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Windows XP won't boot...missing/corrupt start up files


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#1
mikeinstlouis

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Today my computer was running very slowly

(My Norton Antivirus scan from last night said no virus' nor any in quaranteen) and it took minutes for google to start up.

Ulitimately, I had to shut it down with the power switch. When I rebooted, I got a blank screen. I tried to get into safe mode, but the same thing, it just had the blank gray screen. Once I got an error that it could not find a windows/system file and another it was a dll, (did not write down the name). Most recently it was a blank screen after waiting for hours for an error message to pop up.

I have my original windows XP disk. The first error message said to put it in and push R for repair at the start up screen. I tried this but all I got was d:/windows, and I did not know what to do from there.

I am no rocket scientist, but it seems like my start up files were corrupted. This is a pretty new hard drive but I do have some pictures on there I don't want to lose. I have my old hard drive installed as well on the same system that I have been using as extra storage. I did not try to boot from that but is it possible to maybe restore the missing files from there somehow?

I have read some other help pages, but they did not seem to apply to my problem.

ANY suggestions would be greatly appreciated and even if you can't help, thanks for reading.

Mike in St Louis :tazz:
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#2
Retired Tech

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You can use these guides to repair XP

Possibly, you will need to boot the PC and keep tapping the delete key until the PC enters set up. Change the boot order to CD ROM Drive then hard drive, press F10 then press enter, type Y then press enter and as it reboots, look for press any key to load from CD, press enter

XP Repair Install

Or here if you are unable to run XP Repair Install

Alternative XP Repair Install Method

Use Windows Installation CD to repair the current installation, from the list, which uses a slightly different method

Windows XP repair feature won't delete your data, installed programs, personal information, or settings. It just repairs the operating system

After running XP Repair you will need to install all Windows Updates

Microsoft Update
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#3
mikeinstlouis

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Thank you so much for your advice.

I followed the guides and was able to get to the set up screen, so I press the enter and get something that makes me think that I think I may be in big trouble here!

...basically the screen comes up and says that I have two hard drives, my C and my D (which is the storage one)

It says c: Partitiion 1 (unknown) 76317 MB (76317 MB free)

d: Patition 1 (fat 32) 9872 MB (9872 MB free)



and it asks me which one to set up.

HERE is my fear.

Since I see no R (repair) option on this screen, does it want me to install a fresh windows and erase all of my data...or will I see the R (repair) option when I click on the C: drive option to continue. My fear is that my disk is so corrupted that I may need to reinstall an wipe out all of my data, or have I just not gone far enough with this repair ...I did not want to click on anything until I contacted you guys.

Thanks

Mike in St. Louis
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#4
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I just need to check why it is showing the same free space as the total drive size

Will get back to you as soon as
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#5
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I have checked with a colleague and the news is not brilliant

The reason that the system is reporting that the amount of free space is equal to the size of drive, is because the drives MBR or partition table is corrupt. Essentially, it is saying that the drive is not formatted, hence the '(unknown)' value where the file format should be listed.

It may be possible to fix this & recover his data, but he must be extremely careful. I would advise him not to attempt booting the system again until we have decided on the best way to proceed. I'm not an expert on data recovery I'm afraid but I do know that the more you fiddle about with a drive like this, even though you may not think you are changing it in any way, the less likely your chances are of recovering anything.

It may be helpful to know if the drive was formatted with NTFS or FAT32. This will obviously depend on him being able to remember (assuming he knew to start with) which file system was used.
It would also be useful to know what make the drive is.

If you can post the details that you have from the above, then I will take it up with another colleague who specialises in this
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#6
mikeinstlouis

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The C drive was formated with NTFS

My question...why would both my c drive and d drive say the same thing? How could both the file systems be messed up?

Can I boot from my d drive and just get the files off my current c drive, like a slave type drive?

and my biggest question is how the heck did this happen?????

Thanks for your time and effort...I won't touch it till I hear from you guys.

Thanks

Mike
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#7
mikeinstlouis

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Sorry, it is a Western Digital Drive...
Thanks
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#8
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Have you got the make of the drives
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#9
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Thanks
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#10
mikeinstlouis

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No, thank you...let me know if you need any more info.

I am not sure if you ever do this, but I am willing to give you my number if it is easier to talk me through it.


I consider myself pretty computer savy and I am not afraid to try something...it sure couldn't hurt!


Thanks

Mike
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#11
gerryf

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I would agree that there is something wrong with the MBR...whether the data is recoverable...I don't know.

You said you cannot get into the recovery console? The step you listed above was the second step, there should have been one prior to that with install windows and REPAIR WINDOWS USING RECOVERY CONSOLE

If that is unavailable (it is not present on some customer windows cds from big PC makers), download the following

download RC.iso from the following link:

http://www.thecomput...edic.com/rc.iso

You need to burn this image to a CD and boot your computer with it--this is different than burning a

file to a CD. If you do not know how to burn an ISO image, then download the following program to

another Windows XP machine, install it.

http://isorecorder.a...isorecorder.htm

After installation, right click the RC.iso file you downloaded above and choose COPY IMAGE TO CD.

Then reboot your broken PC with that CD in the CD-ROM drive.

This will give you a recovery console to use to run.

If entering the recovery console asks you to choose and OS (usually 1. c\windows) choose that and enter your admin password

If it drops you right to a c:\you can be pretty certain the MBR is corrupt

First thing to try

type:
chkdsk /r
<enter>

Let it run, could take a loooong time

Reboot. Work?

If no, then type

fixmbr \Device\HardDisk0

Reboot

Work? If no, type

fixboot c:

reboot

If no, post back.
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#12
mikeinstlouis

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Hello and THANK YOU for your response..

Before I dive into what you had written, I wanted to clarify your first question.

I can boot from my CD to the windows set up.

That all seems to be working just fine. I can get to the setup screen with the 3 options. If I chose the REPAIR option, it takes me right to D:/windows (D being my CD)...NOT C: and I did not know what to do from there..(as should I be copying files from my D to my C drive?)

When I chose #1, (first option) in the set up (as was recommended by the forum) and NOT chose the repair option, and then go on to the next screen (that is after the F8 screen for license) where I am presented with the same three options again, and then click repair, that is when I get the options of either the C drive (that says unknown):

c: Partitiion 1 (unknown) 76317 MB (76317 MB free)

d: Partition 1 (fat 32) 9872 MB (9872 MB free)

They really don't give me any repair options...I am not sure if I need to click on the C: choice first, before I get those options, or if they would have come up without having to chose a drive.

Anyway, I hope this makes sense. Please ask anything and I will try to clarify and thank you VERY much for taking your time for your help.

Mike
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#13
gerryf

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Do you see this screen?

Posted Image

If not, try the download I have have posted
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#14
mikeinstlouis

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Yes I did see that screen...I think that is the first set up screen I was referring to
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#15
gerryf

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that is where you press R, the second option

From there
....


type:
chkdsk /r
<enter>

Let it run, could take a loooong time

Reboot. Work?

If no, then type

fixmbr \Device\HardDisk0

Reboot

Work? If no, type

fixboot c:

reboot

If no, post back.
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