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fix master boot record WITHOUT access to Recovery Console?


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#1 RTW DC2

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Posted 16 November 2008 - 11:51 PM

Hello,

I have a problem with an XP Home machine. The machine was turned off before it was shut down completely and now it boots extremely slowly. Once it reaches the XP screen it loads normally and works fine. But between the BIOS screen and the XP screen it sits at a black screen and takes 10 minutes to do anything. I can hear the fan speed going faster and slower as if its trying to do something but nothing happens for a long time. If I try to boot into safe mode, it will do the same thing and it takes each driver a minute or two to load on the screen. Sometimes it will give an error about not being able to find ntoskrnl or hal.dll files before reaching the XP screen, but usually it does not give that error.

I tried to get into Recovery Console to run FIXBOOT and FIXMBR but I cant get passed the Administrator password. I have tried to remove passwords from the Administrator account once I get into Windows but Recovery Console is not accepting a blank password. Ive tried System Restore, but that isnt allowing me to go back far enough. Ive run CHKDSK, SFC /Scannow, and found no problems. I used MSCONFIG to restart in Diagnostic mode with basic drivers, but that didnt seem to make a difference.

Is there any other way to run FIXBOOT or FIXMBR, or any other similar utilities, once you are logged into Windows? Are there any other utilities available that will check and/or fix bootup issues?

Edited by RTW DC2, 16 November 2008 - 11:53 PM.


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#2 ~PrEmIuM~

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 07:35 AM

Ok, you administrator password can easly change: http://www.metacafe.com/watch/369198/bypas..._in_windows_xp/ then fix your MBR: http://www.tech-recipes.com/rx/483/xp_repa...covery_console/

#3 RTW DC2

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 10:31 AM

well I was previously already able to get into XP and remove the Administrator password by using the Users in Control Panel. It DOES NOT say "password protected" when you go into Users. But I tried what you said anyway and tried to change Administrator password by typing "net user Administrator *" and it successfully let me set a blank password. But when I tried to go into Recovery Console, its still not accepting a blank password. It seems the Administrator password is stuck somewhere even though I removed it in Users and cmd prompt.

Edited by RTW DC2, 17 November 2008 - 10:32 AM.


#4 RTW DC2

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 10:39 AM

also note, that when I log into Administrator in Safe Mode, it DOES NOT ask me for a password. Its only asking for the password in Recovery Console. I dont understand why its doing that.

#5 ~PrEmIuM~

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 10:50 AM

Well make your own password..

#6 RTW DC2

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 10:53 AM

isnt that what I just did by setting a blank password?

Edited by RTW DC2, 17 November 2008 - 10:54 AM.


#7 ~PrEmIuM~

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 10:56 AM

instead of blank password, use "password" or "getmein", etc.

#8 hamluis

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 11:12 AM

Is your Recovery Console located on your hard drive?

Louis

#9 RTW DC2

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 11:29 AM

I tried setting a different password, but that didnt help.

Im running Recovery Console from the OEM installation CD.

#10 RTW DC2

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 11:44 AM

I didnt realize I could install it from the CD. after a quick search, i figured out how to install it. I was able to get passed the Administrator password now, so Ill let you know how the fix goes. thanks!

#11 RTW DC2

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 11:47 AM

was able to run FIXMBR and FIXBOOT, but the problem persists. Im stumped now. Any other ideas?

#12 hamluis

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 12:25 PM

Don't know if this will work...but you can also try the bootcfg /rebuild command from the Recovery Console.

http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000648.htm

Louis

#13 RTW DC2

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 12:35 PM

that didnt really do much, just added custom entry to the boot ini file.

I really just want to be able to restore it back to factory settings using CNTL F11, but that feature is not working for some reason. so I am left with trying to fix it instead. The OEM CD I have is not from this machine so I cant reinstall using this CD. grrrrr.

#14 hamluis

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 02:25 PM

The CD only matters...when it's a CD issued by a boxmaker (Dell, Gateway, etc.).

It's the key which controls whether XP can be properly installed/activated.

If you have a Microsoft OEM CD and a valid XP key/license...it matters not where the CD came from or whether it is an original or whether it is a burned copy of an original. The key determines whether it works or not.

And, of course, you cannot use an XP Pro CD to install or repair XP Home and vice versa.

It doesn't sound to me as if you have a MS OEM CD...there are no factory settings when using one of these. Factory settings only apply to boxmaker systems and their CDs are not necessarily capable of being used in the same way that a Microsoft OEM, upgrade, or retail CD can be used.

Louis

#15 RTW DC2

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 12:37 PM

The CD I have is one of those Dell CDs that come with the systems. I think this one is from a laptop I had previously. The only product key I have for it is the one written on the CD sleeve. I dont think it will install with the same key that was on the old laptop without having some kind of conflict or something?

As for the factory restore, this Dell Dimension 5100C machine supposedly has a separate 4GB drive with a Symantec Restore program on it. Per the service manual for this machine, you are supposed to be able to press CNTL F11 at the bios screen and it will boot to that drive and allow you to restore the machine back to the way it was from the factory. But for whatever reason that feature is not working.




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