Do a compatibility check before initiating the upgrade process, and if you see that there are some incompatible programs uninstall it, and if the problem still persist, go ahead and unplug all the external devices except monitor, keyboard and mouse and try to proceed with the upgrade process.
Already tried all that, according to both microsoft and my pc manufacturer I was Vista ready... also tried renaming the boot folder to "backup boot" as suggested in this forum and that didn't help either... just kept rewriting the boot folder. Any other suggestions?
It seems that there are some errors on your hard disk. Try to perform chkdsk \r from "safe mode with command prompt" or else, insert the vista disk-->Boot from it and click on "Next", and at the bottom you could see "Repair your computer"--> click on it.
Later, it gives you a list of options, click on command prompt and try performing the above command.
It is a frustrating problem but with a simple solution. Instead of upgraing a clean install after deleting the partition would not give such an error message.
Formatting the partition in which vista is to be installed wouldn't help but deleting the partition would solve the problem
I have no doubt that a clean install will complete successfully, but it defeats the purpose of an upgrade, which is NOT to have to re-install all of one's programs again and again just to do what in XP was called a "repair install". I have gone through the whole process of starting from bare metal, creating new partition, chkdsk /r, install known working image, chkdsk /r again, but an upgrade install of Win 7 to itself, or Win 7 to Win 8, fails every time with this message.
Nobody appears yet to have explained what is causing this problem.