If you cannot
bootup or logon in normal or safe mode, then your options are limited
You can fix the Master Boot Record with the Windows XP Recovery Console
- Insert the Windows XP CD into the CD-ROM drive and restart the computer.
- Watch for "Press any key to boot from CD" and then press any key to force the computer to boot from the Windows CD. If you do not press a key, the computer will continue to boot up normally. If that happens, try to boot to the Windows XP CD again.
- When the "Welcome to Setup" screen appears, press R to enter the Recovery Console.
- The Recovery Console will load and ask which Windows installation would you like to log onto.
- In most cases, you will enter 1 (which will be the only choice). Note: If you press Enter without typing a number, Recovery Console will quit and restart your computer.
- If prompted, type in your Administrator password and press Enter. If there is no password, leave it blank and just press enter.
- At the Recovery Console command prompt, type: fixmbr and then verify that you want to proceed.
- When finished, remove the XP CD, type exit and press enter to restart the computer.
users can refer to How to fix MBR in Windows XP and Vista
<-includes screenshots for both Vista and XP
If you don't have your XP CD you can download an ISO
of the Recovery Console files:
Burn it as an image to a disk to get a bootable CD which will startup the Recovery Console for troubleshooting and fixing purposes. This is especially useful for those with OEM systems with factory restore partitions or disks but no original installation CD. If you are not sure how to burn an image, please refer to How to write a CD/DVD image or ISO
and Creating A Windows XP Recovery Console CD Image
If you're not dealing with a MBR infection, then use the Recovery Console and do a Repair Install
. Boot the computer using the XP CD. You may need to change the boot order
in the system BIOS
so the CD boots before the hard drive. If the CD is not first in the boot order, the computer will attempt to start normally by booting from the hard drive.
When doing a reinsatall using an original XP CD, you should not lose all your data. However, you may lose data that is stored in the All Users folder and default program templates and settings that are stored in the Default User folder after you reinstall, repair, or upgrade Windows XP. See You May Lose Data or Program Settings After Reinstalling, Repairing, or Upgrading Windows XP
If you need additional assistance with using the Recovery Console, you can start a new topic in the appropriate Windows Operating System Subforum