Windows Vista SP1 and SP2 Problems
Posted on August 9, 2010
Windows Vista has been the most problematic of all the operating systems from Microsoft. Both service pack 1 and service pack 2 in some cases causes Widows Vista not to boot.
Windows Vista Fails to Boot after service pack.
I have encountered this problem more than once. Actually almost every Vista machine I repair has this problem. Not to mention the 12 hours of updates after the OS is installed.
There are several ways to attack this problem. The first and easiest is to catch this problem before your computer fails to boot. But it you are reading this then you most likely already have a boot problem. There are two camps here, the first being a fresh install and there is no data on the machine. The second is the poor folks who decided to update windows only to find their data is now held by an operating system that is not working. The best thing for the second camp to do is BACKUP YOUR STUFF!!! if you have not already done so.
How can you back up your stuff if Windows will not boot. I wrote a blog about that too and you can find it on How to Backup Your Stuff When Windows Fails to Start
The first step is to get Vista to boot and that will require removing the service pack that is causing the boot failure. The first approach is to press F8 during the boot process. This will bring you to a screen that will allow you to choose the option to repair your computer. The System Recovery window will have many options and each manufacture can add or remove some features. The option that you will want to choose is the System Restore, the one that will Restore Windows to an earlier point. Restore the computer back to the time prior to the service pack upgrade. This will get you back to the point where you can boot Vista.
Once Vista is able to boot it will want to reinstall in the service pack that caused this mess to begin with. Do not let it install the service pack. Chances are Vista will download the service pack and have it ready to install. Again do not do that. Instead download the standalone service pack and install it without using Windows Update.
For Service Pack 2 you will need to choose from the x86 or x64 flavors. If you have the 64 bit version of Vista then choose the x64 flavor and the rest will choose the x86 flavor. Which is the 32-bit version. Once you have your service pack downloaded you can run it and let the standalone version install. You computer should boot with the standalone service pack installed.
One last thing not to over look. There is a good chance that the service pack you just installed is in the Windows Update Que and it will probably want you to install it. Bring up the Windows Update window and choose Check For Updates. This will refresh the updates and you can finish installing the other updates.
In the event that your computer does not boot, you may have other problems such as outdated drivers or hardware issues. The best thing to do at this point is check for driver updates from your computers manufacture.
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