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XP Pro won't boot


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#1 18miperday

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 05:56 PM

When I turned on the computer this morning, XP got to the screen where the little blue dots go across the bar, but just kept doing that for several minutes. Usually this machine boots quickly.

I turned the power off, then back on, and got the screen asking which option I wanted for booting. I selected the option to boot normally. The computer got through the list of devices, but then returned to the first screen you see at powerup. Then it showed the screen with the little blue dots and went to the boot options again.

This time I selected safe mode, and got the same result. Then I selected last known good configuration, and got the same result.

I booted from the XP CD and Setup did not find the OS. It offered to reformat the partition, which I did not do.

I read the post about boot fixes on BC and ran Western Digital's diagnostic program. The drive came up clean.

I ran CHKDSK /R from the Windows Recovery Console and it finished with the message: The volume appears to contain one or more unrecoverable problems."

I tried again to boot from the hard drive. No luck.

I ran fixmbr from the Windows Recovery Console and got the message, "This computer appears to have a non-standard or invalid master boot record. FIXMBR may damage your partition tables if you proceed. This could cause all the partitions on the current hard disk to become inaccessible. If you are not having problems accessing your drive, do not continue. Are you sure you want to write a new MBR?"

At this point I chickened out. Where do I go from here?

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 06:24 PM

<<The volume appears to contain one or more unrecoverable problems.">>

Based on that alone, I would run a manufacturer's diagnostic on the hard drive (long/extended test).

If the drive passes that...I'd try a clean install.

If drive doesn't pass, time to spend some cash on a hard drive.

Louis

#3 18miperday

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 07:43 PM

Before my first post I ran an extended scan with the Western Digital utility and it came up with an error code of 0000, which is clean. After reading your reply I ran it again and got 0007, which is a read element error. Interpretation: replace the drive. Ouch.

#4 hamluis

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 07:56 PM

It happens :thumbsup:.

You will wind up with a faster, newer, more reliable drive...which is not a bad thing.

Louis

#5 Swordie

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 08:26 PM

I really hope you have your information backed up :thumbsup:

It's not a costly overhaul-- a new hard drive that is under 500 GB will come about 50 dollars or less.
Who said I couldn't have everything?

#6 18miperday

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Posted 26 September 2009 - 12:46 PM

The drive itself is not a big deal, though I want a 10,000 RPM unit because I do a lot of CAD work. There are some items on the old drive that I really want, though, because the last couple of months have been very busy and I haven't done a comprehensive backup in that time. First I will try putting the old drive in side by side with a drive that has the OS installed. If that doesn't work, I will send the drive to a data recovery service and see if I can get those items back.

#7 hamluis

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Posted 26 September 2009 - 12:50 PM

I would try recovery software...before I ever thought about sending a drive off to a service.

There is a rather large variance in the cost of data retrieval efforts when the two are compared.

It's not necessary for the drive to boot in order for retrieval software to do its job of recovering files.

Louis

#8 18miperday

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Posted 26 September 2009 - 01:01 PM

Western Digital has a list of approved recovery service providers, and some of those companies also sell recovery software. I could try one of those, or perhaps someone could recommend something.

The diagnostic program reported a "read element" error, which sounds like a deep-seated hardware problem. If software can't retrieve the data, maybe the drive can be repaired. Maybe.

#9 hamluis

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Posted 26 September 2009 - 02:39 PM

I would try the NTFS version of (since I already have and purchased it) GetDataBack - Data Recovery Software - http://runtime.org/data-recovery-software.htm .

There are probably a variety of applications that some of us have experience with...which we have had success with.

Louis

#10 Swordie

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Posted 26 September 2009 - 05:20 PM

Services usually vary between $400- 1,000. I would follow Louis's advice at this point and try software first before any service.

Edited by Swordie, 26 September 2009 - 05:20 PM.

Who said I couldn't have everything?

#11 18miperday

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Posted 26 September 2009 - 10:10 PM

I will definitely give the software a try first - I can't go very far wrong with it considering the price. I bought a new WD Velociraptor 150GB today and I'm installing XP right now. Once it's set up I'll see if I can access my old drive.

#12 18miperday

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Posted 30 September 2009 - 09:14 PM

I put in the new hard drive and installed XP, then put the old drive in and tried to access it. After several minutes of running chkdsk, the computer booted up. When I tried to access the old drive, the computer restarted. Again it ran chkdsk, then crashed.

The next time it booted, all the space on the old drive showed as free space, so I decided to give GetDataBack a try. It recovered almost everything on the drive and enabled me to make my Monday tax appointment. Not only did I save a ton of money, but I got my data back in hours instead of days or weeks.

Thanks for the help. You folks are the best!

#13 hamluis

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 07:48 AM

Glad you were able to save your data...happy computing :thumbsup:.

Louis




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