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Unmountable Boot Volume Error


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#1
Xox

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My 5-year old Dell Dimension 8400 desktop running Windows XP SP3 failed to boot up this week with the UNMOUNTABLE BOOT VOLUME error. I tried running CHKDSK under the Recovery Console but it responded VOLUME APPEARS TO CONTAIN ONE OR MORE UNRECOVERABLE PROBLEMS. I also tried FIXBOOT but it responded CANNOT FIND THE SYSTEM DRIVE, OR THE DRIVE SPECIFIED IS NOT VALID.

Is there anything further I can try to atttempt to recover? I'm assuming this is a hard disk failure, and I've ordered a new desktop, but it would still be nice to be able to recover some/any of the data. My hard drive is a Western Digital WD-XL80-2.

Thanks,

Xox.
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#2
phillpower2

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Try this for your HDD, WD is near the bottom of the page http://www.tacktech....ttid=287#maxtor
And this for data recovery http://download.cnet...4-10753287.html
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#3
happyrock

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first a little general info...
MFT...(master file table) Describes all files on the volume, including file names, timestamps, stream names, and lists of cluster numbers where data streams reside, indexes, security identifiers, and file attributes like "read only", "compressed", "encrypted", etc.
MFTMirr is a Duplicate of the first vital entries of $MFT, usually 4 entries (4 KB).
TestDisk will use the MFTMirr to rewrite the MFT...
The first sector of NTFS partitions is reserved for the partition boot sector. This contains the information that allows the OS to read the partition. Without it, the partition cannot be accessed.

NTFS keeps a backup copy of the boot sector on the last sector of the partition which can allow recovery programs to restore it. The FAT equivalent of this is also called the boot sector, and resides on the first sector of the partition. The difference is that FAT does not keep a backup copy of this information, making recovery much more difficult...
this is in addition to the other advantage of using NTFS..so you can see you really should use the NTFS instead of FAT

The first file stored on an NTFS partition is the Master File Table(MFT) which is essentially a listing of the names, properties and locations of all the other files in the partition. This is referenced by the operating system to access individual files.

NTFS stores a backup copy of this file. Data restoration software will attempt to access or restore a copy of the MFT in order to access files on the partition.

If the MBR (master boot record) or partition table are damaged, the drive will become unbootable, and may appear to be blank if the partition information has been erased.

TESTDISK will attempt to access and restore a copy of the MFT in order to access files on the partition.

  • Please download the Ultimate Boot CD here.
  • Please burn the file to a CD using a ISO burner. (If you do not have a ISO burner you can get one here)
  • Please boot to the CD using the disk you just burned.
  • Press enter to boot to the disk when prompted.
  • Using the up and down arrow keys select File System Tools.
  • Select Partition Tools.
  • Select TestDisk
  • Let it load do not press anything until you get to the screen that says at the top:
    TestDisk 6.6 Data Recovery Utility
  • Unless you have more then one hard drive installed take the default option and press enter to proceed.
  • Due to you are on a PC select Intel and press enter.
  • Select analyze
  • The next screen will display the current partition structure. If your System shows anything but No partition is bootable please post back with what it says.
  • Click Enter to Proceed.
  • The next screen is where TestDisk will analyze your disk.
  • After that it will come back with the results. It should show. Under Partition NTFS. With a Star Indicating Primary Bootable.
  • Press enter to continue.
  • Use the Left and Right arrow keys to select write.
  • Type Y and press enter to confirm.
  • Remove the disk.
  • Restart your computer.

Edited by happyrock, 04 August 2010 - 07:16 PM.

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#4
Xox

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I appreciate the quick responses to my thread. I will download and execute the testdisk utility as instructed, within the next few days and report back.

Xox.
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#5
Xox

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12.The next screen will display the current partition structure. If your System shows anything but No partition is bootable please post back with what it says.



Disk 80 - 250Gb / 232 GiB - CHS 30394 255 63
Current partition structure:

Partition Start End Size in sectors

1. P Dell Utility 0 1 1 5 254 63 96327
2. * HPFS - NTFS 6 0 1 29863 254 63 479668770
3. P CP/M 29864 0 1 30392 254 63 8498485

15.After that it will come back with the results. It should show. Under Partition NTFS. With a Star Indicating Primary Bootable.


This was the point the instructions got confusing. After PROCEED (instruction #13) the following is what was displayed:

* FAT16 > 32M [Dell Utility]
P HPFS - NTFS
P FAT32 LBA [Dell Restore]

I guess the asterisk means that only the Dell Utility partition was bootable?

17.Use the Left and Right arrow keys to select write.


After I was done, I removed the CD and rebooted, and it went straight into Dell Diagnostics. I wasn't sure what to do next, so I cancelled out and it continued booting until I got the familiar error screen from before. At this point I decided to report back and await further instructions.



Xox.

Edited by Xox, 07 August 2010 - 07:52 AM.

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#6
Xox

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The following link has information about the Dell Utility partition:

http://www.cgsecurit...a_Dell_computer

It recommends: "After Analyse, select the DellUtility partition, use 'T' to change the partition type to DE. Use the arrow key to boot into the NTFS partition."

I'm guessing here, but the absence of any error messages when TestDisk first displayed the partition structure (instruction #12) means that perhaps my data is recoverable (he said hopefully?).

And that this Dell Utility partition is "top of the queue" and crowding out the partition I need to restore/boot from, and needs to be "moved out of the way"?

Again, I'll wait for futher instructions, but please be detailed so I don't screw anything up (if I haven't already).
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