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Can't boot either XP or Vista on multi-boot setup


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#1 Eidassan

Eidassan

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 08:00 AM

Hi. I'm here to ask for some help and try to save a Windows installation that went south last night probably due to an
impestuous push of a few wrong buttons. I'll try to be as brief as possible to highlight steps leading up to the failure.
My system: Dell Inspiron 1720 laptop vintage 2008 on home network with a separate but nearly identical machine. Three partitions:
C: OEM Vista 70GB (7gb free), D: XP Pro SP2 add-on + program files 40GB (7gb free), E: Data and Storage files 180 GB (40GB free).
On this multiboot system I'd removed most of the Dell fluff it came with except the necessary drivers. XP Pro is my working
OS and has been tweeked and twisted ad infinitum. Vista apart from Windows updates remains virtually untouched.

The event: I'd finished a week of some major overhauls to various video editing software (most kosher, some not). Numerous
reboots, etc and no problems. At the end of the mission the combination of fatigue, a few bin files that wouldn't open and
an argument with a family member led me to do a rash clean-up of....my system temp file (which by the way is on the E:
partition.) Basically, I removed most anything Windows would let me. And I also emptied the trash can. Windows seemed to shut
down normally. Upon reboot I reached the multi-boot screen, selected XP per usual, the XP loading logo
started up...and then stayed there. No further R/W disk movement. Nothing.

To investigate, no problem, I thought to simply fire up Vista to have a look. Except Vista wouldn't boot either. Following
the boot choice, Vista would turn over a few seconds, a very brief blue screen with a message would flash for a fraction
of a second and the computer would reboot all over again. The blue screen message is: 'A problem has been detected and
Windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer. UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME'. It then goes on to inform me to
restart, check hard and software installs, disable new hardware, disable BIOS memory cache/shadowing, etc.
'Last good configuration' on either system was of no use. But, I was lucky to be able to get into Vista's safe mode. On XP,
safe mode led to a multidisk boot screen that scrolled down to ...system32/drivers/AVGIDseh.sys and then stopped cold. I
never even reached the welcome screen.

My personal intuition re/ the problem in decreasing order of priority: Driver deletions, virus, hard disk pre-failure. I
mention the latter since I know there are a few bad sectors, I've done far too many defrags of big files on this comp and
have even started to hear muffled clicks here and there coming from the left side of the machine. In fact, I was just on the
point of installing a second external back up drive.

A further detail that may or may not be relevant. One of my programs loaded a new version of Microsoft Visual C++ 2008
Redistributable Package (with the option to restore the old dlls which oddly remained on my E: partition). And as for
viruses, I always run new third-party .exe files past either AVG and Malwarebytes and don't think anything got past them.
But who knows? If it's not a virus, it seems it must be one or more common dlls to both OS installs before the branching off
to the respective GUI setups. But what?

I really would appreciate some help on this especially if it is other than the 'Re-install the OS' variety. Believe me, my
setup is so full of odds and ends and weird configurations that it's certain I'd never fully recover my setup. Even if XP
had become extremely bloated over the last months. This is the first disaster I've had with this comp and it really hurts.
So thanks for any help you can offer.

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