If geeks love it, we’re on it

Howdy, Stranger!

You found the friendliest gaming & tech geeks around. Say hello!

Icrontic Expo 2014: The gaming & general geekery event you don't want to miss. Read about what's new this year and then buy tickets here.

Repairing Windows XP in Eight Commands

13

Comments

  • edited Mar 2011
    Thanks for your help, It worked for me :)
  • edited Mar 2011
    Hi All, before going into these 8 (or 9) steps, could you please reassure me that if this does not work it will also not erase data on my disk?

    In other words, if it works - great, if it does not - no harm done?

    Many thanks
    Boaz
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Dallas Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Confirmed. Nothing is removed here.
  • edited Mar 2011
    Thanks. I'll try when I get home.

    My PC will start to load the Windows logo welcome screen and then become black.
    Will the method above help?
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Dallas Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Possibly. Chkdsk /r may be the most pertinent part for you. Also, after performing the steps, if you can't get into windows, you might try going in to safe mode. If that works, try running sfc /scannow
  • edited Mar 2011
    I have scoured the net looking for exactly this info. I goofed, but know it will work.
    Thanks
  • edited Apr 2011
    When I try to run the ATTRIB commands on the BOOT.INI file it says the file cannot be opened.

    Any suggestions?
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Dallas Icrontian
    edited Apr 2011
    what does the cmd prompt line start with? c:\> or c:\somethingelse\>

    Type "dir /a *.ini" (no quotes) and see if boot.ini is listed or not when at the root of the drive
  • edited Apr 2011
    Thank you for taking the time and write this. Excellent guide. Remember, for every person that post some kuddos, there are THOUSANDS of ungrateful bastards using the information. Your efforts are appreciated! ;)
  • edited Apr 2011
    After 3 days of complete frustration and trying countless of fixes, which probably did more harm than good, I came across this post. I woke up today ready to try your solution. Didn't work. I can't get it to accept "CD" even though it's in the Help list of commands. I'm wondering if somewhere along the way if I wiped part of the HDD. Any suggestions?
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Pokémaster, Watch Slut Toronto, ON Icrontian
    edited Apr 2011
    Plug your hard disk into another PC with an external adapter (USB to SATA or USB to IDE, depending on your hard drive) and back up your data. When you're done backing up your data, install the hard drive back into the PC, wipe it clean and reload Windows.

    There is absolutely, positively nothing more that can be done to fix your current OS.
  • edited Apr 2011
    Thanks for the quick reply. The following is a LENGTHY report of the steps I took before I received your instructions.
    At C:>windows, I put in BOOTCFG. That went to a list of options. I was able to use "Bootcfg /rebuild.Note the space between "g" and "/".It ran through and then used the steps in the order in the above instructions and went for a walk.
    It had gone throughthe scan, chkdsk and recovery of files by the time I came back.Unfortunately it didn't work. On the next attempt,still couldn't go to C: but started with the 3 ATTRIB steps. The 3rd one "R" wasn't found. So I tried "F" (someone mentioned that above) it wasn't accepted but then I tried "R" again and it worked. The command "C:del boot.ini" wasn't found. So I started with "bootcfg" again and chose "redirect to load" option "Windows XPSP2 Home Edition"as input in and earlier step. Then rebooted it with cd still in.Same original message of NTDLR missing but went ahead with booting with the cd and then into "R" and needed to do that twice.
    The needed files were copied and then to the install portion. I used the original key of the system, not the one on the CD itself because that was for another system. Install complete and restarted the PC before I had a chance to change the boot order or remove the CD. "NTLDR is missing" message again. I put in a floppy that contain a fix I had for it. And it ran. I used "CTRL+ALT+DEL" and changed the boot order, HD as first. NTLDR still missing. Press any key to restart, I did. "Boot from CD" and then the last message."DISK BOOT FAILURE. INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER". NTLDR still missing after putting the disk in. It boots from the CD and back to Windows Setup I go!! Still can't get into "C:"
    Now what?!!! Sorry for the loooong post but felt it necessary in case of questions.
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Pokémaster, Watch Slut Toronto, ON Icrontian
    edited Apr 2011
    Your answer to "now what?" is what I stated above. There is nothing more you can do to rescue your OS.
  • edited Apr 2011
    Part 3.....I tried to copy the NTLDR from the CD to HDD. It seemed to work but didn't. Used floppy with the fix and it booted into Windows but I can't activate XP. Apparently incorrect key. ( I know of the little tricks but haven't any luck so far). I can get into Safe Mode with command prompt but that only will go to "Documents and Settings" not C. I shall continue to "Google" for answers and I'm considering Ubuntu but the PC is going to a relative and I'm not sure she would want it.
  • edited Apr 2011
    Success!! While in Safe Mode, I was able to open Windows Explorer and make the necessary changes by following the instructions from tinyempire.com where I got the NTLDR fix files. I copied the files from on the floppy to the C: drive. Boots up great! It's been a real learning experience that I couldn't have done without you. Thanks!!!
    Now onto dealing with the activation problem.
  • edited Apr 2011
    few other tips for your perusal... sometimes, a file system for example, NTLDR, /windows/system32/config/xxx error can be caused by someone who has decided to 'compress files to save disk space' ive seen on numerous machines within last few years. for all you budding techs i would recommend a live windows cd (Ultimate Boot CD For Windows) you need to 'roll your own' per example, will allow you to boot to an xp gui and hopefully see information about the filing system that (to my knowledge) the command prompt doesn’t let you see, for example, compressed (Blue) - Home & Pro / encrypted files.. (Green) Pro Only i think

    in addition, another useful tool would be a live Linux disk, ie puppy, ubuntu, kubuntu, mint knoppix ... take your pick... but this will also allow you to view your filing system.

    both will allow you to access the system volume information folder which is in the root of the c:\ and which is under normal circumstances, not accessible.

    this is because this contains important files such as registry entries :-) for your system created by the system restore utility..

    as always, create a backup before modifying ANY files... this covers your ass if it goes fubar and is reversable... ie a Disk Image.

    word to the wise.. do not use Microsoft backup files and settings utilty. if you have old version (tut tut) some of more newer versions will not allow you to use your backup... ive had experiance in dealing with getting files back from this type of situation.. it aint pretty!



    just my .02
  • edited Apr 2011
    Awesome....i am so happy that i fixed it..using these steps !!
  • edited May 2011
    Hey thank u very much ...i just fixed my PC following your instructions...LOVE IT :)
  • edited May 2011
    okay, got to the second step with the revealing files ATTRIB -H C:BOOT.INI and all that jazz, all of them came up with the error message "the system cannot find the file or directory specified" anybody?
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Dallas Icrontian
    edited May 2011
    Tushon said:
    what does the cmd prompt line start with? c:\> or c:\somethingelse\>

    Type "dir /a *.ini" (no quotes) and see if boot.ini is listed or not when at the root of the drive
    Answer that question
  • edited May 2011
    I tried the first step where you type in CD .., but all it tells me is that there's no floppy disk or CD located in the drive. What the heck?
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Dallas Icrontian
    edited May 2011
    Buzzinator said:
    I tried the first step where you type in CD .., but all it tells me is that there's no floppy disk or CD located in the drive. What the heck?
    Did you successfully boot from your Windows XP cd? If not, you have a hardware problem in addition to w/e else is going on.
  • edited May 2011
    Yeah, booting via the CD is not a problem.
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Dallas Icrontian
    edited May 2011
    So then what is failing? Maybe you missed the two periods after the CD
    cd ..


    You are using "cd .." to change directory up a level to get to the root of the C drive
  • edited May 2011
    Attempted a repair install of XP pro, but it stops during "completing installation" at the 25 min mark. Tried rebuilding boot.ini to see if it would boot back into windows, but no luck...still boots to setup. Knoppix on DVD allows me to see that all my files are still intact. Any ideas will be appreciated in case a full install can be averted.
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Dallas Icrontian
    edited May 2011
    It can't, backup data using Knoppix, format and reinstall.
  • edited May 2011
    thank you SOOOOO much,
    saved the day, c had somehow turned into d after installing a mini pci-e wireless n card - customer didn't want new os despite my attempts at trying to convince him,
    couldn't access it to change drive letter, deleted d to make it os c, then after loads of different tries -
    I CAME ACROSS YOUR POST AND IT FIXED
    though i did have to use winternals disk management to mark the partition as active before it worked,
    THANK YOU!!!
  • edited May 2011
    I have done th whole process n it seems like it went ok but now when
    Take the cd out n try to boot I just have the blinking cursor at the top
    Of the black screen? A y suggestion it all started after avast was trying
    To be reinstalled on reboot it come up with compressed ntldr, also now
    On boot with cd it just keeps comin up with key to boot from cd?
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Dallas Icrontian
    edited May 2011
    lezlow said:
    dosent work
    That's descriptive. Doesn't work for you, perhaps, because it has worked for a whole helluva lot of other people. What didn't work?
  • dandan
    edited May 2011
    The easiest solution for this type is the following which i just carreid out btw. For this to work you need access to a second machine with xp loaded. I didn't have one at home... since all my pc's and laptops in the house run on win7, i still have an old (11yrs) amd athlon xp 3000 which i keep for sentimental reasons and that is the one which i need repair.
    I am lucky enough to have win xp pro at work however... so this is what i have done:
    1) download a live linux cd... i used knoppix but any will do.
    2) go to work... PULL THE NETWORK CABLE OUT, put you live cd and boot....
    3).... navigate to winnt/system32/config and copy the little bugger system.
    4) logoff linux, remove cd... replug the netwrok cable... and boot your work machine.
    5) pretend to work
    6) go home .. boot your broken machine with the live cd, naveigate to system32/config.. bla bla bla... e copy over the system file.
    logoff linux and reboot.
    And voila`! job done...
    it took actually longer in typing this crap.. than actually getting the old banger fixed!
    After you done that...get in your win xp desktop.... admire and be proud of yourself, you have saved once again that old machine of yours.. remember the old battles in cod and cod1.... get sentimental.....
    after that turn it off, realize that you do need a life... and you should focus more on women and friends....
    get a life.
  • edited May 2011
    Worked for me to a t - the chkdsk /f was invalid but the /r was fine - no biggie - thanks a million!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • edited May 2011
    Wow...you saved my ass! Thank you. I checked the MS site and they showed the same thing but in such technical terms...you need a degree to understand. Your steps worked for me without any issue. Again, thank you!
  • edited Jun 2011
    am backpackin in south america, i didn´t bring my or
    original xp cd with me, can only locate spanish versions here... would this still work? also, of course, i didn´t bring an external cd drive either. if i cant, and believe me i´ve tried about 20 internet cafes so far.... can i somehow boot resolve this using another pc that is running xp?
  • edited Jul 2011
    I had blue screen error 0x00000080 and tried your eight steps. Sorry for me. It did not work, but thanks for your effort to do the work and publish it.
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Dallas Icrontian
    edited Jul 2011
    You should probably be using this guide, as the article you posted under does not really discuss 8E bluescreens.
  • edited Jul 2011
    thank you so much dude!
    it helped me keep my documents and my OS back to me
    thanks a lot
  • edited Jul 2011
    Worked a treat - life saver. Many thanks for the post.
  • edited Jul 2011
    Yo Gyro Gearloose,
    you surely sound like a dude who's mad that he doesn't have a following like the savior who was kind enough to write this article. I'm geek extraordinaire for sure, yet he helped me. All I can say is "thanks" to him and "get a life!" to you
  • edited Jul 2011
    Thanks this helped me heaps so thought id give you one more thumbs up, thanks again buddy...
  • MaxMax
    edited Jul 2011
    Dear All,
    I followed the steps outlined above, and when I typed exit, I removed the installation CD, and tried to boot the PC normally (w/out the CD), and I went to a black screen saying "Operating System not Found'.
    Can anyone help please, or direct me to where I can find the solution?
    Thanks,
    Max
  • MaxMax
    edited Jul 2011
    Can anyone suggest any recipe for working out this problem with my PC? I am a desperate here...Thanks...
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Dallas Icrontian
    edited Jul 2011
    Did you encounter any errors during that process? If a step failed to perform correctly, then you should note it. Make sure all physical connections are secure (drive cables, etc) and follow steps, noting if it fails anywhere, or says file not found, etc.
  • MaxMax
    edited Jul 2011
    @ Tushon: I did all the steps outlined here successfully..No problems. But when I wanted to boot ater the last step it gave me the following messages:
    PXE-E61: media test failure, check cable
    PXE-M0F: Exiting Broadcom PXE ROM
    Operating System not found.

    Thanks...
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Dallas Icrontian
    edited Jul 2011
    Check in your BIOS options for the startup menu. That message is saying that it is trying to boot from LAN connection, rather than HDD. Make sure that the order is either HDD then CD or CD then HDD (but make sure you removed the disc you had in the CD drive). You may want to disable the LAN boot option so that the PC doesn't even try it.
  • edited Jul 2011
    It's funny; no matter how long you work in the computer repair industry it's always easy to forget the little things!
    Today is the first in perhaps 4 years that I have had a customer with this problem and for the life of me I could not remember the required commands to get her system up and running again.

    Thankfully this was the first article I cam across in Google search results and it provided the refresher I needed to get her system kicking again.

    Of course I backed up the boot.ini first, just to be sure, and put all the switches within a single command rather than 1 line each since it just makes more since and lo-and-behold the system was back up and running within 10 minutes.
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Dallas Icrontian
    edited Jul 2011
    That'll be $10.

    jokes, glad it helped you and the 1000s of others who have viewed it :) ... Thanks for stopping by
  • edited Jul 2011
    Max, this may indicate your hard drive has failed which is causing your system to look for another boot device.
  • chulloschullos Lima
    edited Jul 2011
    I used to apply other kind of procedures with no luck, but this one fixed my PC. Thank you.

    Marcelo
    _________
    My Twitter
  • edited Aug 2011
    i am stuck ! !
    thought to repair xp using the second repair option in xp setup (assuming the first to be recovery console adn second, after detecting a previous xp installed)
    the windows xp setup didnt detect the previous windows xp installed in my hard drive.
    what would be the reason behind null detection
    also is there any way that i can copy files from xp files to windows directory using command prompt
    hence repairing it faster ?
Sign In or Register to comment.