Here are answers to some common questions about Startup Repair.

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What is Startup Repair?

Startup Repair is a Windows Vista recovery tool that can fix 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.

Startup Repair is located on the System Recovery Options menu, which is on the Windows Vista installation disc. If your computer manufacturer has preinstalled recovery options, Startup Repair might also be installed on your hard disk. If your computer does not include Startup Repair, your computer manufacturer might have customized or replaced the tool. Check the information that came with your computer or go to the manufacturer's website.

How do I use Startup Repair?

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 Vista installation disc:

  1. Insert the installation disc.

  2. Restart your computer.

    Click the Start button Picture of Start button, click the arrow next to the Lock button Picture of Lock button, and then click Restart.
  3. If prompted, press any key to start Windows from the installation disc.

    Note

    • 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.

  4. Choose your language settings, and then click Next.

  5. Click Repair your computer.

  6. Select the operating system you want to repair, and then click Next.

  7. On the System Recovery Options menu, click Startup Repair. Startup Repair might prompt you to make choices as it tries to fix the problem, and if necessary, it might restart your computer as it makes repairs.

If Startup Repair is a preinstalled recovery option on your computer:

  1. Remove all floppy disks, CDs, and DVDs from your computer, and then restart your computer.

    Click the Start button Picture of Start button, click the arrow next to the Lock button Picture of Lock button, and then click Restart.
  2. 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.

  3. 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 Startup Repair as a preinstalled recovery option.)

  4. Select a keyboard layout, and then click Next.

  5. Select a user name and enter the password, and then click OK.

  6. On the System Recovery Options menu, click Startup Repair. Startup Repair might prompt you to make choices as it tries to fix the problem and, if necessary, it might restart your computer as it makes repairs.

Are there problems that Startup Repair cannot fix?

Startup Repair cannot fix hardware failures, such as a failing hard disk or incompatible memory, nor does it protect against virus attacks. Startup Repair is not a backup tool, so it cannot help you recover personal files, such as photos or documents. To help protect your computer, back up your system and files regularly. For more information, search for "backup" in Windows Help and Support.

Startup Repair is not designed to fix Windows installation problems. For more information, see Troubleshoot Windows installation problems.

What if Startup Repair can't fix my problem?

If repairs are not successful, you'll see a summary of the problem and links to contact information for support. Your computer manufacturer might include additional assistance information.