I cannot boot into WinXP

By ecawilkinson ยท 6 replies
Jun 29, 2006
  1. My PC which will not get beyond the "XP loading" screen. It gets that far and just sits there. The recovery CD is just a ghost image and some diagnostic tools (which all say the PCs hardware is fine) but I do not want to lose all the data on the PC. I can get into safe mode fine and have tried to restore the system from various restore points and no of them work. In safe mode I can see everything ok. I am beginning to think maybe the the boot sector/MBR are corrupt or maybe some essential sytem files. However, I am not confident enough to start trying to fix the partition table/MBR/boot sector myself. If safe mode can see the partition ok surely it must be possible to get windows to boot up normally by re-creating the boot info, but i do not know how. Of course I accept that I could be totally wrong in my diagnosis, so any help would be much appreciated.

  2. Char_X

    Char_X TS Rookie Posts: 170

    What is the Ghost image? If it is your system partition backup, why cant you restore from the image? What problems are executed when doing it?
  3. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    Fixing the MBR is a fairly simple process. you cna use a Win98 boot disk to boot to the command prompt. put the XP Cd in the drive and type FIXBOOT

    if you want to try retrieving your files BEFORE attempting any fixes you can make a BartPE disk to boot from and retrieve the files. after that you can try the FIXBOOT or a repair install of XP. ( the guide for doing the repair install is a sticky in the OS section of this forum.

  4. alidabiri

    alidabiri TS Rookie Posts: 441

    you can try these in order. i had a pc brought in with similar problem.
    1) try to boot from cd with xp cd in and then do a repair install.
    xp will detect the existing os and do a repair. (choose repair option).
    if you can't boot with cd, get a win98boot disk from here:
    after you boot with 98 disk, navigage in the xp cd to i386 and enter
    2) once in safe mode, in command prompt or run box: sfc /scannow
    (system file checker). it will require xp cd.
    3) in safe mode, in command prompt or run box: chkdsk /r or /f or both
    4) in safe mode, put xp cd in, navigate to directory: i386 and click setup or
    in command prompt enter winnt32.exe or if you booted with 98 disk,
  5. ecawilkinson

    ecawilkinson TS Rookie Topic Starter

    First of all, thanks for your replies but none of them help much as I did not get an XP cd when I bought the pc only a recovery CD which is basically an image of the hard-drive when it left the factory, so if I was to use it, it would erase all my data. I'm not sure how the recovery disk works, I think there is a small hidden partition on the harddrive with the software needed to install the ghost image. Before you do it, it warns you that all your data will be lost. That is the last thing I want. How can I fix the MBR without an XP cd? I assume the the system partition (c:) is not corrupt as I can see it fine in safe mode, so i feel that the problem is in the boot sector or MBR and I do not know enough about these things to play about, just in case I make things worse.

    Also, I used the BartPE boot disk but that cannot see the hard-drive (although, as I have said, safe mode can see it).

    I do have a a win2000 cd. could this be any help in fixing things.

    Thanks again for your help,
  6. alidabiri

    alidabiri TS Rookie Posts: 441

    since you are a licensed xp user, you can borrow any xp cd from anybody, a friend, work, etc. you have already paid for the license. then you can do as posted above.
  7. AMDIsTheBest010

    AMDIsTheBest010 TS Rookie Posts: 398

    Most recovery Cds will let you perform either a "destructive or a Backup" restore, for example my Gateway lets me do either and it preserves all the original files and moves them to a C:backup file on the hard drive, however it takes 4GB of free space to reinstall the OS
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