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Windows Vista System restore fails

Posted on 2009-12-16
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Last Modified: 2012-05-08
Beginning Tues. of this week, my Toshiba laptop no longer boots up onto the windows desktop screen. Instead I had to press F12 until I could get in .
Once in Windows, I tried a system restore from 2 days ago which failed, I tried again from 1 month ago and it failed as well.

I have also lost my D:\ and its contents. I used to have a C: and D:.
Also, when I attached a usb device to the laptop, whether an external hard drive or printer i get a message stating i need usb 2.0 (i never got this before).

i always have antivirus and spyware on , so i don't have virus (or so i don't think so).

what can i do to recover my D:/ and it's contents without having to re-install the entire operating system ?
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Question by:badtz7229
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Expert Comment

by:Jackie Man
ID: 26069010
How do you run System Restore?

It is better to use a Vista Recovery Disk or use your Vista Setup Disk to start your PC and launch system restore to go back to a restore point when there was no problem.

URL: http://www.vistax64.com/general-discussion/146356-download-vista-recovery-console.html

A downloadable version of Vista Recovery Disk is as follow.

http://coblitz.codeen.org/neosmart.net/downloads/guides/Vista_Repair/Vista_Recovery_Disc_x86.iso

(I assume that your Toshiba laptop is of Vista 32 bit.)

When a problem appears in Vista and there are no clues from google, it seems to me the last resort is to use system restore as Vista is much better in system restore than the system restore in XP. System Restore in Vista is just like a time machine to go back to the exact state when the problem does not exist. But the drawback is that it consumes a lot of hard disk apace and it will restore the applications that you have removed and old version of document on desktop,

So, before your use System Restore, make sure all user data has been properly backup as it is just too powerful if Vista thinks that the path you stored your data is part of the system folders.

In a nutshell, System Restore can reduce the time of troubleshooting (except the problem is caused by hardware failure) but it must be used with due care.
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Expert Comment

by:Jackie Man
ID: 26069015
Have you tried to boot from Safe Mode and go to Event Viewer to see the error log of your previous attempt of System Restore?
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Expert Comment

by:Jackie Man
ID: 26069024
Beside, you should do a chkdsk /r in the command prompt after you use your Vista Setup Disk to start your PC and launch the Recovery Console.
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Author Comment

by:badtz7229
ID: 26069054
jackieman:
i have Vista 32 bit.
I did a "System Restore ", by typing that in the Find under start menu.
i  then chose a start date of 12/15 after 1 hr it rebooting my PC and said it failed.
I then redid it with start date of 11/24 again it failed.

If there's another option to Recovery disk, please advise where to navigate to?
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Author Comment

by:badtz7229
ID: 26069061
It is as though my laptop went back in time bc it also does not recognize one of my external hard drives. I tried that external hard drive in another laptop and it is not corrupted.
So I don't understand why now it doesn't recognize it (it used to always map to drive G).
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Expert Comment

by:Jackie Man
ID: 26069386
Or you can have a look in the URL below first.

URL: http://bertk.mvps.org/html/srfail.html

Maybe some services in Vista are not running properly in Vista which makes System Restore fail. Starting from System Recovery Disk is a better option.
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Expert Comment

by:Jackie Man
ID: 26069397
Besides, please have a look of the URL regarding how to launch System Restore from Vis ta Recovery Disk.

URL: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/tutorial148.html
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 26070099
i suppose from the above you may have disk problems. So test it first; i suggest to use the ubcd, and run the diag for your disk brand :  http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/      

btw -  it's not a bad idea to also run the memtest86+ for ram (on the same cd)
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Author Comment

by:badtz7229
ID: 26077409
I asked a technician I know and told him all the symptons my PC has:

1 - PC doesn't load up unless through BIOS
2 - USB devices don't work and get message saying to use usb 2.0
3 - partition drive no longer shows 2 locations.
4 - antivirus won't run fulll system scan anymore
5 - cannot run system recover at all

and he mentioned that it is a hardware failure. stated that my hard drive is dying out & windows doesn't give warning when its dying. and resolution is to purchase external hard disk and via unix retrieve data that i had in my D: then basically throw away laptop and get a new one or replace the hard drive and re-install OS

can you please confirm if this sounds correct to you experts?
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Expert Comment

by:Jackie Man
ID: 26077446
How old is your laptop?

Is the technician from Toshiba?

Have you tried to remove the hard disk of your laptop and put it in a USB case and attach the case to another computer?

If I were you, I will attach the hard disk to another computer and run chkdsk /r and anti-virus full scan.

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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 26078389
most of it you could have done yourself. -  if you started by testing the disk as i suggested.
and it's far from sure the disk is even bad; but you need to test it, to know something !
opinions are nice, but far from sure - i TEST
btw - there are disk warnings for dying disks from S.M.A.R.T.   so he's not 100% right either !
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Author Comment

by:badtz7229
ID: 26081463
jackieman:
my laptop is 3 yrs old
i will try and remove the hard disk and put it in an enclosure to verify
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 26082336
you don't need to put it in an usb to run diags; in fact they don't work then !
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Author Comment

by:badtz7229
ID: 26083819
nobus:
that site you provided http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/     
contains many links to other sites that do no open or no longer exist .
can you please advise which is the link to determine issue my laptop is having?
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 26086192
it's the first time i hear that over that site. i have no trouble downloading
here a direct link for the ISO    http://pharry.org/data/ubcd411.iso
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Author Comment

by:badtz7229
ID: 26123112
Nobus: I'm having issues burning that file to a cd from my defunct laptop
I will run it from a working pc and try to run it then
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 26123827
i hope you know how to burn an iso file?  --if not just ask
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Author Comment

by:badtz7229
ID: 26128020
nobus:
yep. via toshiba on my defunct laptop I am selecting " create disc from image file " but i am getting an error message ( see attachment).

i thought it was my cd/dvd burner that was broken so i tried burning some random file to confirm that my burner is still working. and it is ok.  i can ever burn the file itself but It burnt just the ISO itself rather than unpack the ISO and burn the files on the disc.

i'm using the Toshiba Disc Creator software to do this.

not sure if it's supposed to be any more complicated than simply selecting 'image to disc' option, but I could be wrong. please advise.
burn-error.jpg
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Author Comment

by:badtz7229
ID: 26128319
i tried burning that file from another working PC and same error. I wonder if the file is corrupt or does not contain all the necessary components in order to unpack it.
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Expert Comment

by:Jackie Man
ID: 26128620
Goto http://www.imgburn.com/ to download and install ImgBurn v2.5.0.0 to open and burn ISO file.
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Author Comment

by:badtz7229
ID: 26128654
another thing i noticed that may assist in you guy troubleshooting with me as to why my D: drive disappeared suddenly is the following:
when i go to computer management i see the following (see screenshot).
Disk 0: shows my C drive plus some other unmapped drive (which I don't see in windows explorer)
then
Disk 1: shows a large space that is unmapped as well. i think this is  my D drive but when i try to map i get error message saying the console is not up to date.


jackieman: i will install that app. and retry again
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Author Comment

by:badtz7229
ID: 26128681
DIsc Mangement Screenshot
disc-mngt.jpg
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Author Comment

by:badtz7229
ID: 26128694
jackieman:
i installed that imgburn app. and selecting 'write image file to disk'
it completed successfully. but when i enter the CD in again the disc is empty
are you able to successfully unpack the contents of the .iso provided in this thread using that app ?
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Expert Comment

by:Jackie Man
ID: 26128707
Yes, I can burn the content inside a ISO file without problem. Your Toshiba laptop may have a problem. Have your tried to burn the ISO file in another PC?
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Expert Comment

by:Jackie Man
ID: 26128726
Can you capture a Screenshoot of Device Manager of your Toshiba laptop?
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Author Comment

by:badtz7229
ID: 26129074
jackieman:
i've attached ur request.
device-mngr.jpg
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Expert Comment

by:Jackie Man
ID: 26129179
I see, the list of devices inside Device Manager seems to be fine.

So, check local hard disk will be the first thing to do.

Following the procedure in the URL below.

URL: http://www.vista4beginners.com/Check-Disk
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 26129881
i suggest to download and burn the image file on a working pc - and test it there.
how many disks do you have? click on the + sign next to disk drives - it looks like you have 2 drives of 120 GB
btw the 1.46 Gb drive is a vista partition; made during install (and hidden)
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Author Comment

by:badtz7229
ID: 26141476
wow,i was finally able to burn the iso file to CD.
i do indeed have two drives (C and D). then my D drive disappeared on me along with contents.
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Author Comment

by:badtz7229
ID: 26142706
nobus:
i was able to boot up my laptop using the 'ultimate boot cd'
needless to say, i'm a novice at this sort of thing so i do need assistance in understanding how to idnetify and recover files located in the D drive (which i no longer see via windows OS)

i navigated to Partition Tools -->Active Partition Recovery
assuming this would assist me in identifying lost files but since i'm so used to windows and not DOS i'm not sure where to go from there such that i don't cause any more harm to my PC.
please advise if you can assit.
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Accepted Solution

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nobus earned 2000 total points
ID: 26143788
the ubcd is used mainly for testing, not recovery (see my post above);
 forrecovery i have an easy solution : make a  live cd (i prefer Knoppix, it supports USB) and boot from it
then you can copy the files you need : ftp://ftp.kernel.org/pub/dist/knoppix/KNOPPIX_V6.0.1CD-2009-02-08-EN.iso      Knoppix      
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