After problems with my wife's laptop that wouldn't boot into Vista, I decided to use the System Recovery disk to restore it to factory settings but I get so far then the error message crops up "Windows could not complete the installation. To install Windows on this computer, restart the installation." I've tried twice now coming close but wonder why the installation keeps failing and if there's anything I can do about it.

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Test your hard drive to see if it is bad.

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Test your hard drive to see if it is bad.

Depending on what testing software you use, your hdd may or may not test as bad and still be the problem. I would start by running "chkdsk" (checkdisk). Then download and run drive testing software from the hard drive manufacturer.

What I have found to work the best though, is Acronis True Image (by attempting to create an image--backup). It will error out if it finds bad sectors.

You didn't mention what brand hard drive you have, but here are some links for two different brands:

WD

*Note: A free version of Acronis is available on their website for use with a WD hdd.

Seagate/Maxtor

I believe that DiscWizard is a free version of Acronis for use with a Seagate/Maxtor hdd--at least it was in the past.

Most computers I've worked on come with BIOS tools that test your HDD and RAM. Try those as well.

And regardless of the results, if you have another hard drive around, replace it and see if that works. If it does, connect the faulty hard drive as a slave and try to repair it that way.

That's what I had to do recently.

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