The System Recovery Options menu in this version of Windows contains several tools that can help you recover Windows from a serious error. You can perform repairs to the files that Windows uses to start itself, perform a restore operation using System Restore, and restore your entire computer and system files using backups that you have made previously.
The System Recovery Options menu is on the Windows installation disc. The menu might also be installed on your hard disk if your computer has preinstalled recovery options.
If your computer does not include the System Recovery Options menu, your computer manufacturer might have provided other recovery options. Check the information that came with your computer or go to the manufacturer's website for more information.
Fixes certain problems, such as missing or damaged system files, that might prevent Windows from starting correctly. When you run Startup Repair, it scans your computer for the problem and then tries to fix it so your computer can start correctly. For more information, see Startup Repair: frequently asked questions.
This option helps you restore your computer's system files to an earlier point in time. It's a way to undo system changes to your computer without affecting your personal files, such as e‑mail, documents, or photos. If you use System Restore when the computer is in safe mode, you cannot undo the restore operation. However, you can run System Restore again and choose a different restore point if one exists. For more information, see System Restore: frequently asked questions.
Windows Complete PC Restore
Restores the contents of your hard disk from a backup. For more information, search Help and Support for "complete PC restore."
Windows Complete PC Backup and Restore is not included with Windows Vista Starter, Windows Vista Home Basic, or Windows Vista Home Premium.
Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool
Scans your computer's memory for errors. For more information, see How do I know if my computer has a memory problem?
Command Prompt replaces the Recovery Console from earlier versions of Windows. Advanced users can use Command Prompt to perform recovery-related operations and also run other command line tools for diagnosing and troubleshooting problems. To view a list of common commands, at the command prompt type help, and then press ENTER.
If you have a Windows Vista installation disc, you need to restart (boot) your computer using the installation disc. If you do not restart your computer from the disc, the option to repair your computer will not appear.
If you have a Windows installation disc:
Insert the installation disc.
Restart your computer.
If prompted, press any key to start Windows from the installation disc.
If your computer is not configured to start from a CD or DVD, check the information that came with your computer. You may need to change your computer's BIOS settings. For more information, see BIOS: frequently asked questions.
Choose your language settings, and then click Next.
Click Repair your computer.
Select the operating system you want to repair, and then click Next.
On the System Recovery Options menu, click a tool to open it.
If your computer has preinstalled recovery options:
Remove all floppy disks, CDs, and DVDs from your computer, and then restart your computer.
Do one of the following:
If your computer has a single operating system installed, press and hold the F8 key as your computer restarts. You need to press F8 before the Windows logo appears. If the Windows logo appears, you will need to try again by waiting until the Windows logon prompt appears, and then shutting down and restarting your computer.
If your computer has more than one operating system, use the arrow keys to highlight the operating system you want to repair, and then press and hold F8.
On the Advanced Boot Options screen, use the arrow keys to highlight Repair your computer, and then press ENTER. (If Repair your computer is not listed as an option, then your computer does not include the System Recovery Options menu as a preinstalled recovery option.)
Select a keyboard layout, and then click Next.
Select a user name and enter the password, and then click OK.