|I don't normally do this, but here's my RANT ...|
You can kill a fly with a sledgehammer, but why use a sledgehammer to do that when you don't need to !
Installing the original software installation on a brand name computer, or installing just Windows from scratch, doesn't take long, and doing that will cure most problems you haven't been able to figure out, but it's (the polite term is) FOOLISH to do that if you didn't actually have to do that !
Doing that is only the FIRST step.
It can take the equivalent of several working DAYS of your time to get Windows fully updated and all the necessary software that needs to be updated updated, and the software you want to use installed, even when you're NOT concerned about the personal data that is lost by default !
Automatic Update will install most Windows updates automatically eventually, but it doesn't install them all in one go, and many of them are NOT fully installed in Vista until AFTER you have Restarted the computer.
If your re-installed Vista does not have SP1 or SP2 updates built into it, it must be updated so it has SP2 updates. Automatic update will download them eventually, but it can't install them automatically - you have to give permission for them to be installed
You can considerably speed up how long it takes to get all the Wiindows updates installed by continuing to use Windows Update in Vista time after time until there are no new updates left other than optional ones
It is NOT a wise thing to do that to solve what may have been just a minor problem you were having. In this case, you haven't mentioned anything else that indicates to us System Mechanic may have done other damage to your Registry, and your problem wasn't necessarily caused by using System Mechanic, depending on how you used it.
We can help you solve just about any problem if you supply sufficient info to us and keep posting until the problem is solved. That usually takes a LOT less time in total than the time it takes to get your system fully updated to the way it should be and the programs you want to use installed again. .
Doing either of those things DELETES ALL the data you have added to the partition Windows itself was originally installed on since the computer was new, or since the last time you did either of those things !
If you don't want to lose at least some of your personal data, BEFORE you do either of those things
- if Windows is still working well enough, you should copy the personal data you don't want to lose to elsewhere.
- if Windows is NOT working well enough, or not working at all, you should boot the computer from a disk that has an operating system on it that can read all the files on the hard drive(s), e.g. a Linux boot disk or the Ultimate Boot CD, and copy the personal data you don't want to lose to elsewhere.
Did you do that ?
In either case, you DO NOT not need to be concerned about software that you can easily install again. E.g. you don't need to copy the files and folders for a program that it originally came with - you only need to copy your personal files for that program, if you have such..
I know from my experiences with several HP printers, scanners and all-in-one printer etc. devices that when something goes wrong with HP's software, you're MUCH better off regarding the amount of time it takes to solve the problem to un-install ALL of the HP software that was installed for it and install it again.
- it's IMPORTANT that you do this to avoid possible problems....
NOTE that sometimes the resident module(s) of anti-malware programs - a part that runs all the time scanning for suspicious activity - will interfere with the proper installation of third party software, or major Microsoft updates that cannot be installed automatically by Automatic Update, the software will not install properly, and you may get no indication of that at all while installing the software.
To avoid that possibilty, you should always DISABLE the resident module(s) of anti-malware programs, BEFORE you install third party software (software other than most Microsoft Updates, etc., that did not come with Windows ), especially when it's a major or complicated software package.
E.g. if you are using the free or paid version of AVG, you should disable the Resident Shield in AVG's 's settings in Windows (in AVG 2012 that's done under the title AntiVirus). In Norton (Symantec) products, there may be several things you need to disable, or set so they don't load for a specific short amount of time.
If you don't know how to do that, tell us which anti-malware software you are using.
When you are sure the software has installed correctly, re-enable the resident module(s).
How to disable your security applications
- you MUST install it the RIGHT way, according to HP's directions (see the manual for the device) .
DO NOT install drivers for it by using Found New Hardware ! !
If it's connected via a USB cable to the computer, DO NOT plug in the USB cable for it into the computer BEFORE you have installed the software for the device ! You will probably be prompted to plug in the USB cable after some of the software for it has been installed, then more software for it may be installed after that.
- and in some cases, if you're installing software for the same HP device again,
sometimes the software will NOT install properly even when you do it the RIGHT way because of leftover entries in the Registry that were not removed by HP's own un-install program.
If you have that problem, you can usually fix the problem by using Microsoft's "Windows Installer Cleanup Utility", found on the web, for removing the existing installation of the HP software (BEFORE you use HP's own un-install program - if you have already used that you'll need to install the HP software the RIGHT way again, as far as it will install), that usually does a much better job than HP's own un-install program, then install the HP software again the RIGHT way.
Windows Installer CleanUp Utility
Click on the dark blue Download button on the left
It is an excellent program that was made by Microsoft but it is no longer being offered for download on their web site because they found it causes problems if a system has Office 2007 or later or any of it's components - Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint,etc.- installed on it. They don't specify what the problems are, but I suspect they only apply when you try to un-install those Office programs. I have used it many times without a problem.