Windows XP Won’t Boot

Windows XP won’t boot

If you’ve worked with windows for 2 minutes you’ve probably been exposed to the Blue Screen of Death or BsD. Usually Blue Screens are rather harmless and go away after a reboot. But when they don’t, when they stick around and keep reoccurring after every reboot, then you have problems. The first thing you should do is try to boot into safe mode. You can do this by pressing F8 after you hear your computer beep while it is booting up. If it boots into safe mode all is well and good and you just have a start-up program gumming up your computer. (See my Spyware Removal Guide for information on how to manage start-up entries.) If safe mode generates the same blue screen you have more work ahead of you. If you are not sure how to spot warning signs of potential computer failure, call the specialists from PC Revive.

If you can’t boot into Windows XP, not even into safe mode, and you’re getting a message like, “unmountable boot volume” on the blue screen they a simple chkdsk might fix the problem. The tricky part is booting your computer so you can run chkdsk. The easiest way to do that is to use a windows installation CD. To do boot off of a CD you first need to configure your BIOS to look for an Operating System on the CD before it tries the hard drive. Usually this is done by pressing ‘del’, ‘F2’, or some other key to enter setup and adjusting the boot priority so that the CDROM is first. When Windows setup finally loads (it takes several minutes) all you have to do is press ‘r’ to enter the recovery console.

Sometimes it will prompt you for the administrator’s password. Most people I encounter don’t know this or think they don’t have one. See the Password Recovery Guide to find out how you can reset your administrator password.

Once you are in the recovery console you will be greeted with a friendly command prompt. The first thing you are going to want to try is chkdsk. Simply typing “chkdsk” should scan your hard drive and fix any problems it finds. Sometimes it is necessary to use “chkdsk /p” and if you want to be really thorough and have several hours to burn you can use “chkdsk /r” that causes it to do a surface scan of the disk. If chkdsk get’s hung up for more than an hour, as in the percent complete doesn’t change for a long time, there is most likely something physically wrong with your hard drive it will have to be replaced. Once chkdsk complete restart the computer by typing “exit” and see if windows will boot now.

If windows still doesn’t boot go back to the recovery console and run “fixboot.” fixboot will copy certain files needed for your hard drive to boot onto your hard this will fix the problem if your computer was complaining about a missing ntldr or something like that. If fixboot doesn’t fix the problem then you should try fixmbr. fixmbr recreates the master boot record of your drive, it usually is only needed if you installed some other boot loader like grub and you want to revert back to using just Windows XP. However sometimes the master bot record becomes corrupt and it is necessary to restore it using fixmbr.

If you are getting black screens with messages like “Windows could not start beacuse following file is missing or corrupt \windows\system32\config\system” then you have a registry problem. Also if you are getting Blue screens with the stop 0x0000007E or similar messages then you might be able to fix by restoring your registry using the recovery console. Microsoft wrote a very nice article on how to do this called How to recover from a corrupted registry that prevents Windows XP from starting It involves booting in to the recovery console as described above and copying the registry files from a backup.

If windows still does not boot after using all the above methods then you’ll probably need to reinstall it. There are basically two ways to do this, a repair install or a new install. A repair install is usually preferred because it does not reset your settings or programs, the registry remains intact for the most part and when it is finished your computer will work just like it did before. With a new install windows will be like a blank slate and you probably have to reinstall most of the programs that were previously installed. Both of these can be done without loosing any information. To do a repair install you need the same edition of Windows XP that is installed on the computer. So if you have Windows XP Home you need the Windows XP Home disc or the repair install will not be an option for you.

If you are still getting blue screens or other errors after doing a reinstall of windows I would verify the integrity of my hard drive. There are many ways of doing this and most hard drive manufactures provide diagnostic software on their website. OEMs such as Dell have their own diagnostic software that they ship with their systems. However, there is an option that works with any system and any hard drive, that is the Ultimate Boot CD or UBCD. You can download it at the ultimate boot cd website. Perform any simple operation like pdf to word conversion to see if your computer functions properly.

If at this point you are sure your hard drive is functional and windows XP still does not boot you will need to reinstall windows.

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96 thoughts on “Windows XP Won’t Boot”

  1. Thank you soo much!!! I usually don’t comment on things…but this article just completely saved me! I was afraid that I was going to have to format my drive. I would have never thought of digging out my Windows CD. I completely forgot about the recovery console. Thanks again!


  2. Hey mate, I’ve tried the safemode option and it tells me to boot up with xp, so I do and I still get the ‘Black Screen of Death’. I don’t Windows XP disc at all, as I bought my laptop second-hand. Any other solutions? If I take it to a repair place, will they be able to assist me with the XP disc?
    I’ve tried my Computer monitor, no luck.
    Tried the whole take battery out and remove charger, hold down the power button for 60 seconds, connect charger, turn on, and I still get the black screen.


  3. Without a windows XP disc there’s not many options. If you have another computer I’d download one from some P2P place and burn it to a CD. As long as you got the certificate of authenticity on your machine it’s not pirating. I’ve had good luck with Without a CD it maybe possible to restore the system from recovery partition that some OEM setup on their computers. Usually this is accessed by pressing F11 or some other key just before windows start loading.

  4. I’ve been having some issues with my windows xp I was trying download security mcafee online n once I got it installed n it needed to restart it never reboot all I get is black screen saying there was a system change n software or hardrive n to start either safe mode or last setting that was ok or start normally I’ve tried all none wk it goes to windows screen then after awhile goes back to black screen all over again. Idont know wat else to do? Can u please help me?

  5. As others have said above…thank u so much! You really ARE a lifesaver 🙂 I googled and found other “solutions” but none i could understand until yours :)))

    I was caught in a reboot loop where no option worked incl safe mode. Ran the chkdsk above and rebooted and all was well. After 4 hours of sheer panic, u have no idea the relief! Can’t thank u enough!!!

  6. Had to post to say very big “Thank you” for your very informative and helpful article. After three agonizing days, ran chkdsk and my windows is up and running again. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Thank you for your article. My computer had the black screen of death. I followed your process up to the 5th paragraph, and voila! It worked. I’m so happy. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  8. thanks again…i thought i had to reload xp all over again..your suggestions got my computer working again in 10 minutes….

  9. Hey im trying to type in “chkdsk” in the recovery console and all im getting it to say is “the volume appears to contain one or more unrecoverable problems.” Any ideas what i’m suppose to do now

  10. Usually this means something is seriously wrong with your hard drive. But it could be a small fluke. Apart from installing a new Hard Drive here’s what you can try.

    • Run the Manufacture’s diagnostics. If you have a Western Digital drive it’s called Data LifeGuard Tools. If you have a Seagate drive It’s called Sea Tools. With either one you’ll need the DOS version which you can burn to a bootable CD. The tools will check the drive for problems and in some cases fix problems. Other manufactures make different utilities but must of the others aren’t good enough to fix the problem.
    • If you don’t have a WD or Seagate drive or their utilities were unable to fix the problem you can try MHDD. It’s a simple program that scans every sector of the drive and, if you tell it to, will try to fix broken sectors or sectors that take forever to read. I usually use the version included with SystemRescueCd.
    • After the HDD has been repaird try chkdsk again. It may or may not work. It’s possible even though chkdsk doesn’t run that it is possible to read the data by plugging the hard drive into a working system but Windows might refuse to read it. In this case I have had success using a Linux live CD to read the data because it has much better support for messed up file systems.

    Good luck!

  11. Thank you for your clear instructions. I’ve been wrestling with bsod for a day and was able to resolve….now for some “house cleaning” thanks again

  12. Ok so I’m stuck in the reboot loop but I don’t have any of my windows cd’s. Is there any way i can do the chkdsk or is that only possible with the cd? do i have any options other than call dell and have them send me replacement cd’s?

  13. There is a small chance that your oem has already installed the recovery console onto your computer. If it’s there it will show up as one of the boot options. As far as I know Toshiba is the only OEM that does this so it’s probably not there. Some Peer-to-peer download sites have the recovery console as a bootable CD which is only a few mb to download. However, obtaining it this was is actually illegal.

    Microsoft does provide a legal download of the recovery console in the form of Setup Disks for Floppy Boot Install. If you want to avoid creating 6 floppy disks that are terribly slow or you don’t have a floppy drive you can use a simple script written by Dean Adams that extracts the files from the download and burns it onto a CD. Download the Package read a description. Basically you extract the package into a folder. Download the floppy disk installation from Microsoft. Rename the file to BootDisk.exe and run RecoveryCD.bat. Read the readme if you get lost.

    Good luck.

  14. I have windows xp professional. All I did was install software for a new printer. On restart, a black screen with the following message appears “CD-ROM BOOT PRIORITY.. BOOT READY”. What do I do?

  15. Out of nowhere my computer went to the blue screen with a message about being shut down to prevent damage to my computer; to check for viruses I should run chkdsk /f; and gave the following technical information:
    stop: 0x0000007B (0xF78AA524, 0xC0000034, 0x00000000, 0x00000000).

    I found your site, found my xp disk, ran chkdsk /r on each of the hard drives in my computer. It said that it found a problem & fixed it on each one. I then tried to restart the system & got another blue screen with the same message except the technical info changed to:
    0x0000007B (0xB84CF524, 0xC0000034, 0x00000000, 0x00000000)

    Any ideas what to do next?

  16. I was in the re-boot ‘loop’ after XP failed during downloading a jpeg from a friends usb flash drive and eventually decided to run bootcfg /scan from the recovery console. I got this message:

    ‘Failed to successfully scan disks for windows installations. This error may be caused by a corrupt file system, which would prevent bootcfg from successfully scanning. Use chkdsk to detect any disk errors.’

    I typed in the C:\>chkdsk command and after 14 hours all I seem to be getting is a slow flashing hard drive light (about every 5 seconds) and a flashing cd rom light (where the XP disk is held).

    There is no extra info on the screen below the chkdsk command prompt at the bottom left.

    Has it failed or is it going to take a long time to check my 160gb hard drive (which has someting like 60gb on the C partition and 100gb on the D partition.

  17. Sometimes chkdsk actually needs to be ran twice on the hard drive to fix all the problems, so you might want to run it again. If it still doesn’t work you’re best bet is just to reinstall windows, it’s likely a critical system file was corrupted or infected with a virus. See Microsoft’s Knowledge base for more information on what you can do with 0x0000007B errors. Unless you have some clue as to what caused it running chkdsk or reinstalling windows are your only options.

  18. After 36 hours I aborted chkdsk as it wasn’t doing anything.

    Seems the build of my computer makes re-installing XP a bit tricky as the guy who built it used a SATA drive which XP does not seem to recognise.

    It’s way beyond my knowlege so it’s going back to him tomorrow. He will remove the hard drive and connect it via usb to his computer to back up the few files I need and then try and remove the bad file/virus. I think I got it when I tried to download some holiday pictures from my friends USB flash drive. One of the files was not liked by my system (it said it was the wrong file format) but as it was only showing as a jpeg I copied it manually. Then the problems started 🙁

    That will teach me to trust nothing in the future!

    I’ll let you know how I get on.



  19. what if you cant go to safe mode but you cant use your cd thing? can u use usb instead?

  20. I could kiss you. What an incredibly well-taught fix in simple, easy to understand manner. Incredible relief…..thnks a million

  21. This is one of the most helpful articles I’ve ever read. Why can’t more experts write like this?

  22. Please, it is now asking for an administrator password but I don’t know what it is! I tried the other steps smoothly and it never asked for a password, but now that i’m about to try fixboot it is asking for a password. Help me please. . . =[

  23. I’ve run into this a few times. The disk is so messed up it can’t even read the passwords so it doesn’t ask you for the admin password the first time but will later after you run CHKDSK. Sometimes it will just take a blank password, sometimes it won’t work at all even if you have the correct admin password. To fix it use ntpasswd It’s a very small iso download and can be burned to a CD and booted from just like the XP disk. It’s all text based but it’s pretty easy to navigate. After it boots you usually just press enter the accept the default option to reset the password, check the site for more information.

  24. hi a while back my laptop have dell d610 windows xp OS got the black screen of death with cursor everytime i turn it on it loads up n go to black screen with cursor today i brought ultimate boot cd from amazonit shoud be shipping soon my question is do you think it will fix my laptop?

  25. I must say the comments expressed above are most helpul to recover a windows xp based system. I wonder if a similar review exists to recovery a windows 7 installation which may be a tough nut to crack and I know this by my own experience.

  26. is there anyway to run a chkdsk without the windows cd? cuz i have a dell but when i got it it never came with the cd.. can someone help me??

  27. See my comments above. You can download a cd with just the recovery console to run chkdsk with. Dell probably has a built in recovery partition that might help you out. Usually it’s accessible by pressing F11 during bootup.

  28. hi i was wounding if you can help me plzzzz..

    my computer starts up and takes me to the black screeen and gives me the following options

    -safe mode
    -safe mode with networking
    -safe mode with command prompt

    -last known config
    -start windows normally

    i have tried every option but it wont let me carry out any of the actions

    it does a count down and loading it goes to the windows loading screen and the system seems to restart..

    back to the black screen again with the options i stated above..
    plz assist me thanks…

  29. What is happening is the system is encountering a blue screen and immediately rebooting. What you need to do is press F8 right before it gives you these startup options and then it should give you more. Choose the “Disable automatic restart on system failure” option and it will actually stop and let you see what the blue screen says. I’m guessing it will be unmountable boot volume in which case you need to run chkdsk as described above. If that doesn’t work you’ll probably have to do a repair install or a fresh install.

  30. The aforementioned MS link does a good job IF you bought your copy of XP from them. I, on the other hand, have an OEM pre-installed package, and MS say specifically: “Do NOT try the following steps, if you have an OEM XP”. The only thing they DON’T say is what to do, if you actually have and OEM Windows… Where I am from, most PC/laptops/netbooks come with pre-installed packages, so MS’s solution is of no help.

    Any ideas? I have a Fujitsu Siemens (poor me) with an OEM Windows XP, I think SP3, and get the following message: “Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \windows\system32\config\system”. I took an installation CD and run the Recovery Console and did the chkdsk and chkdask /p, the very first time it said there is a problem, and then just cycles through and no messages. Still getting the same message. Wonder if I should also run the chkdsk /r, but am afraid it might mess up with my data on the disk. It is a rather small HD – 60 GB. Trying to restore the system with fresh install does not give me the “R” option. The only other PC I have is a netbook with W7 Starter and no CD-ROM.

    I am at a loss. Any recommendations? Thanks in advance!

  31. If you want to do all you can to save your data your best bet is to take the hard drive out and plug it into another computer. There are adapters for sata and IDE to usb that would allow you to plug the hard drive into your netbook which would be the ideal solution. Copy the important data and then put the drive back in and reinstall windows.

    You can try to the steps in the knowledge base article while it says it doesn’t work for OEMs it may still work and solve your problem. If it doesn’t you can always copy the original files back if you follow the directions of coping them to the windows/tmp/ folder. If you really can’t login after going through part one you can use a Linux live cd to copy the registry files from a restore point. Which is usually in a directory like: System Volume Information\_restore{D86480E3-73EF-47BC-A0EB-A81BE6EE3ED8}\RP1\Snapshot
    I have had luck doing this.

  32. I am work searching for answers my laptop is at home I wanted to ask you is these applicable to a IBM Think Pad. ? I get the error message “Windows could not start beacuse following file is missing or corrupt \windows\system32\config\system it advises me to restore. I do have a back up Dell Laptop that I could download and copy to a cd is this what you suggest. And I compliment you on the information you have offered. I been to other sites to seek information, full of people saying stupid things about how the computer is junk and to buy a Mac

  33. I have Xp and would get the blue screen on startup even in safe mode. i dont have an xp disc and with no access to a computer to download a cd (im on a library computer) i thought i was out of luck. I did find an xp pro disc (i have xp home) and thought i would try it. i was able to run chkdsk then restarted it. i no longer get the blue screen, now freezes up. It freezes at the windows loading screen and also in safe mode. I tried to run chkdsk again or try one of the others.(chkdsk/p, chkdsk/r, fixboot, or fixmbr) but now it asks for the admin password. I have no way to download the Emergency Boot CD. what do i do now? any suggestions? thanks.

  34. Knowing the admin password your only option would be to reinstall windows with the XP pro disc you have. You can choose to not overwrite your existing installation so your home edition will be preserved. Then you can download the EBCD or some other tool to reset the admin password if you wish to try to recovery the home edition installation.

  35. I owe you my life. Seriously. Your precise and concise instructions fixed my computer enough I could into the main OS without having to boot from the CD. The blue screen of death is gone. (original problem couldn’t boot to safe mode, blue screen wouldn’t disappear) My hd was corrupt but not a total loss. Thank you.

    <Complete novice

  36. thanks =D i forgot about chkdsk =O and I really didnt want to format a new install. by the way if people need help getting a recovery disk there are a couple on that work nicely, but remember you need to have authentic software for it not to be pirating

  37. Here’s one for you: I have done all the above, but windows will not load. I took a HDD from another machine that would load windows fine and it still gets a BSOD immidiately after showing the windows logo. CD/DVD drives work fine. can access recover console, but nothing I haev done will let windows load. switched ide cables, power supplies, change to IDE channel2, swapped RAM sticks. 2 separate HDD’s and all stop at windows logo with BSOD. Are there any BIOS viruses that would stop windows from loading? I am at a loss

  38. Swapping an HDD from another computer with windows installed on it will most certainly result in a BSOD on boot. Unless the hardware is virtually identical windows refuses to boot on a different computer than it was installed on because it expects the hardware to remain the same. The best thing you can do is a fresh installation of windows on one the HDDs. That should work and then you can retrieve any data you need by adding your original hard drive as a slave.

  39. Didn’t know if another HDD would work, but I am pretty much out of options. Ran a surface chkdsk & did a fresh format and install of windows, still getting BSOD.
    Any ideas? I’m out of ideas.

  40. WOW!!!! many thanks I was at my wits end and using the “R” selection on Windows disk allowed me to run CHKDSK which soleved the problem and let me go to safe mode and choose an earlier restore poin. Thanks again

  41. There is a small chance that your oem has already installed the recovery console onto your computer. If it’s there it will show up as one of the boot options. As far as I know Toshiba is the only OEM that does this so it’s probably not there. Some Peer-to-peer download sites have the recovery console as a bootable CD which is only a few mb to download. However, obtaining it this was is actually illegal.

    Microsoft does provide a legal download of the recovery console in the form of Setup Disks for Floppy Boot Install. If you want to avoid creating 6 floppy disks that are terribly slow or you don’t have a floppy drive you can use a simple script written by Dean Adams that extracts the files from the download and burns it onto a CD. Download the Package read a description. Basically you extract the package into a folder. Download the floppy disk installation from Microsoft. Rename the file to BootDisk.exe and run RecoveryCD.bat. Read the readme if you get lost.

  42. not bootup in any state and when trying to do chkdsk also doesn’t get a chance to run any command when win installing .with a blue sreen message win xp again n again reboots, pls help me…….

  43. My XP won’t boot. I can’t even get to Safe Mode. When I power up, the F8 key does nothing. All I get is a black screen with “Biostar”.

    Any suggestions???

  44. Sounds like your computer won’t event POST. Which is usually an indication that something is wrong with the motherboard or some other internal component. To troubleshoot unplug everything from the motherboard that is not necessary for the computer to turn on. So all you have is the CPU, heatsink, video, one stick of ram and power. Then see if it will show more than the Biostar logo, if it does than plug each component back in one at a time to find the culprit. If it doesn’t work with just the bare minimum than their is a problem is with the power supply, memory, motherboard or CPU, in that order of likely hood.

  45. when i use safemode, it says disc down my screen.. after 1 min it goes to window xp, tries to load, goes blank, goes back to window xp, it does this repeatedly

  46. How did you start the system recovery process?

    The Windows XP Service Pack 3 – ISO-9660 CD Image File is a CD image file for users who wish to create an update CD for Windows XP Service Pack 3, for example for offline installation by administrators.

    You cannot use this for starting a new installation of Windows XP.

    In order to use the Windows XP setup disks your computer should consists of floppy disk drive.

  47. Hello from Australia and a very frustrated home operator in her 60’s. I tried to download a desktop calendar and my computer crashed – using son’s laptop now. \my keyboard wont operate hence \i cant press f8 or safe mode and it just keeps rebooting itself the main computer harddrive I mean so cant open it to fix it per your suggestions above. If my keyboard is frozen when xp is trying to reboot nothing else i can think of; and i dont have original discs as computer came ‘as is’ pls SOS thanks

  48. There’s not much you can do without a keyboard. The installation process requires you to press some keys to continue so you’re going to have to get a new keyboard before you can fix it.

  49. BSOD even after new installation on a Dell optiplex 745, I ran system diagnosed all test pass now here is the SHOCKING THAT I CAN’T FIGURE OUT I have an other Dell exactly the same I pulled the hard drive and swap them and still gives me the BSOD I put the hard drive on the other machine and it works no problems. I will now swap memory CPU wireless card one by one and I’ll keep you updated on the results. This is crazy

  50. I put xp cd in, it say’s push any key to begin. I do and on the bottom of screen it will say push f6 for something then push f2 for something else and then it will go back to restart in 30 sec and repeat the same again,can you help.

  51. Hi…thankyou thankyou…I think you just saved me $$$$ at the computer shop! My computer just wouldn’t boot up Windows XP. Using my little notebook computer I googled my problem, found your response and followed your very easy and clear instructions, used my XP start up disc typed in chkdsk and all seems back on track. It’s a public holiday here today and our local computer shop isn’t open anyway. Thanks computer whiz 🙂

  52. Hello, my toshiba laptop windows xp crashed the other day and when I turn it on now there is a black screen and it says NTLDR is missing. I purchased a repair which claimed to fix problem and retrieve my files. I have managed to find my pictures using the mini windows xp programme on the disc, problem I have is that I can’t remove my pictures, I’ve tried using a usb memory stick, usb data cable connected to my phone, usb card reader and I’ve tried inserting blank disc in the hope I can save pictures to that. I don’t care bout my computer but I’m desperate to get my pictures off there because they are of my son when he was born and they mean a lot to us. Can you help please.

  53. I have an HP 8000f desktop. unfortunately when i boot, i get this blue screen that says; The registry cannot load the hive(file): \systemroot\system32\config\software or its log or alternate. It is corrupt, absent or not writable. I have tried to book from the windows xp cd to repair the registry file but during the process of reading from the cd, this same blue screen comes back again.
    I need help badly!!!!

  54. I’m guessing it’s not actually booting from the CD. Did you get a message that says “Press any key to boot from CD?” If not you need enter your BIOS setup and adjust your boot order to boot from the cd first. I believe for the HP you do this by pressing F10 right as soon as the computer is turned on.

  55. I’m not sure what mini windows xp programme you are using but the few bootable windows live cds I’ve used are very limited. You will probably have better luck using a linux live cd or removing the hard drive from your computer and placing it in a different working computer to retrieve the files.

  56. Not much to go on there, is there an error that occurs right before it reboots? What is the last message you see?

    I had similar problems once and I was able to fix it by using a windows XP SP3 cd instead of a SP1 which worked. It’s also possible your disc is damaged or you have some other hardware problem.

  57. Generally you can’t swap hard drives even from very similar systems. At best you’ll have to reactivate windows at worst you’ll just get a BSOD. What is the BSOD stop code or message you’re getting?

  58. I followed your instructions and I am now able to get to my desktop. My PC is fairly old, so the first thing I wanted to do was do make another back-up of my files. I can open files on my desktop, but I cannot move or copy them (or anything else). My Internet Explorer doesn’t work either (when clicked, it does nothing) & most of the program & system files won’t work including System Restore. Do you know what could be causing this? Thanks in advance.

  59. Sounds like you might have a virus or Malware messing things up or some key system files are corrupt preventing thing from working. You could try “sfc /scannow” which checks all the system files to ensure they are intact and working. It will prompt for your Windows XP disk to restore them if it finds anything missing. That and running a virus checker such as Malwarebytes are probably your best options. If they don’t work a fresh install into a separate windows folder will most certainly fix the problem without loss of data.

  60. I had a blue screen a few seconds after Windows started launch and show the progress bar.

    Thanks for your post, it motivated to investigate and also it reminded me I could use an old Windows 2000 install CD to get to a console mode and run chkdsk. The chkdsk /r command is the one that solved my problem. I am happy!

  61. Dell Inspiron 600M laptop running windows xp will not run. Running chkdsk for about 10 hrs only 24% completed should I continue or try something else? Help ASAP! Thanks.

  62. If it is taking that long to run a chkdsk then something is really wrong with your hard drive. To maximize the change of recovering anything from it I would recommend stopping chkdsk and pluggin your laptop’s hard drive into an external enclosure or something to hook it up to a different computer and than try recovering your data. If you don’t care so much about the data and just want to get the computer working let chkdsk continue to run it may actually fix the problem and you’ll have a working computer.

  63. hi there can you pc has stopped completely.turn on the power and the fans come on and thats it.i have never had this won’t do anything so i can’t even get into bios or load from my xp wife said it was fine and made some beeping noises and then turned it self off.i have tried all the parts i can monitor mouse and keyboard are ok.will try the graphics card later.the only noticeable problem is when i switch the plug on at the wall the pc turns on which it should not do till i press the power button on the pc.hope you can help

  64. I am running Windows XP Pro SP3. I have an unmountable boot volume error and cannot boot in safe mode or get to a dos prompt. In using recovery console from my Windows XP SP2 CD it will not accept “Enter” for the admin password. I have confirmed that there is no admin password on the machine and never has been one used. How can I get past the admin password problem? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  65. I have seen this happen before because the hard drive is so messed up the recovery console cannot read the password file correctly so it won’t take any password. It’s pretty easy to reset with some other Linux based recovery disks. Check my Windows Password Recovery post for more info. Once the password is reset or removed it should word on fine.

  66. It is likely the power supply in your computer is broken. When it starts doing funny things like turn on without pressing the power button it’s not a good sign and the power supplies is the most likely thing to be broken. I would replace it as new power supplies can be had for less than $50. If the power supply is not the problem than it’s likely the motherboard is broken.

  67. Admin,
    Thank you for pointing me to EBCD to repair my password problem. I was finally able to get to a machine to download their utility. I have tried the option to reset the password several times, but continually get:
    Can’t Run windows password wizard
    Failed to read ‘\SAM\Domains\Account’ key of SAM database
    I have researched this error message, but have not found an answer. Any suggestions?

  68. Hi. My xp keeps rebooting and safe mode is not working. I put an xp disc and can get tO recovery console but when this starts it hangs at the checking Atari message or gets past that to a black screen where I cannot type anything.a couple of times I got to command prompt but when I try and start chkdsk nothing happens at all. Just before it reboots I get a blue screen but can’t read it before it goes back to the beginning. Plz help I dont know what else to do

  69. Hi, I have tried all your above recommendations, XP Pro will not load suddenly. It is caught in a loop, wont start in safe mode , last known good config etc. Upon putting in my xp pro instalation disc, when I get to the screen to either Install a new copy, or repair an instalation , or quit setup, I get the blue screen on the repair mode, I cant get to where I can put in a command prompt anywhere for check disc /r etc, I do have the entire system backed up via Nero Back it up ( 40 gigs on a toshiba external hard drive ) , so I went to simply do a clean instal instead of the recovery option, and I again got the blue screen of death (??? ) I dont get it, I thought I could do a clean instal. The tech info says to run CHKDSK /F to check for hard drive corruption, but I cant get anywhere to even enter a command prompt. The stop codes are 0X00000024 ( 0X001902FE, 0XF7A52814, oXF7a 52510, 0XF71D01FC ) ntfs.sys – address F71D01FC base at F71C3000 , datestamp 41107 eea…… Does this mean that the hard drive is done, I cant run maxtors ( seagate ) hard drive check utility, and I am on a borrowed computer to write to you. We have an NNU University here in idaho, ( nampa) maybe your close & can at least advise me on what to try next. Thanks & I am looking forward to your reply.

  70. Stop code 0x00000024 indicates a problem accessing the hard drive, it’s possible it needs to be replaced but if it’s just corrupted a clean install should work. Did you completely delete the existing partitions when you did a clean install? Press ‘d’ on the partition selection screen to do so. I’m guessing this is the most likely fix for your problem.

    Is this the same CD used to install the system originally? If not it’s possible the drivers on the disk do not support the SATA controller on your motherboard, if that is the case you will need to put your hard drive controller in legacy or compatibility mode. This is done in the BIOS by pressing F2 or ‘del’ or F10 on the very first screen you see when it boots up.

  71. Thank you for your response, as I tried to do a clean install as soon as I hit enter to do a new install I get the BSoD, ( ref above comment ) & I never get the oppurtunity to delete the existing partition & continue on with the install. BSoD at both the R (repair ) option or the enter (new install ) . It is the original windows disc that is on the computer now. The last hard drive failure I had was a seagate HD that failed after 49500 hours ( is that a normal lifespan for a hard drive ) Based upon your comment I also tried to run spin rite, but I can get the computer to boot to the windows xp disc, but not to the spin rite disc, ( it keeps saying try f1 to reboot or f2 for set up utility.) I have changed the boot order in the BIOS to boot to the cd rom drive first so I dont understand why it will boot no problem to the xp disc but not to spin rite. Your best guess is that it is a hard drive issue, and replacing the hard drive will probably clear things up so I can do a new install? Thank you again for your time & help as having a computer working is really vital to my employment, and I’m in a bind right now, so your advice is very important to me. Thank you

  72. my dell windows xp professional keeps saying windows could not start because of the following file is missing or corrupt I olny have that cpu I am useing my phone is there a way to fix my cpu with my phone because I dont have the money to buy a booting cd and I have no way of makeing 1 can u plzz help

  73. I’m afraid there’s not much you can do without a CD in this case. If your computer will not boot into windows even from safe mode you have to either use a CD or a bootable usb device. Theoretically it may be possible to install a live Linux distribution into your phones SD card and then use that as a boot device but I don’t know if this has been done before. Your best options is to get a CD from somewhere.

  74. I’m wondering if someone could help me asap as i need this computer for work…

    I’m pretty new at this workplace, but I was put in charge of fixing one of the computers.
    Here’s what happened to it…

    It was running on windows XP Professional.
    but then Windows XP Home Edition was installed.

    Someone wanted Windows 7 on the computer, so i have attempted to install that.. it doesn’t work.

    The computer wil not boot up, so when it asks to click f12 or f2, I click both (tried twice)
    when i go to the boot menu, the arrow keys don’t work, so i can’t seloect anything.
    I have to let it boot to the “welcome” screen (where you log on)
    By the way’ it still looks like Windows xp

    I can’t log on, then i click the button to do so, it gives me a message that says
    “you must activate this copy of windows to log on, do you want to activate it now?”

    It gives me the options of yes and no.
    When i click no, it goes back to the welcome screen
    but when i click yes, it looks like it will log in, but the only thing that shows up is the picture on the desktop, and the cursor.
    the start menu, task bar, and icons on the desk top don’t show.
    The last time this happened, i waited for a few hours, but it didn’t change.

    I have no idea what to do.

  75. Thanks for a very helpful guide, new I needed to run chkdsk but didn’t know how to get to it before I read your article.

  76. I have windows XP on my pc and cannot get it to start. It just emits a whistle sound intermittently and has a black screen. I have disconnected power, tried to start it by using my Windows XP disc and nothing. Any suggestions please? Yesterday it did the same but after disconnecting it from power it came on in safe mode and then asked if I wanted to commence windows normally and I clicked yes but this morning just a whistle and a black screen.

  77. Most likely you have a problem with you power supply. Weird noises and it working intermittently are an almost dead give away. New power supplies (PSU) are pretty cheap around $50 and are fairly easy to install. I would recommend for a good supplier.

  78. My computer has the same problem (im typing this comment from my iphone) and it started when i put an extra hard drive in for more storage the hard drive was from another computer could it have a virus causing it to not boot?

  79. just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU.. you’re clear instructions fixed my beloved 7 year old PC. After spending the whole week worrying, I was able to get the pc running instantly by using the FIXMBR command. Thanks again!

  80. When i start computer then show me following options

    -safe mode
    -safe mode with networking
    -safe mode with command prompt

    -last known config
    -start windows normally

    i have tried every option but it wont let me carry out any of the actions

    it does a count down and loading it goes to the windows loading screen and the system seems to restart..

    back to the black screen again with the options i stated above..

    Pleas tel me what can i do


  81. My dell 531 laptop was slowly breaking- power button inop, wireless radio button inop, sticky keys- could only power up and down from port replicator…so I bought another dell 531 that did not have a hard drive, and I put my drive in it– all was fine – it saw new hardware a few times it also said it could not back up some system 32 files- continue or try again- After a couple of re-boots- then it goes to black screen for safe mode, or reboot from previous known good point– but nothing works- in safe mode it goes to load lots of drivers and then get stuck at “press enter to continue loading sptd,sys” and never goes any farther…what is my best strategy to get it to load windows XP again?

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