Invalid Partition Table

  Rosalie86 09:49 29 Jan 2011

I have a 'Dell Inspiron 1521' with xp..

I suddenly one morning got the message on screen 'Invalid Partition Table' I've tried the booting from a Xp disc and using the 'Recovery Console' but I can't remember the admin password.. I don't remember putting one in, when I loaded the OS a couple of years ago...

Any advise would be get..
Many thanks

  gengiscant 11:41 29 Jan 2011

Have you tried just pressing enter when asked for password?

  Rosalie86 08:57 31 Jan 2011

I've tried leaving the password 'BLANK', I've tried 'DELL','ADMIN'.... I noticed over the weekend that I have 3 partitions on my pc..,. 'D' is a recovery (But I think that was when I had Vista on the system) 'F' I'm sure that is where my O/S is and 'C' which is a 'MEDIA something'

Also, is there a difference between a 'Start up disk (which I know is a floppy disk) and a Bootable CD.. do they both run the same information..

Many Thanks

  robin_x 11:38 31 Jan 2011

Try 'password'.

Lots of software if you Google.
click here

Also I was messing with Hiren's boot CD the other day and noticed a Password recovery option on first screen. Dunno if it may help.

click here
Download .zip right at the bottom of the page

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 14:26 31 Jan 2011

1. Place your Windows XP CD in your cd-rom and start your computer (it’s assumed here that your XP CD is bootable – as it should be - and that you have your bios set to boot from CD)

2. Keep your eye on the screen messages for booting to your cd Typically, it will be “Press any key to boot from cd”

3. Once you get in, the first screen will indicate that Setup is inspecting your system and loading files.

4. When you get to the Welcome to Setup screen, press ENTER to Setup Windows now

5. The Licensing Agreement comes next - Press F8 to accept it.

6. The next screen is the Setup screen which gives you the option to do a Repair.

It should read something like “If one of the following Windows XP installations is damaged, Setup can try to repair it”

Use the up and down arrow keys to select your XP installation (if you only have one, it should already be selected) and press R to begin the Repair process.

7. Let the Repair run. Setup will now check your disks and then start copying files which can take several minutes.

8. Shortly after the Copying Files stage, you will be required to reboot. (this will happen automatically – you will see a progress bar stating “Your computer will reboot in 15 seconds”

9. During the reboot, do not make the mistake of “pressing any key” to boot from the CD again! Setup will resume automatically with the standard billboard screens and you will notice Installing Windows is highlighted.

10. Keep your eye on the lower left hand side of the screen and when you see the Installing Devices progress bar, press SHIFT + F10. This is the security hole! A command console will now open up giving you the potential for wide access to your system.

11. At the prompt, type NUSRMGR.CPL and press Enter. You have just gained graphical access to your User Accounts in the Control Panel.

12. Now simply pick the account you need to change and remove or change your password as you prefer. If you want to log on without having to enter your new password, you can type control userpasswords2 at the prompt and choose to log on without being asked for password. After you’ve made your changes close the windows, exit the command box and continue on with the Repair (have your Product key handy).

13. Once the Repair is done, you will be able to log on with your new password (or without a password if you chose not to use one or if you chose not to be asked for a password). Your programs and personalized settings should remain intact.

  Terry Brown 14:49 31 Jan 2011

Use the appropiate key to start your computer with a choice of boot options.

Select the one that you know is your master (Boot) drive, If this is the problem, you will need to go to the BIOS and re-select the boot order for your computer.

It has been known for software to change the boot drive, giving the message you have received.


  Rosalie86 20:11 31 Jan 2011

Thanks to all the replies.

Fruit Bat,

When I get as far as the 15 second reboot bit, I let it reboot, but it just goes to a black screen with the 'Invalid Partition Table' message in the top left.. :-( which is back to square one...

I've also tried booting in safe mode, but when I push 'I think it was' F8 it just went to the same message on screen about the 'Invalid Partition Table'...

Many thanks..

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 20:27 31 Jan 2011

All you need to to is to rum fixmbr

this is normally done from the recovery console as you cannot use your XP Cd to gain access

then try downloading the Ultimate boot CD click here

burn to disk and use it to boot the affected PC and run fixmbr

  Rosalie86 21:58 31 Jan 2011

I've tried a couple of boot discs, and the command is A/ someting like that...

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 16:46 01 Feb 2011

At the A:\ prompt



press enter

  Rosalie86 23:23 01 Feb 2011

Hi Fruit Bat,

I tried that, but it just says 'not a recognized command'


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