Wndows XP will not start - please help

  webber_man 21:16 28 Aug 2003


I have a friend who im trying to help by telephone - but unsuccessfully!

She has aDell computer running Windows XP. Because she's lazy she turned the computer off by the on/off button instead of shutting it down properly. Now when she tries to boot it up XP refuse to load.

The message "windows could not start" appears and after a few seconds a blue message box appears that begins "unmountable boot volume....." - she don't know what the rest says as the screen flicks through so quickly she is unable to read the rest. The, apparently, the computer goes through the motions of doing something only to repeat the process again and again.

My first thought was to start in Safe Mode but she can't do this either. She does not know where her Rescue Boot Disk is either.

Does anyone know what she has to do to get this thing working?

Your help is appreciated.



  Comchris 21:21 28 Aug 2003


The boot.ini is messed up

You can boot to the XP cd and when you see the Welcome to setup press the letter R
You will get a dos prompt
Then type "chkdsk /p" without the quotes and hit enter
When that is done type "fixboot" and hit enter
"Y" and enter at the prompt
Then type "exit" and hit enter
The system will now reboot into Windows

If for some reason that don't work for you, you can boot to the recovery console like above and...
Type "chkdsk /r" then enter
When done type "exit" and hit enter.
This will take longer, but the system should boot back into Windows

  accord 21:22 28 Aug 2003

i had this evening an error message when booting up. its says in the boot up screen that no hard drives were present. a quick look inside the box and taking off the IDE cables and putting them back in resolved the issue.

maybe worth getting your friend to do this aswell.

  webber_man 21:50 28 Aug 2003

Ok, tried both of those and still nothing.

ComChris - she can't get the computer to recognise the cd drive so the XP cd doesn't work. She said that this has happened once before and was told to press a combimation of keys - Alt, Ctrl or something - to get it back up again. But she can't remember what keys. I sugested it might be the shift key too but that didn't work.

Accord - she has done your suggestion too again with now joy. The same error message appears.

...thanks for your time and help.

Does anyone else have any suggestions?

  Devo2003 21:55 28 Aug 2003

is the system set to boot from the xp cd before the hd?

Check the bios (normally pressing delete on boot will take you there)

Check under the boot menu or advance bios features to see if the cd/dvd drive is set to 1st boot device

then follow comchris' advice

Hope this helps

  sil_ver 21:56 28 Aug 2003

Is she setting it to first boot from the CD?

  OneSirKnight 21:57 28 Aug 2003

why dont you make a set of xp boot disks (floppies) for her ,you will need 6 formated disks.click here

  webber_man 22:21 28 Aug 2003

ComChris - i talked her through your fix a second time and it seems to have worked.

Thanks very much for your advice. Cheers!

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