Help Computer has died can't get past blue screen

  bear73 14:27 04 Aug 2009


We have an old Time desktop that is about 10 years old. It has been working fine but yesterday it froze on me and I had to switch it off by holding the on button on the tower and today it froze again and when I turned it back on I had a blue screen saying UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME and to check recently added hardware and software and to try to Diasble BIOS memory options such as caching or shadowing. It said go in using safe mode to disable options but when I try to get into safe mode it takes me back to the same blue screen. It's old and we were thinking of replacing it with a laptop soon but I would like to get into it once more to retrieve some files (that aren't backed up). Nothing vital but if I can get back in that would be good. I haven't loaded any new software or hardware recently, we have a desktop downstairs that we use the most. Please help.


  woodchip 14:29 04 Aug 2009

UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME Means Damaged Hard Drive or Corrupt MBR is this a Windows 98 Computer?

  bear73 14:33 04 Aug 2009

It windows xp home edition, it was updated a few years ago. We have had no problems with it at all up til now. I turned it on this morning and it was fine, I went out for a bit and came home to find it totally frozen so I turned it off rebooted and got the blue screen. Is it terminal then?

  sunnystaines 14:36 04 Aug 2009

worth a read how to fix your MBR

click here

  woodchip 14:42 04 Aug 2009

If you have a full XP CD start the Computer With the XP in the drive. Then after loading stuff it should come back to a Prompt depending on you CD drive letter it should be that.


Press Enter key,

Note the space before /

if that is the Drive letter for you computer

  bear73 14:56 04 Aug 2009


I have searched everywhere and can't find the full xp cd. I'm not sure if we even still have it. Is there much I can do without it? I am fairly inexperienced on computer stuff so I may need a bit of help.

Thanks a lot.

  bear73 16:57 04 Aug 2009

I have looked on the Microsoft site to see if there is a way to load something on to a disk to help repair the system. Problem is I haven't got a clue what I'm doing. I found a section that says the following

Windows XP Home Edition Utility: Setup Disks for Floppy Boot Install
Brief Description
The Windows XP startup disk allows computers without a bootable CD-ROM to perform a new installation of the operating system. The Windows XP startup disk will automatically load the correct drivers to gain access to the CD-ROM drive and start a new installation of Setup.

Is this what I need? This may sound a silly question but it just has a download button to run the download but I am looking at it on the Dell pc downstairs which works fine,. How do I get the info I need to put into the upstairs pc? Can I download it on to a disk? Is it even what I need?

I can't believe I have no XP disk to reload the software. If anyone can help please let me know as all the info says I have to repair the OS and I can't do that without a disk.


  woodchip 17:46 04 Aug 2009

You can still do what I said above by download XP boot files from click here you have to create a six floppy boot disc after that start with number one until they all have loaded, it should come back to a Prompt and you then follow the above to restore a good MBR

  woodchip 17:50 04 Aug 2009

Read this then download the XP Quick Boot Diskette

click here

There are 4 parts to this readme. Please read each one.

A windows XP quickboot diskette is used to boot into your otherwise
healthy XP when your startup files are bad, missing, corrupted, or
the MBR is damaged.

While the boot.ini file is technically specific to each machine
depending on what partition you have Windows installed on and if
you have a multiple boot setup, the majority of pcs have windows
on C: in the default folder and are using an IDE hard drive.

Unlike other bootdisks, the quickboot diskette doesn't care where
the 3 main boot files are located, so simply unpacking them to a
disk that has been formatted on an XP pc should result in a workable
disk for the majority of PCs.

The files included are:


Part 1. I have two packs for download. The first is called

To create this disk, simply copy these files to an disk that was
formatted on an XP PC. Keep in mind that you can also format a disk in
XP and then use it on another PC like a win9X pc to make this disk.

One can simply unzip this pack to A:

Of course, it may work on an XP PC using any old disk, depending....

Perhaps you just need a basic boot.ini to copy to the root folder.

To use this disk set the pc to boot from the A: drive first by going
into the bios and setting the boot order.


Part 2. The second pack is called xpquick.exe


This is an image of a quickboot disk that was formatted in XP and then
an image was made. To create the disk, download the file to a folder on
your hard drive, put a NEW floppy disk in A:, and click on the file to
make the disk. You dont need an XP PC to create disk.


Part 3. The boot.ini file

This is what the boot.ini file looks like on both packs. It's a basic
boot.ini file and assumes XP is on Drive C:

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows XP" /fastdetect

If Win98 is on C: and XP is on drive D: the boot.ini would look like this:

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
C:\ = "Microsoft Windows"

After this disk is created one can also copy your boot.ini from
the root folder on C: to A: and you'll be set if you dont want to
manually edit.


Part 4. A common XP bootup error is:

Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
Windows root \system32\hal.dll
Please re-install a copy of the above file.

The first thing to do if you get this message is NOT to take it's advice.
The second thing to try is to get a good working copy of a boot.ini file
on C:, or edit the existing file, as that's a VERY common reason for the
above, mostly incorrect, error message.

You'll get the same message if you boot with a quickbook diskette that
has a boot.ini file that's incorrect for that system.

Kindest regards,
Ed Jablonowski

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:53 04 Aug 2009

Don't do that it will overwrite all your files with a new installation.

click here download MBRFIX copy onto a bootable floppy and run mbrfix.exe

that shoud repair the hard drive remove the floppy and see if the machine will then reboot to XP.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:55 04 Aug 2009

"Don't do that it will overwrite all your files with a new installation."

I meant do not do a fresh install from the six floppies - woodchips method should work.

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