Resetting system services in Vista

I wrote a post back in October about a common problem we saw on campus where students wouldn’t be able to get online and were getting an error when they started windows that says “the dependency service or group failed to start.”  Because it was internet related I came up with a stack repair which basically resets some configuration files and registry keys to their original state that are related to your computer knowing how to get online.

It has become one of my most popular posts all of a sudden and couple of the most recent comments said what I suggested didn’t work, which prompted me to do a bit more research to see if there’s anything else to try.  The solution I suggested the first time was only related to internet connection problems, nothing else, so I wouldn’t expect it to work for everybody.

I mentioned this in the previous post, I have a hunch that the cause may be some of Microsoft’s own updates because I heard from my experience and read online that things started going wrong after installing some updates.  If my first post doesn’t help then I would suggest the following things:

Try these steps at your own risk.  I suggest burning all important files to a CD/DVD.  If you are not comfortable working with computers either get someone who is or take it to a store and pay to have them repair it. A system restore should be fine, but anything beyond that may be more than some people should be tweaking with.

  1. Do a system restore (Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> System Restore) to a date when your computer was known to be working.  If updates screwed something up this may fix the problem.
  2. Run the system file checker.  It’ll check for corrupted system files, which may be causing the problem(s).

    Go the start menu and type cmd in the search bar.  Right-click on it and choose “run as administrator”.

    Type “SFC /Scannow” (without quotation marks) and hit enter.  When that is done restart the computer.

    Note: There is a SPACE between “SFC” and “/Scannow.”  It was also take quite awhile to finish.

  3. As a last resort I found where they have created some files you can download that will restore your version of Vista to the default services setup.   I say this is a last resort because this is not something you want to mess with unless you know what you are doing.

The cause of the problem could really be a variety of things so whatever I list may not work.  It might just be easier to reintall Vista.


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