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XP Won't Boot After SP 3 Installation


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#1
bmshanley

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Greetings,
This afternoon, I installed Win XP SP3 on my Dell Inspiron 6000. Everything seemed fine, multiple reboots, a couple hours of it running normally. This evening Media Player crashed, and I couldn't get it to restart. It goes through the POST, and then I get a blinking cursor. I've had a look at this thread and while our problems seem similar, I think there are some important differences.

If I boot from a Windows CD, and go into recovery mode (pressing R in setup) I can't run CHKDSK at all - I get the following: "The volume appears to contain one or more unrecoverable problems." FIXMBR gives me the warning that "this computer appears to have a nonstandard or invalid master boot record." DISKPART shows me that there are two partitions, one of about 8 MB, obviously left over from a previous installation, and one for 76309 MB, all expected, except that it tells me that 76308 MB are free.

So, it seems clear that something has happened to the partition information, but I'm hoping that the data is still there... somewhere.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to go about recovering this data? I'm wondering if there is a way to manipulate Windows before trying the previously suggested Puppy Linux installation.

Thanks,
Brendan

Edited by bmshanley, 31 March 2009 - 07:07 AM.

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#2
Neil Jones

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"unrecoverable problems" is Recovery Console slang for "the hard drive is toast".
Replace the hard drive, put a new copy of Windows/Linux on it and then get back what you can off the old drive before it dies altogether.
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#3
edge2022

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Its best you don't do much with the killed drive.
Try booting through a Live CD and try to recover as much as you can.

You can use Puppy Linux for this or Ubuntu.
It's your choice, but try to recover the data as fast as you can.
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#4
bmshanley

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Is a Live CD a bootable .iso of Puppy, etc?
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#5
edge2022

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Yea it is.
Burn it with an image burning program. Don;t just make a data CD.
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#6
bmshanley

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Thanks for the help, gang. We'll see how it goes.

Just for general knowledge, is it likely that SP3 had anything to do with this failure, or is this just a strange coincidence?
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#7
edge2022

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Might be SP3, but I don't know for sure
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#8
bmshanley

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So, I was able to make Puppy load up, and I can mount my flash drive that I hoped to back up to, but I get an error when I try to mount the hard drive. Is this the final nail in the coffin? If the drive won't mount, is it safe to say that it no longer spins, and it's totally dead?

Thanks for all the help so far,
Brendan
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#9
edge2022

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Is there an error when it doesn't mount?
Post back and tell what was the exact error code given.
If the drive is dead you may have to take to some professional data recovery company.
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#10
bmshanley

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Sorry, should have put that up last time.

Puppy drive mounter: ERROR
FAILURE! In the case of removable meida, the most common reason is the media is not currently inserted. Or, you forgot to unmount the previously inserted media. If so, please remedy.

Then, when I hit OK, it tries to remount, and I get the same error. After that, it just returns me to the mounter menu.
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#11
edge2022

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It's hard to figure out what is wrong with that error.

Download Ubuntu
http://www.ubuntu.co...Ubuntu/download

Since you have some experience with Linux I assume you know how to burn the disc image.
If Ubuntu does not auto mount your drive, try using the shell.
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#12
edge2022

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Try a regular mount

sudo mount /dev/*** /mnt

If that doesn't work list the error

http://www.linux-faq...sc/ntfs.php#4.1
Read this for some guidance
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#13
bmshanley

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I think you're giving me too much credit - my Linux experience is very limited. But, I did burn the Ubuntu iso, and booted from it. I went with the option to "try without changing my computer" or something like that. From the terminal, when I use fdisk -l, all I see is the flash drive I've attached (I don't see the CD drive that it's running from either, but that may be normal, I don't know). If I try sudo mount/dev/hda1 (just a guess, but there is only one HD) it returns "mount: can't find /dev/hda1 in /etc/fstab or /etc/mtab."

I also tried this with just "hda" with the same results. Also of note (maybe), when I use the cat /proc/filesystems command, I don't see NTFS in there.
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#14
edge2022

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This might be the end but try going into GParted.

You will find it in one of the menus, I think it's under system, but I may be wrong. It's listed as "partition manager." Click on it and see if it lists any partitions.
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#15
edge2022

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Posted Image

This is what it looks like, but of course, your partitions are going to look different.
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