I'm pretty decent with computers and do some freelance tech support here and there, so I'm not a real stranger to this sort of thing. Among their many complexities, girlfriends are also incredibly good at providing me with a steady flow of computer problems ... so far this one takes the cake. She has a Dell laptop with a long history of being a complete piece of crap (Dude, we didn't get a Dell... we got a POS). It overheats, has random BSOD's and crashes, and all kinds of other Dell'ish goodness. Last week she turned it on and got the fabled UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME BSOD. Sure enough, booting to Safe Mode caused the same problem, after hanging on MUP.SYS for a couple of minutes. So I've had this problem before and the usual fix is the load up Recovery Console and do my thing with it. So I pop in my XP Home cd, boot up to it, and hit R. Usually what happens is you get a blue screen where it says: "examining disk at blah blah" for a moment, before actually going to the recovery console. This screen lasts for about 5-10 minutes on her PC, then jumps me to a black screen that says: Please insert the Windows XP Home Service Pack 1 CD and hit enter to continue. Clearly to get this far, the CD must already be in the drive! So I hit ENTER, and without even making an attempt to read the drive, it says it's a bad CD and to hit enter to continue. So I hit ENTER again and it tells me to insert it again. I can hold down ENTER and it will toggle back and forth between these two screens without ever once trying to read the drive. I've booted up to a Ubuntu LiveCD (it's all I had handy, and I like the GUI) to try to back some files up off of her laptop before having to format it. With NTFS enabled I can see some of her files (other directories like MyDocuments, however, come up empty for some reason? -- my linux experience is limited). This tells me that the directory structure is in tact, but I'm unable to backup the directories that really matter (MyDocuments, Desktop, etc.) because they appear to be empty. Anyways, I tell her the bad news and say we should just try formatting it. So again I boot up to the XP CD and this time press to install a new installation of windows. Again I go to the blue screen that says "examining disk at adfasdfadsf" for 5-10 minutes, before this time going to a blue screen with the same error message: Insert the CD. Sorry I type so much... I'm a talker, not a typer ------------------------------------- Long story short: - UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME BSOD - Unable to boot to Safe Mode/Normal Mode/Last Good Config - Able to boot to XP CD but not run Recovery Console - Able to boot to XP CD but not run XP Installation - Able to boot to Ubuntu LiveCD; able to view the mostly in-tact directory structure; unable to back up the files that matter as they don't appear to exist (entirely possible I mounted the drive wrong, etc.) - The CD is NOT faulty; I have gotten into recovery console with it flawlessly on 2 other desktops -------------------------------- I'm not very experienced with laptops, but I've taken hers apart, reseated the hard disk, reseated the CD/DVD drive, to no avail. It's an inspiron 2200 if that makes any difference. I found a site via google that purported to make a boot CD with JUST recovery console on it and w/o all the extra windows garbage. But it ended up giving me the same problem... it boots up and then tells me to insert the CD. Would really appreciate some insight here. I can't even reinstall windows at this point. Should I get her to buy a new CD-ROM and try that out? Maybe USB? External HDD? Can I take her HDD out and set is as a slave in my desktop (I'm not really sure how laptop HDD's work)? I don't want her to have to pay some $200 "GeekSquad" fee for the convenience of having some guy behind a counter tell her "you need a new computer."