Anyone know how to save my c: drive?

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sinewave

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I'm in a fix: my c: drive won't boot and even booting from the cd freezes the system (at "loading windows xp executive"). Is there any way to repair the drive contents from a diskette-bootable program of some kind? Or is it time to bid a fond farewell to my system and reformat (using the drive in another pc as an extra unit)?
A
 
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If it can't boot from the CD then the problem is elsewhere. Re-seat card, memory, etc...
 

sinewave

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i've swapped my memory to another slot, I've removed everything but the essentials (agp card, c drive, cd rom) and i'm still getting nowhere. It has booted many times before, until earlier today (graphics drivers got corrupted, had to reinstall and restart). If the c drive isn't the issue, can it be something in the bios settings?
A
 

sinewave

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i can occasionally get a bit further in the cd-rom boot process. but i get messages saying that files are damaged or missing - i386/ntkrnlmp.exe for example, or cpqarray.sys. Can it really be the case that my cd has got damaged sometime today? Or is it a symptom of another problem?
 
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Are you sure you booted from the cd? . . Did you get a black screen with the prompt "Press any key to boot from CD"?

wrs
 

sinewave

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yeah. at which i press, then into the blue-background xp installation program, which is when it freezes or gives me the damaged file messages.
 

sinewave

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...prior to the press any key to boot from cd-rom message i get the message:

Boot from ATAPI CD-rom:
No emulation.

Is this a clue?
 
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Sounds like either the cd or the cd-rom is bad . . can you clean the cd? . . and clean or replace the cd-rom?

wrs
 

sinewave

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tried cleaning the cd and it did make a difference, i think. Now it gets a bit further - right up to just before the option screen comes up (repair windows press r, etc). Then it crashes (to black screen with cursor). Replacing the cd drive isn't an immediate possibility, but i could test my xp pro cd on my laptop. My laptop is running XP Home - would there be any chance of messing things up if i booted to the xp pro cd rom just to see if i got any further on that pc? Obviously i would stop at the option screen, but would that cause a problem?
 
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If you have FAT32, can you boot with a Win98 boot disk that will let you access your CD ROM and then try copying the source files to your hard drive. Or see if there is an i386 directory on the C: drive and do a repair install from there. This is one of those situations when having FAT32 makes repairing XP a lot easier.
 
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So much for all those claims about how stable NTFS is. Actually most problems are not due to the file system crashing but the OS crashing. Those are two totally different things.

If you had FAT32 all you would have needed to do was:

1. Originally copy the source files to an i386 directory on the hard drive
2. Install from that directory.

Then in the future, if the OS needed any additional files (e.g. print drivers) it would just pull it from that directory on the hard drive.

It also makes situations like this a lot easier to recover from.

Mostly I try not to think of what will go right but plan ahead for all that might go wrong.
 

sinewave

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FAT32 next time, then!
I'll be back in a few days with my original issue, no doubt. i'm off to reformat my c: drive. bah.
A
 

sinewave

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Sep 12, 2004
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Just went back to the other pc to reformat - and guess what? the menu was up. All i changed was the PIO access in the BIOS (as one last half-hearted attempt to fix things) and that seemed to do the trick. The CD-Rom drive is 2-3 years old, so that must be why using a lower PIO no. helps, i suppose. but really i haven't got a clue what PIO is so i'll say no more. So now i'm doing a chkdsk /r. Maybe that'll improve my chances of getting into windows. Any idea what else i can try at the reset console (that's a literal translation as i've only ever used xp in swedish - but you know what i mean, right - after you press r on the cd-boot menu...).
A
 
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