Stuck in System Recovery startup loop

Discussion in 'General Technical' started by SLHauper, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. SLHauper

    SLHauper

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    Hello. I'm hoping you can help me avoid the sledgehammering my laptop is begging for. My skill level with the hammer far exceeds my skill with computers, so I'm getting pretty close to doing it. If you can ignore my frustration/anger in this post, I'd greatly appreciate any help.

    I was trying to reformat my computer. I tried it through the command prompt but it didn't work.

    So I hit f12 during start up to switch from booting from the HD to booting from my system recovery disk. Since the computer came with Vista, I didn't get a Vista disk because no one ever gets one anymore, despite paying for it.

    I started from the disk, and hit R to restore. The screen reads -- 'Preparing System Recovery Options' -- after which I assume a utility to do that loads. Then I get a blue screen that reads: A problem has been detected and Windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer.
    If this is the first time you've seen this message blah blah blah, run CHKDSK/F, restart computer.

    So I turned off the computer, turned it back on, hit f12 to switch it back to booting off the HD. Then I hit f8 to boot in Safe mode, but instead, the computer goes straight to the 'Preparing System Recovery Options' screen, starts the utility and I get the blue screen again.

    I pulled the battery out for a while, tried again, same deal. So I don't have any options once the computer starts (other than hitting f2 or f12, f2 being the setup utility and f12 the boot menu).
    While I would enjoy going Office Space on this laptop, I'd rather not have to. Can anyone help? Thank you in advance
     
    SLHauper, Jun 23, 2011
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  2. SLHauper

    WAW8

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    First of all, let's get the terms right. You don't reformat a "computer"; you reformat drive media -- which basically, cleans out the partition table of entries.

    If you did this on the drive you were using while running, of course it will crash -- because it will wipe out the software you were using at the time.

    AND, you did this KNOWING that you do not have a means of rebooting the computer with a CD?

    The general solution is one that apparently won't work for you -- factory system restore. So, your best option at this point is to contact the laptop vendor and see what they will do in terms of furnishing you with a set of full-restore DVD media. They will probably charge you for those, but it will allow you to completely restore your PC to a working state. However, it will also erase the contents of your drive -- which should be OK because it looks like you were trying to do that anyway.
     
    WAW8, Jun 23, 2011
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  3. SLHauper

    SLHauper

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    Thanks for your help. Sorry about the incorrect terms.

    I thought (incorrectly it appears) that the system recovery disks that I made when I bought the laptop would have on them all the software that came on the computer, and that I could boot off of those disks to reinstall everything.

    Just so I understand clearly, my only solution is to buy a Vista disk (or more likely a Windows7 disk), stick it in the CD drive, and it'll reformat the hard drive and install the OS? Would I then be able to use the system recovery disks to get the other programs (like the software for the webcam for ex) that came on the computer?

    What exactly are the system recovery disks for?

    Thanks
     
    SLHauper, Jun 23, 2011
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  4. SLHauper

    WAW8

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    Your assumptions ARE correct. If you were provided a set of Recovery disks, they SHOULD have everything on them that was present when you first powered up the machine. The problem, if I understand what you're saying correctly, is that they do not appear to work properly.

    If you buy Vista on your own, not only might it not install correctly (since we don't know why the Recovery disks aren't working), it also will NOT contain the other softweare (including custom drivers) that came with the PC.

    Since Recovery disks vary by manufacturer, we can't know exactly how these are supposed to work. In some cases, they completely wipe the hard drive, repartition it, and rebuilt it from scratch -- a procedure I've seen take over 10 hours!

    In other cases, they boot the PC, run a program, and rewrite the OS partition from a set of CDs or a DVD.

    In yet other cases, the Recovery CDs are only backup and what you really do is press a function key (without a CD in the drive) and run the restore program -- which reads the image stored on the PC. If that recovery image gets damaged or erased, you can't then restore your PC. Since yours is failing when you pess F12 WITH the CD in the drive, you could try it WITHOUT the CD in the drive -- and see if that works.

    If that doesn't work, you will then need to contact the supplier of the PC and see what they will do for you. They often have support forums where you can post questions.
     
    WAW8, Jun 23, 2011
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  5. SLHauper

    SLHauper

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    That seems to be the case, yes.


    I'd tried pulling out the disks, so it looks like I'm off to 'press 1' hell.
    Thanks for the help, I appreciate it.
     
    SLHauper, Jun 26, 2011
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