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Computer won't boot after running "dskchk" utility

By Jinto ยท 14 replies
Mar 27, 2008
  1. So, where do I begin? It all started a few days ago when I booted up my computer like any other day and about 12 minutes later I suddenly get a message within my tool bar area that says something along the lines of, "system 32/"" "'/"' "'/.exe is corrupt". It said to run the "dskchk" application. I sent in the error report to Microsoft where it then sent me a link to the the help page. It said to open up the command prompt and enter I believe "dskchk" then press enter. After that it said to enter another series of commands which I can't quite remember unfortunatley. After that my computer restarted in order to diagnose the problem I believe.

    After all that happened my computer restarted but then suddenly gave me the "disk boot error, please insert system disk" problem. Like an ***** I sorta jumped the gun and I think I installed another copy of Windows XP on the hard drive. So now when I boot up my computer there are two versions of Windows XP to choose from. The first one works and is a bare bones version with none of my precious files on it. The second one is what I believe has all my files and everything that I would like to get back. However, it will not let me into that copy of Windows XP.

    What the hell did I do and is there any way to save my files?

    Thank you for your time.
  2. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,313   +100

    You probably deleted the partition your last copy of Windows was on and created a new partition for this copy. If you did, your data is gone :(.

    To get rid of the pause where you can choose to boot from both copies of Windows try this:

    Right click My Computer > Properties > Advanced tab > Startup and Recovery Settings > Edit. Then, Notepad will open with a block of text similar to this in front of you:

    [boot loader]
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

    Except you'll have two entries under "[operating systems]". Delete the entry for the old copy of Windows. I bolded the line of text I am speaking of.
  3. Jinto

    Jinto TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 49

    If I deleted the partition my old copy of Windows was on then why is there two versions of Windows XP to select from? The bottom one is what I want to access. I tried to access it by means of safe mode but then it just lists all these things and doesn't so anything.
  4. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,313   +100

    To be honest I'm not sure of the exact cause behind it being left in the boot.ini.

    Though, I can say from personal experience, I have had it happen to me. Just recently in fact, about a week ago I reinstalled XP Pro on a client's PC which previously had XP Home. I deleted the Home partition, installed Pro and Home was still included in the boot.ini even though I am 110% it was totally removed from the system :).

    When you choose to boot off it, it's not doing anything simply because it probably doesn't exist :).

    When you're inside your new installation of XP, go to Start > Run > diskmgmt.msc > Ok. See any other partitions other than your current copy of XP and maybe a recovery partition?
  5. Jinto

    Jinto TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 49

    I did what you said. I noticed no other partition on my hard drive, just Windows XP. The other partition was simply my disk drive.

    Layout: Partition
    Type: Basic
    File System: NTFS
    Status: Healthy
    Capacity: 153.38GB
    Free Space: 76.47GB
    Used Space: 76.9GB

    I don't necessarily believe my files were erased because when I checked the properties on my hard drive it said (as listed above) that hard drive space was in use. If I wiped my files then I would have more space then listed above right?
  6. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,313   +100

    Take a screen shot of Disk Management and attach it here.

    If you feel that your data is still there, boot off Knoppix, or attach the HDD to another PC as a Secondary/Slave drive and explore the drive that way.
  7. Whiffen

    Whiffen TS Rookie Posts: 235

  8. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,313   +100

    :p He's not even sure if it's gone yet. If it is gone, he's probably installed XP right over top of it and correct me if wrong but those utilities are simply for deleted partitions. Might make things significantly more hairy to have already written another OS over top of the lost partition.
  9. Jinto

    Jinto TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 49

  10. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,313   +100

    Yep, as I've suggested, you probably deleted the other partition, and then reinstalled XP right on top of it. Your data is gone, I'm sorry :(.
  11. Jinto

    Jinto TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 49

    Good news, my data was not erased and I managed to back it up to my external hard drive. What I did was boot up the copy of Windows XP that worked and located the folder that had my files. However, I did not have access to the folder initially as they were part of my profile on the other copy of XP. Since both copy's of XP have administrative power I used this method of accessing them.

    The only bummer is that I can't seem to find where my bookmarks for FireFox are located.
  12. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,313   +100

    Yes, that is great news! However, I'm not sure I understand how it's possible as there is only one partition recognized in Disk Management. Either way, good for you :).

    Check a directory along these lines (anything surrounded by "{ }" is specific to your PC):

    Documents and Settings\{Username}\ApplicationData\Firefox\Profiles\default\{number}.slt\
  13. Jinto

    Jinto TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 49

    Now, I'm not new to reinstalling Windows on my hard drive as I have had to do it before when I suffered a previous crash. How might I go about getting rid of that extra copy of XP when I boot up my computer so that there is just one copy?
  14. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,313   +100

    You can get rid of that boot menu by altering the boot.ini file as I suggested above, however, any remnants of that installation that you have on that HDD will still be there. I'm not sure how the hell you can go about deleting that partition etc because it doesn't exist according to Disk Management.

    Try downloading GParted, burn it to a CD as an image file and then boot off it. See if that detects the other partition. If it does delete it and extend your new partition into the unallocated space. If it doesn't, then to be honest I don't know what to tell you. You might be best off deleting everything detected by GParted (if you've got your data backed up on another storage device), and reinstalling XP again on a freshly partitioned HDD.
  15. Jinto

    Jinto TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 49

    Freshly partitioned hard drive as in the one that says 8MB? Because believe it or not I installed yet another copy of XP on the same partition thinking I was reinstalling a fresh copy. Now there is three copy's of XP to select from at boot.
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