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Have you tried performing a system restore through safe mode yet? If not, lets try the following as a first repair attempt.
Shut the Vista computer down. Then power it on and as soon as you press power immediately start tapping the F8 key.
When the boot options screen shows up, choose safe mode with networking.
If it will let you into safe mode, try the following next
Click start, all programs, accessories, system tools, system restore..
Click, restore my computer to an earlier point, then click next..
We want to choose a restore point that was at least one day before the issues started..
Carry out the restore. the computer will restart, then let me know if that fixed the issue or not..
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Senior Technician and Network Switching Systems Operator / Maintainer.