Copy and Paste (Backup Files) Outside Windows Vista or Windows 7
It sometimes is necessary to backup important files when Windows Vista or Windows 7 is unable to boot. There are two methods to navigate to Windows Explorer to allow copy and paste to occur:
Insert the Windows Installation Media.
Before you can use the installation media, configure your BIOS for the proper boot order. The installation media should be the first option in the boot menu, i.e. your CD/DVD drive or USB drive.
Refer to your system manual for steps to enter the BIOS and change boot order settings. Most system manuals can be found online through the system manufacturer (Dell, HP, etc.) or motherboard manufacturer (Gigabyte, ASUS, etc.).
If you cannot find your installation media, please contact your system manufacturer (Dell, HP, etc.) to replace missing recovery discs or contact Microsoft to replace a missing retail copy. If you were not provided with installation media, you may need to purchase a retail copy from an online or local store.
When you receive the message Press any key to boot from CD or DVD... press a key.
Let Windows load the files.
This may take a few minutes depending on the speed of your installation media source.
Press F8 every second or every half second when your system first turns on or restarts. Some BIOS systems may not recognize the F8 being pressed unless it is pressed very rapidly. Others require the F8 key to be pressed with a longer interval in between. You may have to try different methods of pressing F8 after the Power On Self Test (POST) screen in order to reach the Advanced Boot Options screen. For reference: the POST screen generally has the name of your motherboard (ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, etc.) or the name of your system's manufacturer (HP, DELL, Toshiba, etc.) as an image/logo or in text as it proceeds through the test, and it appears just prior to seeing the Windows logo for the Windows loading process.
Right click in a blank space within the folder you want to copy to, and click Paste. The Windows circle of waiting may show up for a long time, but the system is doing something despite the appearance that it is not. It may take a while, so go get coffee or food in the meantime.
Hello. Thanks for the instructions. First, I will try getting my files off the computer. That said, by clicking on "Windows Complete PC Restore", I need assurance that that option will not wipe out all my files.
Where do you see the option for "Windows Complete PC Restore"? Can you guide me through the steps you took to reach that message?
I am not sure if the language is different on your system or if you are using a different method than what was intended in this guide. More information is needed before I feel comfortable giving you assurances.
If you look at the graphic under #5, you will see Windows complete PC restore is highlighted. This is what I was referring to - found in the provided instructions. I have not tried anything on my computer yet. Thx
Ah yes, sorry, I'm more familiar with Windows 7 these days than Vista. Forgot the wording they use. Yes, you are perfectly safe selecting that option; it will not cause any files to be removed from the system.