System restore problem with Windows Vista

I have a Windows Vista laptop that won't start up.  Whenever this happens, and I run the start repair, I've never had the fortune to have startup repair work.  I've also never had System Restore work in these circumstances - ever.  It always says that there are no restore points.

Is there a method by which I can plug the drive into a USB adapter on another PC, and manually copy the files from a repair folder in windows, or whatever.  I'd rather avoid factory reinstall if I can.
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Jackie ManConnect With a Mentor Commented:
The answer is NO. You cannot fix the computer by just copying the files. Try the following instead.

"Cannot boot" up can mean many problems. The HDD may fail and will fail soon or the boot record is damaged or the boot sector is over-written by rootkit virus.

What is your symptom? Just a command cursor or a black screen with white mouse pointer or something else? Any warming message?

1. Start the computer with Vista Setup DVD or System Recovery Disc

2. Goto Command Prompt in Vista Recovery Environment

Note: A tutorial of Using Command Prompt in Vista Windows Recovery is in the URL below.


3. Run the command below.

    chkdsk /r

4. Restart computer and if still cannot boot into Windows, you need to run the following command in command prompt of vista recovery console.

   Bootrec /FixMbr

   Bootrec /FixBoot
DaveWWWAuthor Commented:
That didn't work, sorry to say.  I get BAD_POOL_HEADER with an error of 0x00000019.

The one strange thing is that when I run CHKDSK I get all kinds of Index entries deleted from recognizable files (seemingly from the Windows folder among others), and when CHKDSK finishes it says it has made changes to the file system.  Yet when I re-run CHKDSK it finds exactly the same problem and fixes it all again.  Nothing stays fixed.  I've never seen this happen before.  

The startup diagnostic shows no disk problems at all, and when I put this drive into another USB adapter for a look, all seems fine.
Jackie ManCommented:
"....and when I put this drive into another USB adapter for a look, all seems fine." <- try to run a chkdsk / r for the drive when you attached it via another USB adapter.

Besides, have you run MemTest86 to test the installed memory module?

This MSDN article suggests that you should have a parameter - they have list of what the parameter codes mean. At the end of the article there is a suggestion to use the driver verifier, but I think you can only use this within Windows. The driver verifier link below provides a lot more information.

It sounds like you may have a bad  or corrupt driver. Have you tried to use the "Last Known Good Configuration" option from the Windows Startup Options (hitting F8 slightly before the Windows Loading Screen)?
DaveWWWAuthor Commented:
That's what I needed to know!  Thanks.
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