Why does my Windows Vista computer shut down and reboot every time I try to boot it and how can I save my data?

Kevin Kelly April 12, 2013
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I have a computer running Windows Vista. I can not find the reason why the unit shuts down and reboots every time I boot up the computer. It is stuck in this cycle.

I have some data I want to retrieve, but can not. Any ideas?

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  1. Uchitha Jayathissa
    April 19, 2013 at 5:00 am

    When Booting up Press F8 and Go to safe mode and copy your data. or use a LiveLinux CD to access your hard disk.

  2. DalSan M
    April 14, 2013 at 3:48 am

    Was there anything that you did differently before this all happened? Or did it happen all of the sudden? This could be from anything from a bad boot sector, virus, failed driver, failing hard drive, dead CMOS battery, or a whole host of other issues. If you would like to copy important files, then try a live CD of any Linux distro, or you could try Hiren's Boot CD to see if you can find out what the issue is and/or fix it. Just as I believe everyone should backup their files and/or system on external drives or media (DVD's), I believe in having a rescue disc such as Hiren's, which contains many tools and ways to some issues or backup/restore data and the system. http://www.hiren.info/pages/bootcd

    • Chris Marcoe
      April 14, 2013 at 5:10 am

      Learn to use Hiren's. Its a great tool for anyone to use. Its one of the first things we were taught in my ITS class.

    • DalSan M
      April 14, 2013 at 6:36 am

      I have many different boot/rescue discs, but Hiren's is so extensive in the tools it includes, and using the simple, but familiar mini Windows XP makes it even easier for Windows users to access what they need to instead of having some trouble understanding the different functions and wordings in Linux. Hiren's is one thing I cannot live without when it concerns computers.

  3. Bruce Epper
    April 12, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    Boot the computer in safe mode. From there you can check the Event Log (System) to see why it keeps rebooting; it should contain an Error message with a bugcheck. Looking up the error code given, it should point you in the right direction for solving the issue. Or from safe mode, you could change the settings to have the computer halt on the BSOD instead of rebooting so you can see the error message (and other details).

  4. Donald S
    April 12, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    I would go with what ha14 said, but would add one thing. If all that fails try using a Linux live CD and see if it will boot to that. If it does I would say you need to re-install the OS. If you have an external hard drive you can boot to Linux cd browse the files until you find all your data and transfer it to the xhd. This site is pretty through about how to use Linux to back up Windows files. Good luck.

    http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/use-ubuntu-live-cd-to-backup-files-from-your-dead-windows-computer/

  5. null
    April 12, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    A few question are needed. Does the computer get to the "splash screen" which is usually the logo of the computer manufacture or does it Log up to Windows?

    If it only goes to the the splash screen then try all the suggestions all ready posted. If the system reboots after getting to Windows it sounds like a hard drive issue. You can use what is called a LIVE CD, which can be put on a flash drive. I use Linux live cd. Make use of has a great page to lean from http://www.makeuseof.com/pages/download-50-cool-uses-for-live-cds . This might allow you to access the computers hard drive and copy over any files you want. There are Live CD that could help checking for virus or any other nasty thing that might be hiding in your hard drive that might be causing this.

    • Chris Marcoe
      April 14, 2013 at 5:11 am

      Learn to use this , too. Its a great tool.

  6. ha14
    April 12, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    open computer and see if all are connected well, you can try to reset cmos battery and clean ram.

    How to automatically repair Windows Vista using Startup Repair
    http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/repair-windows-with-windows-startup-repair/

    can yoou boot to safe mode?
    How to perform a clean boot to troubleshoot a problem in Windows
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929135

    • Chris Marcoe
      April 14, 2013 at 5:08 am

      If he can't boot, then he can't open .

    • ha14
      April 14, 2013 at 8:31 am

      yap quite right, if he cant boot then to check hardware like cmos battery (reset, replace)....if it is hardware problem beep sounds should be heard...

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