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How do you repair Vista  or reinstall without losing data?

Posted on 2008-10-25
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Last Modified: 2010-04-21
A remote user has a vista (MSDN) laptop that blue screens during boot after shutting down normally. He's tried the system restore disk to repair it without success.

Is there a way to repair/reinstall vista without destroying the data on it like with XP?

This is an urgent issue.

Any help would be appreciated.

John  88{Q
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Question by:tcengineer
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two_people_hk earned 350 total points
ID: 22803845
HI,
Here are some instruction to automatically repair Windows Vista using Startup Repair:
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/tutorial148.html
And some additional information:
http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=2264
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Expert Comment

by:LeeTutor
ID: 22803977
There was an XP Repair option available on the WinXP installation CD to reinstall XP over itself, which would in most cases not disturb your data or installed programs.  Vista has an option like this also, described here:

http://vistasupport.mvps.org/repair_a_vista_installation_using_the_upgrade_option_of_the_vista_dvd.htm

Unfortunately, it requires you to be able to boot into Vista to perform this "upgrade" option.  There is no Vista option to install the system over itself from the Recovery Environment (the replacement for XP's Recovery Console).  So you need to follow the instructions on using Startup Repair referenced in the previous comment.  
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Assisted Solution

by:LeeTutor
LeeTutor earned 150 total points
ID: 22804046
If the Startup Repair doesn't fix the problem, you can try this MS article:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;927392
How to use the Bootrec.exe tool in the Windows Recovery Environment to troubleshoot and repair startup issues in Windows Vista
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Author Comment

by:tcengineer
ID: 22804124
I have forwarded these references onto the remote user to try.

I'll let you know the results....

John  88{Q
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Author Closing Comment

by:tcengineer
ID: 31510493
I originally gave the user a Vista Restore Disk (that I believe Lee Tutor had pointed me to at one time but when he booted of that, it didn't help.

I sent him the ISO of the originally installation image that he burned and was able to fix his installation with that image. I'm not sure why the restore image didn't work but the install image did.
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