Can't boot Windows after power outage

By John_W
Mar 29, 2007
  1. Hi, the other day my daughter switched off my pc (at the power socket!) while it was booting. Now it won't boot into Windows. (Windows XP by the way).

    It stops at a screen saying 'sorry, Windows was unable to start' and offering to boot into safe mode, last good configuration etc. Whichever of these options I choose, it then shows the Windows splash screen for a few seconds before rebooting and ending up back at the screen offering safe mode etc.

    I don't have any Windows installation discs - installation files are in a hidden partition on the hard disk. I can press F10 on bootup to get into these, but the application there is only offering a destructive reinstallation, which isn't ideal. (I have used this recovery app before, and it usually offers either a repair install or the destructive install, but it's not doing that now.)

    Does anyone have any DIY ideas before I take it into the repair shop?

    Grateful for any help or ideas.

  2. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    If safe mode will not work, you probably have one of two things - disk drive corruption or damaged hardware (most likely to be memory).

    With appropriate skills, and a bootable CD, you can easily test both of these posssibilities quite thoroughly using manufacturers software or readily-available freeware.

    If you could get a friend to make up a Win2K or WinXP boot CD drive with chkdsk on, from which you could boot and run hard disk diagnostic (and hopefully repair) after which 'last good configuration' might still not work, but one of the earlier restore points should.
  3. John_W

    John_W TS Rookie Topic Starter

  4. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    that second article will sometimes fail if the original problem is disc corruption (as you found). I have myself gone back several check-points without success due to a failed drive, which checked out ok with chkdisk, but had a damage pattern every 255 blocks (head scratch). That is why I recommend a manufacturers surface test.

    Suggest you do this yourself, even if things seem ok now, you could hit bad disk patches somewhere down the line.....
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