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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
01-11-2010, 07:25 PM
Honestly there is no way to know for sure what happened. First try using a restore point from a time when everything worked. Unless you deactivated the feature, this should be an option. If that's not an option, use your windows disc (or diagnostic partition if HP has one... I know dell's do) and do a system repair. Basically it'll go through and replace any missing OS files needed for operation.
If that still doesn't work, start in safe mode and see if anything works at all (launching apps that is). If you've tried everything above and then are still unable to get things to work in safe mode, just say screw it, format the drive and reinstall Vista.

If you HAVE to reinstall though, might as well go to 7.
If you go to 7, do yourself a big favor and stop by http://www.sevenforums.com/ for some help setting up.
It took me a couple weeks to get things optimized as much as I have them (disabled services, registry edits, third party apps to replace default ones, etc). The tutorials and what not on that site will get your OS running circles around everyone else. My boot time is <15sec, and shutdown <3sec. Vista can't do that. Well... neither can 7 by default.