System not booting even with XP disk

By chasmon ยท 6 replies
Dec 23, 2007
  1. My computer crashed a few days ago and since I have been struggling to get it to work.

    If I pick safe mode it takes around 30 mins to load and reports msacm32.dll missing several times suring boot up. Once in I can browse files but not move or copy them in. Even in command prompt.

    I have put the XP disk in and after the "press any key to boot from CD" line it hangs with a blinking cursor.

    The computer will not boot at all in normal or system restore or last known.

    The HD is on a RAID 0 controller and this appears to be recognised but I don't know where to go from here.

    I'm prepared to be flamed for this but theres alot of digital photos on there that I have no backup of... :eek:( I'm an *****!

    I've tried putting an IDE drive in that has XP on and disconnecting my SATA drive but it says its not registered to this comp although it gets to the login screen fine! Idea was to pull off all my important files at least.

    Any advice apreciated! But you might have to talk slowly ;)
  2. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Posts: 1,687

    Hello, chasmon, and welcome to Techspot :wave:

    Please take a moment to read the following threads to make your experience here as enjoyable as possible :)

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    If you could take a minute to fill in some of your profile information that would be helpful to all members of the forum :)
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    Also remember to post any problems or questions that you have in the appropriate forums

    With regards to your problem, it sounds like something is up with the HDD, probably bad sectors. If you can get it into Windows, go to My Computer and right click on your hard drive, open the Tools tab and run the disk checker utility. Tick the second checkbox and press start.

    If it does find bad sectors, it will have fixed them, then you can try a repair install of Windows.

    Also, you can try downloading and running the diagnostic utility for your hard drive from here Drive diagnostic utilities compendium, to make sure the drive is ok.

    Can you get into Windows from the IDE drive or does it get stuck at all?
  3. chasmon

    chasmon TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Although i can get in to safe mode after numerous errors of missing MSACM32.dll From there I can't use any functionality including CHKDSK.

    Computer hangs and then eventually comes up with an error.

    Feeling a bit lost as I can't actiually get to the point where I can run any software or move any files. As said before I can't even run the XP installation disk as this hangs also.

    Are there any utilities that will run without other software for checking the HD?

    Thanks for any help...
  4. chasmon

    chasmon TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Managed to get Seagate utilities to check the drive 28 or so bad sectors...

    Tried to ask it to repair them but it hung and now I cannot even get into Safe mode system just restarts just after the selection is made...

    Really worreid I've lost alot of personal data that has sentimental value...


    Any ideas anyone?
  5. theorist80

    theorist80 TS Rookie

    Me personally I would say if you have the time and resources, plug up a new hard drive on the IDE/SATA line and install a fresh copy of windows onto the new disk. Once that is setup, then plug your "bad" hard drive to another IDE/SATA channel and see if you can just access the drive and if you can try to copy all the files and move them over to the new drive and burn CD/DVDs for backup purposes. Its a crappy idea I know but hey at least it is an idea that might work for ya!
  6. chasmon

    chasmon TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the reply theorist80.

    I'm guessing I'll need a new HD anyway if this one is going bad so I'll give this a go.

    I'm trying to run HD regenerator at the moment to see if it fixes the problem temporarily so I can get the stuff off.

    I guess my main worry is will most of the data (photos) be recoverable if outside the bad sectors or will the presence mean I can't get to the them?

    Fingers crossed and a lesson learned!
  7. chasmon

    chasmon TS Rookie Topic Starter

    OK Update to end the thread which I hope will help someone else who finds themself in the same situation with bad sectors on their HD stopping boot up completely.

    I used HD Regenerator as recommended in another thread. Its not free but you can use the sample version which fixes the first found bad sector. You can then run it again by keying out and typing HDDREG.EXE at the DOS prompt, manually inputting the next sector to start from. I did the whole drive like this which takes an age as the sectors are typically in groups of 8 - 10.

    Worth mentioning the Seagate software found the bad sectors but would not have fixed them. repair seems to be delete!!! It seems only HD Regen will actually recover the lost data in bad sectors.

    Happy Bunny.

    Thanks DaveSkater for the original post.
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