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Bsod, Tried Recovery And Now Invalid Boot.ini File...please Help!


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#1 kristengenell

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 04:30 PM

I have a compaq presario c304nr which I purchased about 10 months ago. This morning I turned my computer on to see the screen turn blue (BSoD) with a message that said to remove any anti-virus software and so forth. It gave a serious of numbers, one for example 0x00000024 was one of them. But I couldn't go forth, windows wouldn't start. I called tech support and they told me to do a system recovery. I did that and then restarted the computer only to get a black screen that says Invalid boot.ini file Booting from c:\windows\ then nothing. I've tried going in an starting with safe mode but it will not work. My computer did not come with windows disks and stupid me, I never made those recovery disks because I didn't have any blank cds. I tried to do the recovery again, but still the same error. So I guess its safe to say that I have lost everything in my computer. Which really sucks because I was in the middle of writing a book and I had hundreds of photos on there. Anyone have any ideas on how I can get into windows. I've read a bunch of crap at microsoft websites but they all talk of using floppy disks if there are no recovery cds, but my laptop does not have a floppy drive. My computer is still under warranty, but I do not want to send it off for several weeks as I am an online college student and the book that I was writing is due to the publisher soon. Any advice on how I can fix this or should I send it off?

Thanks!

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#2 acklan

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 05:37 PM

Effectively the file that instruct windows on how to boot has been corrupted or destroyed. Microsoft has a knowledge base article, "Invalid Boot.ini" or "Windows could not start" error messages when you start your computer, that explains how to over come this problem.
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#3 usasma

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 07:26 AM

You can purchase restore disks from Compaq for about $20 and it takes about 4 days to get them (I last did this a couple of months ago, so prices may have changed).

Here's a link to a description of the STOP 0x24 error message (shorthand for 0x00000024): http://aumha.org/a/stop.php#0x24
It suggests running CHKDSK - which you'll have to boot into some sort of Windows to try. Do you have access to an XP disk that you can borrow? If so, boot from it and at the first screen you'll see something like "To repair a Windows Installation using the Recovery Console press "R" " Press R to start the Recovery Console - you'll be able to run CHKDSK from there.

You can purchase/borrow a USB floppy drive to use the floppy disk methods that you've discovered.

It seems to me that recovering your data (if possible) is the most critical thing here. If so, then I'd suggest booting with a Live Linux CD, a BartPE disk, or an Ultimate Boot CD (UBCD) to see if you can recover your data. Once the data's recovered, then you can proceed on with the rest of the stuff.

As for warranty repair, see if there's a local place that does warranty repairs - they should be able to diagnose the problem for free (under the warranty).
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#4 kristengenell

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Posted 26 October 2007 - 11:53 PM

Thanks guys for the info! HP sent me a new hard drive that I will have to install myself....fun fun. They said if I want to recover my data such as photos and word docs, that I should call geek squad and have them recover the data at my expense before I put the new hard drive in. I can only imagine how much this will cost. How is data recovered from a corrupt hard drive anyway? I'm sure I will pay to find out, lol. I've learned my lesson.....ALWAYS BACK-UP!! Thanks again for the advice.

#5 acklan

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Posted 27 October 2007 - 09:26 AM

That is good to here, kristengenell. If you had to have it replaced at least it will not cost.
When you install the new drive set the old drive to SLAVE and plug it into the second slot on the same drive cable. You may get lucky and only part of the drive is damaged. This is essentially was a tech would do. The other method would involve disassembling the drive and cost a couple of thousand dollars.
The worst that happens is nothing. The best is the drive holds together long enough to recover your information.

Good luck.
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#6 hamluis

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Posted 27 October 2007 - 10:35 AM

In addition Acklan's suggestion...I find that running chkdsk /r on a drive which has problems...tends to increase the possibility of accessing and removing files from that drive. This is after you have moved the drive to another system as a slave.

Worst case, it won't do any harm.

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