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xp emergency boot disk

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by pjblevin, Jan 20, 2004.

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  1. pjblevin

    pjblevin Thread Starter

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    Is there such a thing as an emergency boot disk for XP? I can boot to the cd-rom, but I want to boot to the hard disk. The reason I want to go back into windows, rather than format & reinsstall, is I'd like to recover some files that are on the machine. When I try to boot, there's an error message about a missing or corrupted file in the system32 area.

    pjblevin
     
  2. prospect

    prospect

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    I'm aware of boot disks for XP, but there are 6 of em. And ya can't boot to the HD. When your done with the 6 floppies it just tells ya to put in the XP cd. You can get them here. http://bootdisk.com/

    I have seen some posts about one disk for XP, but I don't know anything about how it works. I haven't used it yet.
     
  3. zephyr

    zephyr

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    Yes, there is such a thing. It's called an Emergency Boot Disk or a "Quick Boot Disk" depending on who you're talking to. I prefer the term Quick Boot disk.

    You can easily make one for yourself. Here's the info from my archives on the Clipboard:

    Here's how to create the "Windows Quick Boot" diskette for an NT based system:

    1. Format a floppy on the NT based system.
    2. Copy or Drag/Drop the following three files from your C: root to the floppy:

    NTLDR
    NTDETECT.COM
    BOOT.INI

    That's it! Be sure to WRITE PROTECT it!!!
    Caution: It is absolutely necessary that the format of the floppy take place on an NT based system since the boot code differs from a DOS/Win9x/ME system.

    Put that disk in the drive bay and boot the computer. It will take you all the way to Windows without relying on the bootloader code from the MBR of the HD or the bootloader files on the root of the C: drive. Cool tool indeed.
     
  4. zephyr

    zephyr

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    You can also make one for the Win9x systems. Just format a diskette on a machine running Win9x and then copy the two necessary files to it from the root of the C: drive.

    msdos.sys
    io.sys


    That will boot you all the way to Windows. WRITE PROTECT it, as you should ALL of your boot disks.

    It has always amazed me that hardly anybody makes such disks for use when the bootloader files get damaged. It could save much suffering.

    >> You may choose to copy the autoexec.bat and config.sys files to the disk also, especially if you happen to be running some legacy items that need such support. They are not really necessary otherwise and the Quick Boot disk only need the two file mentioned previously.
     
  5. prospect

    prospect

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    So how do ya go about finding and putting these files on a floppy zephyr ?
    I must have lost ya somewhere.
     
  6. SSG RONFIN

    SSG RONFIN

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    Get 6 blank floppy's. Go to the Microsoft website and search for boot disks. Pick the OS you have, and click to download. When it prompts you, click open, and follow the directions. It's real quick and simple.


    -Fin
     
  7. zephyr

    zephyr

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    They all reside on the root of your boot drive. You'll have to be configured to show "Hidden" files. Just right-click each one and choose "Send To Floppy" or you can drag and drop them onto the floppy drive.

    Once you get them on there, "Write protect" the floppy disk and you're all set. Booting from that disk will actually use the MBR and bootloader files of the floppy and even if the MBR on the hard drive is damaged or one or more of the bootloader files are missing or corrupt, you'll still be delivered up to Windows and be able to have full use of all tools in order to make repairs. Sometimes that's as simple as copying the bootloader files from the floppy to the hard drive. You really should make and keep one of those disks around. I recommend it as the first line of attack when the system fails to boot.

    >> You can even make one on another computer for use on your if it's running the same system. You may need to edit the boot.ini file if the other computer has a different partition designation for the boot partition, but that's rare. It's an easy edit too.
     
  8. zephyr

    zephyr

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    No SSG RONFIN, this is not the same thing. Read the posts carefully. This is a single floppy that will boot the machine to Windows. This is not a start up disk. This is not an install disk.
     
  9. SSG RONFIN

    SSG RONFIN

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    doh!

    /smacks forehead
     
  10. zephyr

    zephyr

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    I know, I think that's how most users think about floppy boot disks. We all know they can be used to boot to a command prompt. We all know that they come in handy for installing the older versions of Windows. What we don't stop to learn about is, there are;

    1.) Boot disks for installing with that have many useful utilities on them.

    2.) Start up disks that can start the system and get us to a command prompt. Frankly I have never seen the value of those but MS seems fond of them so I don't quibble.

    3.) Then, there are "Quick Boot" or "Emergency Boot" disks, the likes of which I have described earlier. These disk do what the others don't. They actually boot you to Windows if all other things are agreeable on the hard drive.

    Now that doesn't even touch on the many different "Rescue Disks" that several software programs make such as Drive Image, Ghost, Partition Magic, True Image, and ....well, many more.

    I hope this discussion caused a few more people to create their own "Quick Boot" disks and perhaps allow them to repair their unbootable system when, perish forbid, that happens.
     
  11. zephyr

    zephyr

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    BTW, I get this same reaction all the time. You practically have to beat people to get them to create this Quick Boot disk. Then when they first try it, you should see the look of wonderment on their faces. It's almost worth the effort sometimes.

    >>I entered this thread late and now that I review the original poster's request, I doubt very seriously if this Quick Boot disk will help in his particular case. It sounds like he has issues beyond the bootloader files.

    So pjblevin What file or files does the error message list as being the problem? Have you considered doing a "Repair" install of the OS?
     
  12. pjblevin

    pjblevin Thread Starter

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    Zephyr: I was gonna reply to your last post but then TSG went down. In answer to your question about which file was named in the error message: "WINNI/System32/config/system". But in the interim, as I was having difficulty making a recovery disc from your instructions, I googled and found a shareware site with a downloadable "RescueXP" program. I downloaded the trial version, burned a CD of the download, and made an "XP rescue boot disc". As the disc was being created, I could see that it had the same 3 files that had specified in one of your posts, plus others. So far so good. (I failed to mention that the unbootable PC was not mine, but belonged to a friend.) So when I went over to his house, and put the "rescue" disc into his machine, I discovered that his A-drive was not working. So I still don't know if the idea of booting up a PC with a "recovery" disc is valid. Sometimes, this business can drive you crazy!

    pjblevin
     
  13. pjblevin

    pjblevin Thread Starter

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    Zephyr: Forgot to mention that attempting to do the "repair" thing only led to the same error message.

    pjblevin
     
  14. zephyr

    zephyr

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    No, I didn't think the Quick boot disk was the answer for your situation.

    You may end up having to do a clean install.

    When you say, "The repair thing only led to the same error message," did you actually boot to the install CD and run the Repair as per instructions here for example?

    Normally that will work unless there is some failure in the basic hardware.

    If you did it that way and it didn't help, you're going to have to take some extreme measures to get it going. If you have exhausted all other possibilities, such as the f8 menu options and anything available from the Recovery Console, then the next step would be to slave the drive to another computer and try to copy off the personal files of value. Then you can attempt to run a clean install and hope for the best. If there is failed hardware, it should be reported by the install program. It may not even allow an install of the problem is severe. A failed hard drive or motherboard component would stop the whole operation.

    At any rate, it seems that this is a pretty serious problem and it may be time for some expert bench tech help. You'll have to decide at what point to stop when helping a friend. I've been in that spot many times and the safest route is to bow out early and hand it off to the pro.

    If you choose to forge ahead, post back and you'll get help from all the resources here.
     
  15. pjblevin

    pjblevin Thread Starter

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    Zephyr: It wouldn't let me do the repair, but dumped me onto a black screen with the same error message........everything I tried always led to the error message. And, with lack of the A-drive, I'm afraid the only choice we have is a clean installation of windows. But I'm gonna let my friend make that choice, as he will lose all his files. However, I did learn a thing or two, and if I ever get a chance to try out this "XP rescue disc", I'll give you a full report. Thanks for all your help.

    pjblevin
     
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