Wife powered on computer, said she got a blue screen with message about checking disks, bad file, removing file, then got the STOP error. Now the STOP error appears when I try to boot system. Startup progresses through the Windows XP splash screen, then black for a few seconds, then the STOP error.
Same thing if try to boot in Safe Mode or Last Known Good Configuration. In Safe Mode boot, it progresses through loading drivers, then STOP error.
If I go into Recovery Console, pick 1 for Windows, hit ENTER and STOP error appears.
If I boot from Windows XP CD, try install, then R for repair, F8 to accept license agreement, then STOP error. Tried several CD's and even a clean rc.iso disk.
I have re-seated all motherboard connectors, switched RAM modules, and run extensive hardware diagnostics from Dell and others. All hardware checks out okay.
No new software, drivers, or hardware added recently. I use Microsoft Automatic Updates, and this occurred on a Thursday, so conceivably could have been from a Windows update.
It sounds like CHKDSK ran and "repaired or removed" a critical file in MBR, or some file critical to the early startup process.
I was finally able to get into the system with Active@ Boot Disk http://www.livecd.com/ . I am able to get into the system and have saved a complete drive image to an external hard drive,so I feel better now. I can see all of my C: drive, and I can backup all of my files to the external drive if I have to, but it will be a long and arduous task. I should mention that I have two 250GB drives in a RAID 0 array, so simply removing the drive and installing it as a slave in another computer I don't think is an option.
Now that I have a backed-up drive image, what can I try to diagnose and fix the STOP error?
I came across a thread from a couple of years ago, where someone was having an identical problem, which was ultimately fixed by deleting a partition and re-creating it.
Wannabe1 and Tuxmaster were helping that member solve his problem. Are you out there and can you help me?
Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to cut through the usual fixes first.
Thanks in advance for anyone who can help