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Old 10-15-2004, 08:20 AM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Sep 2003
Posts: 22

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Unhappy OS doesn't start!

Hi there,

Some time ago, I wanted to install mandrake over my laptop. I have Windows XP OS, so I created a smaller FAT32 partition over the original NTFS partition where windows XP would run. With the new FAT32 partition I was able to write from both the OS (XP and Mandrake).

Since I was no longer needing mandrake I removed, lefting the FAT32 partition over the NTFS partition, and just with XP OS. So I have something like this:

NTFS with Windows XP (labeled C) FAT32 (labeled D)

When working on Windows XP, the automatically XP update asked me for restart the computer so updates could take effect, but I thougth "not now... I do it later!". Before restarting I had the Norton Anti-Virus automatically update and Norton asked me also to restart the computer so updates could take effect, and again I thoutgh "not now... I do it later!". And so I tried to install an aplication called "PC Suite" for connecting nokia mobile to the computer. Ok, so far so good! But when I was trying to install the software the "PC Suite" returned an error message while trying the installshield. Then I thoutgh, maybe it's better to restart the PC, so I can install the software later. But after restarting I view the message:

start windows normally,
in safe mode,
in safe mode with command prompt,

No matter what mode I choose, I only start visualizing the windows logo: "starting" with the progress bar, and the computer restarts again asking me to start in safe mode, ..., etc.

I then created a bootable cd (because I'm using a laptop without floppy drive) and enter in dos mode. In dos I can only acess drive D, this is, the FAT32 partition. The NTFS partition (C) I cannot acess, and that's the partition where XP runs.

Does anyone have an idea how can I fix this, so I'm able to start XP again and recover my files.

Thank's a lot!

Diogo from Portugal.
Old 10-15-2004, 08:55 AM   #2
Registered: Aug 2002
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Have you tried using the XP install recovery tools?
Other useful stuff:

BTW Lessons learned: always restart the computer.

Last edited by michaelk; 10-15-2004 at 08:56 AM.
Old 10-15-2004, 10:25 AM   #3
LQ Newbie
Registered: Sep 2003
Posts: 22

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Hi there again, I've been in before but I haven't seen the readntfs.htm before. The only problem explained in there is this:

I have data that I really don't want to lost. The hardware I'm complety sure that it is intact. And the partition of the disc is only logical. So if I copy these data (in the NTFS) to the FAT32 partition, I won't be able to run XP too. So imagine that I can copy the files to that partition, how can I take them back from the PC, I won't be able to burn any cds in DOS mode, neither I have Nero (or something like that in FAT32 partition). So what are the chances? Copy my files to FAT32 partition and the install XP again so I could recover those files? But if try to install XP, won't I be erasing all of my partitions (including the FAT32) with the data I want to preserve?

But the major problem here, is that I want to put the OS back to normal, since I know the error was installing a piece of software, so something was stucked on the XP startup configurations (or in the Master Boot Record). I believe the problem migth be very simple to solve, I just don't know what or how to fix it?

Any ideas?

Any software available that I can put by MBR as it was before, and recover XP again? Or is there any software that I can use to scan windows start up configurations and detects and solve malfunctioning configs?

Tanx once again!

Old 10-15-2004, 09:36 PM   #4
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Austin, TX
Distribution: CentOS Fedora RHEL SLES Knoppix
Posts: 78

Rep: Reputation: 15
The problem as I see it is that you are trying to recover an ntfs partition
with a dos boot disk. Dos by default doesn't know anything about NTFS.

Try booting with the XP install disk and recovering that way:

Turn on the computer with the Windows XP disc in the cdrom drive. When
prompted to start from the CD, press any key.

The option for the Automated System Recovery will appear momentarily.
Setup will load some files necessary for installation, and then will start
Windows. Press the R key to run the Recovery Console for Windows XP.

The screen will drop you to a C:\WINDOWS prompt. Allowing you to see
the contents of your NTFS partition. You should be able to run whatever
recovery tools you want at this point. Like checking the boot.ini file, etc...

As an alternative, you could create a Knoppix boot CD, and use it to
check/verify/backup/repair the contents of your C drive.


Old 10-15-2004, 09:56 PM   #5
LQ Newbie
Registered: Oct 2004
Location: Palm Bay, Fl
Distribution: Mandrake 10.1
Posts: 19

Rep: Reputation: 0
You need to also repair the MBR (Master Boot Record) for windows. B/c of the mandrake partition, that you had removed, it possibly corrupted, the MBR, leaving, you with the partial information required for boot.


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