport without the need for fdisk -l and the other prompt level commands. Which was way less confusing then the blog instructions.

Anyway, bottom line is I have no idea what to do now. Do I try to repair something with Ubuntu? If so, how?

As much as I hate Windows, I need to get my Vista Premium up and running again because of the software I need to use for my work (otherwise I would have pressed the install Ubuntu button). :angry:

Thanks,

Hal
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2

Hal

New Member
#3
Terry,

Is there something I'm missing on that Ubuntu Rescue Disk link you sent? That's the same link I used to create the Rescue Disk before I made my first post.

I`ll try the sticky key fix link and see what happens, but the other link says:

1. On the affected machine, boot using the Vista Media and Select “Next” and then in the bottom left you will see “Repair your Computer”; select Next and then Select Command Prompt.

What do they mean by Vista Media? An original Vista disk? If so, I only have the Recovery Disks I burned when I first bought the laptop.

However, I did create a 32 bit bootable Vista disk from the following link:

Windows Vista Recovery Disc Download The NeoSmart Files

but when I ran it, I just got the Northern Lights background but no Windows logo or menu choice. Does that indicate something?


Thanks,

Hal
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
Yes, our ISO can be used instead of a Vista DVD to access the "repair" screen (it's a small subset of the DVD, with no installation files), but unfortunately, both can fail to boot if they detect problems with the HDD. (An annoying flaw in the logic that they check the very broken asset you're attempting to fix).
If the sticky key fiddle doesn't work for you, there's not much left to do other than factory reset from your OEM recovery media after rescuing your personal files with Ubuntu.
Normally we'd advise using chkdsk before a factory reset, but without a means of getting to a Windows command prompt, that's not an option.
 

Hal

New Member
#5
Ok. If it gets to the point of having to restore with an OEM recovery disk, does that mean I have to order a new set from HP?

I've already tried the ones I burned when I first bought the machine and they don't work.


Thanks,

Hal
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#6
"Don't work" ?
What happens ?
 

Hal

New Member
#7
When I let the system boot off recovery disk #1 that I burned, it starts loading what looks like command prompt type windows over a blue background. But within 30 seconds or so, all activity stops and I just see a blank blue screen.

Btw ... can I run some sort of chkdsk program with Ubuntu or would that be incompatible with Vista?

Because if I could do that, then maybe I can fix the disk and then run the bootable Vista disk I created from your website.

Thanks,

Hal
 
#8
Btw ... can I run some sort of chkdsk program with Ubuntu or would that be incompatible with Vista?
See this link.
The program called "ntfsfix" which can scedule a NTFS check for the next Windows boot is the one you want to focus on.
 

Hal

New Member
#9
See this link.
The program called "ntfsfix" which can scedule a NTFS check for the next Windows boot is the one you want to focus on.
Unless I'm not understanding the link, ntfxfix can only be triggered by Windows when Windows boots.

The problem is I can't get Windows to boot so I won't be able to trigger ntfsfix.


Hal
 
#10
Unless I'm not understanding the link, ntfxfix can only be triggered by Windows when Windows boots.

The problem is I can't get Windows to boot so I won't be able to trigger ntfsfix.


Hal
It doesn't need to boot all the way. As long as it tries to boot into the Vista entry in the BCD, it should trigger the NTFS check. Because, at that point, the winload.exe has already been started, and its attempting to load Vista.

But then again, who knows how extensive the damage is...it could be that your system is not even getting past the point where the BIOS program hands control over to the MBR. Anyway, it was just a suggestion.

I might have something else to suggest, if you post more info. For example, a screenshot showing precisely what happens when you try to boot normally, and/or explanations describing how your computer came to be this way, etc., etc.
 

Hal

New Member
#11
I might have something else to suggest, if you post more info. For example, a screenshot showing precisely what happens when you try to boot normally, and/or explanations describing how your computer came to be this way, etc., etc.
If I could give you a screen shot, I could probably load Vista and run chkdsk or recovery manager. :wink:

But seriously, I don't really know what happened. It was literally booting one day, then not the next.

The Ubuntu recovery disk I created from the NeoSmart blog loads no problem. Copied over most files to my WD Passport, although some files are fried.

The Vista DVD I created according to the blog instructions only partially load. It gives me a nice colorful greenish background, but no menu choices (or Windows logo).

Also, my burned recovery disks don't work. It starts to load and then just goes to a blank blue screen.

All F8 options (Safe Mode, Save Mode with Command Prompt, etc.) start to load but eventually lead to a blank black screen.

Nothing ever gets to the login screen.

It's almost like my recovery partition is toast, because Ubuntu reads my HD as one 320 GB drive instead of 250 GB main partition with a separate 70GB partition used for recovery.

Since HP's website says burned recovery disks can restore your system in minutes but the ones they sell take 4 to 6 hours, I'm thinking I should probably buy their recovery disks and they will auto-repartition my drive and reset everything back to factory specs.

But I don't know if that's fact or wishful thinking. But something has to be different if the ones they sell takes hours and the ones the consumer burns takes minutes.

Arrrrrghhhh ... I can't stand Vista. :rage:

Hal
 

Hal

New Member
#12
Update ... I spoke with an actual North American HP tech this morning (not some outsourced guy in India reading pat answers from a knowledge base).

There is indeed a dramatic difference between the OEM recovery disks and the ones they get you to burn. So much so, that it makes you wonder why even bother burning them.

If F11 doesn't work for you, the DVDs you burned won't work either. If F11 does work, you don't need the burned DVDs anyway. In other words ... burning recovery disks just makes you feel warm and fuzzy, they serve no true rescue purpose in a critical crash.

Listening between the lines to the tech's answers to my questions, it appears to be designed this way to create a revenue stream for the OEM.

Anyway $40 + tax later, the OEM recovery disks should arrive in about a week so I'll update this thread for other people in a similar boat to let you know whether I could actually recover the system or whether I've turned my laptop into an Ubuntu box.

Hal
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#13
Hmm... I had to recover a HP computer recently and the owner had recovery discs too, but I cimpletely wiped the hard drive before I tried with the discs to recover and it worked. Unfortunate HP has seemed to change things so they can make an extra buck or two on the side at the misfortune of their customers.

Well, I wish you luck when the costly discs arrive.
 
#14
For future reference, you might want to make an image of each partition with a free partition imaging software, so you don't have to rely on HP's crap software and expensive CDs. I'd recommend the UBCD (Ultimate Boot CD). Home page can be found here.
Not only is it completely free, but it includes a whole lot of other software too, and you can run the software booted from the CD instead of booted into an OS.
 

Hal

New Member
#15
Yes, I think I'll do that Jake.

Ok, so here's the result of my journey for those who may have a similar problem:

Ran the OEM Recovery DVD that I received and it hangs at a DOS window titled "x:\windows\system32\cmd.exe" while trying to read the partition. :frowning:

So I contacted HP tech support they had me run some BIOS diagnostics, told me my HDD was toast and that my only solution was a replacement HDD at $300 + :-[

The tech was certainly polite and seemed to be sincerely trying to solve my problem but in the end I'm glad I didn't take his advise because ...

I installed Ubuntu 10.04 on the HDD, wiped it clean, ran diagnostics, marked the bad sectors (approx 300 total), put in the HP OEM Vista Recovery Disk and voila .... after a few hours of whirring, clicking and rebooting several times, my laptop is now back to factory settings. :-D

Thanks again Terry, Jake and Justin for all your suggestions.

The Ubuntu bootable disk for the data recovery was the missing piece of the puzzle for me.


Have a great weekend everybody,

Hal
 
#16
Glad you got it working again, Hal.
You have a great weekend too.