"An unauthorized change was made to windows" RRS feed

  • Question

  • Yesterday I turned on my computer and attempted to log in to find an error stating that: "An unauthorized change was made to windows." I'm able to get to the internet by clicking the option "find out more on the internet," but am unable to do much more than this. I have close to 15 gigs of music that i don't believe I have backed up, but the rest of my files are. I believe I have the original Vista installer DVD but don't want to wipe my system just yet. Can i reinstall vista without losing my data? Is there another way around this problem? Please help, desperately need my computer for school. Thank you.
    Monday, February 9, 2009 1:30 PM


  • Hello crazywood,

      No matter what you decide to do with your Vista (try to fix it or just reinstall) lets first get your Music and other files saved off the computer.

    Reboot the computer into Safe Mode  (during reboot, start tapping the F8 key (usually) untill you get a black screen with a number of options, select Safe Mode)

    Once in Safe Mode, you should be able to navigate to your music and other files, normally. Then save them to a CD, thumb drive, DVD or whatever extrenal storage device you use. 

    (don't forget to export your internet browser Favorites. It's a small thing, but can be very frustrating if you loss it and you can't find that web site you wanted to get back to)


    Now that your files are safe, you have a couple options on how to proceed:

    A) You can have me troubleshoot the issue and attempt to fix it.

      From the error message, I'm pretty sure the issue is either a modified/corrupt system file or a program (possible a virus) that is incompatible with Vista. the fix will likely be either reparing/replacing the bad file or identifing/uninstalling the incompatible program.

      I'm more then happy to troubleshoot the issue, but I'll need you to download and run the Genuine Diagnostics tool at this link http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=52012. Click "Continue" click the Windows tab, click the "Copy" button, then paste the report into a response message in this thread.

    If you do not have access to the Start Button:

    1) Login to Vista and Click the option that brings up Internet Explorer.
    2) Type: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=52012 into the browser address bar.
    3) A window will come up asking if you want to Run or Save, Select Run
    4) When the program runs, Click the Continue button, then click the Copy button.
    5) Return to this thread by Typing: http://forums.community.microsoft.com/en-US/genuinevista/thread/8a57a012-8f38-4430-a632-fffcdffcaf75 into the browser address bar.
    6) In a reply post, Paste the Diagnostic Report.

    B) Reinstall Vista. 

      This is, most likely, the quicker of the two options. The downside is that after you do, you will need to re-install and re-setup all your programs and applications as well as load all your music and files from your backup, which can be a pain.

    Whatever you decide, good luck,
    Darin MS

    Attention Forum All Users: Please Do Not post your issue in someone else's Thread...Create your own.
    • Marked as answer by Darin Smith MS Tuesday, February 17, 2009 1:00 AM
    Tuesday, February 10, 2009 12:49 AM