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Have a PC with Vista that reboots right before login. The Windows loading bar show up, then it shows a black screen with the cursor in the middle and after about 30 seconds the computer reboots. Booting into safe mode does the same (restart after 30 seconds). Tried system restore, which runs for a while (up to 1 hour) and then throws an error "restore file corrupt" or something of that nature. Tried system recovery, that says something to the effect of "this system cannot be repaired automatically. Any clue? Thanks!

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Is it blue-screening before reboot? If so, when you next see the boot menu that recommends Safe Mode, choose the "Disable automatic reboot" option and see what the blue screen says. – user3463 Oct 9 '10 at 4:33
No blue screen, just a reboot... :( – Alex Oct 9 '10 at 4:52

If you can't boot into Safe mode, try to boot into the Last Known Good Configuration (using F8).

If that also doesn't work, see How to Do a Startup Repair in Vista.
This will refresh your Windows installation, leaving all installed applications.
You should however use a boot CD that is the same service pack as you currently have installed (SP2?).

If this is the result of a infection, try first a rescue live-CD virus scanner : I like best Avira AntiVir Rescue System because it gets updated several times a day, so is always up-to-date on virus definitions.

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Will try, thanks! – Alex Oct 9 '10 at 20:28

I agree with Randolph Potter.

Also, if you're desparate to get files off of the machine, consider either:

  1. Booting from CD (there are many LiveCDs that'll let you mount FAT or NTFS volumes)
  2. Doing what's called a parallel install, where you install Windows to a different directory and boot using that copy of Windows, at least until you can repair the first instance of it.
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Let me try that, thanks! – Alex Oct 9 '10 at 5:00

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