Safest way to recover WIN Vista?

I got a friend who apparently downloaded a Virus on his computer, and now his computer wont load past th BIOS /POST (power on system test) screen…..
I was thinking… just get a Live Linux/Ubuntu CD, using that and retrieve whatever important he has saved on his HDD… and then re-install WIN_Vista

I’m not sure if he has his OS on a separate partition, and data (files/documents/videos/music) on a separate partition.

Any suggestions on how I should go about doing this?

Since I’m not an expert, I’m sure my friend would be happy enough to know that his files were retrieved… he should care less about his system settings / configurations

Or maybe there is a LIVE Windows Vista CD? That one can make use of?? And maybe I try get a “System Restore Point” ??

P.s. this person doesn’t have the Installation discs for Vista, it came pre installed with the computer (second hand)…


Microsoft MVP
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Microsoft MVP
First get his data saved - a linux live cd should enable you to do that as you've suggested.

After that, try booting into safe mode and see if you can run a system restore.

Failing that, download this recovery boot image, burn to a disk and boot from it to try and repair the startup:

Windows Vista Recovery Disc Download — The NeoSmart Files


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Is this a laptop?

If it were a desktop, I might get a new hard drive, remove the old one until Vista was installed, then use the old one as a slave. I suppose the possibility of spreading a virus to the new drive might have to be considered.

Do you see anything on the post screen that mentions the hard drive and whether it is being seen normally? If not, you should be able to get into the bios setup to check it there.

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