Help with my Vista operating PC

I have a PC that I bought a little over a year ago, I have Vista home premium on the computer and I have recently been receiving a message that the computer is predicting a hard disk failure. I have backed-up my files onto an external hard drive and I have tried to do a chkdsk scan but it is telling me that it can't because the disk is in use and prompting me to have this started when I start up my computer but it doesn't happen. Also I wasn't having any problems with my computer shutting down until I did my complete back-up onto the external hard drive now it isn't shutting down completely, it goes to a blank screen and stops. Another thing that I have tried to do is do a disk defragment and it is saying that it isn't installed on my computer. I have gone into install/uninstall programs and I am not seeing the program what-so-ever?:mad::confused::confused::eek: Can someone please give me some advice on what to do? Does anyone know of any good books that I can get to help me?


Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
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A very good read is found here: - The TweakGuides Tweaking Companion

It's called the Tweakguides companion and covers many aspects of tweaking vista.

The disk defragmentation will not be found in add and remove programs, your best to look in the start menu under 'System Tools'.

As for 'check disk' if your HDD is truly on it's way out then you may struggle to get it to run (in fact getting problems running the defragger and checkdisk are two good clues that the HDD is buggered).
The way I run checkdisk is to rightclick on my 'C' drive, choose propeties, Tools, Error checking and tick the box to repair bad sectors.
As you correctly say it won't run until it's been scheduled for the next reboot. Folow the prompts and see if it does so.... If you've already been down this road without success then it may be the case that your HDD is very poorly.
You could try sticking your vista disk in and running 'Repair' but thats only if you have the disk..
Please post back if you need further help..

Thank you for your reply! I appreciate your advice. I have another question, I have purchased a new hard drive for my computer and I was wondering, if I have the recovery disk from the manufacturer, I can use that to boot my new hard drive, I was told that once I do that, I won't have any of my drivers to get online, or listen to music or anything like that, how do I get those drivers? I would like to do this myself so that I can learn but I don't want to screw anything up. Can you direct me in the ways that I should go? Thanks!


Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
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Phew...A few simple questions but it's gonna be a long-winded answer lol..

Ok.. if you replace the old HDD for the new which is quite a simple process, make sure you make a note of the cable set up. Then you'll need to boot the pc but press delete at the first screen (the one with all the drives and info on) this will get you into the 'bios'.
You'll now see a range of settings, you need to go into each one until you find whats called the 'boot order'. This tells the pc which device to use first when booting up and you need to change your configuration so the first device is CD/DVD, second will be HDD and third is floppy.
Once you've done that, save and exit which'll reboot the machine. Make sure your set-up disk is in the drive and wait for the words to appear 'To boot from CD/DVD press any key' (you may not actually see these words but don't worry about it as the pc may just boot from the disk)

Ok, now follow the prompts, you'll need to format the new drive (this is why you need to boot from CD otherwise it can't be done). You'll be able to format the drive when you reach a page asking you where you want to install vista. You'll first be asked to make a 'new' partition and what size and so forth. Just click yes to the default one on offer as this is the easiest option. Now click next and install vista. Don't worry too much about drivers at this stage as vista does carry many drivers itself just to get you started...
Once the installation has finished reverse the process above for the boot order and change it back to, First: HDD, Second: CD/DVD, Third: Floppy.

If everything has gone ok you should now just be needing drivers. You can do this in two ways.

Your internet connection may still work (as I said vista has many drivers itself) but if not your ISP may have given you an install disk. Use that to get back online.
Once back online you can use the update utility to find the drivers for you. Just set the update utility going but put the settings at 'Check for updates but let me decide whether to install them', that way you retain some control about whats being put on your computer. When the update utility say's it's found updates you'll need to see what they are and tick whichever boxes you need..

This way is a little harder..
Again you'll need to get back online unless you were given a driver disk (you could ask the supplier of the pc if they could supply one). You now need to know which component you have fitted where e.g. if you have a graphics card you need to know the name of the manufacturer so you can go to their website and download the drivers. The trouble is, if your unsure of the makers name then it starts to become difficult. So just to get you going perhaps the first method is the way to go..
Any problems please post back..

Fingers crossed you can understand my 'babble' lol :)

I thought these sites may help:

Good luck..:)

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