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MASSIVE Failure of Vista on HP


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#1
thecolororange

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Short version:
Windows died on me. I donít recall changing any settings, installing or downloading any new software. All of a sudden my computer froze, restarted, and gave me a winload.exe is missing error. I researched online, did what I was supposed to do to fix it, then got a bootmgr is missing error. With windows install disks, tools wonít work, fdisk freezes, and the computer isnít recognizing any drives except a: and d:, which are both the same cd drive.

Detailed version:
OK, this all started four days ago. I apologize ahead of time for the length of this explanation, but I'm at a loss, and I need to explain this dilemma in its entirety so everyone can grasp what I've done. I was using my computer and everything was normal. I went downstairs, came back, and the computer had restarted. However, when it tried to load windows, an error occurred. I could not get it to load, and I do not remember what the error was that time, but I was able to restore the computer from an earlier saved point.

The computer seemed fine... until the next day. The same thing happened with the restarting, and this time I got a different error code. this time it said that winload.exe was missing. So I got on the internet to search for solutions to this problem. It seems to be quite common and also a pretty squirrely problem with Vista. I followed instructions on how to fix this with a Vista installation disk.

When I was through with that, however, I got a "bootmgr is missing" error. Imagine my frustration. So once again, I searched the internet... eventually I ended up giving up on fixing it without a reinstallation of windows and tried to reinstall with the Vista disk I have. Something happened and now there's nothing here.... Now, I've tried every "solution" I could find and still have a paperweight in the shape of a laptop.

In fact, I have a Gateway desktop from 1998, a Dell desktop from 2003, and my mom has a Gateway notebook from the same time I bought my HP (one year ago). They run Win98, WinXP, and Vista (respectively). I have the install disks from those computers, but mine did not come with any. I have a recovery partition instead of system restoration disks. However, now my computer won't recognize anything but

With the Vista Install/Tools disk, any option I choose results in the "windows is loading drivers" bar, then the microsoft loading image, then a blank screen for eternity.

With the XP Disk, Setup loads files and takes me to a screen with options to 1) set up Windows XP
2) repair a WinXP installation using Recovery Console
3) quit setup.

1) freezes on a blue screen and the gray bar at the bottom says "Examining 114471 MB Disk 0 at Id 0 on bus 0 on atapi..."

2) once led me to the error "aic78xx.sys is corrupt." Now it is stuck in the same place as option 1.

3) Computer reboots

So, since all else failed, I figured I'd try the Win98 cd. The only thing I can do on here is go to the command prompt in DOS. I have tried Fdisk to see what drives were recognized. The only drives my computer is recognizing is A: and D:. They are both pointing to files in the CD. I've tried changing cds at this point and anything that I CAN get to even begin to do anything says something about drive A is no longer valid.

Oh, and now... any time I try to delete or create or even view what partitions are there... Fdsik freezes and I have no choice but to reboot.

I'm at my wit's end. I'm not a computer genius, but I'm not illiterate either. For ten years I've been able to fix any computer problem I have had by thorough research on people with the same problems and what has worked, and by following those directions. I'll admit, I may have done something totally wrong.... at the same time... I'm pretty sure most of these problems are common to Vista users... I just haven't found anyone who had quite the multiple failures I've had.

Besides blowing it up or paying some phenomenal technical support fees... any suggestions?
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#2
Donutdan4114

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I would just put in a new hard drive, and put Windows XP in the CD drive, and try that... Then, make sure that the hard drive is recognized in the BIOS, and see if that works... Also, you can try resetting the BIOS, and then putting in a new hard drive. Also, can you get the format files on a floppy drive, or was your computer not recognizing the A drive at all? You definitely need to do a clean format if you can. I think you either have to format or put in a new hard drive...
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#3
thecolororange

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the only way i can get it to do ANYTHING other than setting up bios is to put the win98 cd in. then i can get to a command prompt. only then can i get to a: and d:. after that point, if i put in another cd, i can get a dir list but if i try to run anything it says the a drive is no longer valid. and the computer is no longer under manufacturer warranty, but i got it from best buy and got the extended 3 year service plan that covers accidental damage... but it doesn't cover software issues. i keep getting to the same conclusion, whether i read archived stuff, or i've gotten two answers written directly for me... and that is that it sounds like a hardware problem. but i want to be sure before i take it in to best buy for service repair so that i don't get screwed if it IS in fact a software issue.
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