Need advice repairing windows via recovery console.

By jreich
Feb 11, 2007
  1. My wife had to cancel a DVD burn yesterday, which for some reason tends to lock up up computer. When she restarted, windows would make it through the POST and proceed to startup, the windows splash screen, but then the screen would go dark. Rebooting into safe mode wouldn't work either. There were no errors, just a dark screen. So I broke out the XP disc and went into setup to try and repair it, but mistakenly went to the recovery console. After realizing my error, I exited and tried to go back in. However, after selecting "enter" I just get a list of drives and partitions. No existing copy of windows found. Oh, yeah, and none of the drive letters are what they should be. C: is now listed as D:, etc.. So I go back into the recovery console and it shows a copy of windows on D:. So I select that and after rummaging around the web, I try and copy ntldr and from the disk. That doesn't solve it. I try bootcfg /rebuild, but it fails to scan saying that my file system may be corrupt and bootcfg can't scan for windows installations. I tried to run chkdsk /repair and after it finished (took about 30 min), I tried the rebuild again with no luck. I have an old 60Gb drive with XP on it that I was able to install and get to run in safe mode, just to back up critical data and I was able to see the other drives and copy all my personal stuff. I am about to give up and do a reformat/reinstall, but now is about the worst possible time so if I can, I'd like to avoid it. Any ideas?
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,233   +234

    "I am about to give up and do a reformat/reinstall, but now is about the worst possible time so if I can, I'd like to avoid it. Any ideas?"

    It's time to give up and reformat... These things always happen at the very worst time
  3. tomrca

    tomrca TS Rookie Posts: 1,000

    I agree with Tmagic
  4. vexhold

    vexhold TS Rookie

    I also agree.. Unfortunately.
  5. jreich

    jreich TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hey guys,

    Thanks. I thought so, but I was kinda hoping someone knew a trick that I wasn't aware of. At least I didn't lose anything important...
  6. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8


    as others have already mentioned, a format/clean install is in order. but you have already done the hard part, which is backing up your important data.

    reinstalling the OS is the easy part. formatting and installing windows XP is a pretty painless process. in fact, I just formatted/reinstalled two days ago ;)

    I would however recommend that you partition your hard drive or even better, install the OS on a separate drive altogether (perhaps the "old 60GB drive"?). if the the OS is on it's own drive or partition, then if it ever gets corrupted again, you need only format the OS's drive (or partition). your data will remain on the other drive (or partition) untouched.

    having the OS on a separate physical drive will also improve your overall system performance (as well keep your data untouched on the other drive)

    BTW, welcome to TechSpot

    cheers :wave:
  7. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,573   +65

    You can try, create a bootable Knoppix CD and find out if you can poke around and see your files.

    If you are fortunate enough to be able to read your files, you can copy them to another device.
    This is a very good sign of data corruption. You should run a full drive diagnostic ( ) to test your hard drive and make sure it is good, physical health.
  8. jreich

    jreich TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Thanks for the welcome. I have thought about using the old 60Gb, but it has quite a few miles on it. I currently have a 250Gb partitioned into a 100 and 150 gig drive and a 160 partitioned into two 65 gig drives. For some reason there appears to 20 gig of unpartitioned space on that drive but I can't believe I would have intentionally done that. The existing XP installation is on the 100 Gb drive. I know that's big, but adding HDs is pretty simple. Rick's idea is good. Fortunately, I had that old drive to boot from and I was able to see the drives and data. One thing I didn't do was examine the drive from Windows. Don't know if that would have done any good anyway...
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