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XP Pro 32 won't boot


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#1
Cadillac-89

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Original post here never answered.

My computer has 3 hard drives with 3 different OSs. My C drive is the one I'm having the problem with. First off though, since it's not my main OS and I'm still able to access the files from it while booted on the other OSs, I have another major problem. When trying to fix the problem I think I did something in the XP recovery console to change the way my computer boots up. The way it used to be is that the Vista screen would come up first and I would boot to Vista (my main OS) or if I wanted to boot into XP Pro or XP 64 I would choose "Load earlier versions of Windows" from there and it would bring be to the older type menu. Well, now when I boot the Vista menu doesn't even come up anymore and just goes straight to the XP menu. Whenever I put in my Vista disc, once the disc gets past the initial boot screen the machine blue screens. This was the case even when I installed Vista (after a few times I realized I'd have to do it with XP booted) so I'm not sure how I can use the recovery section of that disc to perhaps bring back my Vista boot menu. Right now I'm forced to use XP 64 as I can't get into the other two. Edit: I was able to download a Vista recovery disk and it fixed my apparently corrupt start up file. I now have access to both boot menus again but am still desperately trying to work the problem below out.

Anyhow, the other major problem is that my C drive with XP Pro won't boot. I rarely use this drive; usually only to burn CDs or make CD labels with a program I have installed on it. The other night when I did this it was running VERY slow; the printer even took several minutes to start up once I hit print and when it did the computer would almost freeze. I just figured it needed a reboot and it was the only time I had this problem. Well this morning I tried booting into XP Pro and after the initial screen that comes up that says Windows XP with the thing loading below it, the screen just went completely blank and the OS would not boot. After rebooting once or twice to no avail, I think I eventually got a blue screen with the error "Unmountable_boot_volume." I think it was here I first went into the recovery and replaced a few startup files. When this didn't work I went back and did a "CHKDISK /R" which would not go past 51%, though "CHKDISK /P" would finish. Anyhow, after this I try rebooting again and eventually get the message that my c:\windows\system32\config\system was somehow missing. I went to http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545 and have followed those instructions several times. The first time I was able to boot using the recovery files but I did not have any backup registry files to use unfortunately, except one set from last September but it would not boot with them. The machine did boot after using the original registry recovery files the first time, but after switching to my saved copies of the existing ones and the one set I had backed up the machine would not boot. I then tried to boot it with the original registry files again and now it won't boot. I'm really at a loss here. I very rarely use this drive and don't know why it would out of the blue just stop working. I don't know where to go from here. I'm thinking it's not virus related but who knows (so sorry if this is in the wrong section); the sudden corruption of these files makes no sense to me. Any suggestions? Thanks!
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#2
phillipcorcoran

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Contrary to what you might think, hard drives do "just out of the blue" stop working if they fail, and all hard drives fail eventually simply because they contain several moving parts which wear out. However, I'm not saying yours has failed, but you need to test it for confirmation one way or the other.

You can test the drive with the manufacturer's own diagnostic software, or just use Seagate SeaTools which will test any brand.
Links are here: http://www.tacktech....ay.cfm?ttid=287
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#3
Cadillac-89

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I downloaded Seatools but it didn't even recognize the 2 out of my 3 hard drives that are made by Seagate. I don't suspect the hard drive is bad as I'm still able to access even quite large files on it.
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