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Help with XP and a Dell

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
This system belongs to teenage girl. The computer passed through my hands about 5-6 months ago and was ladden with infections, and un-needed crud.

After a thorough cleaning (digital and physical), and a small RAM addition that I had lying around I returned it to the user. She was very pleased, and stated the system never ran as well before.

Now it is back, but it won't boot into Windows at all.

Note that this system has 2 operating systems on it; an XP Pro, and an XP Home.

XP Pro is a goner (as far as my knowledge can tell), but it was the Home partition that I fixed up and got running smoothly. Now neither works.

(Please no laffy)
  • Dimension 4300S
  • P4 @ 1.4Ghz
  • 192MB SDRAM

When I try to boot the XP Pro, the Windows logo and time-bar do the regular thing... and then this:






That was the way it was the first time (5-6 months ago) that I tried.




As mentioned, the Home partition booted. Now it won't

Safe mode:



...and there it hangs.

The owner has some files on here that she would like to retrieve. Her Mother also has some documents on it that she would like to keep.

I have the original Installation Disks, but I can't do a repair install... lack of knowledge on my part. I could re-install, but that would wipe all the current data.

What command line interface commands will help to pin-point or rectify the issue?

Booting XP Home ~ Normally

I get an error:

Computer could not start because of a computer disk hardware
configuration error.
Could not read from the selected bbot disk. Check boot path
and disk hardware...


I have opened the case and ensured that all cables have been re-seated cleanly. The HDD is recognised in the BIOS.

Is this system SOL?

Halp?

Flux
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Flux
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post #2 of 12
Use another drive as the main and attach her hard drive as a slave and save all their files onto the new hdd so nothing is lost
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thank you.

I considered doing this, and may still.

I guess I am paranoid as I don't wanna hook her drive up to any of mine. -lol

But yeah... I may have to do that.

+ for piping up with some good advice. Thanks.
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Flux
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post #4 of 12
not sure if you`ve already tried this. you may need to set it up as slave to get any important stuff as suggested. or pop it in an enclosure (if you have one)
try and boot to the XP cd, when you see the Welcome to setup press the letter R
You will see a dos prompt
type chkdsk /p then enter.
once done type "fixboot" and hit enter. "Y" and enter at the prompt. Then type "exit" and hit enter
The system will now reboot into Windows

If that don't work for you, you can boot to the recovery console like above and...
Type "chkdsk /r" then enter
When done type "exit" and hit enter.
This will take longer, but the system should boot back into Windows.
then maybe try and perswade them to buy a second drive for storing all that important stuff
loving the custom pc blog by the way
Edited by urbtree - 5/22/08 at 7:42pm
UVBOOM
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UVBOOM
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post #5 of 12
or use a linux/ubuntu flavor that boots from cd(no instalation)
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Syrillian View Post
Thank you.

I considered doing this, and may still.

I guess I am paranoid as I don't wanna hook her drive up to any of mine. -lol

But yeah... I may have to do that.

+ for piping up with some good advice. Thanks.
Yup Np issue's like this are a pain and to me the safest way to do it is put her drive as a slave to copy the information to a safe place, then proceed to try windows repair and other solutions to fix it and if you do fix it awesome but if something funky happens during the repair or you just plain cant fix it then no biggies because her data is safe on the other hard drive.
post #7 of 12
re reading that you may wanna check the bios. theres no reason it should have been altered but you never know there may have been a cmos error at some point. what i listed abouve shold work once the files are recovered and it shouldnt actually affect them any way
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UVBOOM
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post #8 of 12
9 out of 10 times a simple chkdsk /r will fix that.

EDIT- And if it finds any errors at all, you should immediately run the SpinRite .iso on level 4.
Edited by PhillyOverclocker - 5/22/08 at 8:28pm
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post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thank you, Gents. Much appreciated.

I will give various combinations of your recommendations a shot, starting with the chkdsk.

Urbtree, and Philly, Danke. That was what I was looking for.

+
+


NoobD ~ That will be Plan B. I have an Ubuntu CD that I can use.

+


P.S. Hi Urbtree! Thanks for your comments on the SFF build.
PM me some links to your project(s), please?
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post #10 of 12
syrillian if none of the above work. ive used bootable linux before and it could retrieve the files but couldnt get access to them after in windows due to the users SID being lost on the install i was retrieving the files from. If you can get a hold of a copy of a program called ERD Commander this will solve any SID issues and any windows box will be able to access the files without getting the access denied message.

Edit: ERD commander is a version of bootable windows xp similar to bartpe boot discs but with some neat additional features
    
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