XP won't boot in any mode

  Plastic Dracula 20:28 11 Jan 2010

Having trouble with my emachines pc. XP won't boot in any mode. Last good settings doesn't work, safe mode doesn't work.
I don't have an XP disc, all I have is an emachines recovery DVD which, I think, will wipe everything from my hard drive. Obviously that is a last resort but what else can I try?

  MAJ 20:46 11 Jan 2010

Firstly you should try to backup all your important files that are on the hard drive as it may be failing, if it hasn't already. To do that you could install the drive in another computer and copy your files across that way, or you could install the drive in an external drive enclosure, attach it to another computer using USB and backup the files. You could then, if all else fails, run the emachines restore DVD.

  jamesd1981 20:54 11 Jan 2010

the e-machines recovery dvd should restore your machine back to factory setup, this will wipe your whole c drive and do a clean install.

  Plastic Dracula 21:09 11 Jan 2010

I have an external hard drive too, is there anything I can download to that so I can boot the pc from there?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 21:15 11 Jan 2010

Download and burn a linux live CD

boot from the CD as it should support your external drive you can then mount the faulty drive and copy your data to the external drive.

after that you can use the recovery disks to repair your machine.

  Plastic Dracula 21:38 11 Jan 2010

Ok, thanks for the suggestions. Will have a go tomorrow and let you know...

  Plastic Dracula 06:26 13 Jan 2010

Hello again,
Ive made a Linux live CD and that seems to work ok and it looks like everything is still on my hard drive.
Anyway, the problem now is that Linux will not let me write anything to the external (NTFS format) hard drive and wont let me change the permissions so I can write to it.
So far I have tried Slax and Nimble X which both say they support NTFS write but so far, neither seems to work.
Any ideas what to do next?
My only other option as far as I can see is to find all the files I want on my hard drive and burn them to DVD and then run my recovery disc.

Ta muchly

  Quiller. 08:38 13 Jan 2010

Can you not borrow a comptable XP disk to do a repair?

  Plastic Dracula 08:47 13 Jan 2010

I had thought of that but I read in a few places that borrowing XP disks from other peoples machines can cause more problems.
My dad has an XP disk from his Evesham computer, will that be ok on my Emachines pc?

  Quiller. 08:56 13 Jan 2010

e.g. home or pro and it is either a full or oem disk. You could run a windows repair.

click here

and use your 25 digit code, if needed.

  Plastic Dracula 22:07 13 Jan 2010

Thank you once again you absolute legends!
Thank you fruitbat for the Linux live cd idea, by the way, I managed to make the external drive writeable by unplugging it then plugging it in again!
Thank you Dick Tattor, dads xp disk saved the day!
I am once again hugely in debt to this forum :-)

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