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windows not booting up

edited July 2006 in Vanilla 1.0 Help
been on holiday at my aunt's this week......but i now have to go home on Saturday to my pc, which is refusing to boot up windows. when it tries to, it shows the main windows logo...and then a few seconds later, a quick blue screen which disappers so quickly that you can't get time to read the errors. loading in safe mode, and all the other various modes, was also unsuccessful i then managed to get into my hard disk via a linux operating system bootable CD.....but that worked it won't even work. when i try to open windows now, it gives me I/O errors. I am thinking of looking for some bootup disk online to download and burn onto CD, so that when i get back from holiday, i can try and boot up windows from this disk. Any tips/guidance greatly welcomed. TIA.


  • I had this error also several times...
    I think you can reinstall windows but holding your settings all, you can chosse it when you insert the windows setup disc
  • thanks for the reply. one of the first things that i tried was inserting the windows xp disk, and I had then the option to do a complete reinstall; or to do a Windows XP Repair Install.........i chose the latter, and pressed R, as requested..but nothing happened and it immediately took me back to the dos prompt. :3(
  • from what your describing, that sounds like it's probably a hard drive going out on you. in which case, no amount of reinstalling windows will save you. my suggestion would be to find a diagnostic to verify that it is the hard drive (find out who manufactured the drive, and visit their website). if it is going bad, take it out of the machine, buy a new one, reinstall, then once you're up and running try to remount the old one to get anything important off of it. obviously no guarantees on a near-death drive working at all, but that's a good route to take.
  • thanks for replying - yes, this is my fear too...a hard drive that is dying on me :( I do hope that i can retrieve a lot of stuff on it. I shoudl have backed stuff up - annoying to lose lots of stuff. i am about to set off here and look at a second hand pc for sale.....18 months old, Dell, 200 quid. How would i remount my old drive in a new machine? Just pul the cables out etc? Does the new pc SEE the old drive easily?
  • er... this is a little more technical than i usually suggest people go. if you don't know how to reinstall the hard drive from experience, this probably isn't the best time to learn. the short description is yes, as long as the drive can be reconfigured as a secondary (or slave).
  • Easiest thing to do would be to buy an external USB enclousure to put the old drive in... then if it works, you have a bonus external drive.

    Since you are already going to be digging inside, you could leave the old one inside, but you need to find a jumper near where the cables attach and switch it from master to slave. It probably won't say 'Master', 'Slave', but more like 'ma', 'cs', 'sl'.

    If you are lucky, that same cable will have another jack that the second drive plugs into. Then begin your install.

    I recomend unplugging the old drive during the install to ensure that it doesn't get confused with the new one.

    All the above assumes you are using IDE drives. (flat and wide, usually gray cable)
  • > I recomend unplugging the old drive during the install to ensure that it doesn't get confused with the new one. abso-freakin-lutely. there are no good reasons to leave data drives in while reinstalling windows.
  • I would try again to boot from your linux cd. Did you see the article on ZDNet talking about using a knoppix cd when he was not able to boot from his computer? Sounds like the article might be worthwhile reading.
  • edited July 2006
    many thanks jsanders, wallphone and jimw for the guidance. I have just returned from seeing a computer that was listed by a bloke for sale.....and yeee-haaa, i have bought it. thanks for the tip re buying an external USB enclosure.......showing my ignorance here, but i had never even heard of such a thing before today! I presume my drive is IDE......long and flat, and the cable is flat and gray okay, let me go over this again I will be using this new pc (18 months old); I will open up my old pc, and look for the jumper connection (near where the cables attach to my old drive); switch it from master to slave; and hopefully that same cable will have another jack on it that i will then connect to my new pc's hard drive? I can then start up my new pc and see if it can *see* my old drive? (I presume it will see it as D drive) Is this correct, or have I missed something out? PS - if the old drive works, i will buy that enclosure thingie tomorrow in my local pc store. PS 2 - i was reading a few days ago that many people have managed to get data off an old dying drive, by freezing it for a couple of hours. I may try this if all else fails.
  • MarkMark Vanilla Staff
    I love that this has absolutely nothing to do with Vanilla or Lussumo and people are still trying to help you.

  • I know Mark - I felt bad, in asking. But this is a great community in here and I knew I wouldn't be bawled out of the place for asking.
  • AFAIK, the freezer trick works if you hear a lot of clicking and sit at an hourglass while trying to read some info off the disk. If you don't hear the disk spin up, you can sometimes fix that by playing a rough game of spin the bottle, but with the drive instead of a bottle.
  • yes, that is what mystified me, i never heard any clicking ever on my hard disk.........i still wonder if there was a power surge overnight eg lighteninbg, that maybe corrupted the master boot record on the drive. about 6 months ago, when on a previous occasion when the pc wouldn't boot up, i leant down and hit it with my fist..........and it then booted up perfectly! (true story)
  • If you've corrupted the MBR just boot the windows install disk, hit R for recovery console (the dos prompt you were referring to earlier), and use fixboot and fixmbr. chkdsk /r is worth a go too.
  • thanks minisweeper.....I didn't know the MBR was so readily fixable. Excellent, I am gonna try this tomorrow when I get home. I googled for the commands there now. Those commands don't corrupt the data on my hard disk?
  • found this great article - might be useful to other folks too
  • There's always the warning that they a) might not work and b) might break it more. But it really doesnt seem like you're in such a winning position right now anyway... And i dont think i've ever had them cause problems.
  • you're dead right, this point, i have nothing to lose. when i get home tomorrow, i am gonna go for it......chocs away!
  • was a resource I used a lot in my PC tech days.
  • thanks wallphone - great url. I am heading home today, after this holoday, and will try to get the old pc to boot up.
This discussion has been closed.