Vista missing & corrupt files

Posted on 2011-02-23
Last Modified: 2013-11-17
Vista on HP laptop...

"Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt"

Does not list any particular files...

I have a Vista activation code...and would like to try a "repair install" like with XP...
My experience with Vista is VERY limited...and I'm not sure if I'm doing it right...

When I boot from Vista DVD, and go to F8...I get a bunch of options...kinda like XP...
Safe Mode
Safe Mode with networking
Last known good...
and several more...
Nothing that suggests I'm installing Vista on top of the previous installation...

i go to Start Windows starts to load...and I get a screen that lets me Repair Widnows...
In System Recovery Optioins it looks for the previous installation, but cannot find it...

And at this point I;m stuck...

I got the Vista reinstallation DVD's from HP...but I suspect this is for a new installation "Repair Install" available, I suspect...

Thoughts...Suggestions appreciated...
Question by:stevem5000
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
  • 2
LVL 14

Expert Comment

ID: 34966706
have a look at
SYSTEM is the actual file name of the registry
LVL 14

Expert Comment

ID: 34966724
be careful thought as this resets your registry files to the originals, before anything was installed

here are instructions on a repair install

read the warnings
LVL 15

Accepted Solution

Ian Meredith earned 500 total points
ID: 34966754
Depending on your level of technical knowledge you would be better off getting hold of a standalone boot CD and booting into Windows/Linux (or removing the HDD and putting into a external case so you can access the contents from another computer)
This will save you much time... I would suspect that your system may be beyond recovery (back to it's normal operating state)

Once you can access the HDD, save out your personal files to another HDD.

When you're certain you have copied all you need, Rebuild Laptop with HP recovery DVD.

You will then be back to normal operation.....

Author Comment

ID: 34966792
Yeah...kinda what I figgured...
brendenmeyer...I think this is more than what I need...I go back to default registry...then I will probably have to reinstall all drivers etc afterword...and getting all the drivers for HP sometimes can be an issue...

And I had been searching and reading your link...went thru quite a few things over the past day or so...

Ian admino...I guess most reasonable...really was hoping I could avoid this...have done several HP re-installes from their CD's in XP...usually takes several hours...

Many thanx for the suggestions...
Appreciate your time...

Featured Post

Migrating Your Company's PCs

To keep pace with competitors, businesses must keep employees productive, and that means providing them with the latest technology. This document provides the tips and tricks you need to help you migrate an outdated PC fleet to new desktops, laptops, and tablets.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Suggested Solutions

Title # Comments Views Activity
factory reset 9 91
Audio problems with my laptop? 5 82
HP  Pavilion g4 Laptop can't find media for factory restore 6 78
Advice on USB Type-C port to USB standard port 8 53
I am not new to IT, I have been working in the field since 1985.  But recently I came up against something that stumped even me (it doesn't happen as often as I would like).  I was running a screencasting session from the laptop to my TV via ChromeC…
Sometimes a user will call me frantically, explaining that something has gone wrong and they have tried everything (read - they have messed it up more and now need someone to clean up) and it still does no good, can I help them?!  Usually the standa…
The Task Scheduler is a powerful tool that is built into Windows. It allows you to schedule tasks (actions) on a recurring basis, such as hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, at log on, at startup, on idle, etc. This video Micro Tutorial is a brief intro…
Finding and deleting duplicate (picture) files can be a time consuming task. My wife and I, our three kids and their families all share one dilemma: Managing our pictures. Between desktops, laptops, phones, tablets, and cameras; over the last decade…

732 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question