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Repair Windows when it won’t start
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Can’t get Windows 7 or Vista to boot? Discover how to use its start-up repair tools to get up and running again

hen your PC won’t start up properly it means big trouble could be ahead, particularly if your files and settings haven’t been backed up recently. Windows XP users could – if they had a Windows XP installation disc – try a repair installation (click here), but Windows 7 and Vista don’t offer that option; instead they've bundled a number of useful tools on the Windows installation disc that can rescue a non-booting system and give you access to your precious data once again.
   If you don’t have a Windows Vista installation disc – many PCs ship with recovery discs (or no recovery media at all) – then don’t panic. If you have a broadband connection we’ll show you how to create a boot disc with all the start-up repair tools included with the help of a free download.

Step-by-step: Fix Vista and Windows 7 startup problems

Drive isn't recognised
If no Windows installations are detected by the startup repair disc, it could mean one of three things: first, Vista has been so badly corrupted it’s currently unrecognisable. Let the Startup Repair Wizard run a few times before assuming the worst. Second, the PC may need to load additional drivers before it can recognise the drive – check the CDs that came with your computer, or visit the manufacturer’s web site for “pre-install” drivers which can be copied to a flash drive or floppy disk. The third – and worst-case scenario – is if the disk is physically damaged or has reached the end of its life.
Data rescue
Steps 12 and 13 of the workshop reveal how to transfer files and folders from your personal Documents folder to a back-up drive, should you need to prior to formatting the drive and reinstalling Windows Vista from scratch. You can copy any folder to another drive using the robocopy command. The cd command is used to move between folders – to move back up a directory (for example, from the Users\username directory to the Users directory) type cd .. And press [Enter]. For more help on using the robocopy command, type robocopy /? And press [Enter].

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