Vista is broken
May 10, 2007 12:55 PM   Subscribe

About an hour ago, I told Windows Vista to hibernate. Now, when I try to boot, I get a "Windows failed to start" error. Apparently, winload.exe is either missing or corrupt. According to the error, I need to use my installation disc to fix this. Unfortunately, I won't have access to a Vista install disc until next week. Is there *any* other way to fix this, or am I just screwed?
posted by punishinglemur to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
I'd try spinrite - - it may be able to recover this file for ya.
posted by jenkinsEar at 1:01 PM on May 10, 2007

Oh dear dear dear dear

What brand is your computer? Is it a laptop or desktop?

Either way, I would simply ask a friend or co-worker to borrow their vista install disc. Then again, this all depends on who put together and branded your hardware.
posted by nataaniinez at 1:39 PM on May 10, 2007

We're just starting to roll out Vista (I work in IT), so I'm still learning the ropes and all the various tips and tricks and such, but it's been my experience that in order to gain access to pretty much any and all useful recovery options, you need to boot off of an install disc.

Since you're not installing it and don't need a product key, you might be able to 'find' a copy somewhere that could temporarily fit your need as a means of recovering your legitimate installation, but this is kind of gray territory.

If you do get manage to get in, there's a nice little, "Hey, Vista isn't booting! Fix it!" button.
posted by kbanas at 3:28 PM on May 10, 2007

Response by poster: It's a Gateway laptop. Unfortunately, I don't know anyone around here, other than me, who's running Vista.
posted by punishinglemur at 5:34 PM on May 10, 2007

When windows first starts if you hit F8 you should get a menu that allows you to use some recovery options.

If you cannot get that far you'll need a boot disk to do anything more advanced, I'm afraid.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 6:59 PM on May 10, 2007

I've been reading that the missing winload.exe problem is a squirrelly issue. Unfortunately for you, it is also easily fixed with a Vista install CD.

If you're adventurous (or tough?) enough, post a plea for help in craigslist for the area you're in. Post what you've told us and then take that person out for coffee or something after you've read this:
How to automatically repair Windows Vista using Startup Repair
posted by nataaniinez at 7:03 PM on May 10, 2007

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