System Repair loop will not allow me to System Restore
I'm working on a computer this evening, a Thinkpad T500 that doesn't completely load into windows vista properly. There is no faulty hardware on the laptop, and the owner admits she let her children "play" on it before the issue started.
The computer will POST and boot just fine, but just before you see the windows loading bar it'll flash the safe mode options for a split second and go straight to Startup Repair. This will attempt to identify problems for about 2-3 seconds before reporting that there's nothing it can do. After that I can get to Lenovo Product Recovery (the factory system image, which is my goal right now). It'll seem to do it's thing okay, but the problem is that it'll ask to restart the computer. Unfortunately, it's stuck in a loop of just going back to Startup Repair, where I can start the factory image process again in vein.
I'm wondering what I can do to solve this problem and get the factory image running on the laptop. Can I format the OS partition and still have access to the recovery partition and have it function properly? I don't have a copy of Windows Vista to install. The owner's /User/ (docs and settings) folder is backed up.
[CPU: e6600 @ 3300 MHz] // [MB: ASUS P5N-E SLi] // [RAM: Patriot 'eased latency' PC2-6400 @ DDR800 5-4-4-12-2T] // [GPU: 8800GTX @ 650/1000/1600 (volt modded)] // [HDD: 2x Cavier 500GiB stripe] // [Chassis: Thermaltake Armor VA8000 (black)] // [PSU: Aspire(Apevia) 680w] // [OS: Windows 7 Ultimate x64][Cooling: water cooled GPU and CPU]
^ (9/7/2010): Ha, I remember when that was the stuff. My water cooling has since leaked and fried my mobo. So now I'm rocking an MSI laptop with an i5 430m :)