Laptop boot problem

By Starfighterpilo ยท 13 replies
Oct 23, 2004
  1. Hi,
    I've got quite a problem. I was reinstalling win xp on my friends laptop via setup files on the laptop. When the laptop restarted to continue installing, it turned off and now when I start, it doesn't get past the boot selection phase. I dont have a windows cdrom as it is at home, and the laptop doesnt have a floppy drive. What can I do???

    I think i need a boot cdrom, but dont know where to find one.


  2. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,094

  3. Starfighterpilo

    Starfighterpilo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I still dont know what to do really. I have gone through some of the stuff on those websites but I'm not really having much luck. I'm getting really stressed too as it's got to be fixed by tomorrow!!!

  4. Starfighterpilo

    Starfighterpilo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Actually I think I know what the problem is, the hdd is in NTFS format, so the OS cannot use the drive to install windows, as it cannot recognise it. Is there anyway around this??

  5. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    I`m sorry mate but if you don`t have access to the windows disc I think you might have serious problems, cause the only option I can think of is to reformat and reinstall. Hope you manage to sort it out. Regards Howard :wave:
  6. Starfighterpilo

    Starfighterpilo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    What about booting using a lan? I've got the right equipment for a lan, anyone know how I could do it?
  7. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    What os are you running? If it`s windoes 2000 or above then the hard drive is supposed to be ntfs file system. If your os is windows ME or below then the hard drive should be formatted in the FAT 32 file system. Regards Howard :grinthumb
  8. Starfighterpilo

    Starfighterpilo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I've just managed to get into dos using a boot cd and fdisked the drive. It says the drive is split into 2 partitions. 1: Non-Dos 2000MB (not active), 2: NTFS 17069MB (active)

    Could there be any serious reason for the 1st partition?(I'm not really used to working with laptops) or could i perhaps use this 2000MB to install a new copy of windows from which I can make a better job of installing win xp to the other partition?

  9. Starfighterpilo

    Starfighterpilo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    XP, but the fact is the hdd cannot be detected on bootup,
  10. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    Windows XP doesn`t have fdisk. What have you used exactley? Regards Howard :grinthumb
  11. Starfighterpilo

    Starfighterpilo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    ive used a bootdisk from a site above. It enabled me to identify the two partitions of the hard drive. If I get a windows disk then theoretically, I should be able to install to that partition, so I dont have to format the active partition, saving all the data on the current system. Then with the disk I could re install windows to the larger partition.

    But would I be able to just install, or continue installation to the ntfs drive with a windows xp disk if I can use it as a boot disk. Otherwise I will have to use my current boot disk and possibly not be able to access the ntfs drive within dos.

  12. Starfighterpilo

    Starfighterpilo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thx 4 help. Managed to get hold of a win xp disk and continue installation with it. Was a close thing for a while. Thought I'd have to pay for a new laptop!!!

  13. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    That`s good news. I`m pleased that you managed to sort it out.

    Regards Howard[​IMG]
  14. jforsythe

    jforsythe TS Rookie


    I had this problem on a desktop pc with xp home (yuk) that I have to use at work. Of course it happened minutes before I was supposed to leave yesterday and I need the computer urgently today!

    I was able to fix it using the Knoppix linux boot-up CD (available @

    Here are instructions:

    - Download the .iso file (whichever version - I chose the oldest because it was ever-so-slightly smaller and I was pressed for time) - This could be a problem if you don't have another PC with Internet access. You can also order a CD from by calling 1-877-LINUX-CD.

    - Burn the ISO image as such, not as a data CD. You will need to use a seperate burning program from XP's built-in cd burner, as it burns as a data CD.

    - Ensure that your CD drive is before the hard drive in the CMOS boot order and restart your PC with the Knoppix CD in the CD drive.

    - Wait for your PC to load all the way. The CD will detect all of your hardware and configure itself accordingly. When everything is loaded do the following to fix your hard disk:

    -- Open Shell (the icon at the bottom of the screen with the picture of a monitor)

    -- Go to root (type "su" - no double-quotes - and press ENTER)

    -- Type "cfdisk" and press ENTER. This shows a list of your hard drives and partitions, similar to fdisk, if you are familiar with that. Make a note of which drive (or drives) are causing the problem (will be of type NTFS) - These names should be in the format "hda#"

    -- Use the right arrow to get to exit and press ENTER.

    -- Type "ntfsfix /dev/hda#" (where # is the number you wrote down above) and press ENTER. Repeat this step for all the drives/partitions that are causing problems.

    - Now shutdown Knoppix (icon at bottom left of screen with bring up a "Start"-like menu) and reboot without the CD. Do not shut off the computer. The OS will do it automatically.

    Now your hard disk should be fixed (let's hope). Of course that couldn't have been the end of my troubles. After I finally got XP to start then my firewall (which, obviously, starts automatically on startup) was causing my PC to restart so I had to fix that. All is well now, though.

    Hope this helps some non-Linux users to fix their Windows (yuk) problems!

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