Restore Unbootable Windows System using Offline System Restore
Offline System Restore for Windows Vista and 7
Vista and 7 users have things slightly easier than XP users because an offline System Restore is available in 3 different options if the computer doesn’t boot. All of them are available either in the Advanced Boot options menu or from a Windows CD/DVD.
Using the Vista & 7 Advanced Boot Options menu
1. Press F8 during system boot, the same procedure if you’re going to Safe Mode. Then select Repair Your Computer. Not all systems will have this option, usually when you don’t let Windows create a 100MB hidden recovery partition during install. If not available, proceed to the CD/DVD solution.
2. When asked, select a keyboard layout, choose a username and enter a password if needed.
3. On the System Recovery Options menu, click System Restore then Next.
4. The option will then be available to select a restore point, select an appropriate point before the issue started and click Next. If you have any System Image backups available, they may also be listed here. The Type will be Backup and it should tell you in the description, they need to be avoided for now.
5. Check the information is correct in the confirmation window, click Finish and then Yes. After a successful restore, you will be asked to restart.
A Restore From a Windows Vista & 7 CD/DVD
If you can’t access or don’t have the option in the Advance Boot menu, you will need to start the computer with either a Windows system repair CD you created earlier from within Windows or a Windows install DVD. A Windows 7 ISO image can be downloaded if you need one. The ISO will then need burning to DVD or alternatively written onto USB flash drive.
1. After booting your computer using the Windows disc or USB and after pressing any key, choose your language and keyboard layout, click Next and then click Repair your computer at the bottom.
2. After the Windows install is searched for and detected, click on Next. You will now be at the System Recovery Options menu and can follow steps 3, 4 and 5 from the previous solution.
Offline System Restore for Windows 8
It seems Microsoft wasn’t content with confusing people in Windows itself, and they’ve also confused things when you try and get to System Restore and Safe Mode during boot. The timing window for when you need to press F8 has narrowed considerably and now you’ll miss it more often than not. Also, a large proportion of users seem to find Shift+F8 is needed to get there, not simply F8.
Windows 8 Boot Options
1. After you manage to press either F8 or the combination at the right time, you still cannot get straight to the options and Windows will try to diagnose and repair the system which could take considerable time if it wants to check your hard drive for errors. If you’re lucky, it might actually fix your problem, but always said it cannot repair the PC for us.
2. Eventually you should end up at a screen which offers Shutdown or Advanced options, press Advanced options -> Troubleshoot -> Advanced options -> System Restore.
3. Select an account and at the next screen enter a password if there is one. Click Next. From there, the procedure is the same as steps 4 and 5 in the “Using the Vista & 7 Advanced Boot Options menu” solution above.
The Windows 8 DVD / USB
1. Boot the computer using the Windows DVD or USB flash drive, make sure to press any key when prompted. Choose the language and keyboard layout, click Next and then click Repair your computer at the bottom.
2. Click Troubleshoot -> Advanced options -> System Restore.
3. Choose the target operating system of Windows 8 and click Next. Like the procedure above, follow steps 4 and 5 in the “Using the Vista & 7 Advanced Boot Options menu” solution.
Download the MSDaRT 5 TRIAL CD using Brothersoft Downloader and then carefully NOT INSTALL the Brothersoft Toolbar and NOT AGREE to use their Search and Homepage.
MSDaRT 5 is designed just for Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003.
Excellent article. Keep up the good work. Thank you.
thanks for it. you are really good.
Thanks. Work also with sata hd.
Once again Thanks Ray for this excellent tool…..
I do this manually. Booting from a Vista PE on my USB stick and copying the registry hives from the “_Restore” folder to the system32 folder.
very useful tip
Thank you Raymond
THANKS A LOT RAY ! GREAT !
I usually use the UBCD4WIN live system and select registry tools, and restore registry.
Not sure if this is better or worse than Microsoft tool as I did not try Microsoft tool.
You can also try to do a manual restore using live system that can look into the system restore snapshot folders, and copy the hives.
This is actually a Sysinternals tool that has been around for years now. Microsoft recently bought Sysinternals and now they are publishing the tools as their own. There are also many other very useful free tools.
Great Post !! This can really save your ass sometimes. Too bad its just a 30-day trial.
Damn, M$ make such tools as freeware …. Atleast until Win7 is officially released :)
extremely useful and essential information
Great relief. Thanks
Great post, we need more of such things !!
Thanks Ray !!!!
very great info raymond. i really need this tool as i always try new software on my pc.
Great tip mate, thanks a heap!
I have been useing ERD Commander for some time now it is a great program.
thanks ray i surely need this one :)
Thank you very much Ray!nice post!GOD bless!!!
its useful though~
TWO Thumbs UP Ray!!!
Great Great Great Great POST
Thanks a LOT