On the surface, this problem is most likely a simple file-corruption issue. The "software" registry hive has become corrupt. However, the cause of the file-corruption may
be a failing hard drive. If this is the case, then there may be no benefit in attempting to repair the file corruption (especially if the hard drive is failing badly). Indeed, any attempt to repair the file system if the hard drive is failing badly may make the situation a whole lot worse, rendering any existing data that may currently be recoverable, corrupt and unreadable.I suggest 3 steps for you to take in the order listed:
....Step 1.. Test the hard drive.
- Test the hard drive. If no problem > continue ...
- Create an XP Recovery Console CD and boot with it
- Then run chkdsk /P or chkdsk /R to attempt repair of the file-system corruption.
- If that fails to allow XP to boot successfully, then try a registry hive replacement > continue ...
- Create a bootable Linux CD/flashdrive and boot to the Linux operating system.
- Replace the Windows XP registry hives with copies previously saved by Windows System Restore.
This is dependent on restore points being available to use.
It is best to use the hard drive manufacturer's own diagnostic utility, but Seagate's tool will work OK on most brands. The diagnostic tool is run from a bootable CD (Windows does not need to be working. The first two steps are done on a working computer, while the third step is to boot the ailing computer with the CD that you create in the first two steps.)
Please download SeaTools for DOS (CD)
from Seagate's SeaTools for DOS web page
or use the following direct download link to download the latest version of SeaTools for DOS:Download SeaTools for DOS ISO Image
The downloaded file name is SeaToolsDOS223ALL.ISO
Burn the downloaded .ISO image to a CD using the appropriate burning software.
- 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.
When the CD has been burned and verified as successful, it will be bootable.
Boot from the CD.
- (You may need to access the BIOS Setup Menu or the Boot Menu and change the boot order to enable booting from CD before hard drive.)
- From Basic tests on the Main Menu, run the Short test and then the Long test.
(The long test will take some considerable time to complete.)
The results will be shown as either a PASS or FAIL.
There is a chance that during the Long test, you may be offered the opportunity to attempt repairs on the hard drive:
- If so, I recommend that you DO NOT PROCEED, and instead exit/close the SeaTools utilitly and let me know what is happening.
We should then take a closer look at the hard drive's condition before deciding on the next step and only proceed with a repair attempt after backing up all important personal files.
You may wish to view the following ...
Please let us know the results of the tests.
When you can, include the make and model number of the hard drive. If you do choose to use SeaTools, you will see the model number (and maybe the make) when SeaTools first detects the hard drive.....Step 2.. IF ... and ONLY IF ...
the hard drive passes the above tests (specifically the Long
test) with the SeaTools utility, create a bootable CD with the XP Recovery Console
on it and run chkdsk /r
. On a working computer
, create a bootable XP Recovery Console CD.
Please download ARCDC
On the ailing computer
- Double-click ARCDC.exe
- Follow the dialog until you see 6 options. Please choose: Windows Professional SP2 & SP3
- You will see a few DOS screens flash by: This is normal.
- Next you will be able to choose to add extra files: Select the Default Files.
- The last window will allow you to burn the disk using BurnCDCC.
- Burn the .ISO image file to a CD, to make a bootable CD.
(The ISO file is located on your Desktop.)
, run chkdsk /r
from the XP Recovery Console to repair the file system.
Does Windows start normally now?
- Insert the newly created XP Recovery Console CD in the computer's optical disk drive tray.
- Start or re-start the computer so that it boots from the CD. You may be prompted to "Press any key". (If the system does not appear to be booting from the CD, you may need to enter the BIOS Setup Menu and change the boot order, so that the CD-ROM/optical disk drive is set to boot before the hard disk drive.)
- When the Welcome to Setup screen appears, press the R key on your keyboard to start the Recovery Console.
- The Recovery Console will ask which Windows installation you would like to log on to.
If you have multiple Windows installations, it will list each one, and you would type the number (that is 1, 2, or 3 etc) associated with the installation you would like to work on (usually C:\Windows) and press the <ENTER> key.
Please advise if you are not seeing C:\Windows listed.
If you have just one Windows installation showing, type 1 and press <ENTER>.
- You will be prompted for the Administrator's password. If there is no password, (and this is most likely), simply press <ENTER>.
- You will be presented with a C:\Windows> prompt.
Please advise if you are not seeing a C:\WINDOWS> prompt.
- At the C:\Windows> prompt, type chkdsk /r and press <ENTER> (Note: There is a space between "chkdsk" and "/r")
- This will take some time to run and at times may appear stalled but just let it run.
- If any errors are found/repairs made, run chkdsk /r again, and repeat if necessary.
- Type "exit" at the prompt and press <ENTER> to close the Recovery Console and restart your system.
- If not, let me know what happens. We may need to try a registry hive replacement.
Edited by AustrAlien, 01 January 2013 - 07:45 AM.