What can I do if Windows Vista won’t boot and rescue disks don’t work?

Tom Hudson October 25, 2011
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I have a 64-bit dual Quad Core Gateway computer that has been sitting for almost 2 years. I understand that it has a virus. I cannot get it to boot up.

I have tried several rescue disks. No Windows Vista operating system disk was supplied with the computer when I bought it from Best Buy. The license key is on a tag on the side of the computer.

Any suggestions? Could I buy a Windows 7 upgrade and would it install?

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  1. Dav532000
    October 26, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    Can you get into the Bios by tapping F8, if so you could get a x64 Windows 7 to do a clean install. Your Vista will be activated so as long as you can get into the Bios and make the Dvd Drive the first boot drive then there really should not be a problem of installing Windows 7 x64, as you should be able to chose either upgrade or new install  chose the latter.

  2. FIDELIS
    October 26, 2011 at 6:51 am

    Hello, have you tried the vista rescue disk?  You can get it at the following link:

    http://neosmart.net/blog/2008/windows-vista-recovery-disc-download/

    Keep in mind that if you get a windows vista installation disk, it might not install in your computer even though you have a license key.  The reason for that is that your license key is attached to your computer by the manufacturer.  If you get the vista recovery disk, and the recovery partition is intact, you can recover it from there.  You could even try a system repair from the disk, just keep your license handy because it will ask for it.

    You could also try getting the disks from Gateway.  The following is a link that will refer you to the place where you can ask:

    http://support.gateway.com/s/SOFTWARE/Medialess/FAQ/SUPPAGE01su44.shtml

    As long as you can start your computer and use the f8 key you try and repair your computer from there.  If you want to try a full factory recovery, you can follow the steps on the following link:

    http://support.gateway.com/s/software/MICROSOF/vista/7515418/7515418su531.shtml

    Also you have the option of asking somebody for a vista disk.  The reason vista installation disk was a dvd, was that all the versions of vista images where there.  It would install the version that matched your key. 

    I do not think you can use the upgrade option as long as your system is not running.  I would say your best bet and my advice would be to buy a 64 bit version of windows 7 and install it instead.

  3. Your Old Fart
    October 25, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    There is available online the install discs without the OEM crap; where I don't remember, but it was where M$ directed people. I got my W7 disc from there when I had the same sort of problem. You do need the Lic#. I don't know if Vista is there, I didn't look. I believe it was digital river or something like that.

  4. Jeff Fabish
    October 25, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    You could always burn a Linux CD and put that on it. Don't any of your friends have Windows? If so, you can install from their CD and use your serial to activate (I think). You can only get away with doing an upgrade if either you purchase a CD upgrade or get your existing installation to work, as the 'Anytime Upgrade Manager' requires Windows to be operational. 

    Usually with OEM installed OS's there is a recovery partition with the Windows setup files on it. You can access this by editing your BIOS boot priority or tapping F10 during the BIOS splash screen.

    Tell us more about how it "cannot boot up", what's the problem? Perhaps we can help you remove the malware all together.

  5. Jeff Fabish
    October 25, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    You could always burn a Linux CD and put that on it. Don't any of your friends have Windows? If so, you can install from their CD and use your serial to activate (I think). You can only get away with doing an upgrade if either you purchase a CD upgrade or get your existing installation to work, as the 'Anytime Upgrade Manager' requires Windows to be operational. 

    Usually with OEM installed OS's there is a recovery partition with the Windows setup files on it. You can access this by editing your BIOS boot priority or tapping F10 during the BIOS splash screen.

    Tell us more about how it "cannot boot up", what's the problem? Perhaps we can help you remove the malware all together.