XP will not boot

By bruckshaw · 11 replies
Sep 13, 2009
  1. I noticed that XP Home was unable to recognise new hardware such as a camera, scanner or printer. My guess was that it was corrupted. In the "current version"" registry there was no "device path" item.

    Foolishly I tried a repair from my Windows Home XP CD. When I got to the stage of being asked to remove any floppy in drive A (there was not one) the setup would not proceed and I now have a hard disc which will not boot Windows. If I use an XP boot floppy I notice that the Windows splash screen loadng indiator is green rather than blue. But it never gets past this point and always shuts down and tries to start again ad infinitum.

    I do have a second hard disc with a good copy of XP on it (I am using it now) but all the data on that disc is two years out of date.

    Assuming that the current data on he duff disc is OK is it possible to transfer the good copy of XP to it.? I cannot remove XP from the disc because I cannot even access it!
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Your hard drive is likely going bad, but you should still be able to recover all that data, if you already know where it is on the drive, with an external hard drive enclosure that has its own power source...
    You can also rescue your address book and email files, but you will have to organize a search to find where they are.

    It is fairly easy to work with a failing drive, whether permanent or emerely corrupted, in an external drive that you do not have to boot. But if there is any chance the drive is going into permanent failure, do NOT turn it off once you start the rescue process... and try to get it done in one long setting...
  3. bruckshaw

    bruckshaw TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for your input.

    I have done a workaround on this problem.

    I have installed both drives on my computer using the one with the good copy of Windows as the master.

    I am fairly sure that it was only the Wndows files that had been corrupted. the nerw setup recognises new hardware staright off and finds the drivers.

    I now have access to all of my modern files and am currently trying to get rid of the 2 year old versions of the same folders and files. For instance I now have two sets of financial records: one stopping in 2007 when I changed the hard drive to a larger one and another containing a complete set of records to the present day.

    Over the two years there have been several changes in passwords and browsers and all that has to be rationalised. Still the main thing is that I have not lost anything.

    The icing on the cake would be to purge the corrupted version of XP from the slave drive but I am not sure how to do that efficiently.
  4. bruckshaw

    bruckshaw TS Rookie Topic Starter

    My PC is now working with 2 hard drives. The 80G drive (master) has a good copy of XP and a lot of 2 year old data. The 160G drive (slave) has a copy of XP which is corrupt but all the programs and data are up to date and intact.

    I have done some copying from the 160 to the 80 where necessary (email addresses, identities etc) but there is not room for all the 160 data on the 80.

    Ideally I need to copy the XP on the 80 on to the 160 without affecting the data on it.

    How do i do this, remembering that I cannot boot the 160 as a master?
  5. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    First, make good notes so you know where each program has been saving its data... most are in My Documents, but financial programs, PDA's, and security programs locate their data in files under Programs.

    There really isn't a free or inexpensive way to do this, so lets concentrate on the data. If you cannot afford another drive, can you borrow one... preferably a 250 GB or larger. Install the Windows software you previouslyu used on the 80 GB. You will possibly have to re-verify with Microsoft, but that is simple and not very time consuming.

    Make good notes separately for the 80 and 160 drives so you know exactly where the data is st

    One drive is simple, but as you have learned, migrating two drives is much more complex.

    You can move the data from the 80 and 160 to any other drive. However, you cannot use it properly with its intended program without installing those programs that use it. You can drag and drop data and files, but not programs. The programs must be installed into the registry, and be able to work without the needed data you have on the 80 and 160. Once you have the programs working, use the 80 and 160 GB drives jumpered as slaves (or from a USB enclosure) from which you can drag and drop folders and files to their properly locations on the "new" drive.

    Once you have this "new" drive ready with all the files moved to it and working, you can then format the 160 drive, if you wish, install Windows, and use Acronis or other data migration software to copy everything you have created, Windows XP and all, to the 160 GB drive.

    Thank whomever loaned you the drive. Done. But you will have lost only a day of your life.

    It is mainly a task of being organized. If you know where every file and every data are located, then you can move them by drag and drop, but they won't work unless you reinstall the programs. There are issues with the registries when you have to move the data from two drives. The only other issue is combining the email addresses and email messages from two different drives. But that is another problem altogether.
  6. bruckshaw

    bruckshaw TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you very much Raybay,

    Back in 2007 when I got the 160 I cloned the 80 on to it using Maxblast as both drives are Maxtor. The 80 then went into storage. I also have the XP installation CD.

    As things stand at the moment I do not need ANY of the data or program files on the 80 .... just the XP. As the days go by, of course, I get more modern data on the 80 and the task complicates.

    In my naivity I imagined that there would be a way of deleting XP from the 160 and re-installing it from the CD . But the problem is that I cannot access the 160 except via the XP on the 80 as master.
  7. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    IF (and that is a very big IF) you know exactly what version of Windows was used to format and install the now corrupt 160 GB drive, you can install it as the primary (only) drive on the computer, and use another Windows disk of the same type and service pack.

    Then boot to the Windows CD and run it as R for Repair, not Repair Console... it is the second or third screen (I can dig up exact how to if you like).

    If it is generally the same version and service pack as the original install, it may repair the install and get your computer back to normal.

    Before you get that far, I would scan that 160 GB while as a slave on another computer.... using Avast or Avira or Kaspersky or Nod32 or other good free antivirus. When done, scan again with MalwareBytes. Then scan again with SuperAntiSpyware. Finally, scan once more with Windows Defender.

    These scans will take a long time, but it is critical that you are not running a R for Repair install if there is any chance you had an infestation on that drive.
    It is good if you know the product key that was used, and you can use a program such as Everest or KeyFinder to get the product ID... but it must work on the Windows CD that you have.
    Then once scanned, Cold boot to the Windows CD. You have a high chance (about 86 percent) that Windows will fix that drive and Windows install well enough for you to boot to it and save all your data.

    The disk will reinstall Windows on that 160 GB drive without harming the exisiting data (caveat: If anything can go wrong, it will). Windows is reinstalled. No files or data are damaged, and you are once again a happy camper.

    It will likely not be a perfectly running version of Windows XP, but will work well enough for you to rescue programs and files, email, email addresses, and such.
    Once all the data has been saved, and you are certain you have everything you need, then use the same Windows Disk to reformat and reinstall that 160 GB hard drive.

    But if it is in your budget, using a 250 GB, 320 GB, or 520 GB drive that works in that case will allow you to save everything thing to a new working system... thus ending the stress and frustration.
  8. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    By the way, if you do not know for sure if you have the correct Windows Disk (easier to figger out if it is a Dell, Sony, Compaq, etc.) you can run the best choice you can.
    Usually the incorrect disk will not run the Repair, but will not harm anything... but watch it carefully.
  9. bruckshaw

    bruckshaw TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks again Ray.

    I hope i have understood you correctly but here are a few more facts. I have only ever had one copy of Windows XP Home. I cannot remember whether the PC (not a propietry name) came with the OS installed but I do have the XP CD which came with it and it is labelled Version 2002. As far as I can see it is a genuine MS disc with a gold holographic design on it.

    The drive which came with the PC was the 80G one which is now working as the master.

    The 160 was cloned from that same 80G drive BUT by the time the cloning was done SP2 had been installed. SP3 has never been installed..

    I scan every day with AVG (updated daily) and i reports that the machine, with both drives running ,is clear of infections.

    I can access all my programs and data on the 160 .

    I am familiar with the difference betweeb Repair Console and Repair on a later screen and it was the last one which hung on me when trying to repair the 160G drive's OS.

    Perhaps I should try to cram as much of the good 160G's data and programs as I can on to the 80G and use it to clone to the 160 again. The 80G has 40G used and the 160G has 60G used. of which 15G of photos are backed up on DVD. Thus there is only about 5G of material which I cannot get on to the 80G disc and some of that will be on the 60G already. The remainder could also go on to DVDs if it is all data. As you say I must make notes of where everything I backup on DVD came from.

    Does that sound feasible? It makes the assumption that the 160G is in good order but if that is not so I would still have evrything on the 80G abd on DVD so that a new drive could be cloned etc.
  10. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Read all the way through this before you start, and get it firmly in your mind.
    If the 160 HD Clone was from that same Windows disk, using the disk to attempt a repair is worth the time... there is simply no way to predict whether the repair will be effective, but I doubt that it would do any more harm... assuming your key files are backed up to the 80 GB drive.
    To repair install WXP. print this, or find a better description online as to how to do it. There are several things to keep straight unless you have a better memory than do I.

    Be sure your boot order in the BIOS is correct for booting to the Windows disk.
    If you used an early version of Windows XP, and then installed Service Pack 1 or 2 later over that original install, the Service Pack should be removed. You want the disk to be as close to the current install disk as possible. Boot to the CD as though it was to be a new install.

    You should then see a <welcome to setup> screen, where you will find these choices on one of the first three screens:

    This portion of the Setup program prepares Microsoft
    Windows XP to run on your computer:
    To setup Windows XP now, press Enter.

    To repair a Windows XP installation using Recovery Console, press R.

    To quit Setup without installing Windows XP, press F3

    Press <ENTER> to start the Windows Setup.
    Caution: Do Not choose “To repair a Windows XP Installation using the Recovery Console, Press R” as that will produce unwanted time and trouble unless you have ample experience running Repair Console repairs. The < R > you need is on the next screen page as in the second paragraph below:

    Accept the License Agreement and Windows will search for existing Windows installations.
    Select the XP installation you want to repair from the list and at this time press R to start the repair. If Repair is not one of the options, stop running the setup, wait for the next screen or for the first screen that offers, Press R for Repair.

    Setup will copy the necessary files to the hard drive and reboot. Do not depress any key to boot from the CD when that message appears. Setup will continue as if it were doing a clean install, but your applications and settings will remain intact. It could take an hour, but at least a half hour.

    Do not immediately activate over the internet when asked. Enable the XP Firewall before connecting to the internet. You can activate after the firewall is enabled. Control Panel - Network Connections. Right click the connection you use, Properties and there is a check box on the Advanced page.
    Reapply updates and install Service Packs applied since initial Windows XP installation. Please note that a Repair Install using an Original pre service pack 1 or 2 XP CD used as the install media will likely remove SP1/SP2 respectively and service packs plus updates issued after the service packs will need to be reapplied.

    What this will usually do for you is correct any problems with the Windows Install that may be affecting your Windows install, particularly the hard ware issues with USB. Because, normally, USB and 1394 drivers are installed as part of Windows.
    You can look in the Device Manager <Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> System -> Hardware -> Device Manager -> to see what devices have yellow or red flags. Those flags mean those devices are not installed properly or perhaps are defective.

    After the Repair Install, you need to reinstall all the Device Drives. If it runs, then you will need to install about 148 Microsoft Updates.

    The only advantage of the Repair Install is that it will repair all the Windows part of the install, but will not normally touch any of your programs, data, documents, photos, or installs of other software.
  11. bruckshaw

    bruckshaw TS Rookie Topic Starter

    A very big thank you to Ray for his patience and helpfulness on this issue.

    I have got cold feet about this after my experiences trying to repair. I still cannot see what I did wrong so I am assuming that the problem cannot be solved that way.

    Looking at my total space usage it is not so much greater than the 80G drive will hold. With a few small sacrifices here and there I can get all I need at the moment on the 80G drive. I am steadily checking that all my important programs are installed on that drive and that all my inportant data is copied to it. All new saves etc will be done on that drive.

    After a couple of weeks I intend to format the 160GB drive and clone the 80GB on to it again as I did in 2007. And that is when I shall find out all the things I have forgotten to do!!
  12. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Good luck to you...$

    Keep in mine you can get a 320GB hard drive for $52, or a 500 GB for $64 to $75...
    or a 250 GB for $55... Not much when you place your appropriate value on the data that is important to you.
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