Windows will NOT Restore. (pretty please help)


Hi there!
First of all, thanks for this forum. A friend of mine sent me the link to download the Vista Recovery disk, and after doing a little bit of looking around, there was someone with the exact same problem as what I'm going through. (on my brother's behalf.)

My brother has a Vaio, and almost identical to
this gentleman, after installing Service Pack, it seemed to finally get to 100%, idle, restart, and repeat itself.

I put in the DVD, and when i go to System Restore, it lists the restore point, the description, and then proceeds. Upon completion, i receive the message saying that it could not restore successfully, with ox8000ffff Catastrophic Failure as an error.

I talked to Geek Squad, and they advised me that he would need to either restore it to factory settings using the disk that Sony would have provided, (which is long gone, and they don't have one for his model anymore either,) or just completely reinstall Vista. Is there a way to restore it still, without having to take that route? Or, if not, lol anyone know where I could get a Vista disk for cheap?

and thank you again for all your help.:joy:
thanks Kai, i appreciate it.

and yes, i have tried startup repair. :frowning: at first, his pc wouldn't load all 69,000 files, it would get stuck on #613, and the startup repair fixed that problem nice and quick. but it's still in the cycle of installing the update and restarting itself.
Do you know if its trying to install a service pack? Typically, that would be the only time where it would need to boot more than once; but hey, if it appears to be doing anything, let it run. If not, than give system restore from the recovery disc a try in order to get the computer to an earlier state where it isn't rebooting constantly.
If you have to re-install Vista eventually, you can legitimately borrow a Vista DVD from a friend and do a clean format/install using the serial number on the broken PC, not the one on the borrowed DVD.
This will give you a nice clean system, but without any extra bundled software which was originally on the Vaio. If the serial number is registered with Sony, they might let you download replacements from their website. (I'm not saying they will, I have no experience of trying it, but it's worth having a punt).
When you get to WUD the new install, don't interrupt the SP1 update. For me and several others, it locked out the keyboard, mouse and monitor at 99% complete, and appeared to be hung.
It was however still updating the HDD even in that state (the LED was still busily flickering).
I left it alone for another 30 minutes after the HDD activity appeared to have ceased, and all was well on reboot. The SP1 update completed successfully.
Others who were more impatient, hit "reset" when the PC was locked-up, and never saw their system working again
kai/justin: yes, it is trying to install a service pack, service pack #1. it's constantly stuck at stage 3 of 3, 99-100%, and then it shuts down and starts the cycle all over again. i tried system restore before, as mentioned in my previous post :frowning: and it's unsuccessful. i even tried multiple occasions, letting the pc cycle through, then inserting the disk, going to the advanced boot options as well--- no go. :frowning:

terry: none of my friends have vista. my bro is just gonna have to come out that cash for a new copy :frowning:
Can you get into safe mode? F8 before Vista tries to boot. From there see if you can uninstall SP1 if its in add/remove programs and run "sfc /scannow" from the command prompt to check for system corruption.
couldn't get into safe mode. it stuck at the stage 3 of 3 over and over again, even with the network prompting selection. i followed Terry's advice and input the key with the vaio and not his disk, even though it's a fresh disk. his pc has absolutely nothing on it, but now i can't get connected to the internet, it has no drivers on it as well. should i re-reinstall windows and use the key with the dvd, since he purchased it?



apparently, microsoft isn't that bad afterall, and when i reinstalled vista, all of his files were saved under "windows.old" so i can access all of his drivers, original programming, factory settings, the recovery options, and even his media and homework too.

God Bless Microsoft, and God Bless NeoSmart. :smile:
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apparently, microsoft isn't that bad afterall, and when i reinstalled vista, all of his files were saved under "windows.old" so i can access all of his drivers, original programming, factory settings, the recovery options, and even his media and homework too.

God Bless Microsoft, and God Bless NeoSmart. :smile:

Yeah...that happens when you install Windows over an existing Windows installation. Your files of your old OS get saved to a folder called "windows.old". :wink: Glad everything turned out for you in the end. Let us know if you have any more problems. :smile:

If he's paid for a Vista DVD, you can use that key on the DVD, because it's unique and it belongs to him.
You might not want to though, it depends what he paid for.
If you buy Vista Basic it's cheaper than Home Premium and so on, all the way up to Ultimate.
But they are all the same disk, only the serial number is different.
So if he paid for Ultimate, use the serial number on the DVD. If he paid for Basic and his Vaio was Premium, use the serial number on the PC.
The serial number tells the setup installer which flavour of Vista to extract from the DVD, (which features to omit or include), so you should use the serial number which corresponds to the better version of Vista.
well, i went ahead and used the key on his pc. i bought the home premium, since that's what he had, and he didn't give me enough money to get the ultimate. then again, i had NO idea about the difference, and geek squad told me to go ahead and just get the entire OS and not the upgrade disk. either way, it's a good investment should anything like this happen ever again. i'm currently making a set of recovery disks for him as i type, lol. Again, thank you SO much for all of your help-- i will bookmark this site and remain a member, and recommend you all to everyone. :smile:
The key on his PC will probably have generated a serial number with ....OEM.... in it somewhere, which ties that copy to the hardware of that particular PC.
You can use the DVD serial on another PC, and it has the advantage that it is portable. i.e. you can take it with you to a new upgraded PC and use it (provided the 1st PC is no longer in use).
In other word the DVD serial belongs to the user who bought it, whereas the OEM serial on the Vaio belongs to that PC alone.
You could, now you've restored the Vaio, sell the DVD. The serial is still unused, unvalidated, so a new user could legitimately install it as a new unique system. (you've effectively borrowed it from the next user before he even owned it)