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"unmountable boot volume", Windows will not start up

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#1 cstrevel


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Posted 12 November 2011 - 06:44 PM

I have a Dell Inspiron 6400 laptop running Windows XP Home that is fully updated through August 2011 (when i began having this problem). I went to power on my computer, and no sooner did the black screen with the windows xp logo, it cut to a blue error screen displaying the following text-

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.. blah blah new hardware... blah blah new software... (the standard rest of the message)
Techincal information:
*** STOP: 0x000000ED (0x8775a030, 0xc000009A, 0x00000000, 0x00000000)

When i restart the computer i get the black screen- we apologize for the inconvenience blah blah, and it gives me the different options for starting windows- normal, safe mode, command prompt etc... every one of those options takes me back to the blue screen i described above with slightly different techincal information stop codes.

I hadn't made any recent hardware or software changes prior to this event, although i did try to play with some of the bios settings with no success and have them set back to defalt. Please help.

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#2 Ken-B


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Posted 13 November 2011 - 12:52 PM


You may find this useful:

There is an option to run chkdsk /r
If you don't have the original installation CD then it is possible to run chkdsk by connecting your hard drive as a slave to another computer or using a 2.5 inch hard drive to USB adapter.

#3 Allan


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Posted 13 November 2011 - 01:16 PM

i did try to play with some of the bios settings with no success and have them set back to defalt. Please help.

EXACTLY what does that mean and why did you do it?

#4 cstrevel

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 07:48 PM

I've put off fixing this problem for so long that I really don't remember all what I tried. I tried changing the boot sequence, disabling the abbreviated boot diagnostics, disabled HD cashing, but changed all settings back to their original status to ensure any fixes you all propose would not be hindered by anything I screwed up with my novice attempts to get running again.

I KNOW i have my windows recovery CD floating around somewhere, but after 5 years its exact location has slipped my mind. Once I dig it out I'll see what I can do.


#5 cstrevel

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 08:58 PM

I finally unburied my Windows CD, and attempted to run chdsk /r. No success. I booted to the CD, selected the option to run chdsk /r, but as soon as the formalities were taken care of and the application went to work, it immediately terminated and i was reverted back the the blue screen with the same message as entered in my first post. Additionally, i attempted to install a Windows XP Professional upgrade in hopes of some positive result, but when prompted to select the HD partition to install to, no response or progress results when i select C:\ does this mean i'm finished? is there any way to recover any files from my HD?

#6 AustrAlien



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Posted 18 December 2011 - 09:14 PM

is there any way to recover any files from my HD?

Retrieve copies of your personal files to another location (different hard drive), and then we'll try to get your system back up and running again. Before proceeding with the following instructions, it would be wise to confirm that your hard drive is in fact detected and reported properly in the BIOS Setup Menu: If it is not, then there is no use continuing with the below instructions.

If your computer is not able to boot into Windows or simply not able to access the internet, you can use a LIVE Linux operating system run from a bootable CD or flashdrive instead of Windows, to access the internet, to access files on the HDD(s) and do other tasks.

:step1: Using a working computer:
  • If you wish to use a LIVE CD ...
  • Download the Linux version of your choice (usually an .ISO image file).
  • There are many options to use for a LIVE CD. I suggest that you try one of the following:
  • Puppy Linux (smallest download file size at 128 MB)
  • Linux Mint 11 Katya (versions for a CD, and larger versions that need to be burned to a DVD disk)
[*]Burn the .ISO image to CD: If you do not already have a suitable burning program for writing .ISO images to disc ...
  • Download and install ImgBurn.
  • Ensure that you UN-check the box agreeing to install the Ask toolbar during the installation.
  • Place a new (blank) CD disc in the drive tray.
  • Choose Write image file to disc.
    • Under Source, click on the Browse button: Navigate to and select the .ISO file that you wish to burn.
    • Place a check-mark in the box beside Verify.
  • Click Posted Image
[*]When the CD has been burned and verified as successful, it will be bootable.
[/list][*]OR ... if you wish to use a LIVE flashdrive ...
  • Go to UNetbootin - Homepage and Downloads and at the top of the page, click on Download (for Windows) to download the application.
  • Follow the instructions further down the page under the heading Installation & Screenshots.
  • Run the application to download and install the Linux version of choice to your flashdrive.
  • I suggest that you try one of the following:
  • Puppy Linux (smallest download file size at 128 MB)
  • Linux Mint 11 Katya (download file size depends on version)
:step2: Boot the problematic machine from the LIVE CD or flashdrive.
  • (You may have to configure the Boot Menu or BIOS Setup Menu to boot first from the optical/CD drive or the flashdrive, which ever you are using.)
  • Choose to run the Linux operating system from the CD or flashdrive without making any changes to your computer.
    Do NOT install Linux on your hard drive.
  • When the Linux operating system loads ...
  • You will be able to navigate to all the files on your HDD.
  • You can backup your files by copying them to a flashdrive or an external hard drive.
  • Before using the internet (if you choose to use Puppy, for example) you may have to:
  • Configure/set up the internet connection
  • Download a favourite browser
    (With Linux Mint the foregoing should not be necessary.)
[/list]You may find one of the following guides useful:
Recover files from Windows XP hard disk using Puppy Linux

Recover files from Windows Vista hard disk using Puppy Linux

Recover files from Windows 7 hard disk using Puppy Linux

The easiest way to copy files/folders in Puppy is to drag-and-drop from one window to another. To do this open a window showing what you want to copy. Open another window showing the location that you wish to copy to .... and move the windows so that you can conveniently see both at the same time.

Now, simply drag the items you wish to copy from one window into the other. Simple.

Recent news, November 2011: You may be interested to have a look at the following:

The most popular Linux is...

No it’s not Fedora, openSUSE, or even Ubuntu. It’s Linux Mint.


When you have your personal files safely backed up, then please try the following:

Download NTBR_CD.exe and create a bootable CD.
  • Save the file to your Desktop and double-click it. This will create a folder named NTBR_CD.
  • Open the folder and locate BurnItCD. Launch it by double-clicking it.
  • When BurnCDCC opens, click Start - the CD tray will open.
  • Insert blank CD and click OK.
  • The tray will close, burn the image then eject the disk.
Run chkdsk.
  • Boot the affected computer with the new CD.
  • Once presented with the boot screen please hit <ENTER> to boot from CD.
  • After a warning screen there is a keyboard language options screen - press <ENTER> to leave it at EN-US.
    You should now be at the Tool options screen.
  • Type 5 and press <ENTER> to go to a command prompt.
    At the command prompt type the following bolded command then press <ENTER>


    You will be prompted (in German) to press Enter.
  • Press <ENTER> to start the check disk utility.
    Check Disk will check all attached drives and attempt to correct any errors.
    Please make a note of any errors found or corrections made.
  • When it completes type "menu" and press <ENTER> to return to the tools menu.
  • Type 6 and press <ENTER> to quit, then Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart.
(With thanks to noahdfear for the above tool and instructions.)

Please let me know if chkdsk reports any errors or corrections made, or if it completes without incident.

Allow the computer to attempt booting normally and let me know the outcome.

As an example of a successful outcome after running this tool, see the following ....
Anne_ATL: "I cannot get into my computer even in safe mode, how can I fix or at least personal files off"

EUREKA!!!! :bananas: :bananas: :bananas:

At least for now, I have not checked everything to confirm that I did not lose anything, but I am at the desktop.

Thank you so much! :flowers:

Edit: Mint 12 is the latest version released, so ignore the reference to Mint 11.

Edited by AustrAlien, 18 December 2011 - 09:19 PM.

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