How to repair a Windows Vista or Windows 7 installation in both Windows and Boot Camp Windows virtual machines

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This article applies to Windows Vista® and Windows 7® only. If you have Windows® XP or Windows® 8 please see the following articles:

Windows XP repair: KB 5138

Windows 8 repair: KB 114987

For a Windows Vista virtual machine that uses a virtual hard disk:

  1. Open the virtual machine configuration.

  2. Click on the CD/DVD option in the Hardware section.

  3. Make sure the source is set to CD/DVD.

  4. Click on the Boot order settings.

  5. Set Boot order to CD/DVD, Hard Disk, Floppy.

  6. Click OK to save and close the configuration.

  7. Insert the Windows Vista/7 installation disk into your Mac DVD drive.

  8. Start the virtual machine.

  9. Windows will ask you to press any key to boot from the CD. Click inside the virtual machine window to capture the input and press any key.

  10. Windows Setup will start loading until the language and location selection screen appears.

  11. Adjust Language to install, Time and currency format, and Keyboard or input method options, and click Next.

  12. When the main Windows Vista/7 setup screen appears, click on the Repair your computer option.

  13. This will bring you to a new screen where the repair process will look for all Windows Vista installations on your computer.

  14. When Windows Vista/7 detects an installed OS, you will be presented with the System Recovery Options dialog box.

  15. Select the Vista installation you would like to repair (usually only one is shown), and press the Next button to continue.

  16. The repair process will start. Please note that if the repair process detects any problems, it will automatically start Startup Repair (see short description below).

  17. If the repair process does not detect any problems starting Vista, it will display a list of recovery tools, and you will need to continue with one of the following advanced options:
    • Startup Repair: is an automated repair process that scans your Vista installation for problems and attempts to automatically fix them. This is the option you mormally use to repair Windows Vista.
    • System Restore: allows you to restore your computer's configuration, driver information, and programs to a previous state while leaving your existing data intact.
    • Windows Complete PC Restore: is a feature that allows you to restore your entire computing environment from a backup image that you previously created.
    • Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool: allows you to check the memory installed in your computer for errors. (This option is not used during Virtual Machine Troubleshooting.)
    • Command Prompt: allows you to access the files and registry information on your computer.

For additional information, please refer to

For a virtual machine that uses a Boot Camp partition as a hard disk (Parallels Desktop for Mac only):

  1. Launch Macintosh HD > Applications > Utilities > Boot Camp Assistant.

  2. Choose Start Windows Installation.

  3. Insert the Windows Installation Disk into your Mac DVD Drive and restart the Mac.

  4. Make sure that you are booting from the Windows installation DVD.

  5. When prompted, press any key to boot from the Windows DVD.

  6. Follow steps 10-17 in the previous section.

Additional Information


If you encounter problems during the repair procedure (corrupted files, unable to copy file), clean your Windows installation disk with a soft cloth, and make sure there are no scratches on its surface.

If Windows Setup does not find any existing Windows installation and prompts you to install Windows, this means your system is seriously damaged and repair is impossible. Windows reinstallation is recommended in this case. Please be aware that reinstallation of Windows may lead to the loss of data on your Windows disk.

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