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Hi, i seem to be having some considerable dificulties with my dell desktop. It arrived with XP installed but after several months dell sent me an "express upgrade" disk to vista. After I installed it the computer would not shut down properly, it would go through the normal shut down procedure, but at the end instead of powering off, i would get a blue screen error, and have to hold the power button to get it to switch off.

Several days ago, this happened slighly earlier than usual, blue screen error came up while the computer was installing automatic updates on shut down. Now, the computer will not start properly, it starts and then says "configuring updates stage 1 of 3" it gets to 33% of stage 1 and then freezes. This has rendered the achine useless as i can not even log into it.

I have tried starting in safe mode but the same thing happens. To add to my worries all of my school coursework is due in in 5 days time and its all saved on the hard drive, along with alot of photos etc so a clean install of vista is out of the question. Is there any way I can stop the updates configuring themselvs on start up?

Thankyou in advance for your help!!
 

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Try a restore point from before the updates. If your upgrade disk is not bootable so you can access SR, make your own bootable CD which contains the Vista Startup Repair:

Vista Recovery Disk ISO Image

I wouldn't actually use Startup Repair since that machine has its own unique MBR and partition tables used by no one else except Dell. But the restore points may still be accessible.
 

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For now, I would find a friend who is computer savvy, slave the drive to another machine and extract your critical data (school work and the like). Anything you try at this point to fix the current install could cost you your data.

Is that a Dell Dimension E501 or E510?
 
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