Solved: XP won't boot (error on boot) and I can't see the SATA drive.

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alanmzifa

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Joined
Nov 30, 2003
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268
Hi.

I had voltage fluctuations last night due a snowstorm and the voltage dropped crashing my PC.
It now won't boot and gives the error that a file is corrupted....Windows/system32/config

The PC runs an OEM XP home edition on a SATA drive, the PC also has an IDE drive (D) but the OSes are on the C drive.
Inside the XP installation I have Linux Mint installed.
When I boot I get the 2 options I always used to , XP (default) and Linux Mint.
XP won't boot when selected and gives the error above.
The Linux Mint, also on C and in fact installed as a program within XP, will boot, hence I believe the SATA drive to be undamaged.
I can see the C drive and all the XP files from the Linux installation.

I've tried using the original full CD and the recovery console but when the recovery console opens all it can see is the IDE drive which it labels D (and of course doesn't contain the original XP install.
I can't remember how I got XP on the SATA drive in the first place, I don't appear to have any Hard drive drivers in the case I keep all software CDs in and I'm a bit flummoxed. I can only imagine I just fitted it and loaded the XP install disc but that's at odds with what seems to be happening now.

Spent a large part of today Googling but can't find anything that will fix this....so far.
I don't want to have to wipe and re-install everything unless there's no option, it's a fast way to kill a couple of days over the holidays.

Can anyone help or suggest a course of action?
Thanks.
 
Joined
Oct 3, 2009
Messages
984
If you have the XP CD you could attempt a Repair Installation of Windows XP as described at this website:

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/u...ps/doug92.mspx

This will restore key Windows XP files to the post install state(going back in time). After trying this be sure to apply Windows Updates or even better XP Service Pack 3. This may just restore whatever is causing the problem.
 

alanmzifa

Thread Starter
Joined
Nov 30, 2003
Messages
268
Yes, I can't access C drive, just the D drive, the IDE drive.

I don't think a repair will work either as I can't see the windows install on C when I boot, just see the windows folders etc on the SATA drive when I boot from Linux, but I'll give it a try now.
thanks
 

alanmzifa

Thread Starter
Joined
Nov 30, 2003
Messages
268
No, the problem that needs to be sorted first is that the PC can't see the SATA drive.
As it can't see it I can't boot it or repair it.

Have you any ideas as to how I can fix that?
 

alanmzifa

Thread Starter
Joined
Nov 30, 2003
Messages
268
I think I may have fixed it, working from Windows now on the SATA drive, yet to reboot again.

As you know nothing I did would allow the PC to see the SATA drive, even trying to F6 the driver files back in.

The apparent solution came to me from Googling and seeing this...
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545

As I couldn't see the drive I couldn't use command line and follow those instructions but the solution turned out to be even easier.
The Windows installation is found under a folder in linux Mint called "host".
Effectively this folder holds the whole C drive as viewed from the Linux Mint install.
All I had to do was find a recent restore point in System Information, copy and paste the 5 registry files temporarily to my Linux Mint desktop and back-up the equivalent 5 registry files in Windows/system32/config/system folder of the C drive in case it all went pear shaped.
Then I copied across the renamed (as mentioned in the article) 5 registry files from my Linux Mint desktop (which were copied from the Windows Restore points in System Information) to the Windows/system32/config/system folder which overwrote the previous files.
All this was done through the GUI of the Linux Mint installation on the SATA drive that Windows couldn't see, no command line needed.

I'll mark this as solved when I've done some more checks but as I'm booting into Windows now all seems well.
Thanks for your offers of help.
 
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