Vista X64 Recovery disk. Seems to boot fine but...

#1
...after Windows has finished loading its files the dialog box asks me to confirm that I want to install Windows. Is this correct? I was afraid to proceed so I backed out; I've never done this. To wipe my hard drive at this point would be a life-changing event, and not for the better.

At some point I think I did read that it will look like it's going to do an install, but actually only repairs and/or validates.

Can someone please confirm that my understanding is correct?
 
#2
I did try it on my spare computer, where I got the option to either "install" or "repair".

Which should I be using?

The Repair option doesn't really seem to do a whole lot. Should I use "Install" instead? Does the install option allow you to perform more extensive repairs and tests, or does it simply reinstall Windows?
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#3
The Install button does nothing (but fail with an error code).
There are no installation files on the repair disc.
What do you want it to do ?
It's for fixing a broken boot process on an otherwise functional OS, invoking System Restore if you can't acess it normally or through safe mode, or for opening a command prompt for DOS-like commands (like chkdsk).
It won't do anything else.
 
#4
The worst of several issues I'm having is that, occasionally, when I boot up it appears to be working fine, and the internal wireless card appears to connect like it's supposed to. The system tray connection shows the little blue globe as normal--but I can't connect. The only way I can connect is to use a dongle (how 1998!). Worse yet, the system is *completely* pegged, not even allowing me to change the power setting. Similarly, the Network and Sharing folder just hangs.

Now, as I type this, my system has been hung in recovery for a couple of hours. I'm not sure what I should do now.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#5
Sorry, the repair disk isn't the slightest use to you in that case.
You might possibly be infected with malware.
What AV do you use ?
Try installing MSE (free) and scanning the system.
Firstly, start saving all your personal files/vids/photos etc onto external storage, before you do anything else. If your OS doesn't have enough functionality to let you do that, then use this technique.
When you're happy that your personal data is safe, carry on trying to fix the system, using a search engine to look for your symptoms, but if your experience of Vista is anything like mine, you'll probably end up reinstalling it (or using your PC's "factory reset" if it came pre-installed).
I had a 100% up-to-date, working Vista as a multi-boot option behind my W7 day-to-day system, and on a separate HDD which checked out as 100% error free. Somehow it managed to fail whilst not being used, and 3-4 weeks of fiddling about trying to diagnose why, proved fruitless. I eventually gave up and reinstalled.
 
#6
Sorry, the repair disk isn't the slightest use to you in that case.
You might possibly be infected with malware.
What AV do you use ?
Avast Internet Security, annual paid license for three computers.

ETA: I'm checking out the other tool you recommended now.

Addendum:

What AV do you use ?
Try installing MSE (free) and scanning the system.
As noted above, I'm currently using a paid version of Avast!. I see from the installation wizard that I would be expected to discontinue using Avast!, which I've already paid for. The issue isn't that I necessarily think that something you have to pay for is better than something that's free, but rather that with AIS, I'm entitled to professional customer support. Assuming that AIS isn't somehow responsible for my issues, I've been very satisfied with it up until now.

To ask the same question in another way, can MSE be that much better than AIS? Is the objective here to use MSE just for a quick diagnosis and (hopefully) repair, and then I can go back to AIS?
 
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Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#7
I have a friend who used to pay an annual sub to one of the big two AV vendors whose PC became infected, and he installed and ran MSE which removed previously undetected garbage and got his system working again, so it can be beneficial (he cancelled his sub and now uses MSE full-time).
I'm not saying it's any better than Avast (I don't know), or that you are actually infected. I was just establishing that you did have some sort of protection to assess the likelihood of malware.
Vista's perfectly capable of failing without any outside help, but it's a good idea to research the symptoms you're experiencing against virus description databases, just to see if any bells start ringing, as a first line of attack (or defence).
If MSE will install without removing Avast, then it's a no-loss possible fix, but if it requires removal of the other AV first, then it's not worth the effort unless you're pretty convinced that you have identified an infection. Pay-for AVs are notoriously reluctant to remove their hooks from the OS quite often.
 
#8
Running the scan even as we speak.

This is the quick scan; if it doesn't find anything I'll run the more comprehensive one overnight.

Addendum:

One more quick question: Should I also disable Spybot?
 
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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#9
Spybot's one of the good ones.