How to repair Windows XP/2000 if you are unable to boot into Windows

By Rick · 374 replies
Oct 20, 2003
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  1. Androklis

    Androklis TS Rookie

    NTLDR is missing

    I'm new here and need your help

    well,2 days ago I bought a new DVD RW and did some changes in the cables inside the pc in order to make the drive function properly.Everything worked just fine for 1 day.

    so today I tried to reboot my pc and got the horrible message "NTLDR is missing"

    so,should I try and do what the very first post says(with my WinXp CD) or is there another solution which has something to do with my new drive?

  2. zipperman

    zipperman TS Rookie Posts: 1,179   +7

    Microsoft FAQ says

    ? How do you perform a reinstallation of Windows XP, sometimes called a repair installation?
    Configure your computer to start from the CD-ROM drive. For more information about how to do this, refer to your computer's documentation or contact your computer manufacturer. Then insert your Windows XP Setup CD, and restart your computer.

    When the Press any key to boot from CD message is displayed on your screen, press a key to start your computer from the Windows XP CD.

    Press ENTER when you see the message To setup Windows XP now, and then press ENTER displayed on the Welcome to Setup screen.

    Do not choose the option to press R to use the Recovery Console.

    In the Windows XP Licensing Agreement, press F8 to agree to the license agreement.

    Make sure that your current installation of Windows XP is selected in the box, and then press R to repair Windows XP.

    Follow the instructions on the screen to complete Setup.

    I havn't tried it yet.Best i can suggest.
  3. mkn1948

    mkn1948 TS Rookie

    Greetings from WV

    Hi there. I was trying to find out what's wrong w/my Dell laptop. It worked perfectly last night but today when I turned it on I'm getting a STOP: C000021a (Fatal system Error)
    There are a couple error #s, Ox0000135. Anyway, I can't find my disc to repair and was just wondering what I could do. I forget how to start in safe mode, can any of you tell me?
    My email address is also should anyone need it.
    Thxs for any help,
  4. zipperman

    zipperman TS Rookie Posts: 1,179   +7

    Dell Smells

    It's either XP or 2000,not both unless you have dual boot.
    It's nothing new,they want you to pay them,but you should take better
    care of your cd's.:rolleyes:
    You might need a full version CD.$$$,and a new install.
    Safe mode requires F8 to be pressed twice.
    It's difficult to explain when,but watch your bootup screen closely.
    Use the Pause key if it's too quick.
    But what steps will you take in Safe Mode ?
    Go to and search for error messages.
    Probably in FAQ.
    Or contact Dell for a new disk.
  5. psurajit

    psurajit TS Rookie

    problem with task manager which shows only the end process button and nothing else and of course the tasks only. one has only one option to end process and nothing else . if somebody helps it would be very nice
  6. zipperman

    zipperman TS Rookie Posts: 1,179   +7

    Have another look

    Click the the option Shutdown.Learn to use the Menu Bar.

    Attached Files:

  7. Kua

    Kua TS Rookie Posts: 58


    I tried the OP's suggestions today. I went AFK for a while when it was going through the repair process. When I came back to it, it was installing windows...

    I let it continue then it asked me for a disk I didn't have (Nvidia bus something...I tried it with the ASUS cd I have which has most drivers I need on it - that's the stage I am at right now), after awhile I rebooted and booted from HD again to see if things had fixed, this took me back to the windows installation. Not sure what to do... Please could someone confirm whether setting up windows again is the normal procedure when trying to repair windows in this way?

    EDIT: Well I assume the ASUS CD was the correct one because it meant I bypassed that stage. Anyway not I'm asked for a the product key. Bear in mind that it was the shop I bought it from that installed XP in the first place, I don't have this certificate anywhere amongst the documentation they gave me. Surely they gave it to me...

    Anyway I will have to take it there tomorrow and I expect I'll get a good verbal battering. Should I expect them to be able to rectify the situation? Can the data on my HDD be salvaged and placed on a new one?
  8. Morvind

    Morvind TS Rookie

    Black screen

    Hi i gote some cind of HD error that windows xp tryed to fix. I didnt see much of the error becaues i wasnt there the whole time it hapend.
    The result is that i get a black screen after the the windows logo/windows loading screen when ime starting upp the computer. The safe modes and VGA modes dosent wurk, when i try to repair windows with the window instalation disc i gote the message that it codent find the HD and the it dosent help to use another video card and the numlock freezes upp when the screen becomes black. Someon help pleas :(
  9. zipperman

    zipperman TS Rookie Posts: 1,179   +7

    My repair post

    Did you follow this procedure i posted above ? Print it out to follow the steps properly.
    I got it from Microsoft.
    ? How do you perform a reinstallation of Windows XP, sometimes called a repair installation?
    It's pretty clear and simple if you have a Windows disk as first boot.Quote : Safe mode didn't work.Did you get to the desktop ?
    Didn't work is not very helpfull to know why.
    Do you mean you didn't get to Windows,or do you mean you couldn't
    change your video setting and restart ?
    Quote : becaues i wasnt there the whole time it hapend.:rolleyes:
    Thats dumb if you want help.
    And what the heck does Numlock have to do with this ? :rolleyes:
    Next ? Is it XP or 2000 ? Can't be both.:haha:
    I don't think i can be of anymore help at this rate.
  10. Morvind

    Morvind TS Rookie

    OK. i didnt exspect to be made funn off.

    If this is the wrong thread for this cind of problem i wil move it.

    This post is cinda longe but pleas read it. I apologise in advance for any posible miss spellings.

    If you hade read the post more cearfuly you wode have noticed that i wrote Windows xp at the begining of the post. What i didnt mention in my last post that i probobaly shud have is that the computer is a desktop computer and that it has bin wurking without problems for 2 years with windos xp Home edition. What i ment with safe/vga modes dosent wurk, was that they gave exactly the same result as starting the computer in normal mode. The result i get when i start it in normal mode is a black screen with nothing, as i said in the first post. I get the black screen after the Windows xp loading screen with the huge windows xp logo = when i am supost to get my desktop i get a nice black screen. I know that other people have exsperienced similar problems but they simply have a black screen with a wurking desktop, they just codent see the desktop on the screen. This is why i mentioned that the numlock key dose not wurk because that means that my desktop is not upp and running. And if a computer has compleatly frozen upp the Num Lock key dose not wurk. Before i get the black screen the numlock key wurks exactly as it shud wurk.

    Quote: Quote: because i wasnt there the whole time it hapend. :rolleyes: Thats dumb if you want help.

    Do you watch your computer start upp every singel time it starts upp. Have you ever pushed the start button and then made a sandwich before you walk back to the computer exspecting it to have started upp just as it always dose.

    When i came back to my cumputer exspectin the normal desktop, the computer hade started to scann the hard drive for corupt files/information/code then it deleted this information in a 2d step and fixed som of it in the 3d step, ime prety shure all of this hapend before the computer loaded the desktop. I dont know exactly what it hade scaned fixed and deleted because it hapend rather quickly and most of it was just numbers. after this it told me to wait patiently for the computer to restart. i waited 3 hours then used the restart switch on the computer and gote the black screen when it started upp.

    After this i tryed to use a difrent graphick card that i a 100% know that wurks, but exactly the same ting hapend with this card.

    Then i tryed to use the windows xp cd to repair windows, i gote to the repair screen and started the repair but it simply said that it codent find my hard drive.

    At the moment i think that the problem code be with my hard drive but ime wery uncertain on this and what exactly the problem with my hardrive is bescause i dont have any cind of exsperienc with this cind of problem.

    Can someon pleas help me fix this problem or help me figuer out exactly whats wrong.
  11. zipperman

    zipperman TS Rookie Posts: 1,179   +7

    Yes and NO

    Do you watch your computer start upp every singel time it starts upp. Have you ever pushed the start button and then made a sandwich before you walk back to the computer exspecting it to start upp just as it always dose.

    But i would in your case.I don't have your problem(s) or i would to note
    error messages etc to post here.Give us something to go on.

    It was intended for a Windows repair.
    I gave you the XP steps to follow,you have to be watching,not stuffing your gut.
    You are given key press options along the way.
    that time out while you grab a beer.
    Normal operating machines like mine don't need to be gazed at,but once in a while i do to verify my boot options.
    Is that the best reply you have for my proven suggestions ?
  12. bernieuk1

    bernieuk1 TS Rookie Posts: 16

    Thanks for your help Rick.I have tried this but it does not give me the option to repair XP after the recoved console screen.
  13. Gorra-tech

    Gorra-tech TS Rookie

    I was hoping someone could help me.I have a very old(and awful) Dell latitude laptop with windows NT installed.Recently it just stopped booting up.
    Ive tried in safe mode, last known good config etc etc and it keeps crashing about half way through the starting windows screen.I have no real important docs on it so i dont mind formating the entire disk and reinstalling windows xp home edition. Yet the partition is a unknown partition and it wont let me install windows over it or anything,Including runing chkdsk etc. I do not have a windows NT disk to run a repair. If any1 has any suggestions on how to resolve this issue. id be most grateful
    Thank you ^^
  14. chipedwood

    chipedwood TS Rookie

    Strange problem

    I am new here and my knowlage of computers is not the best but I know enough to normally sort things out.

    My problem is along the same lines of the one mentioned here.

    What happens is every time i try to load up windows it gets to the loading screen where it says windows XP and has the loading bar then a split second after it blue screens and resets.

    This is an old machine AMD K-7 650, was built in 1999 and has had some upgrades since to RAM and graphics hardware. I intend to replace the motherboard soon and keep my hard drives and my dvd and cd drives. My problem is that my budget is low and i cant affored to replace everything and i have a feeling my computer is experienceing this problem because of faulty drives.

    I have tryed to load in safe mode and last good configeration. both failed with the same blue screen. I then tried to install windows again. this also fails just after selecting to install windows the same blue screen pops up.

    I have disabled automatic reset so i can see what the lue screen says.

    Tells me to disable anti virus and other things then under technical information it has 2 lines

    *** STOP: 0x00000024 (0x001902FE, 0xF986A6C, 0xF98A3D8, 0xF8FFAF81)

    *** ntfs.sys - address F8FFAF81 base at F8FAB000, Datestamp 41107eea

    I guess this is some sort of hardware failure. Is there anything i can do to repair what has gone wrong

    and most importantly can anyone explain to me what is broken so i may be able to replace it.

    oh and also allot of the time when it resets it starts to bleep a single long bleep with a pause then it repeats. Or sometimes a 4 bleep that it does not repeat.

    Then other times it just loads up as normal till the loading screen.

    any help would be apreciated


    Added info: I can run linux live and i have a laptop i can use to download anything to help my computer get started.
  15. Exon3

    Exon3 TS Rookie

    Stop blue screen: a new solution

    I think it is deplorable that when you search Microsoft help for crash messages, they have nothing on most of the errors. My computer was progressively crashing with varying messages--the Stop 0x0000008E, with subcategories 0xC, 0x805F48D9, 0xEE5226B80). Then today it began crashing about every 10 minutes, then 5. The last error was 0x0000007F and 0x0000000A. Someone in the forum said to check the Bios to be sure it was updated; (my computer wouldn't allow me to start in any diagnostic mode, because the arrows wouldn't work.) Low and behold: part of the Bios, which I didn't even know existed, said my power supply fan was not working, and the temperature was 135 F! I ran to the store, showed them the power supply, which they pointed out was fried, replaced it with a new one, and now: no more Stop crashes! anyone ever hear of that? My first post!
  16. Adora2420

    Adora2420 TS Rookie

    Spyware Caused "lsass.exe error - the endpoint is invalid"

    Hello, I am new to the forum and desperately hope someone can help me out. A close friend’s computer is having serious problems, and she can't afford to get it fixed. Since I'm the only person she knows that is decent with computers, she's come to me for help. However, this problem is *way* out of my league. :(
    When she ran her Anti-Spyware software (I believe it was Spyware Blaster) she saw that her machine was infected with a lot of spyware, and went to remove them. Now, the machine is stuck in a loop. It will not boot into Safe Mode, it merely gives the message "lsass.exe error - The endpoint format is invalid" and then reboots. Looking around online I've seen several people with the problem all for different reasons, and no functional solutions for our case. Her machine is running XP Pro, however - the most devastating flaw of all - she no longer has her XP Pro cd to repair from, only the code which clearly does no good.
    My biggest concern/desire is to retrieve her pictures from the hard drive. Obviously followed by getting her machine back up and running. I have XP home discs, but know that I can't use them to repair her XP pro. Is there anything I can do? I am very bad with hardware & DOS, but seeing her suffer the loss of her computer is killing me (she is recently disabled and her machine is all that gets her through the day) so I desperately want to be able to help her get back to a functioning machine as soon as possible.
    I've gone over several things in my head - getting another hard drive and installing XP home on it, and trying to access her old drive as a slave drive to get the data off it. But as I said I don't know anything about hardware, so I'm not even sure that's possible. Is it safe for me to put her hard drive in my machine as a slave and try and access the data, or will I just bring the same problem upon myself? Would it even work?? :confused:
    Is there any easier way to fix this?? I beg, please, if anyone has any ideas or suggestions to let me know as soon as possible~!! Thank you for reading my request~ I hope someone can help. *looks desperate*
  17. Exon3

    Exon3 TS Rookie

    reply to Adora2420--I think I know the answer

    First, your name is rather adorable. (sorry)
    All of the antispyware programs can remove something that they shouldn't, leaving your computer inoperable. That's why they all usually have an "undo" removal to restore the computer to the prior state. Your friend should google the spyware website to find out how to restore. Perhaps, if she has XP, she can just press a button (I forget which, but they always show when windows boots) and use "system restore" to the date prior to her spyware use.
  18. Wil 0' Wisp

    Wil 0' Wisp TS Rookie

    Take her hard drive out of her PC and mount it in yours, Provided She has not password protected her account, and or made her file private You should be able to recover her pics and all by coppying them to your disk thence to a CD DVD, flash drive etc etc.

    If She has done all of the above, you may/should be able to recover them by Ghosting the disk if you have Norton Ghost and then fishiong the files from the image.

    Which ever way get the DATA first. If the disk is FAT32 not NTFS you can mount it and then read it from a Win98 boot

    Note that this procedure assumes that Windows XP is installed to the C:\Windows folder. If you installed Windows to a different location, make sure to change C:\Windows in the following directions to the appropriate windows folder if it's at a different location.

    Or If you can use the susytem restore to go way back try this But only after backing the data up, you head be on the block if you don't.

    You can carry the cut n' paste routine out on the disk if you mount in another PC

    Browse to C:\WINDOWS\system32\config

    Create a origdate ie orig7621 easy to spot and find

    Back up the existing files! to a origdate by copying them

    Use the trick to share the system volume infomation
    (Your words)
    Right click on the “System Volume Information” folder and select the Sharing and Security option. Then click the Security tab if there is one. (If there is no security tab available to select then skip down to the paragraph that starts with “But what if no security tab is available to select?” If you do see a security tab then click Add, and then in the box that says "Enter the object names to select," type the name of the user that's at the top of the Start menu which is probably you. Make sure you type the name the way it's listed on the Start Menu. I made the mistake of typing my first name only and it wouldn't let me in. Type first and last name if that's how it's written on the top of the Start menu. After you've typed that in, click OK until you are back to looking at the folder that wouldn’t let you in and double click it again to open it.

    You should be in it now. If not then you didn’t type the name exactly as it is listed on top of the start menu. It has to be the same for the folder to open for you.

    “But what if no security tab is available to select?” Do this: Click to put checks in BOTH checkboxes in the "Network sharing and security" area. One of them is labeled "Share this folder on the network" and the other is labeled "Allow network users to change my files." Change the share name from “System Volume Information to something short, like SysVolInf as in only the first three letters of the words “System and Volume and Information. Click Apply and you will get an error possibly. If you get the error then just do it again and it will let you in the second time. Put a star next to this section on your print out because you’ll want to come back after you are restored and make sure to put this back to the way it was if the restore doesn’t do it for you. Just double check this when you’re running again is all I’m saying. Double click the folder now to get in it.

    copy a good set of

    copy _registry_machine_sam c:\windows\system32\config\sam
    copy _registry_machine_security c:\windows\system32\config\security
    copy _registry_machine_software c:\windows\system32\config\software
    copy _registry_machine_system c:\windows\system32\config\system

    to the C:\WINDOWS\system32\config directory

    Delete the existing ones and rename the new files to sam,security,software,system

    shut down and replace the drive in the original PC, boot the PC
  19. Exon3

    Exon3 TS Rookie

    removing hard drive probably not necessary

    Newbies helping newbies here. This info is from the Microsoft XP online help
    and if I am not clear enough, I'm sure you can take the computer to a repair place and they will have everything up and running in a few minutes--but check their minimum cost! But I think you can do it.

    First, boot the computer, but as soon as the black screen appears, consistently tap the F8 key, which will prevent Windows from booting. The screen should then show you a number of alternatives on how to boot.

    Easyist: From Microsoft Windows XP online Help: “To troubleshoot startup problems"
    1. Restart your computer. Immediately after the screen goes blank for the first time, press the F8 key repeatedly. The Windows Advanced Options menu appears. If the menu does not appear, restart your computer and try again. Use the cursor keys on your keyboard (your mouse will not work) to select Last Known Good Configuration, and then press ENTER. Windows XP attempts to start.”

    My word of caution for this method. The disadvantage is that you will lose any unsaved information prior to the time of the first crash, including any unsaved data fromwhatever programs you were using at the time. It will tell you the date of the last known good configuration. That will likely restore the functioning computer. If you need to save valuable data after that date see next:

    "For a software problem which causes windows XP to fail to boot:
    Restart your computer and press F8 again. This time, choose Safe Mode and press ENTER. Windows XP attempts to start in Safe Mode, which does not automatically start programs and hardware, and displays very primitive graphics. If Windows XP starts successfully in Safe Mode, you can remove any programs or updates you have recently installed. Then, restart your computer normally." In this way, if you remove the spyware program, you likely would have to remove the spyware program. BUT if you can selectively start the spyware program in Safe mode, you will be able to click on its program which undoes the removal which caused all the trouble, and then on rebooting, everything will be back to normal. But TELL YOUR FRIEND TO CAREFULLY READ THE DIRECTIONS ON HOW TO USE THAT PARTICULAR PROGRAM.
  20. broker

    broker TS Rookie

    hi rick,

    i've been trying to follow your response to the above post but i've ranned into a problem. if you can, please help.

    so i get the "Welcome to Setup" screen, i choose option 1, ENTER

    i then accept the "License Aggreement"

    in your post, your screen shots for "Windows XP Pro Setup" screen shows these options:
    1) To repair the selected Windows XP installation, press R
    2) To continue installing a fresh copy ... press ESC.
    ** then it list:
    C:\windows "Microsoft ... Professional"

    this quiet different from what i get on that particular screen:
    1) To setup Windows XP on the selected item, press ENTER
    2) To create a partition in the unpartitioned space, press C
    3) To delete the selected partition, press D
    **then it list my drives (partitions):
    C: Partition1 [NTFS] ...
    D: Partition2 [NTFS]

    i have windows installed on C drive. i tried selecting C, ENTER but it wanted to install a fresh, which mean i will end up loosing all my files. i cannot afford to do that.

    now, as you can see, i don't have the "1) To repair the selected Windows XP installation, press R" option. what do i do?

    Much Thanks,
  21. zipperman

    zipperman TS Rookie Posts: 1,179   +7

    Microsoft FAQ

    How do you perform a reinstallation of Windows XP, sometimes called a repair installation?

    Configure your computer to start from the CD-ROM drive. For more information about how to do this, refer to your computer's documentation or contact your computer manufacturer. Then insert your Windows XP Setup CD, and restart your computer.

    When the Press any key to boot from CD message is displayed on your screen, press a key to start your computer from the Windows XP CD.

    Press ENTER when you see the message To setup Windows XP now, and then press ENTER displayed on the Welcome to Setup screen.

    Do not choose the option to press R to use the Recovery Console.

    In the Windows XP Licensing Agreement, press F8 to agree to the license agreement.

    Make sure that your current installation of Windows XP is selected in the box, and then press R to repair Windows XP.

    Follow the instructions on the screen to complete Setup.
  22. broker

    broker TS Rookie

    hi zipperman,

    i'm not sure if you were responding to my post. if so, i have the following to say.

    1. i did everything you said, 1-6
    2. when i get to (your) point #6, it lists all my partition. my windows xp is installed on the C:\ drive but i don't get an option to "Repair ..."

    now, whenever i boot up i somethings get pass the "Windows is starting up ..." message but after a while, i get a blue screen with the following message:

    A problem has been detected and windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer.


    If this is the first time you've seen this stop error screen, restart your computer. If this appears again, follow these steps:

    Check to make sure any new hardware or software is properly installed. If this is a new installation, ask your hardware or software manufacturer for any windows updates you might need.

    If the problem continues, disable or remove any newly installed hardware or software. Disable BIOS memory options such as caching or shadowing. If you need to use Safe Mode to remove or disable components, restart your computer, press F8 to select Advance Startup optoins, and then select Safe Mode.

    Technical information:

    *** STOP: 0X00000071 (0X00000000, 0X00000000, 0X00000000, 0X00000000)

    <end of message>

    i've done everything listed above but keeps getting the same blue screen. i even tried swapping memory module ... but still.

    please guys, is there anyone out there that can help me out? i know i will have to get an new computer at some point but for now, i need to access that data on my computer.

  23. zipperman

    zipperman TS Rookie Posts: 1,179   +7

    Yes i was

    I have not tried this or had to,but it's a direct copy from Microsoft's
    FAQ.Frequently Asked Questions.
    Not a 3rd party or forum post.See if Microsoft can give you more details.
    This is not found at Windows update.but,
    Try a search for windows repair.
    It is a tricky precise procedure.
    Print it out to read as you go through the steps.
  24. broker

    broker TS Rookie

    thanks zipperman,

    i've never felt help-less in a long time. i've read so many FAQs, forum post and everything else there's. all seem to point to each other so it's more like chasing my own tail.

    i checked out your recommendation but i've already tried those. i don't have problem re-installing, but before i can do that, i need to get my data first. obviously, i can't get the data unless i can get windows to boot properly.

  25. zipperman

    zipperman TS Rookie Posts: 1,179   +7

    It seems your best option is to get a new hard drive and make at least
    2 partitions,1 for a new OS install and 1 for your previous hardrive data.
    It will still be readable as a slave,
    But then you can format the old one and still use it.
    Note : If you get a new hard drive,remove any others then install your OS,

    Then connect the old one as slave to retrieve your data.
    If you get a boot choice select the new one.
    Best i can do.

    why do you title it XP/2000 ? It's one or the other and is a factor in replying.

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