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Windows 7: Lost Vista 64 bit > Unable to load from Recovery, Win 7- 32 or 64 bit

26 Mar 2012   #1

Windows Vista 32 bit Business (temp)
Lost Vista 64 bit > Unable to load from Recovery, Win 7- 32 or 64 bit


I've used for about 1 year an HP Elite m9426f, Core 2 Quad 2.4Ghz, 8GB RAM, 600GB HD, ATI HD Radeon 3670, Vista Business 64 bit as a dedicated HD recording computer.

Yesterday, I decided to partition the HD and created a C: and two data partitions. There is a 13GB recovery partition labelled PRIMARY.

I ran Defraggler to compact the OS and program files into the C: volume, and which is is supposed to migrate any files into the C: drive-(works in DOS?) when setting the partitions, but perhaps something got orphaned into a new partition and Windows wouldn't open- "corrupted files".

No matter how many times I pressed F11 at startup, it would not enter the recovery utility that would reinstall the Vista 64 Business. I tried F2, F11, F8 and trying to launch it as an application from Win Explorer- no good. Of course, I was too lazy and never made the recovery disks.

I did a full format on C: and tried- probably 8 times by now!- installing Windows 7 Ultimate 64 on the clean C: drive. This would go through all the motions until the very end of "Completing Installation" and I would see a message for perhaps 1/2 second, something close to : "Windows can not configure Windows on this computer" and instantly shut down- - no messages, no diagnostics, no options- bonkers! > sudden blackness- it was as though the computer was angry!

I tried installing Win 7 64 in every combination, then tried installing Win 7 32 bit- no good. This Win 7 by the way is the copy I effortlessly installed on my main computer> Dell Precision T5400 (Xeon quad 3.2, 12GB, GTX 285, 500GB WD RE4). I never got as far as entering the Key- and the HP wireless is not configured, so I didn't think it was Windows objecting to a 2nd installation.

After going round and round on forums I eventually update the BIOS, reformatted C:, removed a partition so there are a total of 4 including the (useless so far) recovery drive, ran the monitor on VGA at low resolution- still "unable to configure" tantalizingly at the end!

On impulse, I tried an old original software reinstallation disk for my Dell Optiplex 740 (AMD 64 X2 3Ghz, 6GB, Quadro FX580, 500GB now Win 7 Ult) and amazingly, it installed Vista 32 business without a problem! The Win7 on the Optiplex is not the same copy as the T5400 version.

As I use two 64 bit programmes (Garritan Steinway, Hauptwerk 4) as the primary applications on the HP, I must have either the original Vista or Win7 as OS. - And I am already seriously behind in work. I tried installing Win 7 64 within Vista 32 as an upgrade, but it would only allow "Custom" which again ends in the abrupt shut off.

I am really, really perplexed on this one.

Sorry for such a long post, but I did a lot in 16 hours,..

Thanks for any ideas! Meanwhile, cappuccino No. 52,..


My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Mar 2012   #2
Microsoft MVP


To try forcing Factory Recovery if it remains on the HD, mark the Partition Active and reboot, tap F11 repeatedly to see if it will start. Partition - Mark as Active (Method Two)

Another method is to install EasyBCD (free Download at bottom of page - no name or email required) then browse to the boot.wim file on the Recovery partition to add it to a Dual Boot menu that will trigger Recovery at reboot. To find boot.wim you'll need to unhide System and Hidden files in Control Panel>Folder Options>View, give Recovery a letter in Disk Mgmt if it doesn't have one, then browse from Add New Entry tab in Easy as shown below:

Lost Vista 64 bit > Unable to load from Recovery, Win 7- 32 or 64 bit-capture.pngclick to enlarge

If this fails there is no reason to save the Recovery partition as you will need to order Factory Recovery disks from HP since you didn't make them or Clean Reinstall. So I would wipe the HD to see if Win7 or Vista 64 bit will install as desired using Diskpart Clean Command accessing from DVD DISKPART At PC Startup .

Unplug all other peripherals and HD's, reset BIOS to defaults: Clear CMOS - 3 Ways to Clear the CMOS - Reset BIOS. While in BIOS setup set SATA controller to AHCI to try install.

Boot the installer to Custom Install deleting all partitions if you didnt' wipe HD, follow these steps to Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Mar 2012   #3

Windows Vista 32 bit Business (temp)


Thanks for your reply.

Solved> You were on the right track concerning the Recovery Drive. It occurred to me that as it was set as a 2nd primary partition, it set up some sort of boot conflict with Win 7 and it would make a fatal error when trying to reboot at the end of installation. I deleted the 13GB partition- it became "unallocated" space and Win 7 installed without a problem. After, I merged the recovery volume into the adjacent recordings folder.

By the way, earlier, I did change the HD from RAID to AHCI, but I think it was deleting the (competing) second primary partition that did the job.

An interesting aspect- after the Win 7 installation, it left 3 Windows Old files totaling 25GB. It was not allowed to delete manually in Explorer, but disk cleanup has a special button for system files and it deleted the old versions.

In my desperation, I even downloaded a Windows 8 beta ISO!

What a relief! After so many hours of frustration, I was near to tipping the whole thing into the rubbish!

Thanks again.


Lost Angeles
My System SpecsSystem Spec

26 Mar 2012   #4
Microsoft MVP


Hi Bambi -

You've been busy. I'll bet you've learned a lot, too. This is how I learned.

If you want you can post back a screenshot of your maximized Disk Management drive map so we can look it over for any potential problems.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Lost Vista 64 bit > Unable to load from Recovery, Win 7- 32 or 64 bit

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