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

By Rick ยท 374 replies
Oct 20, 2003
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  1. JLZ6286

    JLZ6286 TS Rookie

    Hey im new. Im having a problem with my laptop. I got the same thing as everyone else, It gives me the screen with the options of safe mode and safe mode with networking and all those others and once I pick one it flashes the windows start up screen and then the quick blue screen and back to the options screen again. I was told that I should do a repair install since I cant even get into windows in safe mode. I have windows xp home edition but I dont have a windows cd, all I have is the cd that came with my laptop. My laptop is a toshiba satellite A65-S126. Im having someone from home send me the cd since I dont have it with me but Im not sure if the cd will let me repair or if its only for when I want to format. If I have to I will go and buy the windows cd because I've asked all my friends and none of them have it. I was also wondering if I could use the windows xp upgrade cd that they sell for $99 because I really dont want to spend $199 on the other xp cd. And doing this will (hopefully) let me fix windows without loosing my files right? Thanks
  2. Ohgodno

    Ohgodno TS Rookie

    my peoblem seems unique

    My system is unexcessable at the moment I just installed a new amd xp2700 cpu and 1gb of memory in my rig booted up and all seemed well windows Xp w/t-SP2 noticed the upgrade and escorted me to the activate and reregister prompt .I'm thinking fine lets do that and all seemed right...then after my session ended I get this warning window telling me that my cpu was updated but my all other items or whatever will be set to default and I'm feeling my system might not act as it should ,you see I didn't write down the exact wording being that I felt that I'm well worked in the ups and downs of the PC world...WRONG....The next time I start my PC not 30mins after the last shutdown everything starts out great then I get to the logon page then I notice my mouse is wiped out and theres no responce from my keyboard plus my usb devices are not lit and none are responding to the bootup. I can't even press delete to enter setup at the system prompt my accessories are all offline any indication of a fix. ONE HOUR LATER AND NOW MY SYSTEM WON'T EVEN TURN ON cpu temp was 77f
  3. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    Welcome to TechSpot

    I could be wrong, but I think you should be able to obtain a XP CD practically for free, since you already got the license with the hardware. It's not the storage medium (CD) that costs $whatever, it's the license.
  4. andygibbs

    andygibbs TS Enthusiast Posts: 60

    Shut down issues

    Hi everyone,

    My XP pc has recently started rebooting instead of shutting down. I am pretty sure that my PSU must be overtaxed, could this be causing the problem? - would it be worth trying to repair windows by booting from the XP disc in case their was a problem with windows?. please help.


  5. newners

    newners TS Rookie

    My problem is unique

    I Might be wrong but this sounds like a hardware failure, possibly a power problem to begin with. What size is your PSU? These newer CPU's need a lot of power and if you are running a lot of other gear including fans, coolers etc. you can soon run out of power causing all kinds of instability issues. Also cheap PSU's can often be right on the limits of voltage tolerance for ATX 3.3/5 &12v rails and adding further power hungry components can put the rails out of limits and fry the PSU. It could also be the memory. I'm not an expert but I would try the following:

    I'd try the obvious first and look inside to make sure everything is plugged in properly ie ATX power, all molex's, data cables, memory / cards seated properly, all switch leads in ok and the CPU Fan heatsink properly mounted and connected.(oh - and the power lead is oK!)

    If this doesn't work you could try removing one of the memory sticks. Disconnect all the drives from the mobo leave graphics card in but remove all other PCI cards for the moment. Try and switch on enter the BIOS setup (normally F2 but it varies) If so have a good scout around the BIOS especially hardware monitor and the power section to verify you have good voltage on the 3.3/5&12v rails. If this works then gradually add hardware (drives last) each time going into the BIOS to make sure all is well. If you suspect a memory problem try using memtester software (search on google). It boots from a floppy and thoroughly test your memory for any errors.

    If you can't even do this then without spares it will be hard to identify the problem. Could be a fried mobo. cpu, memory, or just a PSU failure. This could be process of elimination if you have the time and equpiment!

    All the best.
  6. Ohgodno

    Ohgodno TS Rookie

    getting close to a fix

    Well I tried all that after my post and nothing going. So I took off in a huff over to my local Fry's thank the lord for Fry's and got myself a 600wt Ultra Xenex connect PSU good stuff. Got it running but still no mouse keyboard or USB ports so Blue login screen is all I get maybe it was the 7fans + chipset fan + cpu fan + Vid card fan and two fans on the PSU. Internal Zip drive + floppy + 2 DVD burners two USB printers + USB multi card reader + USB multi port hub and Three sets of lights. Im going to try clearing the cmos jumpers on my board Gigabyte GA7vaxp ultra and see what gives. Atleast it's worth a try thankfully I like building PC in numbers or I'd have no backup for working on my Different projects. I'll post results.

    Thanks CJeff
  7. hammer6924

    hammer6924 TS Rookie

    W2K Boot problems

    Hi. does anyone know how I can get around the found new hardware? This is causing my sysrtem to lock. I had a problem with corrupted files and used custom restore using Simple Backup. Now when I boot W2K it starts to boot in VGA mode then the found new hardware pops up then it asks for my ATI driver floppy which is a CD. I am unable to get past this because it hangs the system and there is no mouse, the keyboard will not work. Any ideas or help please.
  8. ntoren

    ntoren TS Rookie Posts: 19

    administrator password override

    Hi, guys, new to all this, but thanks for the great info so far.
    so i am trying a WIN XP recovery from a borrowed Dell reinstallation cd (my wife's computer i'm working on is a toshiba) and at the Administrator password prompt i tried leaving it blank. wrong. then guessing two more times unsuccessfully, then hitting myself about the torso, restarting and continuing. who was repsonsible for giving this thing an admin. password, the owner of this cd or my wife who bought the computer? who should i be hounding for this info/ turning the blows to?

    many thanks for any and all help.

  9. mizuno

    mizuno TS Rookie

    xp installation problem

    i had this sp-1 on my laptop and i decided to install another service pack 1 cd over the older version now it dose not work help me out please
  10. milky

    milky TS Enthusiast Posts: 85


    Make sure the drivers for your dial-up modem are installed.
    1 more thing....GET CABLE! or any other broadband connection. Dial-up is practically useless.
  11. Borog

    Borog TS Rookie

    Hello, Problems booting.

    Hi, First let me say that i have read this post from the beginning (thats a lot of reading) and although there are a lot of problems/solutions here, im not sure if any are related.

    Ok, from the beginning, I have 2x 60Gb HDD's in my PC and they are both full. So i decided to uninstall some old applications/games, which i did and freed up 20Gb on one of the drives.
    However, i decided to uninstalled Nero as well and removed InCD. Once this was removed it asked me to reboot my machine, to which i thought "fair enough". However, i am now under the impression that the people at Ahead don't want you to remove their software because my PC now refuses to boot.

    What happens is, the boot up process appears to go fine until the part where it should display the 'white dotted bar' boot up screen. It then reboots with no warning messages or anything. So then it re-boots up to the "your computer failed to boot" blah blah "select your boot method" blah blah.

    Unfortunately it doesn't seem to make any difference which option i select, whether it be safe mode with command prompt, with network, last known good, normal, bells and whistles or pink tutu mode. As soon as i select one of the boot methods the computer just reboots. Whereby i select the boot option and... rinse and repeat.

    I have just managed to get hold of a borrowed copy of XP Pro w/SP2
    so i will give the recovery console thing a go.

    But i would like to know if there is something glaringly obvious that i am missing or is my o/s just screwed?

    Oh, and FYI i have found a link to the following site for all those who cannot remember the Admin password for the recovery console.

  12. cuculete

    cuculete TS Rookie

    lsass.exe - System Error
    Security Accounts Manager initialization failed because of the following error: The handle is invalid, Error Status: 0xc0000008. Please click OK to shutdown this system and reboot into Safe Mode, check the event log for more detailed information.

    i saw the thread on this but it wasnt of much help....i tried the repair...i doesnt work because the repair doesnt replace the SAM file with the logon encryption...i copying the files to the other partition with norton commander but of course i dont have access to do that.....help pls...thx
    btw winXP sp2 :dead:
  13. mynor

    mynor TS Rookie

    Cannot repair WINXP using WinXP bootable CD


    I am new here
    I have face this problem just yesterday
    I have Win XP Pro SP 2 installed in my pc
    Yesterday I try to install Fedora Core 3 just for fun and my Win XP cannot boot and it said it cannot boot because of missing dll file in System32\

    First I try using Partition Magic to resize my current partition to make a available space for it
    When I check my hard disk partition, there was a space at in front of other partition about 8MB.
    I partition it. It all ok when I try booting from Fedora CD and I successfully install my Fedora.
    When I reboot my pc, it say error like I said before.

    I try to repair using my WinXP SP2 CD and it come out with Press Any Key to Boot from CD and when come to check my hardware, it stuck there ad there is no blue screen like the guide show.

    I checked my Windows partition using DiskDruid in Fedora and it still exist.
    And my Grub Boot loader cannot.

    Is it because I have format the 8MB space that exist in front of my other partition?
    Or is it my hard disk MBR?

    Please someone help me because I have alot of work in my Windows partition that I need to submit this week.

    For your info I am using WD 80 GB SATA hard disk using Intel 915 GAV mobo with 2.8G Pentium 4 775 HT.

    Or is it my hard disk is corrupted but I can see my NTFS partition using DiskDruid...

    Thank you
  14. milky

    milky TS Enthusiast Posts: 85


    You should NOT have formatted that 8mb space. That space is allocated, I believe, for Windows installation or setup files or something very important. the other techies here should be able to tell you more.
  15. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11


    The 8 MB partition has probably changed the partition table order (although if it says missing a dll file, it sounds like it has started to load XP), so you should remove the partition. That 8 MB is there because different partitioning applications see the hard disk drive geometry differently. Windows setup isn't very tolerant to partition changes and/or partitions formatted in other operating systems, so I'd recommend installing XP first and creating a partition for it in its own setup, then other operating systems.
  16. mynor

    mynor TS Rookie

    Thank you

    I have try like you said and it happen as you say.

    Thank you for advise...
  17. Dan1

    Dan1 TS Rookie


    Hi, I'm pretty new to all this so any help would be great!

    When I try to run XP I get the message 'Invalid boot.ini' then it goes to 'the following file is missing or currupt Windows\System32\hal.dll'

    I've tried using recovery console to recopy this file but it says Access denied. I don't receive a prompt to enter an administrator password either.
    I tried using the xp install disk but it doesn't give me a repair option, only to install.

    Anyone got any ideas how I might be able to fix this without formating the harddrive? Or even a way I could retrieve some files before I format it.

    Any help is most appreciated!
  18. milky

    milky TS Enthusiast Posts: 85

    Personally, I avoid trying to repair windows with a recovery console or any other technically challenging method (I'm not that technically advanced).
    I would simply connect that HD to another PC as a slave (make sure you set the jumpers on both HD's correctly). Preferably a PC with a cd or dvd burner (unless the pc you use is on the same network in which case you would only need to copy the files you want to the Master HD to be transferred later, over the network, to the newly formatted HD).
    If the PC you decide to use is not on your network (i.e. at a friends house) then you simply burn whatever files you want to keep to disc, put the HD back into your PC (make sure you set the jumpers back to Master or Cable Select), format the drive, and install windows. Simple enough?
    The only problem with this method is that you will need the Installation Discs (or Setup files, if the software was dl'd from the internet) to reinstall all of your software (i.e. Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat, Antivirus, etc.).

    Be careful when doing a fresh install on a newly formatted HD. Make sure you install the Hardware drivers in the proper order (I know with Dell systems this is particularly important. If you call Dell, a tech rep will tell you exactly what to install and when for your particular system.). Chipset drivers should be installed first.

    Good luck :grinthumb
  19. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    If you can get to recovery console, you can rebuild the boot.ini file with command bootcfg /rebuild.
  20. Sootah

    Sootah TS Rookie

  21. Dan1

    Dan1 TS Rookie

    Thanks for all the advice guys.

    I tried running a repair from the windows disk but it ended up installing a new version of windows with a new user id. I can still see my old user names in Documents and Settings but appart from that it looks as if everything else is gone. I was about to format the drive and start again but when I checked the properties of the hard drive it says 40 gig is used. This is how it was before the crash so does this mean my files are still there I just can't see them?

    Any help is most appreciated as I really don't want to lose everything!

  22. milky

    milky TS Enthusiast Posts: 85

    Does your Desktop still have shortcuts to programs you had previously installed? If so, do they work?
    when you open My Computer and look at your hard drive, do you see more than these 3 folders: <Documents and Settings> <Program Files> <WINNT>?

    If you open Program Files, do you see any folders containing programs you had previously installed?
    If so, when you goto Control Panel then Add or Remove Programs, are your old programs listed there?

    This is kinda hard to troubleshoot when we don't know what you're seeing.

    If the HD properties says that 40G is used, then I would assume your old files are on there.

    goto the My Documents folder of one of your old usernames. is there anything there?

    did you try searching for an old file you know the name of? an mp3 or something?

    "need more input" "johnny 5 is ALIVE!":dead:
  23. HoopaJoop

    HoopaJoop TS Rookie Posts: 90

    Typically, an install over a previous installation keeps all files not associated with the windows install. That is to say that if you installed Windows over your current installation, as it seems you did, and you previously had loose files (images, documents, movies, etc.) those files are still there.

    However, when you reinstall you will create and log into a new profile when windows starts. This means that all your desktop, my documents, bookmarks for ie, and the like will not show up. All that stuff is still there it's just in another profile. To find it explore to C: and look in documents and settings for another named profile. If the name you gave it during this new install is the same as the old one there will be 2 similar named profiles in Documents and Settings. For instance, if one is Dan1 the other may be DA~2 or something similar.

    The main problem with installing over your current installation is installed program functionality. Many programs that were previously installed may not show up in Add/Remove programs to properly remove. Additionally, many programs may not actually work anymore. This is due, primarily, to those installs modifiying system files that have now been restored to their previous state. Also many of those programs will no longer be reflected in the registry.

    Sorry for the rambling. Hope this helps.
  24. Dan1

    Dan1 TS Rookie

    I can see all the previous user ID's. The programs I had previously installed are showing in add/remove software but not in any program file folders. When I try to remove or change them on add/remove it says file not found.
    There's nothing in any My Document folders but there are a couple of shortcuts that I'd previously saved on the in the root directory but they don't work.

    I tried searching for a few old files but nothing was found.
    Should I try some kind of file recovery program?

    Thanks for your help!
  25. blackplague

    blackplague TS Rookie

    its always real good after you do that to dowload new antivrus and registy checkers spyware checkers adware checkers firewalls etc. do a complete scan of everthing possible i've done this b4 very good post :approve:

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