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Hard drive formatted?

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Hi, I'm really hoping someone can help me with this. A friend of mine had a UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME error and couldn't start their computer. They didn't have their windows CD, so I used mine. The problem was that this version automatically skips through setup and starts to reinstall windows. No setup options, no prompts, etc.

Anyway so it starts in the blue windows setup screen, and for about a minute its loading systems files (flashing in the white bar in the bottom), then it went to a status bar and I think it said it was creating a partition, or analyzing the partition, or something, but I can't remember which one. So at this point I realize something is weird and am about to turn it off. Then the status bar jumps from about 20% to 80% and then a new screen comes up. This all took about 30 seconds so I'm hoping that wasn't enough time to do much damage. Anyway so the next status bar screen says something along the lines of scanning hard drive and preparing to format. At this point I turned the system off.

We haven't been able to try a regular windows cd yet, but I wanted to ask if that sounds like the drive could have been wiped. My friend had alot of finals work on there so I'm hoping this is a no.

When we started the machine before the blue UNMOUNTABLE_etc etc error would flash before it restarted. Now it just says operating system error, or operating system not found, or something along those lines. So I was wondering if someone could tell me whether windows setup just overwrote the boot files, or if it had a chance to wipe the whole drive? Thanks very much.

Edited by xbertmx, 07 May 2005 - 08:23 PM.

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The cd you used is no different to any other XP setup cd. The behaviour of setup depends on whether or not it finds a bootable version of Windows already installed. If it doesn't you don't get any preliminary options - setup goes straight into disk preparation for a fresh install. If you want to be really sure what (if anything) is on that hard disk, you should slave it on another XP PC, boot into Windows and have a look at it in my computer.
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