My Windows XP won't load. I was working with video files and the computer ran OK, then I shut it down to go somewhere. When I powered on the computer again later in the day, I had problems right away. The drive in question is a Seagate Barracuda 120 GB SATA drive running Windows XP home.
After BIOS post I get B&W screen stating Windows did not start successfully. Options are Start Normally, Start in Safe Mode, Last Known Configuration and a couple of other Safe Mode options. Start Normally goes to Windows splash screen, times out and starts BIOS post again - an unending circle of failed boots. If I click any other option, I get a list of drivers, with the last one being:
multidisk rdisk partition/WINDOWS/System 32/Drivers/gagp30kx.sys
Booting with Windows CD and going to DOS I tried a dir command and a diskpart command, neither seeing the hard drive with the OS on it.
Another thing booting with Windows CD, I hit f6 to load Promise controller drivers and after loading hit Repair. Got a message at the bottom of the screen that said something to the effect scanning or analyzing hard disk and showed the HDD size, but then this process timed out and it went back into the ugly circular boot cycle.
Can this be memory related? It acts like a Windows driver file got corrupted, and that is where the Windows boot stops. With data on the disk I do not want to lose if at all possible, I am in a dilemma on which step to take next. I have a small 20 GB hard drive in the computer as a slave drive. Can I load Windows on to it, use it as the Operating system to access files on the main HDD and transfer them off to an external drive, then reload Windows on the main HDD? I am a bit nervous doing a repair/recovery with the Windows CD without trying to rescue the files first. I have not run any memory tests or HDD tests yet, but have the disks to run both now.
Any help would be appreciated. It is a SATA drive, so I haven't gotten a lot of help with local computer repair shops.