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Microsoft XP Pro Won't Boot


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#1 marjwyatt

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Posted 26 December 2010 - 05:34 AM

My laptop shut down normally last night and I did not install any new software on it. This morning, when I tried booting it, I got the error We apologize for the inconvenience, but Windows did not start successfully. A recent hardware or software change might have caused this.

If your computer stopped responding, restarted unexpectedly, or was automatically shut down to protect your files and folders, choose Last Known Good Configuration to revert to the most recent settings that worked.

If a previous startup attempt was interrupted due to a power failure or because the Power or Reset button was pressed, or if you aren't sure what caused the problem, choose Start Windows


I tried booting into safe mode to no avail. I used the Windows CD to boot up the recovery console. I ran checkdsk and it said that there were one or more errors but when I re-ran it with the "/r" option, no errors were found. While there, I rebuilt MBR. No joy.

I found another forum that recommended UBCD 5.0.3, which has some nifty utilities but still, no joy.

The UBCD utilities include a flavor of Linux that allows me to see the windows partition files. They are all there and the partition tool knows that it is bootable NTFS. I just ran their hard drive analysis utilites and they are reporting that the drive is in good condition. I will be using Ubuntu to back them up to another hard drive, assuming I can work out how to connect to one of my networked drives or use a USB drive.

Regardless of all of that, here are the symptoms:

While booting, I can see a "blue screen" flash but it comes and goes so quickly I can't see the problem it is trying to report. I'm thinking that, if I could read it, I might know what is actually wrong so I have a clear direction.

How can I set up the boot so I can see the exception that is being reported? This is so frustrating! I manually install all Windows updates so I don't think one snuck up on me. As I mentioned earlier, I didn't install any new software last night. I also did not add any new hardware.

I was reading another thread here and looked at the Microsoft Support article for rebuilding the registry. That actually looks kinda spooky, especially since this is a second hand laptop and the OS is OEM, although I do have a CD...

Sure would be nice to see what is flying by on that blue screen...

Any guidance/help from this forum would be greatly appreciated. I really don't have the cash for a new laptop right now and reinstalling windows would be a true hardship. Since the disk is readable, I'm thinking that these extreme measures aren't needed.

Edited by marjwyatt, 26 December 2010 - 05:39 AM.


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#2 Mooseby

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Posted 26 December 2010 - 07:59 AM

Hi,
To see the BSOD at startup press the F8 key or whichever key you used to boot to safe mode, you will see the 'advanced boot options' menu:

Select 'Disable automatic restart on system failure'.


Have you tried "Last know good configuration"?

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/Advanced-startup-options-including-safe-mode

#3 marjwyatt

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Posted 26 December 2010 - 02:57 PM

I tried all options before resorting to the Recovery Console.

Thanks for telling me which reboot option revealed the problem.

Here is the error:


=============================
A problem has been detected and windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer.

If this is the first time you've seen this Stop error screen, restart your computer. If this screen appears again, follow these steps:

Check to be sure you have adequate disk space. If a driver is identified in the Stop message, disable the driver or check with the manufacturer for driver updates. Try changing video adapters.

Check with your hardware vendor for any BIOS updates. Disable BIOS memory options such as caching and shadowing. If you need to use Safe Mode to remove or disable components, restart your computer, press F8 to select Advanced Startup Options, and then select Safe mode.

Technical information:

*** STOP: 0X0000007e (0Xc00000005, 0Xba0f0154, 0xBA50B800, 0xBA50B4FC)

*** volsnap.sys - Address BA0F0154 base at BA0E8000, DateStamp 480253bc
=========================================

I found a relatively recent forum thread related to that driver here. Like another in that forum, I liked the idea of replacing volsnap.sys so I saved the old version to volsnap.bak and went looking for the backed up version in ServicePackFiles\i386. It wasn't there so I just deleted volsnap.sys and rebooted. That didn't work and I got a new error:

=========================================
A problem has been detected and windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer.

If this is the first time you've seen this Stop error screen, restart your computer. If this screen appears again, follow these steps:

Check for viruses on your computer. Remove any newly installed hard drives or hard drive controllers. Check your hard drive to make sure it is properly configured and terminated. Run CHKDSK /F to check for hard drive corruption, and then restart your computer.

Technical information:

*** STOP: 0x0000007B (0xBA4CB524, 0xC000000E, 0x00000000, 0x00000000)
=========================================
I rebooted with Ultimate Boot 5.0.3 and entered their Linux OS again. Within that environment, there are tools like connecting to internet and FTP. From my working computer which is also XP, I uploaded volsnap.sys from C:\WINDOWS\ServicePackFiles\i386 to a folder on my hosting account and, using the FTP client bundled with the Linux environment on the Ultimate Boot 5.03 disk, I downloaded it to a ramdisk there and copied it into C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\DRIVERS.

I first rebooted into SAFE mode. When that worked, I rebooted normally and I am back online without having to recreate the registry. As I wrote earlier today, that sounded truly spooky and I didn't want to have to take those measures. I do wonder how this system critical driver became corrupt. Next steps for me will be to get a good image backup of the working installation and settings. When time permits, I will wipe out the drive and reinstall Windows clean, which the hardware *tech* who sold this machine to me should have done in the first place. (Too long a story to go into here.)

For newbies to this forum, the steps that I took to acquire access to what I needed are a little advanced but I would be happy to try to help anyone who has the same problem and contacts me directly.

Once again, I got what I needed here which was able to gain access to the blue screen that was flying by and unreadable. Thank you so much for that. Without that help, I would not have been able to isolate the real problem and fix it.

Edited by marjwyatt, 26 December 2010 - 07:35 PM.





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