How to repair Vista SP2 Installations?

This is a very likely typical case:
Toshiba laptop with Vista Home Premium 32.
The OS is damaged a bit and a repair would be ideal in this case.
I suppose it's called an Upgrade the same as in Windows 7.

Of course, the user doesn't have any disks and I don't know how this computer was delivered.

I've been looking at various slipstreaming methods to get to an SP2 DVD but haven't been having very good luck with it.  My trial computer needed to build the DVD won't even let Vista install.  It can't find the files that are plainly in the DVD I've built.  Not even a Microsoft DVD will work on this computer.....

Is there a better way to get an SP2 DVD?  I don't mind buying one but I've not found any.
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Fred MarshallPrincipalAsked:
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nobusCommented:
>>   I have built DVDs at SP1 that will start up and seem OK.  But, I don't have the similar disks at SP2.   <<  then you can use these to integrate SP2 into it (or slipstream)
here an example :  http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/230249-sliptream-vista-sp2.html

look at the solution from WinCertFriend here also :  http://www.wincert.net/forum/topic/5092-how-to-integrate-vista-sp2-into-vista-sp1-dvd/
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Michael-BestCommented:
Windows Vista Recovery Disk and Repair Disc Download
http://neosmart.net/blog/2008/windows-vista-recovery-disc-download/

In "system recovery options"
Choose "startup repair"
Follow the instructions.
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Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
And "startup repair" will do more than what it sounds like?
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Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
Michael-Best,

Unfortunately I found that Linux disk to be a miserable piece of ........ !!##**&
It wouldn't even finish booting on the target system - it just hangs.
Now I have to ask for my money back!!   Arghhhhhh!

But, indeed, thank you for the suggestion!
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nobusCommented:
fmarshall -  i suppose you made the DVD on a KNOWN Working PC?
here the SP2 :  http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=24212
and i'msure you know how to make it :  http://www.expertreviews.co.uk/software/253462/create-your-own-official-vista-service-pack-2-disc
i'm afraid you still need the Vista DVD, or files though; here's how to make the insatll DVD from them :
http://forum.imgburn.com/index.php?/topic/11194-how-to-create-a-windows-vista-7-8-installation-disc-bootable-using-imgburn/
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Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
nobus:  Thanks..
Yes, I have CDs with the SP2 *.exe*  
Those are handy when wanting to install SP2 - the Service Pack, but not Vista from scratch, and presumably, not for doing an Upgrade/Repair of an existing system at SP2 already.

The last link is more along the lines of what I think I need to do.   In fact, I think I've got that done.  I have built DVDs at SP1 that will start up and seem OK.  But, I don't have the similar disks at SP2.

And, I still have a few things to learn:
1) I'm wanting to repair/"upgrade" an existing Vista (SP2) Home Premium system.
Presumably, I need a Vista Install disk that's already at SP2 in order to do this I believe.
If one does not, well that might be very cool but I'd hesitate to make such an assumption.

2) In trying to create one of these disks I got off on a tangent that the work computer being used for the rather complex process for getting an SP2 install disk would not recognize the location of the files on the SP1 disk mentioned above .. even though I could execute the install program, files needed thereafter (which *were there*) could not be found.  Looks like a drive letter issue - a pointer to the wrong drive letter buried somewhere.  I may have to try a different computer for this process.

3) It's not clear to me what to expect after I get a Vista Install disk (at SP2) on the target system to be repaired.
Things like: Start from inside Windows?  Boot from the disk?
Which selections to make thereafter to get to the upgrade option (to save files and app's etc.).
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