Is there a way to repair Windows Vista without the installation CD?
Question by Kelly /

I use Windows Vista. I keep getting the pop-up window saying “Windows cannot search for updates”, etc. To make a long story short, it seems I have to “repair” Windows. I’ve tried a few different options, this is the only option left. Problem is I do NOT have my Windows software install CD. Can I re-install Windows without having the CD?

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Answers (12)
  • Matt Milsap

    Use the System File Checker tool (SFC.exe) to determine which file is causing the issue, and then replace the file. To do this, follow these steps:
    Open an elevated command prompt. To do this, click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator. If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the password, or click Allow.
    Type the following command, and then press ENTER:
    sfc /scannow
    The sfc /scannow command scans all protected system files and replaces incorrect versions with correct Microsoft versions.

    • Kelly

      Im trying your suggestion now…. I will keep you posted on the outcome. THANK YOU!

    • Misskathomas

      ok this is what is said… ” Verification process 100% complete. Windows Resorce Protection found corrupt files but was unable to fix some of them. Detailsb are included in the CBS.log windirlogsCBSCBS.log.”


    • Aibek

      Kelly, did you manage to fix it?

      Tell me one thing, can you actually use Windows at the moment? Does it boot fine? If it boots fine did you try System Restore (Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools) ?

      Let us know


    • Misskathomas

      Nothing has worked so far. The only time I’m having issues is with updates, although I’ve realized the Updates that aren’t installing are for Excel & Outlook (I use neither). Yes, i can use Windows normally, it’s fine.
      I’ve tried the System Restore, didn’t work. Its says i need to “repair” windows. I just don’t have the installation CD.
      I really appreciate ALL the help. Thank you all very much!

    • Aibek

      Thanks for the update.

      I don’t have any suggestions for the time being but if I figure out
      something I will definitely let you know.


    • Matt Milsap

      Once you have attempted other repair options and have identified corrupted system files in your OS that cannot be repaired by System File Check, you can access good files on your Vista Install DVD and copy them to your OS to replace corrupt files and get your system humming again.

  • darrell thomas

    you can download a tool that fixs the windows up dates so you dont have to reinstall windows vista or restart the computer and when you see the boot screen start pressing f9 and then you will come to a screen saying repair windows then goto advance and there you go you can do it like that or you can type in recovery in the start search bar as some companys puts a recovery option in on your computer ok

  • Jack Cola

    There might be a recovery method that your PC manufacturer has built in. When you boot your computer, look for “Recovery” or “Options” something a long those lines and see if it lets you recover. With my laptop, I have 3 options to choose.
    1. Reset to factory settings – wipe everything
    2. Repair – Try to reinstall it, don’t wipe data
    3. I can’t remember, but I know there is three options :P

    See if you have a similar option with your PC – if not, Smokey99 options sound good.

    • Aibek

      In addition to Jack’s comment. If I am not mistaken these options are usually accessible either though F8 or F10 menus.

  • Anonymous

    There are 2 ways of doing it. The easy way and also the hard way.

    Easy way is to download a 120MB ISO file from EasyBCD website. They’ve uploaded a copy of a CD that contains the contents of the “Repair your computer” section of the Windows Vista DVD. You can download Windows Vista Recovery Disc from here. Once you’ve finished downloading, burn Vista_Recovery_Disc.iso with Nero or your favorite disc burning software and boot up your computer with the CD.

    The hard way is to build a VistaPE environment using the free WAIK download from Microsoft. The Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK) helps you to install, customize, and deploy the Microsoft Windows Vista family of operating systems. The WAIK is a whopping 992.2 MB in size.

  • Anonymous


    Check out the link below. You can download a repair disk, instructions are provided. This is not illegal.

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