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My neighbor has a Lenovo laptop with Windows Vista Home Basic. She's a noob and just uses the laptop for Internet purposes. She said she had to close down Windows improperly (sometime ago, maybe 6 months) because of system freeze. She realized there's something wrong with her Windows when she tried to open Windows update settings. I took a look at the system and determined the following errors:

  • When I click on Windows Updates, a bare white window opens for a sec. and closes immediately.
  • When I try to open Computer Properties, the same thing happens. (Windows+Break doesn't work either.)
  • When I try to open Bluetooth settings, the same thing happens.

So Vista won't let me open any Windows settings, but installed programs work correctly (games, applications etc.).

She has no Windows Vista discs since the laptop came with pre-installed genuine Vista. She also has no recovery discs. I don't think there is a system restore point for the time the system was stable. Now what can we do to solve this big problem?

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A lot of notebook manufactures include a hidden recovery partition on the hard disk which can usually be accessed during the boot process. To that end it may be worth checking out the Lenovo options:

Recover your system with the hard drive service partition

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I think the link you gave is obsolete. It talks about Windows ME, Windows NT and Windows 2000. This Lenovo is 1 year old. – serena Jun 15 '10 at 8:07
Did you try using F11 during boot? – Pulse Jun 15 '10 at 8:13
No. I'll give it a try. – serena Jun 15 '10 at 9:11

Is the system a Lenovo IdeaPad? I think those have a "Novo" button next to the power button - If you turn the system off, and then press the Novo button instead of the power button, it should boot you into a recovery console and allow you to restore a clean image from the recovery partition.

I don't know about ThinkPads, but I believe that they have an "Access IBM" or similar button that should work for them in the same way.

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I'll check it out. Isn't there a way to repair Vista from command line window (cmd.exe) without having Vista disc? – serena Jun 15 '10 at 9:16
Not if there's no system restore point. – Darth Android Jun 15 '10 at 20:16

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