Using System Restore
If you are unable to boot to Windows to use Vista’s System Restore feature, you don’t have to worry because System Restore is also available as a option from the Recovery Environment and it’s definitely worth giving a look if you’re facing problems with Windows. To access system restore, you have to click on the System Restore link. Clicking on Next will bring out a list of all the available System Restore points, each with a date and a short description if you have named your restore. All you have to do is to click on the most recent Restore Point and then click on next to confirm the correct disk to restore. Finalize the setup by clicking on finish. Now System Restore will initialize and restore your Windows to an earlier restore point. You will need to restart Windows again for the changes to take effect. If the problem still persists, try repeating the same procedure with an earlier Restore point.
Using Command Prompt
Another important feature of the Recovery Environment is the Command Prompt as this feature allows the user to enter commands from the keyboard. To access this feature you have to boot to the Recovery Environment as described above and click on Command Prompt to open the text window. The new version of Command Prompt included in Vista is much more capable and feature-rich than the one found in previous versions of Windows. This is because of the fact that it can be used to start applications such as anti-spy ware or anti-virus software. For example, if you want to open the notepad you just have to type notepad and press Enter on your keyboard to edit text documents. A list of commands for repairing Windows can be found at the following link given below.
At last, if you feel that any of the repair options outlined are not working, you can use the Command Prompt to transfer your files and save them to a USB memory key or an external hard drive. To copy your documents via the Command Prompt, type the following commands.
f:md vistadocuments (where F is the drive letter of your USB key)
c: cd\ users\[username] \ Documents (where c is the drive letter for your Vista installation and [username] refers to your User Account name in Vista)
xcopy c:\users\[ username] \ Documents\* .* f:\vistadocuments\*.* /e
This will copy all of the files in the Documents folder to the external hard disk. The /e includes all subfolders.
This post is part of the series: Fixing a Corrupt Vista Installation
A brief description of tips and tactics to repair a corrupt Windows Vista installation when you face a system crash.