XP ‘unmountable boot volume’

  steved 09:52 23 Jul 2009

My teenage son got fed up with waiting for his Dell PC to save a file so turned it off at the mains (!) – it now won’t boot, coming up instead with a blue screen with the message ‘unmountable boot volume’. I’m not able to boot into safe mode (get same message after MUP.SYS), although using XP boot disc (downloaded from Microsoft and copied to six floppies) I can get to C:

From there I’ve tried running CHKDSK /P but get the error ‘AUTOCHK.EXE not found’ and get an error if I try to look for it on C:. I have managed to run FIXBOOT which said that the bootsector was corrupt. I told it to fix it with a new boot sector and rebooted but still get the ‘unmountable boot volume’ error.

There was no XP recovery disk supplied with the PC but I believe that the PC can be returned to it’s factory state via a hidden partition, but as my son has never backed anything up (!!) I’d rather avoid that if I can!

Any thoughts anybody?

  Graphicool1 10:11 23 Jul 2009

You could take the HDD out, change it to 'Slave' put it in another PC. Boot and open that drive and remove everything you want to save. Then remove the HDD change it back to 'Master' put it back in it's own case and click here

  chub_tor 10:12 23 Jul 2009

autochk.exe should be on one of your floppies (is there no way that you can get the XP boot disk onto a CD?) and the reason that it is not found is that you probably don't have that particular floppy in the drive at the time you are trying to run chkdsk /p.

  steved 10:36 23 Jul 2009

That's helpful chub_tor, I'll look through the floppies and make sure that it's in the drive. I'm at work now but I'll try it tonight... I had considered removing the HD to get at the data, but want to try the less long-winded options first!

  Strawballs 10:52 23 Jul 2009

you could try going to the web site of the hard drive maker and download their diagnostic software and burn to disc ( it should be automatically bootable) then run it on the Dell machine. I had a similar problem with this laptop when it was switched off while doing something it turned out that the hard drive itself had a corrupt sector right where the boot sector was when it fix it I had lost nothing.

  steved 12:05 23 Jul 2009

Thanks, I'll try that as well

  woodchip 12:37 23 Jul 2009

The MBR on the Hard Drive is Corrupt, You could start with XP CD then at the prompt Type Fix /MBR with a space before /

  chub_tor 13:51 23 Jul 2009

The problem is that he doesn't have an XP CD that's why alternative solutions are being suggested.

  Terry Brown 14:07 23 Jul 2009

Follow this link to create a bootable Floppy Disk click here

Put the disk in the faulty computer and set to boot from floppy.

This should find the XP system and boot your system.

If you have an XP CD, I would suggest you run a repair by running (below) from RUN

sfc/ scannow


  Terry Brown 14:09 23 Jul 2009


I should have said instead of 'If you have an XP CD, I would suggest you run a repair by running (below) from RUN'

See if you can access the hidden partition and repair your system


  Strawballs 22:25 23 Jul 2009

While I was having trouble with my laptop I was able to run live CD of Ubuntu and access all of my data and save to disc, also that is how I knew it wasn't a total hard drive failure as I said it turned out to be a corrupt sector right where the MBR was.

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