> I've tried understanding all the other posts with the same problem
> but I'm not computer smart at all and I'm completely lost. I have
> Windows Vista and I've read that you have to restore your system to
> fix this problem, but first off I have absolutely no idea how to do
> that, second, I just have way too much stuff on my computer that I
> can't imagine losing. I'm fine with restoring my system if someone
> could help me figure out how, and if someone could tell me someway
> I could save all my stuff, or move it and put it back on after. I
> have mostly software that I don't have the Cd's for anymore, and
> lots and lots of pictures. It says the last successful update was
> 12/26/2009, is there someway I could restore my computer back to
> that date? Thanks so much in advance, and please explain very
> thoroughly because me and computers aren't the best of friends.
If you have stuff on your computer that you cannot imagine losing - first
question is obvious.
What do you do for backups? Your documents, pictures, music, installation
executables, installation CD/DVDs, product keys/serial numbers, Internet
favorites/bookmarks, emails, contacts, etc...?
If the answer is "nothing, I have a single copy of allthat on the computer
itself" --> doesn't seem very wise and/or yuou have overstated the
importance of the information on the computer. Very few devices in life
grant the user the ability to completely backup (safely/securely) everything
and restore to a prior date/not lose the valuable information if the device
is lost/stolen/breaks permanently/melts to slag.
IMHO, anyone who does not perform basic backups of at least their important
data (backups being a second copy of the data they deem important on
external medium stored somewhere other than on the physical computer itself)
is, at best, being foolish and playing it loose and fast with what they
claim to be, "... too much stuff on [the] computer that [they] can't imagine
So my first suggestion is - make a backup of your stuff.
If you are afraid - just purchase a Seagate Replica drive (500GB) - it will
do all of the work for you, completely backing up *everything* on your
system with minimal effort/knowledge needed on your part. Or at least copy
your important files and such to external media (CD, DVD, external hard
drive, another computer, all the above...)
What a lot of people suggest is what is known as a repair installation
(in-place upgrade) of WIndows Vista for this error. It's not exactly
provided for by Microsoft - but I have had to do it twice on different
Windows Vista machines in order to allow the update system to work. Once I
had to do it with a SP2 integrated version of the installation DVD in order
to even get SP2 properly installed.
Did you try the steps laid out for Windows Vista here:
You receive a "0x80070490" error code when you use Windows Update or
Microsoft Update Web sites to install updates
It describes in detail the first thing to try (method 1) and the second
thing to try (method 2 - the repair install).
If you have lost your installation media (CDs, DVDs, downloaded executables,
product keys, serial numbers, etc) - that is your bad. That is some stuff
that is necessary to properly maintain the system integrity at times - it
was sold to you as a package deal and you may be unable to replace it
without purchasing said items again.
You might be able to contact the original computer manufacturer (Dell, HP,
Lenovo, Gateway, etc) and obtain/purchase the media you need.
Use "Belarc Advisor" (free) to scan your system and get product keys and
hardware information out and printed.
You'll need the Windows Vista media - at least; and the product key for it
(usually on a sticker on the machine.) A repair installation is normally
non-destructive - made even better if you can get a version of the
installation media at the highest service pack level currently available
(currently SP2 for Windows Vista.)
Again - however - the most important thing for you right now - BACKUPS.
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