|RE: <<...need to start all over.>>|
Indeed, that seems to be the most sensible approach.
If you have the media to reinstall the OS, do that. You will end up with a pristine new Vista installation. Existing application softwares will have to be re-installed. If you are trying to preserve pre-installed softwares, then you might try looking for the recovery partition that exists on most mainstream consumer PC manufacturers. The Recovery partition will restore the PC to its factory fresh state (including the pre-installed software). To access the recovery partition tap F10, F12 or F12 (depends on PC brand)follow the prompts to system restore.