Vista Not Booting, Startup Repair Won't Fix It

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#1
Hello everyone, I'm a newbie here and really computer illiterate for the most part, I CAN follow directions though. :smile:

I have a 3-4 month old ASUS G1S-B1 that came with Vista Home Premium. A few weeks ago my gf was using it and the battery died. She got the charger and restarted it, no big deal, it saved everything. Less than a minute later it died again because the power cord came out of the wall. After that it wouldn't boot and I started researching. I found this site and downloaded the Startup Repair ISO (after learning out to use u-torrent and IMG Burn. I booted from the CD, ran the repair, all went well and it worked awesome again, didn't lose any data. I fell in love with NeoSmart.

Two days ago I was using it and browsing GMMilitaryDiscount.com (lots of flash or java, if that matters) and it died out of nowhere, I'm pretty sure the battery wasn't low or anything. I'm getting the same error on startup saying it was shutoff unexpectedly and Vista won't boot. I didn't have that CD with me, but I made a new one (the x86 version) and booted from that. I tried the same thing as before, Startup Repair. It said it couldn't repair the problem, blah blah blah. I tried the restore option from the two most recent dates it listed, both times it would say it successfully restored and to restart, but both time it came right back with the error screen on startup.

Of course after the first crash and recovery I backed everything up right? No, I'm a dumb*ss and thought that CD made me invincible. Does anyone have any ideas on what to try? I really don't want to lose all of my documents, files, music, pictures, etc. Any advice on what to try next? Thanks for all the help thus far in my assuredly long battle with Vista.
 
#3
Thanks Makaveli, I printed out the "Recovering the Windows Vista Bootloader from the DVD" guide. Since I already tried the Auto Repair, I'll move to the Command Prompt section. My only question is how do I know what to replace "x" with? Whenever I hit F12 to pick the boot location, will it tell me what my CD drive is? The writeup says "Replace x: in the commands below with the letter to your CD drive as detected by the Windows Recovery environment". How do I make sure I get the right letter? Sorry for all the questions, I'm a computer moron!
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#4
It is okay to have questions. Have to learn sometime. :wink:

The CD drive will be most likely E or F. I am guessing. If your install is on C where Windows is. Then the D drive is most commonly the Recovery partition.

You best bet. Just keep trying till you find it. Each system is unique so yours might not be E or F. It could be L or J. Trial and error are the best teachers.
 
#5
Ok so if I don't get it right it shouldn't mess anything up, just not work. Good to know. Thanks, I'll try it when I get home!

Addendum:

Ok I started going through the walkthrough. It still won't repair automatically, so I went to Step 3: Manually Repairing the Vista Bootloader. I'm really slow with CP, but I did find out I have C:, D:, and E: drives, so you were right Makaveli, E: is my CD drive. The first command, bootrec.exe /fixmbr said it worked sucessfully, but I can't get E:\boot\bootsect.exe /nt60 all /force to work for the life of me. Am I doing something wrong? It just keeps saying that it's not a real command or whatever. Any ideas? Thanks!
 
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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#6
E is apparently the wrong drive. Try other combos.
 
#7
CG - I've tried C, D, and E already to no avail. is there anything else I could try? It's like that bootsect.exe is missing or something.

Addendum:

well i still haven't had any luck finding bootsect.exe. i did however stumble upon robocopy after reading about xcopy on some random CP page. i thought it might be worth using robocopy to copy my documents "c:\users\md" to my d:\ drive. the command i used was c:\robocopy c:\users\md d:\users /MIR
It seemed to work but is hung up on some random file in a folder i don't need. is there anyway to tell it to skip that and move on? right now it's in a seemingly endless loop of "could not resolve file name, waiting 30 seconds". I really only wanted my pictures, music, documents backed up in case i have to erase everything and install vista again on the c drive. is there an easier way to do this? and even if it makes it to the d: drive, will it be safe? thanks!
 
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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#8
Download yourself a copy of Ubuntu's live CD.

Boot from it, use it to browse through your drives and back up the files you want.
 
#9
thanks CG, i used robocopy to back up my music, pictures, and documents to my partitioned recovery drive, i think. d:\ is where i put all of it and it all shows up when i use dir d:\ so i think it's all backed up. now i just want to go through my program files and write down everything i've installed so i can put it all back on after i reinstall vista, which i'm not sure how to do. i suppose i need to use the ASUS cd that came with my computer?
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#10
Yeah, that's usually the easiest way :smile:
 
#11
well i'm using my laptop to type this right now, and i didn't lose any of my personal data since the robocopy-ing worked. sweet! the only thing i forgot to back up was my favorites, which isn't a huge deal because i'll slowly build them back up as i use websites. i installed easy bcd and did a complete backup using the windows backup tool and put everything on my ext hd. i'm slowly getting stuff re-installed now. my NEW question is, since i'm not going to be using my c and d drives like i was (i plan on keeping only Vista and program files on my c:smile:, how do i repartition my internal hd to put more space in the d and less in c? is that even possible since everything already back on it? i'd like to keep my personal stuff separate so i don't have this headache again. any options? thanks!
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#12
Great to hear everything's on the track back to "normal."

For partitioning I always recommend the excellent Acronis Disk Director 10, but it's not free. If you don't have the cash to shell out, grab a copy of the GParted live CD.
 
#13
Recovering Vista Bootloader

hey guys,

I've gotten to this stage of repairing vista bootloader:

Now the Vista bootloader ... Go ahead and reboot your PC, get into Windows Vista, and use EasyBCD to further tweak the bootloader to your heart's content. We advise backing up the BCD registry immediately with EasyBCD before making any changes.

Do i reboot with the vista repair CD or not?
Without the CD in, it asks me to insert the operating system CD's that the PC came with. Obviously there aren't any, so I booted from the CD drive (using your download) and did not get into my PC at all. I'm not sure if that's what you meant by "get into Windows Vista," but I am back in startup repair mode. Perhaps this is correct?

[aside- by the sounds of it I need EasyBCD - where do I get that?]

So I assumed to select "repair my computer" again.
Startup repair found a problem with my start up settings, so I selected "repair and restart" (this is the first time I have a specific error come up; usually it cannot find the error and says contact miscrosoft and we can't help you any further).

It restarted and booted up again from the CD, and went back to startup repair.
This time startup repair gave the same message it has been giving all this time - if there is a device attached to the PC such as camera/portable music, remove and restart. If you continue to see this message (yes I do:tongueout:oint:smile:, contact system administrator.

So I choose to view 'advanced options' and try system restore again, to take it back to the time before the service pack 1 upgrade.
I've done this 2xbefore - once for 12hrs without your vista repair CD and the 2nd time for 2hrs with your vista repair CD.

This time it took 1 hour and nothing happened.

So let me try this nuclear 4th stage again and may I pls ask you for clarification in case I have missed things:

ONE:
Warning the instructions below assume that the program bootsect.exe is present on the booted Vista recovery disk. It was included on earlier distributions of Vista, but was subsequently omitted. If your DVD contains a copy in the boot folder, the instructions can be followed as listed. If not (and our downloadable CD images do not) you will need to pick up a copy elsewhere before proceeding.

I found only these files on the burnt CD:
Root folder 1 "boot" - subfolders: "bcd," boot.sdi," and "bootfix"
Root Folder 2 "sources" - subfolders: "boot.wim"
And "bootmgr"

So already it looks like I'm missing something.
I went back to Torrent and noticed that it was still "seeding" after 4.5hrs.
0(678) seeds and 4(291) peers.
So something must be wrong there.

Do I need to re-download the recovery disc?

TWO:
Now we get rid of the old BCD registry, and create a new one instead.
Note: We're assuming that the boot drive is drive C: below. If your computer is configured differently, be sure to use the appropriate drive letter here instead.


How do I know which drive to use?
If I used C: before, should I run this all again using D: and so on until I've exhausted my options?

I just don't want to cause irreparable harm.

THREE:

Failing this, I'm trying to download EASEUS [File not found another PC and make a CD to run on bootup, but when I download the easeus prog, it gives a warning about saving t on the C: drive - where all my files are kept - in case the files there are wiped out.

So I'm not sure what to do from this point?

I've been on the phone for hrs with HP (still under warranty) but they've told me i'm on me own now. I have to find a wayto back up or lose everything;as reinstalling vista is my only hope they reckon.>.<

====Candice

Addendum:

Sorry I did find EasyBCD [Download EasyBCD 1.7.2 - NeoSmart Technologies
but have had 2xunsuccessful attempts at installing it - application error = 0xc0000135

Addendum:

When trying to either add the bootsect.exe file to the recovery CD already created, it asks for a new disc. So I try to recreate the vista repair download CD but add this file in 'boot' folder of the EasyBCD, but it's not in an image format. I don't seem able to download EasyBCD with uTorrent like I was able to with the vista repair download
 
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#14
Hello Apsara.
Yes, unfortunately that file (bootsect.exe) does not exist on our recovery disk. So a workaround (when you have EasyBCD installed on your system) is to cd to the /Program Files/NeoSmart Technologies/EasyBCD/bin directory, where the program exists, and run it from there:
Code:
cd /d C:\Program Files\NeoSmart Technologies\EasyBCD\bin
bootsect.exe
and continue with the commands as described in the wiki. Of course, you will first need to install EasyBCD though, which will require .Net Framework already installed. :wink:
As for point 2, you can use Diskpart from the Command prompt to find the drive letter you need to put in in place of C:
Code:
Diskpart
list volume
Point 3 I can't help you with, since I have literally no experience at all with EASEUS. My advice would be to find and use some other program, if EASEUS is not working for you.

Jake
 
#15
now have ubuntu booted at startup on the problem laptop and am not sure what I am meant to b doing with it :smile:

It looks like a whole new OPS -?

Addendum:

Jake, thanks! But I have no idea what this means :lol:
"cd to the /Program Files/NeoSmart Technologies/EasyBCD/bin directory, where the program exists, and run it from there"

the program EasyBCD (if installed correctly) is on the functioning PC.

What I tried doing was opening it from my programs, but to no avail
 
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#16
now have ubuntu booted at startup on the problem laptop and am not sure what I am meant to b doing with it :smile:

It looks like a whole new OS -?
That's exactly what it is. :smile: Basically, it is Ubuntu on the CD, in a "Live" session, which means it is not being installed (in this case) to the HDD, but being run straight from CD. :?? It is indeed a whole new OS. In fact, it is better (much better) than Vista...
What you do with it is copy your data over onto external storage while booted into the Live session, using Places>Computer>name of data partition, so in other words you can browse your partitions from the CD, and copy all your data over to a safe place.
Addendum:

Jake, thanks! But I have no idea what this means :lol:
"cd to the /Program Files/NeoSmart Technologies/EasyBCD/bin directory, where the program exists, and run it from there"

the program EasyBCD (if installed correctly) is on the functioning PC.

What I tried doing was opening it from my programs, but to no avail
I meant to do that from the Command Prompt on the Vista recovery disk. Ok, I thought (and was hoping) you had another OS on the problem computer, and that is where EasyBCD was installed (or at least where you tried to install it, but failed to due to there being no .Net Framework installed, which is a dependency of EasyBCD). But if its on a whole another computer, then obviously that wouldn't work...
So I guess your best bet now is to rescue your data with the LiveCD, and do a complete reinstall (with a Vista installation disk provided-hopefully-from your OEM) of Vista.
Of course you can still try the manual steps mentioned in the wiki, but with no EasyBCD installed on the problem computer, there is no way to use the bootsect.exe commands at least. You'll have to skip those.
 
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#17
As for point 2, you can use Diskpart from the Command prompt to find the drive letter you need to put in in place of C:


Diskpartlist volume


It was drive C: I was looking for, so I did it correctly and most of the stages said completed successfully. However, clearly it didn't work.

So it must be this EasyBCD file missing and this required .Net Framework

Could you please help me out a bit more with getting this file from EasyBCD onto the vista recovery CD that I am running on boot up...

Addendum:

ah your reply just popped up - thank will look into that now thank you!

Addendum:

That's exactly what it is. :smile: Basically, it is Ubuntu on the CD, in a "Live" session, which means it is not being installed (in this case) to the HDD, but being run straight from CD. :?? It is indeed a whole new OS. In fact, it is better (much better) than Vista...
What you do with it is copy your data over onto external storage while booted into the Live session, using Places>Computer>name of data partition, so in other words you can browse your partitions from the CD, and copy all your data over to a safe place.

Right, we are getting somewhere :lol:
So I actually install it - I was a bit scared to do that because I did not know what I was doing. I cancelled the installation after it said I had two vista OS. I have no idea where the 2nd came from and was not sure if I should allow all 3 to continue or delete 1 and run ubuntu with the other Vista OP. One of the vista OP's was much larger than the other; so I assume the lrg one should stay?

Then if I am i fact installing it, once it is installed I can transfer data to a partition. Until I do this I wont know what that means I guess (because I have no idea how to do that and what's safe in there). But I'll give it a go and get back to you. :smile:



I meant to do that from the Command Prompt on the Vista recovery disk. Ok, I thought (and was hoping) you had another OS on the problem computer, and that is where EasyBCD was installed (or at least where you tried to install it, but failed to due to there being no .Net Framework installed, which is a dependency of EasyBCD). But if its on a whole another computer, then obviously that wouldn't work...
So I guess your best bet now is to rescue your data with the LiveCD, and do a complete reinstall (with a Vista installation disk provided-hopefully-from your OEM) of Vista.

Ok sounds good.
I have hope!!!!

Addendum:

HTML:
So I guess your best bet now is to rescue your data with the LiveCD, and do a complete reinstall (with a Vista installation disk provided-hopefully-from your OEM) of Vista.
HTML:

Btw - I don't have a vista installation disk - never was given to me by HP with the laptop as far as remember. But HP did say once i had done the backup, which was their policy not to assist me with, then I they would help me reinstall vista.

If Ubuntu is betta, then maybe no need for that.
As long as it's as pretty as vista :tongueout::brows:

Addendum:

Jake, sorry battling 2 work out quoting neatly so ignore the other replies

I have run ubuntu live and gone to places>computer but cannot find my files, documents and pictures. My external device is there; but I can't get my documents. There are folders from my computer fure sure - like programs are all there. But there is nothing under 'documents & settings.' There are even files in the recycle bin!

That's exactly what it is. :smile: Basically, it is Ubuntu on the CD, in a "Live" session, which means it is not being installed (in this case) to the HDD, but being run straight from CD. :?? It is indeed a whole new OS. In fact, it is better (much better) than Vista...
What you do with it is copy your data over onto external storage while booted into the Live session, using Places>Computer>name of data partition, so in other words you can browse your partitions from the CD, and copy all your data over to a safe place.
 
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#18
Addendum:

Jake, sorry battling 2 work out quoting neatly so ignore the other replies

I have run ubuntu live and gone to places>computer but cannot find my files, documents and pictures. My external device is there; but I can't get my documents. There are folders from my computer fure sure - like programs are all there. But there is nothing under 'documents & settings.' There are even files in the recycle bin!
Are you sure you looked in the right place? "Documents and Settings" is a directory used by XP, not Vista. The normal path to your files in Vista is Users/Username/Documents or Users/Username/Pictures, etc.
You mentioned taking out your RAM in another thread...
Maybe you want to put that back in before attempting the backup. :wink:
 
#20
Ubuntu

Are you sure you looked in the right place? "Documents and Settings" is a directory used by XP, not Vista. The normal path to your files in Vista is Users/Username/Documents or Users/Username/Pictures, etc.
You mentioned taking out your RAM in another thread...
Maybe you want to put that back in before attempting the backup. :wink:
OMG:grinning:
Incredible!!!
A donation is definately coming your way.
I am Thrilled!!!!!
An entire financial year's worth of spreedsheets saved - phewwww:tongueout:oint:

Thank you dark knight!
 
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