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Windows Vista Only Boots in Safe Mode

Discussion in 'Software' started by Blktiger0, Mar 24, 2013.

  1. Blktiger0

    Blktiger0 Private E-2

    I'm running Windows Vista Home Premium, which came installed on my laptop, which is a Gateway FX MS2252

    I am not the original owner of this computer, it was given to me by a friend that moved to another state, but I'm pretty sure it didn't come with a Vista Installation disk.

    The problem I am having is that when I power the computer on, it shows the "Gateway" screen, then a black screen, then it has a black screen with a loading bar that has green bars that run across it. It will load normally for a short while, then it will freeze on that screen. I have let it sit there like that for hours, and it doesn't keep going.

    By using F8, I've tried using the Last Good Configuration, which didn't work, then Safe Mode and Safe Mode with Networking, and both of those work (that's how I'm on here).

    I tried opening the command prompt and using check disk (which couldn't run), using MSCONFIG to turn off all startup services, using MSCONFIG to set the computer to "Normal Boot", and I've used "sfc/scannow". None of these fixed the issue.

    The problem just kind of sprung up out of the blue. I hadn't even been on my laptop in a few days (although it was running) and I haven't installed anything new or anything like that. I run Avast and keep it updated, and I use it and Malewarebytes both to scan my computer on a regular basis. When the problem first arose, like I said, I hadn't been on my computer in a few days, and it had been running. I opened it up to find that it was frozen on the screen with the loading bar, like it had installed updates and tried to restart. I turned it off, then turned it back on, and it did the same thing again.

    I don't want to do anything to lose any of my files. If it comes to that, I'll just trash the laptop and buy a desktop and use a caddy for the hard drive to get all of the files off or else buy a new, bigger hard drive and install Windows 7 on it, getting the files off of this hard drive using a caddy. I have tons of pictures and graphic design projects saved on here, plus all of my music.
  2. the mekanic

    the mekanic Major Mekanical Geek

    Sometimes there is no Recovery Partition, and the manufacturer expects the user to create DVDs for OS recovery when the PC is used for the first time.

    You can try these files from Digital River:


    You must read the directions, as creating a bootable DVD-ROM from the downloaded files is a process:


    As long as you go step by step and follow the directions you should be able to create a bootable Vista DVD.
  3. plodr

    plodr Major Geek Super Extraordinaire

    Gateways as do Acers and eMachines come with a listing in All Programs called
    Gateway or Acer or eMachine.
    When you click on it, there is a Recovery Management choice shown. From there you either burn or create a recovery on an external drive.
  4. Blktiger0

    Blktiger0 Private E-2

    the mekanic:
    Will doing that and using the disk erase any of my personal files? Also, I'm using 64bit Vista, so should I download the 64bit files in the first link (at the bottom) and then follow the directions from the article? It's somewhat unclear about that.

    I don't have any option that says Gateway, Acer, or eMachines, but I have one that looks like this:


    I tried to open it, but everything was greyed out.
  5. the mekanic

    the mekanic Major Mekanical Geek

    You should always back up your data. Either on a non boot drive in your desktop, or on an external hard drive. Or, more ancient methods CD-ROMs or DVDs.

    But yes, you can lose your data with Vista on a full reinstall when you format the hard disk. If you use the "Repair" option it will preserve your data, but it is recommended that you do back up your data just in case.

    When you look under "My Computer", do you see a second partition next to the "C:" drive? Labeled either D: or E: if it is there, that will be your "Recovery Partition".
  6. plodr

    plodr Major Geek Super Extraordinaire

  7. Blktiger0

    Blktiger0 Private E-2

    the mekanic:
    I have a D:/ drive that is recovery partition, but being that I got this computer second hand, I am completely unfamiliar with what is used to update the recovery to back things up, which really isn't a good excuse. Next pay, I think I'll pick up a removable hard drive. I've been putting it off, and this is the third time it's come back to haunt me. After I do that, I'll try to recover Vista, then I might go ahead and replace the main HDD in my laptop and buy a Windows 7 disk and install it, if I can make sure that it's a software issue that could be fixed with a fresh install.

    I must have just not read that at all when I saw it, because I sit here wondering what I thought it was/said. I guess I must not have read it right because it seems silly to have dedicated software to formatting USB drives, when I've never needed/used a dedicated software for that in the past. I must have read that as something else considering the name is pretty damn self-explanatory.

    I haven't found anything that is any kind of recovery/backup software, but I might have just missed it so far. I haven't really had a lot of extra time to dedicate to my computer lately.
  8. plodr

    plodr Major Geek Super Extraordinaire

    This tool is able to format to different specs than the format option included with Windows.
    Perhaps someone installed this because they had a need for the tool?

    You can possibly purchase recovery media. Here is the link

    I was hoping to find some sort of info on a hidden restore partition but haven't found anything yet.
  9. the mekanic

    the mekanic Major Mekanical Geek

    If I may make a recommendation, if you are going to replace the drive get an SSD instead of a platter drive for the laptop, and back up your data on the external drive.

    SSDs offer lower power consumption, better stability, are more responsive (faster), are far more resistant to impacts of any sort, and can increase battery life with laptops in most cases.

    Personally I run SSDs in my desktops in the house, and use a non boot standard platter drive for data. My dinosaur Pentum M laptop is EIDE (PATA), but when I get around to buying a new one the platter drive it comes with will be for decoration, and data storage via a DriveWire tool.
  10. Blktiger0

    Blktiger0 Private E-2

    I suppose that's good to know, though it's likely that I never use it. I imagine it came as bloatware, to be honest, but I could be wrong.

    the mekanic:
    I highly doubt I spend the money on a SSD. If this laptop wasn't a few years old now, I didn't plan on getting a new desktop soon, and I had the extra money to spend right now, then I might opt for one, but I really have absolutely no need for hardware that expensive, especially not in a machine that is well outdated. I've experienced SSD's in friends' computers, and they really are nice and blow HDD's out of the water in terms of speed, but it's really more than I need. It would be like me buying a Lamborghini: they're well made, extremely fast, high-performance, and really outclass a regular old beater, but when the only time you spend in a car is getting to and from work or casually driving somewhere on the weekends, you really would rather have the extra storage space of an SUV, and you would rather not spend that much on a vehicle, a Murcielago isn't for you.
  11. the mekanic

    the mekanic Major Mekanical Geek

    I just went "shopping", and all I can say is WOW.

    Most of the affordable drives I used to see in stock at NewEgg, and TigerDirect are no longer there. Some time ago there used to be alot of options under $100.

    It seems that is no longer the case.
  12. theefool

    theefool Geekified

    So, the result is an ssd that needs to be sent to someone?
  13. the mekanic

    the mekanic Major Mekanical Geek


    He's either going to recover Vista, or purchase a copy of Windows 7 for this PC.

    Recovery options for Gateway are usually via F8, and the option is in the menu either under "Advanced Options", or "Repair Your Computer".

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