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Windows won't start at all...invalid boot.ini...Help?!


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#1
PC buffoon

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Hello Geeks

Hope you can help, but I'm not techie so I might not understand anyway!

I scanned my PC's hard drive last night as it was running a bit slow on the internet and that's one of the few things I know how to do :whistling:

As it finished scanning a message came up saying "Not enough space on the disk for ******* (the asterisks are for something techie which I didn't get). There is loads of space on my hard disk, it's 40 gb and less than 5 gb is used.

Then it froze and when I tried to re-start it, I just got the Windows first screen followed by a black screen which says "Boot.ini invalid". There was also a blue screen with white writing on but it comes and goes so quickly I can't read it.

It won't start in safe mode or Last Known good configuration or anything else on the menu.

I don't have a Windows CD either. I have a recovery type disk but it doesn't work after the mother board was changed two years ago. I'm typing this on my Husband's PC. This doesn't have a Windows CD either, it just has the manufacturers disk, and the OS is XP Media anyway, my PC is Home edition.

Am I a hopeless case?
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#2
dsenette

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As it finished scanning a message came up saying "Not enough space on the disk for ******* (the asterisks are for something techie which I didn't get).

....that "techie" part that you didn't get might have been helpful...any idea what it said?

can you get your hands on an XP home disk? like borrow one from a friend?
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#3
PC buffoon

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....that "techie" part that you didn't get might have been helpful...any idea what it said?

can you get your hands on an XP home disk? like borrow one from a friend?


Thanks for your reply (and the very disturbing monkey-thing avatar :whistling: )

No, I didn't get it but the word "file" was in there somewhere.

I'll try and get a CD.
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#4
dsenette

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if you can get your hands on a CD it would make it alot easier...so let me know if you can or can't get one....if you can't...we still have options...they're just a little more complex
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#5
PC buffoon

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Couldn't get a CD :whistling:

I tried the recovery CD's again but they definitely won't work with the non-original motherboard.

I wondered if I could copy the boot.ini file from this PC and just type it in but it won't let me use long lines of typing, I get so far and it beeps and won't let me type another character.

Any ideas?
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#6
dsenette

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right this second i see fenor looking...so i'll let him post an idea...but as soon as i get settled (just got to the office) i'll try to post some instructions for a recovery console method that should work
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#7
dsenette

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Creating a Bootable Recovory Console Disk - Bootcfg /Rebuild
  • Download RC.ISO from Here.
  • Now burn this ISO image to a CD and boot your computer with it.
    NOTE: Keep in mind that this is different than burning a file to a CD-ROM. If you do not know how to burn an ISO image, then download CDBurnerXP Pro to another Windows machine and install it. Then go Here for instructions for burning the ISO image
  • Once the CD is created, place it in the defunct computer
  • Then reboot your broken PC with that CD in the CD-ROM drive.
  • Make sure the PC is set to run from the CD as the primary boot device.
    NOTE: You do this by setting your PC to boot to the CD-ROM in BIOS (enter bios by pressing f1, f2 or del key during memory count up, then search for boot order, and set the CD as the first boot device)
  • When the PC boots, it will boot from the CD...after the first several screens load, you will be given a choice to choose R for Recovery Console. You will be asked to log in.
    NOTE: For Windows XP Home, there is not password, just hit ENTER. For Windows XP pro, ask whomever set up the machine what password they used.
  • Once at the Recovery console C:\WINDOWS prompt, type

    bootcfg /rebuild

  • Press ENTER
    Note:The bootcfg /rebuild command scans the hard disks of the computer for Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, or Windows XP installations, and then displays the results. You can add the detected Windows installations.
  • When you receive a message that is similar to the following message, press Y:


    Total Identified Windows Installs: 1

    [1] C:\Windows
    Add installation to boot list? (Yes/No/All)

  • You receive a message that is similar to the following message:

    Enter Load Identifier

    NOTE:This is the name of the operating system. This is either Microsoft Windows XP Professional or Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition.
  • Type the name of your operating system, and then press ENTER
  • You receive a message that is similar to the following:

    Enter OS Load options

  • Type /fastdetect, and then press ENTER.
  • Type exit, and then press ENTER to quit Recovery Console.
  • Your computer will restart, and the updated boot list may apear when you receive the "Please select the operating system to start" message.
  • If you see a Boot list with multiple entries choose the XP Home option to boot to windows.

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#8
PC buffoon

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wow, that looks techie!

Thank you v. much, I'll try that and let you know what happens. Fingers crossed.
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#9
dsenette

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if you run into any problems let me know
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#10
PC buffoon

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Thank you :whistling:

OK, I got as far as typing bootcfg /rebuild. Then it said "Failed to successfully scan disks for Windows installations. This error may be caused by a corrupt file system. Use chkdsk to detect any disk errors"

So I typed chkdsk and it said the volume seemed to be OK but it hadn't scanned it and if you wanted to scan it type /p. I did that and it did a scan and then it said:

"Chkdsk found one or more errors on dsk"

40146400 kilobytes total disk space
33996996 kilobytes available

I typed the bootcnfg thing again and it said the same message as the first time, "Failed to scan successfully etc"

Do you think i've got a ruined disk?
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#11
dsenette

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type chkdsk /r and let that run...it will attempt to fix the errors the /p just checks for errors i think

Edit: the corrupted sectors may explain why you're having the issues to begin with
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#12
PC buffoon

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Thank you.

I tried that /R. It completed the scan/repair but i still get the same message after typing boot cfg /rebuild: "failed to scan successfully etc" same as the first time.

It didn't actually detail any errors though.

Can I try anything else?
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#13
dsenette

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type bootcfg /list and tell me if it shows anything
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#14
PC buffoon

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type bootcfg /list and tell me if it shows anything


"There are currently no boot entries available to display"
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#15
dsenette

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  • At the Recovery Console Type:

    bootcfg /add

  • Windows will scan your system, looking for Windows installs
  • It will find C:\WINDOWS and give it a number 1
  • type

    1

  • press ENTER
  • it will ask for a name
  • type

    WINDOWS2

  • press ENTER
  • it will ask for switches
  • leave blank
  • press ENTER
  • Type

    EXIT

  • Windows will reboot
  • This time, you will be give a choice of two operating systems

    WINDOWS

    AND

    WINDOWS2

    choose the second option
  • Windows will boot.
  • Now, open C:\Boot.ini in notepad and paste the contents here

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