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Windows XP won't boot

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I have a computer with windows xp professional(upgraded from home edition) that gives me the following message.

windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:

You can attempt to repair this file by starting windows setup using the original CD-ROM
Select 'r' at the first screen to start repair.

However I can't get into the recovery console. When I press 1 to select the windows installation I would like to log onto, it does nothing. I tried entering 1 and then hitting enter, that did not work either. It never even prompted me for an admin password. I am beginning to wonder if the problem with boot up is also causing me to be unable to enter recovery console.
Also, since this computer was upgrade from home to professional, I wasn't sure which installer cd to use... but I tried both. Please help as I don't want to do complete reinstall.
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Retired Tech

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Use the XP Pro CD

Try these until you can get windows to load

Option One

Items in blue which are underlined are clickable to give more information about the process

Start the System Restore Utility at a command prompt

1. Restart your computer, and keep tapping F8 during the initial start-up until you get options, select Safe Mode with a Command Prompt then press enter. (If F8 shows boot devices, use F5 instead).

2. Log on to your computer with an administrator account or with an account that has administrator credentials.

3. Type the following command at a command prompt, and then press ENTER:


4. Follow the instructions that appear on the screen to restore your computer to an earlier state.

Look for the most recent system checkpoint created before the errors to restore from

For additional information about the Safe mode with a command prompt, click 315222 to see a description of the Safe Mode Boot Options in Windows XP

Option Two


Option Three

You can use this guide to repair XP

Possibly, you will need to press the power button and keep tapping the delete key, (possibly F2) until the PC enters set up. Change the boot order to CD ROM Drive then hard drive, press F10 then press enter, load the XP CD then type Y then press enter, as it reboots, look for press any key to load from CD, press enter

You will need your XP product key to complete this

The XP Product Key is a 25 character alpha numerical code, which does not include the sequence OEM

If you have audio / video files which are subject to DRM you should check with the provider for known issues with performing an XP repair install

Click this to view the XP Repair Install Guide

Windows XP repair feature won't delete your data, installed programs, personal information, or settings. It just repairs the operating system

The XP repair install will look and run as a normal install, however, you must not see a request to format the drive

After running XP Repair you will need to install all Windows Updates

Microsoft Update
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Thanks for your response!

Option one
This does not work. When I select Safe Mode with command prompt it stops when loading

and it gives me the same message I got before.

Option 2
This option won't work because I can't get into the recover console as I described above.

Option Three
When I tried a windows repair, it got to the first screen, I hit enter, then R for repair and then it hung while it said searching for previous version of Microsoft Windows. I waited for 10+ minutes and it was still hung...

Any other options for me other than a clean install?
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The Skeptic

The Skeptic

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To fix the problem you must be able to enter Recovery Console. Try with the XP professional CD. If this doesn't succeed try Home Edition CD. If this also fails then I am afraid that you will have to clear format.

You can backup the data if you move the HD to another computer, rig it as slave and download the data.
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