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XP won't boot. blinking cursor with blank screen


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#121
Matt37

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Hi everyone,
Sorry I have not got right back to you, but I am just working on this Laptop in my spare time. After I used GParted to repartition the HD I wanted to try to retrieve the information on the HD if possible. I stumbled on a tool Hirens.BootCD.15.1 for Mini XP on a USB. I was able to boot the USB and retrieve the info. I needed.
Then I ran the WD Data Lifeguard Diagnostic and the HD passed but the system report said

"that it is unable to read configuration file,
Setup AVD devices, and
MBR sector was incorrect. ???

If I eject the USB and the Disc drive to boot the HD, I get No bootable device Strike F1.
On the bootable USB with Mini XP there is a number of boot options when it loads. One is to boot from the original O/S Windows XP Pro. So, I tried it for S's and G's to see what happens. I starts the installation process for XP saying it needs the ASMS file from the i386 folder of install disk number two. I do not have disk two, all I have is the branded Dell Disk.
Should try this finishing of the installation or is that a wast of time at this point with the Boot sector being incorrect.

Thanks to everyone for all your input and help. I am learning more each step of the way with each option.
Hirens.BootCD.15.1 has a great set of tools inside. Hope they can help someone else.

Thanks,
Matt
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#122
rshaffer61

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OK it looks like you need to fix your mbr.
What you need is a XP disk but it can't be the branded disk you have.
You will need to get to the Recovery Console at the prompt.

Now at the prompt, type in fixmbr. Your damaged MBR will now be replaced with a new master boot record and your computer should now be able to boot properly. Note that you may also want to run the fixboot command to repair the boot sector with a new one.


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#123
Matt37

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Thanks rshaffer61,
I just got to the recovery console and ran command fixmbr, wrote a new mbr on physical drive\Device\Harddisk0\Partition0

when I gave the command fixboot = Fixboot cannot find the system drive, or the drive specified is not valid. ???

This is getting to be a real pain in the arse. I have missed something somewhere and really made things worse than thy were to begin with. An Old machinist once told me you are not learning anything if you do not make a mistake.

Thanks once again

Matt
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#124
ZetaByteMe

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May I offer a suggestion to anyone who is struggling to rescue data from a HDD in any situation similar to yours? STOP messing with the drive and risking the possibility of making your data irretrievable! Instead, try this:

1) Purchase the following adapter cable: http://www.eforcity....chtxtrigos-item for $12 + s&h.
2) Remove your HDD, connect it to the above cable, and try to read it from another computer with a USB2 port.
3) If you can, leave it alone! Drives are cheap. Purchase another HDD, install it in your computer, and re-install Windoze on the new drive.
4) Install all the updates, machine specific drivers, and applications.
5) When you have an installation you are satisfied with, THEN plug your old drive into the laptop's USB port, (or plug it into another computer and share it over a network) and copy all your data from the old drive, to the new one.

I believe this to be the least risk method of coping with these types of HDD problems. I NEVER risk the drive with the data on it any more than I absolutely have to.

Hope this is helpful.
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#125
rshaffer61

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You don't have to purchase anything. You can use a Linux Live cd to get to the data if that is what you want to do first. Then if this is to much we can do a factory restore which will delete everything and return the system back the way it was brand new.
The original issue was to get the system to boot.
The original issue was the mbr was doinked so that is where we started. Now after running the fixmbr does the system boot up or not?
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#126
Matt37

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I have retrieved the data aready with with the Mini XP on a bootable USB. I am now just trying to learn form the experience. A fresh install is the last option I want to use.

After running Fixmbr the system does not boot. No BOOTABLE DEVICES is the response that I am receiving.
I'm not sure if there is anything else to try, but I am open for Ideas.

Thanks ZetaByteMe and rshaffer61 for all your help.

Matt
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#127
rshaffer61

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Please check the bios to see if it is identifying the hd correctly and then also make sure it is in the second spot in the boot sequence.
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#128
Matt37

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Here is the boot sequence that I have
1 Internal HDD
2 Diskette Drive
3 USB storage device
4 CD/DVD/CD-RW Drive
Cardbus NIC
Onboard NIC

I have not changed this.

I want to note that the Bootable USB with Mini XP has many options of tools to load, like a Duel Boot, but with more than two options. The on Board original XP O/S, Mini XP, and Smart Boot Manager 3.7 just to name a few. If I boot the on Board original XP O/S from the this sequence it will load up. Then I can remove the USB an it runs like normal. It even connects to my router and is able to connect to the web this way. Like nothing is wrong, but the MSSE antivirus real-time protection is off and I can not restart it. Was able to update, but will not start real-time protection.

I ran Malwarebytes, first it updated then ran. It detected Rootkit.TDSS.EXPD1 quarantined and deleted it. Then I tried MSSE agani with no luck, then a reboot and it said "no bootable devices strike F1 to retry boot,F2 for setup utility.

Is the sequence missing something or is it out of order?

Thanks

Matt
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#129
rshaffer61

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I ran Malwarebytes, first it updated then ran. It detected Rootkit.TDSS.EXPD1 quarantined and deleted it. Then I tried MSSE agani with no luck, then a reboot and it said "no bootable devices strike F1 to retry boot,F2 for setup utility.

I am willing to bet this has a lot to do with everything.

What you posted is the boot sequence and not if the bios is identifying the hd correctly.
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#130
ZetaByteMe

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I agree. I don't believe you've mentioned the physical size of the HDD you're using. Make sure the BIOS "sees" it all. The fact that you can boot from another source, rules out hardware issues with the machine. Rootkit viruses corrupt necessary Windoze files, partition and/or boot record data, so this problem could belong in the category of virus infections. Windoze XP has a lengthy repair capability, but it may be your one last/best hope after all you've done so far. Here, from this very site, is a link to a good article describing this process:

http://www.geekstogo...air-windows-xp/

Good luck.
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#131
Matt37

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Ok, maybe I got the right information this time.
System/Device Info:
Primary Hard Drive = 137 GB HDD
If this is not what I need to be looking at, could you give me some direction please?

I was wrong earlier in these postings when I said the HD was a 140GB it is actually 160GB.
This does not seem to be right. It Should read the 160GB should it not?
Is there any way to change this.

Thanks

Matt
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#132
rshaffer61

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This does not seem to be right. It Should read the 160GB should it not?

No because after partition, format and the way the actual sizes are read you should be right on with 137 gigs of total free space.
What I am trying to find is what the model number is of the drive. If bios is seeing it correctly it should have something like WDC or ST before the model number that signifies the manufacturer of the drive.
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#133
ZetaByteMe

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Matt37,

This thread has gotten a bit long, and it discusses multiple problems that can cause the same symptom. This has given rise to multiple fixes being suggested. In your last post, you stated you have a 160GB drive (physical size) and you also mention "System/Device Info: Primary Hard Drive = 137 GB HDD." I'm going to go out on a limb and assume you are seeing this size listed in your BIOS setup menu. If so, your symptoms have led us back to the BIOS limitation indicated by this contradiction, which has a specific fix. First, please go back through this thread and read the following specific posts:

Posted 13 August 2010 - 01:50 PM ( C57)
Posted 05 May 2011 - 11:15 PM (ZetaByteMe)
Posted 14 September 2011 - 10:13 AM ( secondlaws)
Posted 12 October 2011 - 10:48 AM ( themidge)
Posted 12 October 2011 - 10:37 PM ( WTNA)
Posted 12 May 2012 - 11:43 PM (Meikahyael)
Posted 23 May 2012 - 10:44 PM ( Amlak)
Posted 30 May 2012 - 06:41 PM ( Digiti123)
Posted 04 August 2012 - 09:43 PM ( ZetaByteMe)
Posted 05 August 2012 - 09:08 PM ( ZetaByteMe)

WARNING to others reading this post - It would be a really good idea to back up irreplaceable data by whatever means possible before messing with your primary partition!!!

These posts all describe the same problem. The fix is to use a disk partitioning program (in one of your earlier posts you mentioned using GParted to re-partition the HDD), but you MUST make the primary (C:) partition LESS than 137GB decimal, which is 128GB binary. I have no experience with GParted, as I used Acronis Disk Director, but be aware of what size you are looking at (decimal or binary) when you change the size. Once you have the size (again; Primary Partition) UNDER the above number(s), save (or confirm) your results, and try booting from your drive. If the problem was what we have discussed in the above posts, it is a good bet you'll be up and running.

Finally, to make use of the portion of the drive removed from the C: partition, here is a useful tool provided by MS to create a logical drive in this space.
Start | Run | "compmgmt.msc" | OK | Disk Management
RtClick on the unallocated disk space and create your new logical drive.

Once again - for anyone reading this thread - if you have installed a drive with greater than 137GB (decimal) capacity, into a computer with the BIOS limitation we're discussing above, it would seem you are doomed to suffer this frustrating problem at some point in your future. Anytime you swap HDDs, or work on someone's machine, please take time to verify the size shown in your BIOS setup menu is the actual size of the installed HDD!

Hope this helps.
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#134
rshaffer61

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I have to agree with the bios limitations but the first question I have is if the hard in the system booted up fine before using Gparted?
You could have corrupted the boot.ini or MBR using Gparted.
So the question is simple, before using Gparted on this hard drive did the system boot fine?
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#135
Matt37

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No the the system did not boot properly before I used GParted. It is the reason I used Gparted to partition the HD. I partitioned the HDD to 110GB. That did not fix the problem. The problem maybe in the boot.ini file. Can this be fixed?

Thanks

Matt
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