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Old 5th January 2009   #1
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Start-up failure / unable to use system restore


Hello,

I would be very grateful for any advice anyone can give to help get a reluctant System Restore to start working on Windows Vista.

For some background, my system failed to start up last night, following a hanging installation of some software. On booting, it would complete the green-moving-progress-bar phase, show the mouse cursor briefly, then stop on a black screen, immediately before the the Windows Vista logo would normally fade through from black. There is no obvious CPU/HDD activity at this stage.

I was able to boot into Safe Mode, and successfully ran System Restore to a 1 week old back-up. There were no error messages and the system booted again as normal after a restart.

It seems that I was wrong to think that the hanging installation had been a one-off event, as on my second attempt at installing the software, I encountered the same problem - unable to start up. I now, however, cannot run System Restore successfully. Both in Safe Mode and from the Vista Recovery Environment on the installation DVD, and from every recovery date I've tried, I receive the following error:

System Restore failed due to an unspecified error. Cannot create a file when that file already exists. (0x800700B7)

And this is where I run out of ideas. I can confirm that the Startup Repair tool, in the Recovery Environment, fails to detect any start up problems. It seems as though if I could get System Restore to work, it would fix the start-up issue, since it is hanging in exactly the same place as before - but I would be very glad to try any alternative suggestions anyone may have.

Thanks a lot.

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Old 5th January 2009   #2
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Hi hanenbro. Welcome to Windowsbbs!

Since you said System Restore didn't work with the restore point you chose have you tried a different restore point to restore your computer from?

When your computer starts up press F8 to access the advanced boot options menu. Instead of accessing Safe Mode select Last Known Good Configuration. See if you can boot up normally. If you can't then go into Safe Mode and access add/remove programs and remove the piece of software that you installed which was causing you problems.

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Old 5th January 2009   #3
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Hi Evan,

Thanks a lot for your fast response! I wasn't expecting a reply so soon, and in fact in the time since I last looked at the thread I was able to get it starting up again.

I took the fairly long shot of running chkdsk on the C drive from the Vista Recovery Environment command prompt, which I guess managed to resolve whatever low-level issues had developed in the registry or system files when the failed installation ran. I guess it doesn't explain why the System Restore wasn't working (I had tried with a number of different restore points), but I'll give the system a thorough clean up while it's back in action, and hopefully avoid it happening again.

I hadn't even thought of trying different boot up options, but that's really good advice - thank you! If it's somehow not an issue with what I was trying to install, and the problem recurs, I'll try that first, definitely. I hope it's still useful for someone if a Google search leads them here on the basis of the error code.

Thanks again Evan. =)

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Old 5th January 2009   #4
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Originally Posted by hanenbro View Post
I took the fairly long shot of running chkdsk on the C drive from the Vista Recovery Environment command prompt, which I guess managed to resolve whatever low-level issues had developed in the registry or system files when the failed installation ran.
Hi hanenbro,

I don't do Vista but can say that chkdsk will not repair registry errors or system files in previous windows versions. If I'm wrong then I'm sure someone more experienced with Vista (ie everybody ) will correct me but if this were an XP system the very next thing I would do is backup then follow with appropriate drive diagnostics.

Do you know the manufacturer of the Hard Drive

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Old 5th January 2009   #5
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Your Welcome. Glad you got your computer problem sorted out.

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Old 5th January 2009   #6
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Hi wildfire, fellow Scottish geek here =)

Yes, I wasn't expecting chkdsk to do anything to the registry specifically, but it's possible that there were some HDD issues in sectors that were key to the registry or system files.

I'll take your advice with the back ups, although I've seen some new and very clear indicators of malware since getting running again, so I've been detoxing and upping security. I generally manage to avoid that sort of thing very successfully so it's not likely to just be a coincidence.

Thanks again for your help!

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