Unable to boot following power cut

  Jim Thing 20:51 29 Oct 2009

We had a power cut yesterday. It caught me in the middle of composing an e-mail and lasted most of the day. When power was restored, my desktop PC (Windows XP Home, SP3) wouldn't boot up — not even from the bootable CD-ROM that came with my Acronis TI 8.0

Symptoms are as follows:
1. Windows starts to boot but only gets through two 'passes' of the progress barmuch the Windows splash screen is then replaced by a blue panel with white text which is displayed too briefly to be readable.

2. The next event is a screen's worth of DOS text which includes the instruction: "... if a previous startup attempt was interrupted due to a power failure [...] choose Start Windows Normally", which is the default choice in a list of five possibles.

3. Selecting any of the five options in para 2. above produces a 30-second countdown followed by a return to para 1. and the thing then remains in that loop.

My motherboard is an AMD nVIDIA AN61-11b, fitted as a replacement about two years ago. Its startup text includes a report that both my hard drives are "S.M.A.R.T. Capable but Disabled" while the Boot Settings menu shows all my drives between parentheses, which apparently denotes that each one "...has been disabled in the corresponding type menu" — whatever that means.

Question: Should they be Enabled and if so, how? I can't find anything about it in the User's Guide on the motherboard CD-ROM, and I can't see Enable as an option, either under F2 Setup or F11 Boot Menu.

Apologies for being so long-winded, but I'm seriously out of my depth here and any help will be greatly appreciated.

  Jim Thing 20:57 29 Oct 2009

"barmuch?" Huh? And I haven't even had me nightly toddy yet...

  johnnyrocker 21:03 29 Oct 2009

what about system restore in safe mode?


  Jim Thing 21:08 29 Oct 2009

Can't boot up to get into safe mode, I'm afraid.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 21:10 29 Oct 2009

You have a corrupt windows system file due to the power cut.

I assume that the 5 options in clude last known good configuration and safe mode all of wich you cannot get to work?

If so then you need to use a windows CD to do a repair install.

Repair XP by install over the top of existing system

1. Boot the computer using the XP CD. You may need to change the boot order in the system BIOS so the CD boots before the hard drive. Check your system documentation for steps to access the BIOS and change the boot order.

2. When you see the "Welcome To Setup" screen, you will see This portion of the Setup program prepares Microsoft Windows XP to run on your computer:

To setup Windows XP now, press ENTER.

To repair a Windows XP installation using Recovery Console, press R.

To quit Setup without installing Windows XP, press F3.

3. Press Enter to start the Windows Setup.

To setup Windows XP now and Repair Install , press ENTER.

DO NOT choose "To repair a Windows XP installation using the Recovery Console, press R", (you Do Not want to load Recovery Console).

4. Accept the License Agreement and Windows will search for existing Windows installations.

5. Select the XP installation you want to repair from the list and press R to start the repair.

6. Setup will copy the necessary files to the hard drive and reboot.

Do not press any key to boot from CD when the message appears.

Setup will continue as if it were doing a clean install, but your applications and settings will remain intact.

Repair XP
click here

  Jim Thing 21:28 29 Oct 2009

Many thanks for your speedy response. I'll study your advice and your link and report back.

  Jim Thing 22:49 29 Oct 2009

Enough for tonight. I'll try again tomorrow.

  Jim Thing 12:12 30 Oct 2009

No success yet — and I'm now stuck again.

I dug out a CD-ROM I made some years ago which had SP2 slipstreamed with WXP Home. Booting from that disk, I got as far as a displayed message that Setup couldn't read the CD, or the CD was not valid.

Just for the hell of it I then tried booting from my genuine Microsoft WXP Home disk, which includes SP1 (but not SP2) — and got exactly the same result.

Next I thought I'd try Autostreamer and went looking for SP2 but the only version I could find was the one that's not recommended for those who are trying to repair only one computer. I haven't found any other version on Windows Update, and would be most grateful if you could tell me how to get myself out of this blind alley...

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 12:35 30 Oct 2009

Sounds as if you're going to have to slipstream SP3 with you original disk.

  Jim Thing 15:15 30 Oct 2009

"Sounds as if you're going to have to slipstream SP3 with you original disk."

My original disk is XP Home plus SP1. Can I skip SP2? Also it's an Upgrade disk. Is that suitable?

Also: I reached a point at which XP Setup asked me to insert the SP2 CD, so I spent an hour d/loading SP2 (266MB! the only version I could find) and writing it to a CD-ROM, only to find that XP Setup apparently doesn't recognise it.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 15:49 30 Oct 2009

SP3 contains SP2 so slipstream SP3 with original should work

XP Setup apparently doesn't recognise it because the CD does not have a microsoft iso boot image.

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