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Cannot boot after installing Windows updates...


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#1
caljohn

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Quick background: I'm on a dual boot system with Windows XP SP2 on one partition and Ubuntu 7.10 on another.

When shutting down Windows XP today, it installed updates before shutting down, but I didn't hang around to watch what was going on. When I booted up my computer later, I got my normal boot manager screen where I choose between Windows or Ubuntu. After selecting Windows, the hard drive showed activity for less than 2 seconds and then the computer completely locked up: no mouse, no cursor, and certainly no Windows splash/welcome screen. Also no way to get into safe mode either. :)

Obviously, something very basic got corrupted or something, because after I select Windows at the boot manager, the computer goes no more than 2 seconds before freezing. FORTUNATELY, I can still force mount the NTFS partition in Ubuntu and can work on it, but I have no idea where to start. :)

Can someone please give me an idea of what might be the problem and how to fix it? I really would appreciate any help. :)
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#2
pip22

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Welcome to Geeks2Go!

Having 'Automatic Updates' enabled is not a good idea despite XP telling you the opposite. Far better to visit Microsoft's update site manually and decide for yourself which updates you want to install from those that are offered, many of which are not security-related and you may never need. Automatic Updates gives you everything whether you actually need it or not, and you've no idea exactly what it is that's being installed why you're not at your machine. Would you allow that to happen from any other website? -- of course not --- so why assume that Microsoft knows what you want?

My advice is re-install XP (and turn auto-updates off).
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#3
caljohn

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My advice is re-install XP (and turn auto-updates off).

I really would like to try and recover my Windows partition first before I just go with a complete reinstall. I've highly customized/optimized Windows over the last few years, and have maybe 100 or so programs installed. To start all over again would take me a few weeks or so to download/reinstall everything, tweak all my settings again, etc. And of course the worst part is I don't remember all the tweaks that I've applied over the years.

BUT... maybe I have no choice but a reinstall, because I found out late yesterday that even though I can mount my Windows partition in Ubuntu, everything seems OK except my C:\WINDOWS directory: when I try to read from it, I get an I/O read error. :)

Are there any good programs to help me assess to what extent my Windows partition is corrupted? And whether it is by some chance recoverable? Thanks for any help. :)
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#4
Ztruker

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Boot your XP CD. If you don't have one download either of these and create a bootable CD from the .iso file

XP Recovery Console
Another XP Recovery Console

You don't burn the iso file itself to CD., you create a CD from the iso file using your CD burning software. There is a good freeware burner called DeepBurner which will do this. Another called ISO Recorder is also very easy to use.

Boot the CD and at the first opportunity, enter R to start the Recovery Console.
Next, choose which XP installation you want to login to. Normally this will be 1.
Lastly you will be asked for the Administrator password. Just press the Enter key as the Administrator does not have a password (unless you gave it one, then you would enter it).

From the command prompt, enter: chkdsk c: /r

Allow it to complete undisturbed.

If that doesn't help, you can try the following. It loads the installs copy of the registry which should allow you to boot into Safe Mode and then run System Restore.

http://forums.cclonl...read.php?t=1183
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#5
caljohn

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Ztruker: Thanks so much for the help; I must admit that I'm a little (happily) surprised, because the "chkdsk c: /r" actually did the trick! I thought I'd probably have to do a Windows repair or complete reinstall the way things were looking. I'll have to keep a close eye on things in the next few days and make sure no other problems come up (hopefully).

Thanks again for taking your time to help. :)
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#6
sari

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caljohn,

I'm glad ztruker's advice worked - thanks for letting us know.

Ztruker, nice work!
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#7
Ztruker

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Actually, I'm a little surprised it fixed it as well :) .

I thought it was worth a try though as I've been doing a lot of chkdsking lately and it has resolved quite a few off the wall problems.

You need to think about backup. Now is a great time to implement a good backup strategy that will protect you from a hardware or software failure in the future., and with XP it's 100% guaranteed to happen.

I'd recommend getting an external USB 2.0 drive enclosure, with fan and at least a 250GB hard drive (IDE). The you can buy Acronis True Image or Norton Ghost or go the free route as I do and use DriveImage XML.

If you go the DIXML route then you will want to also get and build Ultimate Boot CD For Windows (UBCD4WIN),. It is a bootable CD that you create on your computer using your own copy of Windows XP. One of it's included tools is DIXML so in the event of a hard drive failure you just replace the drive, boot the UBCD4WIN CD and restore from your external USB drive.

Keep the backup current. I keep two full backups and replace the oldest. I do this usually once every two months unless I've made some significant changes to my system in which case I do it immediately.
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