Solved: Cannot boot anymore after installing Windows updates

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mybest2U

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Quick background: I'm on a dual boot system with Windows XP SP2 on one partition and Ubuntu 7.10 on another.

When shutting down Windows XP today, it installed updates before shutting down, but I didn't hang around to watch what was going on. When I booted up my computer later, I got my normal boot manager screen where I choose between Windows or Ubuntu. After selecting Windows, the hard drive showed activity for less than 2 seconds and then the computer completely locked up: no mouse, no cursor, and certainly no Windows splash/welcome screen. Also no way to get into safe mode either. :(

Obviously, something very basic got corrupted or something, because after I select Windows at the boot manager, the computer goes no more than 2 seconds before freezing. FORTUNATELY, I can still force mount the NTFS partition in Ubuntu and can work on it, but I have no idea where to start. :confused:

Can someone please give me an idea of what might be the problem and how to fix it?
 
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Why cannot you enter Safe Mode to uninstall the update? In the boot menu after selecting Windows you should depress F8 and be provided boot options.
 

mybest2U

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Why cannot you enter Safe Mode to uninstall the update? In the boot menu after selecting Windows you should depress F8 and be provided boot options.
I tried, but my Windows partition is corrupted at a much more basic level than I originally thought; it seems the file structure is partially corrupted. I found out yesterday that when I force mount my Windows partition in Ubuntu, everything is readable except the C:\WINDOWS directory. I get an I/O error when simply trying to read it.

As I mentioned, when I try to boot into Windows from my Grub boot manager on startup, the computer locks up almost immediately--it only makes it about 2 seconds before freezing. If I'm not mistaken, Safe Mode assumes at least some basic functionality of Windows (i.e. readable files!), which I don't seem to have; repeatedly pressing F8 after selecting my Windows partition does not prevent the immediate freeze-up.

Any other ideas? I really appreciate anyone's help. :)
 
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If you are using a USB keyboard, it may be recognized until the operating system is loaded.
 

mybest2U

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If you are using a USB keyboard, it may be recognized until the operating system is loaded.
Good point, I do happen to have a USB keyboard. But even if I had a different keyboard, would I be able to enter Safe Mode when my C:\WINDOWS directory is unreadable?

Is there a good program that could assess the extent of how corrupted my Windows partition is, and whether it's repairable? Or does something like this require a complete reformat/reinstall of that partition? I'm not sure what my options are at this point. :eek:
 
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What you can try is a repair-install of windows xp. Only do this if you have the windows recovery/install disk software, and make sure you have your data backed up.

You might have to remove the hard drive from this computer and install it in another computer as a slave drive and after it is able to be accessed by Windows on that computer you will have to manually backup all of your important data that you have to another media like CD-R's, DVD or external hard drive. Then when this is done return it to the original computer as a master drive on the primary IDE cable. and do the following:

REGISTRY WARNING: The details that follow require an above-average understanding of the technical topics involved. If you do not understand the Registry material presented here, either find a technically knowledgeable friend or do not attempt to repair your system Registry yourself. Improper changes in the System Registry can render all data on your hard disk inaccessible.

I hope you have the Windows software for this machine. Please give this a try and print it out for reference

http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm

How to perform a repair installation of Windows XP if Internet Explorer 7 is installed

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/917964

How to Perform a Windows XP Repair Install with IE6 Installed

http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm

Here is a link to a registry backup program that is absolutely fantastic it is called ERUNT

http://www.larshederer.homepage.t-online.de/erunt/

Remember to always keep a backup of two things:
Your registry, and your data. You will never be sorry.
 
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Good point, I do happen to have a USB keyboard. But even if I had a different keyboard, would I be able to enter Safe Mode when my C:\WINDOWS directory is unreadable? Maybe . . it would depend on what was corrupted

Is there a good program that could assess the extent of how corrupted my Windows partition is, and whether it's repairable? Or does something like this require a complete reformat/reinstall of that partition? I'm not sure what my options are at this point.

Repair Install and Clean Install . . I'd try a Repair install first . . As ozrom1e suggested . . be sure to backup your data prior to doing either
 

mybest2U

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Aug 9, 2007
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ozrom1e, simpswr:

Thanks so much for the help; I must admit that I'm a quite (happily) surprised, because simply booting into my XP CD repair console and doing a "chkdsk c: /r" actually did the trick! It seemed almost certain I was going to have to do a Windows repair or complete reinstall the way things were looking. I'll have to keep a close eye on things in the next few days and make sure everything is truly working (hopefully).

Thanks again for taking your time to help. :)
 
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