Now that your files are safe, you can try repair CDs. Even the free one at http://neosmart.net/blog/2008/download-windows-vista-x64-recovery-disc/
As to the Windows 7, I can't check which HP this is. I have one that has no Windows 7 support and so what to do but order the recovery CD if the HP restore system is busted?
A few days ago, I was uninstalling a few programs from vista's control panel to speed up the system and clear out space.
During this process, I maneuvered to the bottom of the list and proceeded to clear out windows programs and bloatware things that I did not use.
I'm guessing that this angered windows because the next time I booted the computer up (the next day), I got my first black screen on this computer.
I have no backups available for use, and all types of safe mode promptly fails after loading up.
The black screen asks for a recovery disk to be inserted so it can be fixed, but HP did not send one with the computer years ago.
My next option that I am considering is purchasing a Vista repair disk from Amazon ($10).
Will this disk help or am I better off buying a new Windows 7 Install disk
(I know this will clear the hard drive and I have a theory for how to save my stuff before the wipe)
Is it better to get the repair disk or to start anew with windows 7?