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How to to troubleshoot and repair startup issues in Windows Vista
When you are troubleshooting startup issues by using the Windows Vista, you should first try the Startup Repair option in the System Recovery Options dialog box. If the Startup Repair option does not resolve the issue, then you must troubleshoot more steps manually, use the Bootrec.exe tool.
How do you use the Sytem Recovery Option for Startup Repair?
Advanced Options Overview
The Advanced Options window can be accessed at any time during the System Recovery process and is gives us some great tools to repair problems such as:
Startup Repair is an automated repair process that scans your Vista installation for problems and attempts to automatically fix them. When you select to repair Vista from the Vista setup screen, and Vista detects problems, this process will be started automatically. You can cancel this process at any time to access the other repair tools described below. The Startup Repair process has already been introduced above when we discussed performing an automated repair.
System Restore allows you to restore your computer's configuration, driver information, and programs to a previous state while leaving your existing data intact. Using this option can typically fix a installation's problem if it is not associated with faulty hardware. In order to use this option, you must have had System Restore enabled in Vista so that there are restore points available to restore to. To learn how to use this feature you should read this tutorial: Using System Restore from the Vista Windows Recovery Environment.
Windows Complete PC Restore
Complete PC Restore is a feature that allows you to restore your entire computing environment from a backup image that you created previously. The ability to create backup images for Complete PC Restore is only available in Windows Vista Business, Ultimate, and Enterprise. If you have tried all possible steps to repair your computer, and have a Complete PC Restore backup image available from when your computer was operating properly, then you can use this repair option to restore that image. To learn how to use this feature you should read this tutorial: Using Windows Complete PC Restore to restore your computer.
Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool
Windows Vista comes with a diagnostic tool that allows you to check the memory installed in your computer for errors. This will allow you to determine if the actual memory (RAM) hardware installed in your computer is creating errors. To learn how to use this feature you should read this tutorial: How to use the Vista Windows Memory Diagnostics Tool.
The Command Prompt repair tool allows you to open a command prompt that you can use to access the files and registry information on your computer. This is an invaluable tool for removing security threats such as worms, rootkits, and other malware from your computer and to be able to access files when Vista fails to boot up.To learn how to use this feature you should read this tutorial: How to use the Command Prompt in the Vista Windows Recovery Environment.
Cut to the Chase!
If you know the MBR is corrupted and don't have any luck with Startup Repair outlined from the onset, then the easiest way is to repair the Boot Configuration Data which includes the MBR the Boot Sector and all files associated with the boot process using Bootrec.exe from the command prompt
Type the following commands at the Windows command prompt:
bcdedit /export C:\BCD_Backup
The /FixMbr option writes a Windows Vista-compatible MBR to the system partition. This option does not overwrite the existing partition table. Use this option when you must resolve MBR corruption issues, or when you have to remove non-standard code from the MBR.
The /FixBoot option writes a new boot sector to the system partition by using a boot sector that is compatible with Windows Vista. Use this option if one of the following conditions is true:
The /ScanOs option scans all disks for installations that are compatible with Windows Vista. Additionally, this option displays the entries that are currently not in the BCD store. Use this option when there are Windows Vista installations that the Boot Manager menu does not list.
The /RebuildBcd option scans all disks for installations that are compatible with Windows Vista. Additionally, this option lets you select the installations that you want to add to the BCD store. Use this option when you must completely rebuild the BCD.