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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. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Topic Starter Posts: 4,572   +65

    Have you run a diagnostic on your drives?

    It sounds like one could be bad. This would account for the blue screens and odd behavior perhaps.
  2. bakertime361

    bakertime361 TS Rookie Posts: 34

    No, how do I do that? Im assuming it requires hooking them up as a slave on another computer, but what program should I use?

    P.S. Thanks for the quick reply
  3. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Topic Starter Posts: 4,572   +65

  4. Jameson653

    Jameson653 TS Rookie Posts: 23

    I love how new computers come with the recovery consul automatically in the computer and you never even need a CD. I always back up my stuff on zip as i am sure you'll do but the recovery ahs saved my butt many times especially with my kids doing god knows what on the internet. I do that recovery and poof an hour later i am ready to go
  5. bakertime361

    bakertime361 TS Rookie Posts: 34

    Recovery Disks

    Well, I'm still lost with my problem, but in response to that: Yes, its wonderful as long as you're aware of the feature before it happens...lol. Oh well...at least Sony offers recovery disks. Unfortunately the one I had claimed it recovered it, but then said windows wasn't fully installed on boot :-/. Looks like its time for a run to the Sony service center so they can't blame it on me when I f' it up trying to fix it myself :)
  6. sweetchips

    sweetchips TS Rookie

    What do you think Rick??

    Hi. I'm new to this so I hope this post is ok. I followed your instructions to the letter. I was able to boot from the CD. When it got to the Windows setup, it told me the partition wasn't formatted or was damaged and asked if I wanted to reformat. I did. It then installed Win XP completely and rebooted itself to the welcome, etc. I installed my Office 2003 and it was fine. Then I started to install my software for my dialup service (AT &T). It connected to the Internet and went through a couple of screens to the install an existing account. When I put in my username and password, the system locked up. I couldn't do anything, not even move the mouse cursor. I finally had to reboot. And when I did....back to the blue screen again.

    Any ideas?? Thanks
  7. bakertime361

    bakertime361 TS Rookie Posts: 34

    You could possibly have a damaged hard drive. Try Rick's suggestion to me: run a diagnostic. Scroll up for more details.
  8. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Topic Starter Posts: 4,572   +65

    Re: What do you think Rick??

    That tells me you almost definitely have a hardware problem. And typically, this kind of problem is caused by either hard drive or memory.

    You should run a drive diagnostic on your hard drive. See several replies up for more information.
  9. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Topic Starter Posts: 4,572   +65

    The certificate will work fine as long as you use the same version of Windows to repair/reinstall as the certificate.
    ie: XP Home product keys do not work with XP Pro, or vice versa.

    However, product keys for Retail, OEM or manufacturer-specific versions of XP will work with each other fine..
    ie. XP Home from a Dell computer will work fine in any other computer since they use the same keys as standard versions of XP Home.
    Of course, that computer will need to have its own CD-key or you get into an "activation" pickle. :)
  10. Blorpuncle

    Blorpuncle TS Rookie

    A couple days ago i got this message when i booted my PC : Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt : \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM.
    I do not have a recovery CD or ASR disk.
    I cannot go in safe mode or back to a previous good config, i always get the same error message.
    When i boot from the Win XP CD, installing the VIARAID driver on the way since my HDs are in Raid 0, my PC freezes when i get to the Setup screen where i could select to setup XP again or repair it.
    I consulted the Microsoft Knowledge Articles about that problem (like #307545, 308041 and 822705, among others) but it doesn't help in my situation since i cannot start the recovery console or anything else for that matter ! Can anyone help ?
  11. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    Have you checked if there's an update for RAID firmware?
  12. Blorpuncle

    Blorpuncle TS Rookie

    Well, i went to Intel's site and got the latest Floppy Configuration Utility Raid Edition for Win XP Pro (IAAR2 Floppy.exe) and made a new floppy with the 'Intel® 82801ER Serial RAID Controller'. I F6'ed it during the XP setup but my PC still freezes when i get to the Welcome to Setup screen !
    Thanks anyway !
    Any other idea ?
  13. rowdy6680

    rowdy6680 TS Rookie

    HI.... I'm new here, and I wanted to give this information, just in case one day it might help someone. I have done numerous repairs and attempted repairs of Windows XP...some are successful, but not always. I have found that the information in the MS Knowledgebase has helped me as a last resort, be able to get into XP with a minor loss of any program. I guess I can't guarantee it will always work, but it has not failed me yet. At least if it's due to registry corruption and not a driver/program issue that even prevents entering windows in safe mode. If someone already posted this...sorry about that...but I have had this work!! And it's always worth a try. Just read the following link:


    Hope this can help even one of you from doing a complete format and losing data....otherwise...there's always Norton Ghost! hehe...at least to back up the HD....
  14. Blorpuncle

    Blorpuncle TS Rookie

    Thanks Rowdy. I already knew about that but since i can't access the recovery console i cannot do the procedure described in that article. I even tried making the 6 start-up diskettes but it gets me to the same point where my PC freezes at the Welcome to set-up screen so i can't get anywhere. Lol, i come to regret the old days of Win98 where i could go in DOS to try to fix things up.
  15. Rabbidnad

    Rabbidnad TS Rookie

    hello I am having some major PC problems hopefully someone can help. Heres the story I have an FX 5900 graphics card and everynow and then i have been getting a notice that it isn't reciveing enough power and it tells me that it is shutting down part of the card so no damage will occur to it I don't remember the exact message. the problem I had next was when I tried to play any games it would freeze up on me. I checked all my connections in the pc and all of them were ok including the extra power cable for the card. so I thought maybe something was messed up with the drivers so I found the newest drivers and installed them it didn't help. So I tried to instal a previous set of drivers I had and once I rebooted the screen was a bunch of diffrent colors and I couldn't see a thing. When I tried rebooting to get into safemode I remembered I didn't know the key to hit to get to it I tried all the usuals F1 F2 and others it didn't work but windows tried to boot up but it said it couldn't because the file \windows\system32\config\system was missing or corrupt. I tried to go through and repair windows similar to one of the posts earlier it showed that my partition was there but it didn't give me the option to repair it. windows suggested that I use the repair option you get when you first boot windows with the cd but I have no idea how to use the recovery console. If anyone has any suggestions i am willing to try anything right now except reformatting of course. thanks for taking the time to read this
    P.S. I am using my grandmothers MAC <shivers> to try and find the information I need. thanks again for reading my problem
  16. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Topic Starter Posts: 4,572   +65

    If you check the first post in this thread, it shows you how to repair windows without the recovery console. :)

    Your graphics card problem is probably caused by a weak power supply or having too many devices connected to a single a "rail". There are typically 3 rails.. 3.3v, 5v and 12v. What this means is you may need to upgrade your power supply. The 5900 draws a considerable amount of power... From which rail I'm not sure though.

    If you disconnect some unnecssary devices, that might be good enough to get rid of the power problems. If that is the case, then you'll definitely need to upgrade your power supply.

    Another consideration is some sort of funny hardware failure that may be causing the card to report low power, such as a bad CPU, card or motherboard. These things are more unlikely though.

    And software is also possible, but I'm betting that is even more unlikely than the above. And while I've never seen that happen, I certainly wouldn't rule it out. :)
  17. Rabbidnad

    Rabbidnad TS Rookie

    Thanks for the suggestions but I guess I forgot to mention I tried to repair windows using the method in the first post but I am unable to repair windows it dosn't give me the option to repair it but I know it detects that there is a partition there and that windows is aleady installed on it. I only get the option to delete the partition or install windows or create a new partition.
    I was thinking that I might be able to get another small HD and install windows on it and then make the non working one a slave and see if I couldn't get the information I need off the slave and then reformat the slave to be a perminent slave and have the small one with just windows on it. Another option I was thinking about was getting a small HD and installing windos on it and then copying the windows files over to the large HD and see if windows would then boot up off the large one. I don't know if any of these options would work or not they were just some things I was thinking about.

    If you have any other ideas I am more than willing to try anything thanks again for the help.


    no cd

    my computer did not come with a windows xp cd. so how do i go about fixing this problem. should i go n buy a windows xp home edition cd to fix it or what.
    any n all suggestions would help. thx.
  19. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,244

    Re: no cd

    I would try borrowing an XP CD from a friend and use the instructions for installing the recovery console. that would save you from having to buy a CD just because the manufacturer is too cheap to give you a real copy of XP.



    i will try to see if ne one i know owns a copy, if not im resorting to buying one. this problem is stupid n complex. urgh.....
  21. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    Sorry to hear that, but maybe if you tell us a little more of your problem, we might be able to help.

    :wave:Welcome to TechSpot:wave:
  22. Rizzano

    Rizzano TS Rookie

    I have read all of this thread

    I've read this entire thread and have a lot of similar issues but have not see anything exactly like what I am experiencing.

    All I was doing was writing down some things on notepad, hadn't installed anything new, then I rebooted.

    My screen loads the Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition loading screen. The three green bars move and stop, move and stop, move and stop. There is no sound or notice of activity coming from my hard drive (ie, the light isn't blinking) so I reboot.

    Upon second reboot, it gives me the option of rebooting to safe mode, safe mode to command prompt, safe mode to network, last known working specs, or as normal. I choose as normal, and reach the same "hangtime" on the XP Load screen.

    After a few more reboots, I try safe mode. It loads some drivers and then at the bottom it says "press esc to cancel loading a347bus.sys" which disappears rather I press it or not, then hangs on "multi(0)disk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS\System32\Drivers\Mup.sys" and hangs and hangs.

    So I came here, and saw about trying stuff. I have tried pressing F12 and going into the diagnostic menu, which has the "symptoms" testing, I chose OS Fails to load, it ran a 30 minute multitude of tests all which passed, as did the extended test that tested everything.

    I also tried booting from the XP CD, and tried both repairing, which fails to work because it hangs on "Examining 250000 Disk:0 Partition 0" and the same goes for trying to do a fresh install. I cannot even boot to the command prompt.

    So basically, I hang at the OS load screen, cannot get into any type of safe mode, the internal diagnostics tested everything fine, and I cannot repair or install a fresh copy of XP, so I have 2 questions.

    1-Is it possible, since I was able to safely unhook my hard disk to make sure it was clean with canned air, to hook it up to a second computer to see if it loads, or will it just do the same thing since it's all on the hard disk.

    2-Are there any fresh ideas on what to try that I have not listed. Nothing I have seen as a solution has worked, or I just can't do them, is it possible my processor is fried, or my drive, or maybe the cross cables, and how much would it cost to fix those (rough estimate) and is it easy to do with instructions or would it be better handled by a tech.

    Sorry for the long posts and all the questions, and any help would be most appreciated.
  23. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    No worry about the long post mate, you've gotta get your question out there somehow :) And if you wouldn't have given all the information the first time, chances are we would have asked for it the second time. :p

    For your first question, you can put the drive into another computer as a slave and see if it is reconginzed in Windows. But to try to boot it into another computer would be a bit harder. The other computer would have to be the exact same components and chipset on your mobo as the currentcomputer.
    Some things you can try would be o do a bare bones boot, and see what happens. I know I used to hang on mup.sys for a while, and after installing a new patch, don't remember which one, it fixed itself.
    Maybe this will let you get your data back for now, and maybe someone else will help you resolve the issue.

    :wave:Welcome to TechSpot:wave:
  24. Rizzano

    Rizzano TS Rookie

    Ok, what exactly is and how do I do a "bare bones boot" and also, how do I set my hd as a slave in another computer?

    Thanks for the info.
  25. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    i guess a bare bones boot is where you try to boot with just motherboard, processor, memory and graphics card. And of course PSU. You don't connect anything else.

    you make a hard drive a slave by changing the jumper setting on its back. there is a little cap thingy over two pins. you move that little cap. it will be written on the drive what position designates slave, master, cable select, etc.

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