Windows error at boot up

  LFCcartesian 19:41 10 Dec 09

I have been passed a laptop by a family member that is displaying the followung error at boot
"windows failed to start. a recent hardware or software change might be the cause.
if windows files have been damaged or configured incorrectly, startup repair can help diagnose and fix the problem. if power was interrupted during startup, choose start windows normally.
- launch startup repair (recommended)
- start windows normally"

If you select startup repair it seems to hang with a black screen and the mouse pointer. I left
it for over an hour and nothing happened.
If you select start windows normally then it runs for minute and you get a blue screen very briefly before it boots up again back to the two options above. it's impossible to see what is written on the blue screen, its too quick.
I've tried starting it in safe mode but again it runs for a minute and again you get the blue screen very briefly before it boots up again back to the two options. Again it's impossible to see what is written on the blue screen, its too quick.
I don't have the original Vista disk as it was all pre installed on the laptop from the shop.
It's never been backed up so back to factory settings is out of the question for the time being.
Ideally I need some way to copy off the important files if possible.
If anyone can offer any help it would be much appreciated.

  mgmcc 19:53 10 Dec 09

Can you boot the "Last Known Good Configuration"?

Immediately after powering on, tap the "F8" key until the Boot Menu is displayed and then select the option for the "Last Known Good Configuration".

  BRYNIT 19:53 10 Dec 09

If its not a hardware problem you could try Paragon Backup & Recovery 10 Free Edition click here create a boot disk this should allow you to recover your files to an external drive. You could then try setting it back to factory setting.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 20:50 10 Dec 09
  LFCcartesian 22:11 10 Dec 09

Thanks - I've tried that and it the microsoft corporation progess bar ran for about 5 mins and then it rebooted.

BRYNIT - I'll try your suggestion this weekend.

Fruit Bat - Thanks I may try that too.

Thanks guys

  T0SH 22:13 10 Dec 09

If you boot to the safe mode menu by tapping on thr F8 key there is an option in the list to stop "Reboot on Error" selecting this will display the blue screen error screen and let you read it and take exact notes of what it says to enter into google and search for the fix or even post in here if google does not come up with an answer for you

Cheers HC

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