Can't install or download anything on this PC

Toshiba Satellite a305-s6841 notebook
January 19, 2010 at 18:57:46
Specs: Windows Vista Home Premium
Windows Backups fail; System Properties has no System Protection tab and will not assign system restore points because it cannot find available just keeps searching; Software will not install via the DVD drive, it goes through the motions but when it comes time to actually install, the progress bar just stalls; Windows Update will not update

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January 20, 2010 at 02:05:24
The disk may have file-system errors on it.
Vista has a built-in error checker.

Right-click C drive in 'Computer' window and choose 'Properties'

Click the 'Tools' tab.
Click "Check Now"
Tick both boxes
Click 'Start'

At the pop-up dialog, click 'Yes'
Restart Windows and error checker will run.

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January 21, 2010 at 06:28:36
Good day. First, let me say thank you very much for the prompt resoponse and advice. I did as instructed, however there weren't any errors or problems with the disk according to the checker. I may just have to bite the bullet and purchase Windows 7, hoping that it's a Vista issue of some kind. I'm simply not savvy enough to do any really deep searches in an effort to seek out what the crap is wrong. Thanks again for the effort, though.

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January 21, 2010 at 13:19:18
Okay - before you rush out and buy Win 7, the disk may have physical/mechanical errors that the Windows error checker cannot detect. For that you need the drive manufacturer's own drive diagnostic utility, so you'll need to find out what make it is. These testing utilities are free for all makes of drive.

I advise you do that as the next step, because if the drive is failing, throwing another operating system at it isn't going to fix it. If you post the make of disk I'll reply with a link to the utility you need for it. Oh, and those drive diagnostic utilties all run from a bootable floppy or CD so it doesn't matter how messed up Windows is - they will still run.

Bottom line is, don't spend money on Win 7 in the hope of fixing your problems until you're sure the disk is in good health physically.

Furthermore, if your disk does pass okay and you do decide to get Win 7, you need to be sure that all your current software is compatible with it, and that you can get Windows 7 drivers from your PC manufacturer's website. The Windows 7 CD has many drivers on it which will be installed during installation if setup detects a matching device connected to your PC, but be prepared for some missing drivers - Win 7 doesn't have them all.

Microsoft has put up a website to help those upgrading to Win 7:

Windows 7 Compatibility Centre

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January 23, 2010 at 19:27:21
Hello, in Device Manager the disks are listed, in order of appearance, as Hitachi HTS542520K9SA00 and Toshiba MK2035GSS. I didn't want to make any assumptions as to which is the parent drive, so I'm sending both. I apologize for my Troglodyte knowledge level here, my life's simply presented me with other priorities preventing me from gaining a more thorough understanding of a PC's workings. Thank you very much for the advice concerning Windows 7, I will be taking a cautious approach to this to be sure.

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January 26, 2010 at 15:01:45
Sorry I've taken so long.

Best to test both drives if you don't know which one is the system drive.

For the Hitachi Drive you need the
Hitachi Drive Fitness Test from here:

For the Toshiba drive the same utility as above should be able to test it - I just discovered Toshiba don't make their own testing utility.

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