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winXP recovery console goes to C: (cannot get to C:WINDOWS)

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by auricomXL, May 7, 2007.

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  1. auricomXL

    auricomXL Thread Starter

    Joined:
    May 7, 2007
    Messages:
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    Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to explain the problem in as much detail as possible to help you to help me.

    My Win XP would not boot on my laptop, so i attempted to run the recovery console from the win XP CD_ROM.
    After being prompted and pressing "R", the computer brought up the console and I was looking at a standard black screen command prompt with c:>\.

    To make sure everything was ok, I changed drives to D (my only CD drive), and typed “dir”. The directory of D was displayed as predicted. Then I changed back to C and typed “dir” after several seconds, it said “the directory of C could not be accessed”. This got me very nervous.

    I typed “exit” which restarted the computer, I booted to the CD again. This time I would try to reinstall windows. I selected this option and after the CD ran a check of my hard drive I was asked on which partition to install windows. Apparently I had two partitions, one was about 52 Gig, and the other only 8 MB. I thought it was odd that I had an 8 MB partition, but didn’t think too much about it. Obviously I selected the larger partition to reinstall windows to. After a few seconds, I was told something like:

    “Cannot install windows to this partition. The partition may be either too full, corrupt, or have a hardware problem”

    Then it suggested that I reformat the partition (losing all the data). This is absolutely not an option for me. I would sooner purchase a new hard drive, and do everything in my power to get my files transferred from my current HD. I think last time i checked i only had 1.5 GB free on my HDD, so i am hopeing that win XP would not install becsaue the HDD was too full, and not because it was corrupt.
    After doing a little research on the matter i have found that my main problem is that when i go to the recovery console i should be prompted at C:WINDOWS this is not the case. i am taken to C:. This is where most online help fails, as everything online says "once you get to C:WINDOWS do this and that" but I cannot get there. My imediate question would be how to get to C:WINDOWS, and i am fairly good with console commands (i know how to use Change Directory), so thats not it! my secondary question would be what should i run next after getting to C:WINDOWS? should i run chkdsk? maybe chkdsk /r? maybe fixboot? maybe fixmbr? i hear some of these have the possibility of perminantly making data on the HDD impossible to recover, so i am a bit scared to run them. should i go purchase a 40 pin to 44 pin IDE laptop convertor cable and try to plug my lappy HDD into another computer to try and save files before doing anything else in the recovery console?

    sorry for all the questions and the long post, but i'd rather put all the info out there the first time rather than repeatedly filling in the blanks for everyone in additional posts. i'd really appreciate any help.
     
  2. Blueyonder

    Blueyonder

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2007
    Messages:
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    auricomXL

    If you are not getting the C:WINDOWS prompt it means that Windows is not being recognised perhaps because of missing boot files or a corrupted boot.ini.
    The RC should have asked you which Windows installation to use. It is not seeing any at all.

    In the Recovery Console change to the CD drive as you did before
    if the CD letter is D: give these commands

    COPY D:\i386\ntldr C:
    Enter
    COPY D:\i386\ntdetect.com C:
    Enter

    (two other files needed - just in case)
    1. Type: ATTRIB -H -R -S C:\boot.ini DEL C:\boot.ini
    2. Type: BootCfg /Rebuild

    Depending on what the problem is, the first 2 commands might do it, but I suspect it is a corrupted boot.ini or hard drive

    If that does not work I think you will need to hook the hard drive up to another machine if you need to rescue files

    OR
    Make ann Ultimate Boot CD for Windows.
    http://ubcd4win.com/howto.htm

    It is not difficult to do. The instructions walk you through it.
    This will boot you into your system and has lots of tools on it too.
     
  3. auricomXL

    auricomXL Thread Starter

    Joined:
    May 7, 2007
    Messages:
    2
    Blue:
    Thanks for the reply. i actually couldn't stand not doing anything, so i went home last night and ran chkdsk from C: found some bad sectors, then i ran C:chkdsk /r. once this was done i restarted my computer, and was actually able to get into (non-safe mode) windows! i emediately went to the Western Digital home page and purchased a 350 GB firewire HDD! then i shut down and have promised myself not to even think about turning back on untill i have the new HDD set up so i can back up everything! would you still recomend running the ntldr and boot.ini? do you thenk maybe i should run them, but not untill after i get my data backed up?
     
  4. Blueyonder

    Blueyonder

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2007
    Messages:
    212
    Well, I thought it would be a corrupted boot.ini or hard drive. Looks like it was the hard drive.

    If you are back into Windows you don`t need to run the Recovery Console commands. They were just to fix missing boot files or a corrupt boot.ini.

    Yes, I would do that first just in case the hard drive is starting to fail.

    Then, if it is a Dell laptop you should run the Diagnostics on the hard drive.

    You could also run the manufacturers diagnostics on the hard drive if you want, or wait and see how it performs now

    http://www.techspot.com/vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=7602
     
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