Got caught over the weekend with a broken Vista installation. The Cyclic Redundancy check on my hard drive seemed to fail (boot stuck at crcdisk.sys).
Attempted to boot into to safe mode, no better. Sticks at the same place.
Booted with a Vista Installation disk, and did the Shift+F10 trick to fire up a command prompt at the "choose your drive" screen. Ran chkdsk, with all repair options switched on, still no bootee. I can read the files off the disk from the command window, but Vista doesn't like the drive really.
Booted from the Vista install disk again, Shift+F10, attempted to do a System Restore. No luck.
Did the same again, Booted from a Knoppix Live CD, ran ntfsfix. More errors discovered on the disk, but still no joy.
Thanks so much for protecting
I will never - repeat never - spend more than 90 minutes attempting to fix broken Windows. it's faster to rebuild from the tin. Fortunately, I expect Windows to break (normally it's me wot breaks it), every so often so I have reasonably good data backup strategies, starting with separate partitions on a hard drive for "temporary things" like operating systems and "things to keep", like all the stuff in my TrueCrypt files
I did a full format, and zero filled the partition a couple of times at the same time. I have no idea what detritus may be lurking.
Didn't have a slipstreamed Vista SP1 disk handy. So I'll be rebuilding again soon, I keep promising I'll make myself a disk image for rapid reinstalling. You know, one file with Vista SP1, all the drivers for my machine, Office 2007, user account control turned off and various other tweaks that make it actually an O/S that I like to use (go on, flame me), and one that will work with my companies various security tools too.
Anyone else feels like doing a similar thing, making your own custom Vista installation is pretty easy. Start from instructions here.
So I think I end up doing another build this weekend. But at least this will get me a clean machine..