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As the my block's resident computer expert, I've been trying to fix this issue for a neighbor.

Two of the RAM slots on her motherboard died, so it's only detecting 2 of the 4 1g chips and now Windows Vista won't boot. It seems like Windows is refusing to load because there's been a hardware change. When I try to boot it, I get the error:

Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause. To fix this problem`:

And then it lays out the steps to repair an installation from the Vista DVD. It also says that the error is in winload.exe and that the error is:

The selected entry could not be loaded because the application is missing or corrupt. 

I ran the repair process from a vista DVD and it said that:

Startup repair could not detect a problem

So now I'm at a dead end. How can I fix this issue and become the hero of the block?

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Have you tried booting into safe mode ? – Ioan Paul Pirau Aug 26 '11 at 19:10
Maybe the other 2 RAM blocks are not OK either. – m0skit0 Aug 26 '11 at 19:18
so, something ? – woliveirajr Aug 29 '11 at 16:59
Safe mode didn't work. – brian Aug 29 '11 at 19:20

Are you sure that the dead slots aren't, somehow, affecting the computer? For example, can you boot any live CD (like ubuntu's ones) and use the computer without fail?

It the memory "chips" failed and were removed, the computer culd function normally. If the slots failed, they might lead to erratic behavior... Ex.: consider that it's not the "slot", per se, the problem, but a chip that controls them.

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I'll try a live CD and Report back. – brian Aug 26 '11 at 19:30

You can boot the Vista DVD again and go to the command prompt and try a chkdsk c:\ /rf to try to repair the drive, but I'd bet you probably have to do a repair install of the whole OS. You'll need the CD-Key and you can follow this guide which is pretty detailed.

share|improve this answer
The first step of the guide says "WARNING: Do not boot the computer and run the Vista installation DVD from boot. A upgrade install will not work this way." Is there a way to do this when booting from the DVD? – brian Aug 26 '11 at 19:29

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