Repair Install of Vista

So of course I've got a new rig, couple of months old, and it has been ok, but the other day, I tried to do an overclock on my processor. The system is

Athlon x2 5200+
2gb ddr2 667
320 gb seagate sata hd
DVD burner
7300LE video card
Gigabyte m570(I think) SLI motherboard

Tried to do a little bit of an overclock on my processor, but it got unstable, reset to stock settings and rebooted, video drivers, audio and onboard nic drivers were all flaky after that, so I suspect I corrupted my OS. Sometimes it's stable and runs great, sometimes it locks up, have OS files not working right, or sometimes blue screen, one of which was something about a hard fault and something having to do with windows/system/root folder. I just have a single drive configured at this point, if I do a repair install will I lose my data? My wife has lots of pictures saved on there that I don't want to lose. I am just wondering if I do the repair install will I lose any data and 2 will it fix my problem? Before that I had only had 1 blue screen since shortly after Christmas.
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  1. If it was me I would copy all the Pics to DVD, anyway. She can't have more than one or two disks worth. Save them while you can. Then I would zero write an reinstall Vista. I sounds like it might possibly be hardware related. Save those pics if you ever want to ...... again.
  2. You can't repair Vista the same way as older versions of Windows. In the past it was as easy as inserting the Windows disk and choosing repair but for some reason MS decided to remove that feature from Vista. If you do a clean install Vista will put all your files in a file called windows.old and you will be able to access them but programs won't run. Your best bet would be to do what Zorg suggested and back everything up to either a DVD or a seperate hard drive and do a clean install.
  3. Yeah, could be hardware related, my PSU is kinda cheap, but still 24A on 12v+ rail. Just using it until I can get a better supply to go with a new video card later. The system has run ok since a little after Christmas. Like I said I tried to overclock the other night, and bumped the FSB to about 220 without dropping ht link, and just bumped the memory down a little. But I'm wondering if I simply corrupted my data, like my Windows folder. Because when I first tried to do the OC, it popped up the little screen that said something about updating DMI pool data, and since then, it's not been the same.
  4. Started doing a little testing, according to Vista's memory testing utility there appears to be a hardware problem. So I'm guessing it's the memory. I only have about 50 bucks to spend right now, but have this board.....

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128014

    Just gonna be a little short though....now, I do have a cheaper PSU, came with the case, but voltages seem ok. I can post them if you need, it's rated for 24A on the 12v+ rail.

    I'm running

    Athlon x2 5200+
    2 gb ddr2
    550 watt generic PSU(24A on 12v+ rail, intend to upgrade later)
    320 gb seagate sata hard drive
    dvd burner
    7300LE video card

    So what 2gb kit of memory would you reccomend under 50 bucks to go with this board? I'm thinking maybe Kingston Value Ram? However, though it was not used in this build, I've also had great luck with Wintec AMPO memory. What are you guys opinions on that?
  5. First of all before you buy more ram, make sure it is on the motherboards Qualified Vendors list.
  6. Also before you replace the RAM. Download Ultimate Boot CD and run memtest86+. You will need to burn the ISO to CD with ISO Recorder v 2 or Nero etc. if you have it. From what I have heard you can't really rely on Vista. The UBCD is a good utility disk to have anyway.
  7. Update, found what I think was the problem. Tested the memory out, and kept getting errors. Found a 1 gb stick locally for 30 bucks, already had 2 1 gb sticks anyway. So I picked it up, figured I could return it if I needed. Got home, took out one stick, notice I had one super talent stick with heatspreader, and a regular old stick of PNY. Took out the PNY, still had a problem, took out the supertalent, and put PNY back in, PNY tested good. When I pulled out the stick that had the heatspreader, it seemed very warm, and smelled slightly of that burnt electronic smell. But my other stick came out good, popped in my new stick, and all seems well.

    Apparently my stick with the heatspreader didn't work as advertised, looks like the heatspreader actually trapped the heat onto my stick of memory, and with so much heat, it just fried itself. Kinda stinks that it happened, but lesson learned. No heatspreaders. Had always used the plain stuff without a problem, but was excited to try some new with a heatspreader. But live and learn, stick with what you know, and the cheap stuff appears to work just fine.
  8. Happy to hear that you isolated the trouble.
  9. Thanks, yeah, not even a hiccup since swapping that, just aggravates me b/c that was supposed to be a nice stick of memory, and goes out in 2 months, but live and learn.
  10. Nice or cheap they all fail for no reason sometimes.
  11. Zorg said:
    Nice or cheap they all fail for no reason sometimes.


    It's funny you said that. I have Mushkin XP2 6400 and just the other day started getting random blue screens, I ran Memtest and got a ton of errors. I'm RMA'ing it tomorrow it's just interesting that quality RAM from a quality manufacurer and you still just never know.
  12. ausch30 said:
    You can't repair Vista the same way as older versions of Windows. In the past it was as easy as inserting the Windows disk and choosing repair but for some reason MS decided to remove that feature from Vista.



    This is incorrect - You absolutely can do a repair installation from the intall disc with Vista, and your data and programs will remain unmolested.

    This link contains instructions on how to do that: http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/88236-repair-install-vista.html


    ausch30 said:
    If you do a clean install Vista will put all your files in a file called windows.old and you will be able to access them but programs won't run. Your best bet would be to do what Zorg suggested and back everything up to either a DVD or a seperate hard drive and do a clean install.



    This is perfectly correct.
  13. Scotteq the reason I didn't mention the upgrade way was because it only works in certain circumstances. I've tried it myself to see what would happen and it didn't work.
  14. You can repair vista like you did with xp, all you do is boot off of the vista disk and when the menu comes up you choose repair. I've done it a few times already and it will let you know what the problem at hand is too.

    R Collins
  15. When running the Vista installer you have 2 options, install and upgrade. The upgrade option is greyed out unless you start the installer from Windows if you boot from the disk your only option is to do a full install and in that case Vista will put your files in a file called windows.old. There is an option in the install menu for repair but that is for startup repair and not complete system repair. In the repair menu you have the option of repairing from a backup but the simple method of choosing repair and windows installing while leaving your files untouched has been removed from Vista.

    http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/tutorial148.html

    http://vistasupport.mvps.org/windows_vista_repair_options.htm
  16. To the person that says it user error, not quite, it was a brand new build less than 2 months old. I've been working on my own stuff for about 10 years, and I'm a computer technician as well. I have a pretty good idea what I'm doing. I also have a fan the size of a soccer ball in the side of case pulling air in, my cpu idles at under 30 degrees C according to speedfan, highest it ever got was 35-40 that I know of, that was because it needed cleaned. I'm just certain it was the heatspreader b/c when i pulled the stick, it was warm to the touch, and smelled burnt. The other stick without a heatspreader was just fine.
  17. One more theory:

    Maybe when the OC failed your BIOS settings reverted back to default? If so then check your RAM timings and RAM voltage and be sure they are set to mfg. spec. Sorry in advance if this was already suggested.

    AH, nevermind, re-read the thread and see you found the problem.

    Did you actually test the qustionable stick all by itslelf? I ask because sometimes a system with incorrect RAM settings in BIOS will run one stick but not 2 or more together. The only thing toubling me is this one possibility and the fact that a burn't RAM stick would probably not run at all. It's worth a try.
  18. Actually, I work on Macs and PCs, but yes, I work for a school district, in the midst of studying to get my apple certification now actually, and I knew I could do it in XP, but I was not 100% sure for vista.

    Btw, sorry for being so defensive.
  19. Btw, at first I tested them together, but then I did test then 1 at a time, when I found the bad stick, I replaced it, then retested with the known good stick and new stick in. Also, if I were wanting to save data and had my own company, that's there are firewire drives, lol. Though most of the time at our work, we don't care b/c most stuff is labs or what not, so we just have images and backups on our servers, and if we lose some data on a machine, no biggy b/c it's either in an image or somewhere else likely.
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